Saturday, 25 December 2010

A Whole Lotta Dutch Purple Haze

Wishing you all a happy festive season! And for the cynics, a joyous celebration of rampant consumerism! I hope you all have an enjoyable time no matter what you do. As a little something to say thank you for your continued support, I have present for you all. This edit had been sitting around for a while, half-finished because Terra had beaten me to it with her excellent version. I've managed to claim back some time to finish it after the end of Glam Nation and used some different angles to Terra. With countless videos of the event to watch through, it's the most time-consuming edit, and with 111 clippings, it's also the most complicated to date. I added a few effects to try to capture the mood of the music. Enjoy!

Paradiso is one of the most beautiful venues Glam Nation has graced so far, and I think it adds a sprinkling of magic to the proceedings. A converted church, coloured light glimmers in through the imposing gothic stained-glass windows behind the stage, illuminating the venue in a mysterious glow and bestowing a feeling of awesome gravitas.

The encore starts with Purple Haze and a kiss followed by some crotch grabbing. Sasha comes onto the stage handing Adam a spliff, 'Purple Haze, motherfuckers!', Taylor does the same for Tommy. After taking a few tokes, Adam continues to sing as clear and powerful as ever with soaring high notes. He has a bit more reefer as Monte lets rip for his solo, then blows smoke onto Monte's guitar and attempts a blowback.

It's to be a double encore and Adam requests that it has to be (in a low booming voice) 'Real sexy'. As the band prepares, he does an excellent job of simulating the opening guitar licks of Voodoo Child. Watch out for Tommy grabbing Adam's cheeks just after he changes guitar. It's a slow burner of a start, with sparse instrumentals, funk guitar and the ebb and flow of cymbals. The lag of the bass reminds me of Art 4 Life Crazy. It's quite hypnotic and could be the perfect trippy soundtrack to a den of debauchery. With Isaac breaking into a huge grin, there's some obscene mic action as Adam gives us a sneak peek of his fellatio technique. From the balcony where the glitter confetti fell during the band intros, Adam catches a feather boa. The pace gradually rises and falls in waves, the vibe slightly Eastern and recalling aspects of FS WLL. He ends up atop the steps, turning it into a primal mating call, creeping up to Tommy and giving him a slow, hot kiss. Tommy's bass playing freezes for a few moments as his hands go limp and Adam runs his hand up and down his fret board. The kiss gives an adrenaline shot to the performance and he throws himself with such vigour that he busts out of his waistcoat, buttons flying apart. A huge leap leaves Adam on his knees in backbend before he crawls and slides around the stage, feral but so natural. Tommy attempts to straddle him but it seems at that moment he is somewhere else. He comes to with a shrug of the shoulders and feigning of innocence. Spotting the minor wardrobe malfunction, he swiftly does the buttons back up. The last section is a mindblowingly climactic one, fierce, thrusty and orally fixated with staggering vocals. Sexy indeed. At the end, we can see him ease out of the performer persona to modestly thank the audience and bow.

Looking back to the earlier Glam Nation performances, we were going nuts over a bit of writhing on the stairs but we've come such a long way since then. The backdrop here lends extra power to performance and I wonder if it's the religious association that inspires Adam to want to push it that little bit further. The stairs are the altar upon which Adam sums up what he stands for - love and freedom of expression. For that, I'm a regular worshipper joining the congregation at the Temple of Glam.

Here's a little bonus for you. The acoustic EP cover was released just before this performance and this idea came to me instantly. The parody was begging to be done so I'm a little surprised that no one else beat me to it. If you obsessively watch the video, you might spot this image flashing subliminally within it for a split-second:

Adam Lambert Purple Haze smoking spliff cover

If you're missing Glam Nation, then please be sure to check out my Glam Nation compendium.

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Saturday, 18 December 2010

Glam Nation Withdrawal?

For anyone feeling bereft of Glam Nation now that the tour is over, I've been working on the mother of all Glam Nation withdrawal elixirs. For the quiet days and nights to come, you can indulge in and even try ODing on what I believe to be a compilation of the best sources of all things Glam Nation (top sheet) and other tour events (bottom sheet). Go ahead and click the pic to open up the spreadsheet, you know you want to!

Short link for this page:
Short link for spreadsheet:

The sources I've included are:
Adam Lambert Obsession - Summaries and highlights. I had to include it for all the work I put in!
My YouTube Playlists - Best video per song, many hours of watching, comparing, whittling and updating!
Hoopla Magnet - Comprehensive and organised collection of media. Videos, photos, articles and reviews.
On The Roof Seeking Proof - Video downloads and photo album links.
Kaetsa's Playlists - Playlists contain all videos for each concert.
Terra's Wiki - Wiki with set lists, playlists and highlights.
IDF Forum - Collection of media. Tweets, photos, videos and reviews.

Thanks to everyone who worked hard to organise and sort through everything that came out of Glam Nation! If there's anything you think I've missed which will add value to this collection or if you'd like to add links, please let me know.

Disclaimer: This blogger accepts no responsibility for the days or even weeks lost as a result of clicking.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Glam Nation: Los Angeles II

Sigh. The last Glam Nation concert. Although I'm feeling rather sentimental and will miss the regular performances, I'm ready to take a break and look forward to new material, new spins on old material and new costumes. There's also the DVD to look forward to, along with the Grammys and hopefully some promo appearances on TV. This concert has Adam as what I think is his most relaxed and playful self. Here are my picks:

Adam's makeup incorporates a teardrop and he has turquoise in his hair. He is extremely glittery. There is a carpet of smoke as the smoke machine seems to go into overdrive for the opening medley. Adam plays it up during Fever so watch out for the very camp 'Yeah yeah yeah' in the build-up to the climax. Sleepwalker once again features stunning vocals. There is extended banter at start of WWFM where he tells us that glam is a state of mind. He is both funny and charming. Make sure you catch his villainous and sadistic little laugh. It's back to acoustic for this rendition and I think it's my favourite yet from his gritty belts and soaring improvisations at the end. Amazing. Soaked is beautiful but marred slightly by the audience's inability to zip it. We realise that it's not going to be an Aftermath duet as Adam helps to remove the stools from the stage singing about stools. He explains that it's a little ditty from 'Waiting For Guffman' as he realises it flies over most people's heads.

Adam goes all-out with his singing for SFW and I think he may have pushed it a little too far at the end of Strut which I find a little shouty. MA is fun and we can see Adam and Tommy headbanging in unison during Monte's solo. You have to laugh at his grabby claw and his super-theatrical voice as he heads towards Monte. Adam gets a baseball hat with 'Warning: I fuck back' thrown onto the stage which cracks him up. During the band intros he goes up to Cam's platform and grinds up against her then makes a joke about the plastic screen around Isaac. Tupperware party! After Tommy's basswanking solo, he tells us that Tommy shoots glitter. The dancers get extended intros as Adam reveals a little more about each. There is a huge roar at the end of IIHY as the fireworks light up the room. Adam finally gets some pyro! Monte plays the opening chords of Voodoo Child to pave the way for Purple Haze as the encore. It's a slower version than what we've heard before and Adam still has the lyrics on pieces of paper just in case. There's a Tommy tongue tickle, and after some crazy vocals and Monte's blistering solo, Adam is spent on the floor. We see him twitching, rejuvenated by the start of a fast-paced electric WLL. It has a long psychedelic instrumental break before it fully rocks out. It looks like he's about to fuck the guitar but he fondles the mic instead and belts out some unbelieveable notes. The tour couldn't have ended on a better high! I'll miss Glam Nation and all the fun we've shared along the way.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Glam Nation: Los Angeles I

For the penultimate stop of Glam Nation, Adam returns home, sporting a massive glittery cockatoo hairdo. I'd been quite excited about this homecoming gig surrounded by all his friends. Here are my picks:

At the start of Fever there's a bit of tit-for-tat sparring with Tommy before the kiss. There's a little extra banter at the start of WWFM as a toy is thrown onto the stage. Adam likens it to the Flintstones' Bambam and with a raised eyebrow, tells us how he already put a bone in Tommy's hair. It's the electric version which has Adam walking around the stage, giving it a different energy. I'm grateful that the LA audience has discovered the advantages of shutting up for Soaked. I'd guessed that Alisan might be joining Adam for Aftermath and she looks tiny next to him. She sings mainly backing harmonies and from what I can tell from the recording, it works most of the time. It's interesting to see how similar their gestures are when they sing, mirroring each others' body language. They both have fun with it and that glory note gives me goosebumps.

Adam returns for SFW wearing a shirt under his jumpsuit. The random moment of the night sees a very leggy blonde drag queen "Raja" (Sutan) bring on Adam's coat and cane for Strut. At the start of IIHY, Adam explains the full-circle moment of having performed at this venue and met Monte exactly 6 years ago to the day. The hug they share is heartwarming. A showering of confetti adds a little magic to the performance. Adam seems to wait for a long time for Tommy to get out of the way so he can ascend the steps for the encore. There is a speech sprinkled with expletives as explains how ACIGC was Monte's suggestion. To the sound of a Citizen Vein "Circle" riff, he explains that this is the second lap of the full circle, the first one being the AI final. He talks about the political significance of the song and about getting knocked back along his journey then beams with pride about the success of his tour and his Grammy nomination. He gives a superb and moving rendition. There is a bonus TCB encore where he dresses Tommy in a boa and gets down. Those floor notes! How can he make those sounds in such a position? They are a marvel beyond belief and there is no better way to finish off a brilliant concert.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Jingle Ball Miami

Another Jingle Ball, another new outfit and this one is all about those tight sparkly zebra trousers which seem to have caused quite a stir regarding their contents. Like the first time he wore them, it's all business black above the waist, party below! This was only a 20 minute set, agonisingly short from a fan's perspective.

The set commences with Fever. Again, there's no kissing but it's very gyratory (can you look at anything else?) and the vocals are strong. It makes a change not to hear the whole room singing along to WWFM but it's all the better for hearing Adam sing another electric rendition. I love the way he improvises on the runs towards the end. Beautiful. He puts his all into Sleepwalker doing his best to win over new fans. The result is amazing with those ringing big notes. IIHY is the song to finish.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Jingle Ball Philly

New outfit! Have I told you I've missed seeing him in clothes other than his GN costumes? With big super-spiky hair, this ensemble is distressed and tattered but somehow still glam. This is I believe the first time he's worn that leather jacket and those skin-tight jeans. The post-apocalyptic rockstar biker look gets the thumbs-up from me!

The set starts with huge screams welcoming in Adam with MA. We have a lyric fail at the beginning of Fever as Adam is probably reminding himself that he shouldn't eat up Tommy in front of the many young fans. Without the dancers, I find it lacks the cheekiness and whimsy of what we've been accustomed to on the tour but he sings it just as well. Adam mentions his Grammy nomination at the start of WWFM. Having almost ODed on the acoustic version on the EP recently, I realise how much I've missed hearing the original version and how he lets rip at the end. And he sings it standing! (Sorry I think I'm a little nuts today.) Well done all you Glamberts for showing your support by singing along! Sleepwalker is an intense fiery one and Aftermath is joyous with a super glory note. His movements below the waist are toned down a touch for SFW but not the soaring voice. A bare-bones Strut without the cane and dancers must be a little strange for Adam but he steps up to the challenge, strutting and reminding us what a powerful and charismatic frontman he is. The set finishes with band intros and IIHY where Tommy seems to have forgotten that he probably shouldn't be jacking off his bass. I don't know how much of the crowd is made up of Adam fans but they all seem to love it, all singing and jumping by the end.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Enter Sandman, Auckland

Monte had been teasing us with those Enter Sandman riffs during the band intros for a long time so we finally got to see the full version on the special occasion of Tommy's birthday. It hasn't been repeated since. I'm afraid the quality of the source videos aren't great and the strobe lights played havoc with the cameras but I did the best I could. Here's my latest edit:

Adam with a wayward tuft of hair explains that it's one of Tommy's favourite songs and admits to not knowing all the lyrics. We get the cutest giggle just after he says it's going to be karaoke and asks us not to judge him. He performs the verses on his knees while reading the lyrics off pieces of paper stuck to the floor. Getting very frisky with the mic, he probably kills off all the fans in his firing line. Tommy gets a special birthday smooch, long and sloppy which he no doubt enjoys as he leans in, leg rising up to stop himself from getting swept off his feet. The thing that I love most about this performance is we get to hear a different side of Adam's voice that's more in line with his old Citizen Vein material with a much harder and heavier sound. His voice has added grit like a cutting Axl Rose wail and it's effortlessly powerful. In contrast to the Metallica growl, it's also surprisingly mellifluous and bright like a beacon, carrying a seemingly impossible amount of melody.

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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Glam Nation: London

A Glam Nation virgin up until then, this was the concert that exploded my cherry. Before I start, I'd like to send a huge shout out to Legers and Zyrogoth, whose kindness and generosity made it possible. Thank you.

I managed to rush back after a hectic weekend, but on the morning of the concert, I woke up with a sore throat, loaded nose, congested head and the shivers. I debated whether I should risk making myself feel like death by waiting outside in horrid sub-zero temperatures, the coldest spell in years, but you can guess which voice won that debate in record time. I'd never done much queueing for gigs nor been to any alone, so in making the conscious decision to brave the arctic conditions for six hours, I was shocked by what a rabid fucking cray I'd become. But as soon as I reached the venue with my crystal glove (just in case), small queues of even more rabid fucking crays gave me plenty of reassurance regarding my sanity. Hooray for rabid fucking crays! (I can't believe I just wrote that.)

The majority of fans were female of various ages. Some who I thought must've been northerners wore very little and shivered in the name of glam, others resigned to standing in the most un-glam of black bin liners to try to stay warm. I'm not sure Adam would've approved. There were four different queues in total, where fans exchanged tales of how we fell for Adam, our encounters, concerts, favourite performances and songs, counting the hours down together, even bursting into song. There was a familiarity in the way that we eased into discussions, freely gushing. The affinity between complete strangers with a shared passion was very apparent, the warmth of kindness and chatter taking the edge off the icy weather.

It wasn't all rainbows though, as the cynic in me felt there were ulterior motives too. Little cliques formed, making it easier to keep track of people moving where they shouldn't and tugging on their consciences. I sensed an underlying steely determination and when it boiled down to it, everyone was for themselves. The cold was unbearable and unfortunately it brought out the worst in some. I got further from the front as people had been saving places for others who turned up last-minute, and others who just pushed in. I couldn't summon my inner Bitchy McBastard to complain because getting into an argument would've left a bad feeling hanging over me. Queue-jumpers, you know who you are and you should hang your ugly heads in shame. I'll remind you that for every queue placed jumped, a kitten gets throttled.

I'd taken a gamble to try to get up close as I'd already watched my last concert from the back of the room. When I finally got in, my heart sank because I realised I got shafted by the extra O2 priority queue and the extra Paris VIPs. Even after a six hour wait, I only managed to get into something like the tenth row, sardines squashed against me from all sides and too many heads in front. Faint and you'd still be standing. The result was not worth the endurance test. You had to hope you didn't drop anything as the chance of retrieving it without simulating oral sex with your neighbouring sardine was precisely zero. There was also no point spending time on my appearance as everything turned into a mess after the eye-watering cold. In fact it was so cold I kept most of my layers on. Not that anyone would've been able to see what I was wearing anyway. It's the only time wished I were a yeti with hygiene issues. A brick shithouse build, hairy coat and no one wanting to be within a metre of me would've been ideal.

The warm-up act were very enthusiastic and tried to get the crowd going but they weren't really my cup of tea. In the gap between bands, people shared glitter and glowsticks. The projector guy discovered that when a picture of Adam was shown, the crowd would scream so he started fucking with us by flashing the pictures, amused by the textbook Pavlovian response each time. As the time drew nearer, people started stamping their feet and chanting his name in eager anticipation.

When Adam came on, necks elongated, arms flung into the air and the temperature suddenly rose. I wish that on low stages, Adam would stay close to the front so the angle allows more visibility. I was frustrated by the lack of lighting, and the peacock feathers, arms and cameras obstructed my view. Since I couldn't beat them, I decided to join them with my camera doubling up as a periscope. I couldn't even hear the start of Voodoo through the screaming so missed the first few seconds.

I'd been used to seeing Adam in two dimensions, so seeing him in three was enthralling. His strong other-worldly presence left me awestruck and I felt more than ever that he inhabited a different plane of existence. Everything about him was amplified and much more accentuated. He was bigger, taller, brighter, glitterier, more radiant, more animated and more dramatic than any video can convey. I remember looking on in fascination at his mouth, how big it became and how thick his tongue was as he wailed through RoF. I was a little surprised by how long his hair had grown. It didn't look too healthy and his makeup seemed to be excessive, leaning towards drag but I appreciated its benefit to those at the back of the room who received that heart-stopping moment of eye contact as he scanned the audience. His movements were huge but graceful and sharp. Sometimes it was too much for me and I wanted him to stand still so I could take my time to look at and study his appearance. I wanted to touch him to see if he was real but he was out of my reach in every sense.

Fever started with toreador Adam squaring up to Tommy before going in for the kill. I couldn't hear his voice very clearly during much of the song but it was more than compensated for by those bonus riffs and stratospheric high notes. It turned out that every time he hit one, I gasped and felt a rush rise up and the crowd responded by screaming. I was thrilled that his voice was on top form and as so often happens on the last night of consecutive gigs, he went for it. The surprise ending was magnificent and my fellow sardines, equally amazed, turned to each other as if needing confirmation of what just happened.

I couldn't see much of the dancers during the interlude, I just remember Terrance who I'd describe as beautifully big and round, moving very fluidly. There was an extended intro to Sleepwalker which sounded great. We were all very excited, wondering if it was intentional and whether any surprises awaited. The images of the stone angel and lightning stayed up for a while before Adam came on but without drifting down the steps and without the long sweeping overcoat. I think the coat adds quite a lot to the performance, completing the image of the tortured lone comic-book hero so I missed it. He explained about the sound difficulties and when he spoke there was a strange effect. He sounded really high, lacking in depth and richness. Something wasn't quite right with the sound but it was eventually corrected.

He was very relaxed and uninhibited when it came to the banter at the start of WWFM, potty-mouthed and swearing freely as he spoke about the sound issues and how he considered this to be the last show of the tour. We sang along but it was over so quickly. Sometimes I think it's better that we don't know the lyrics off by heart so we don't sing over Adam. I felt this especially during Soaked, a spine-tingling version where the crowd was mercifully quiet for much of it but unfortunately a whistle opened the floodgates. I appreciated the effort Adam made in using Brit English when he talked about being "pissed drunk". My reflex was he was saying it wrong by following it with "drunk" but later realised he was clarifying it for large number of non-Brits present.

I didn't see Aftermath. He was too far back from the front of the stage and there weren't enough gaps between heads, so to watch it I had to follow the many camera-periscopes. The videos were the first I saw of it. The whole venue was once again united in song and I was surprised at preferring the sweeter tone of his voice here to that of the powerful Soaked. Much of SFW was done away from the front of the stage so I watched the lasers, jumping and fist-pumping with the rest of the room. Adam shouted something in a high voice loaded with impatience which I assumed was aimed at the sound engineer. His voice was a little drowned out during Strut but I loved the stompy bassline so just danced (i.e. shuffled on the spot because that was the only thing possible). The ending was unusual because he missed out all the "Strut for me..." but it was another stellar vocal. As I couldn't see much, I decided to film MA as it's one that's often missing. The crowd went wild when he used Tommy as his plaything. The ear-piercing screams got louder as the night progressed. IIHY was one of the most enjoyable performances as I gave up trying to see, just enjoyed the buzz, jumping about and singing with abandon. There was a massive note just before the dancer intros that we all went crazy for and I was grateful he stood on top of the plinths for some of the time. He really went for it at the end so I was entertaining thoughts of a bonus encore.

I was happy after hearing the opening chords of TCB that we didn't get MW. It was an electrifying performance which involved some titillating tongue-tickling with Tommy. I tried my best to tiptoe that little bit higher to see Floorbert but my frostbitten legs still hadn't completely thawed out. My joy fell by a few notches when it struck me that the concert was finished as the band relinquished their instruments to leave. Damn my fucking sore throat which stopped me making enough noise to help us get a double encore! I thought during the course of the evening that we might as it was the last one, Adam was cheekily unfiltered and the atmosphere was awesome. I was dearly hoping for WLL but perhaps the sound issues had already ruled it out. Time had whizzed by and the end seemed so abrupt. The crowd scarpered to the barricades but by the time I got there it was already about six deep. The reunification of gloves would not be happening this time.

For me, the highlight of the concert was that extraordinary marvel of a voice, so in that respect, it was the best I'd heard in a long time. Fever — usually one for visuals — showcased it to staggering effect. Whenever a superhuman high note was hit, mouths were agape in astonishment. But it wasn't all about the glory notes as I really came to appreciate the stunning soft timbre of the more subtle performances, soothing and caressing. I feel thankful to have experienced Glam Nation as I know that the scramble to see Adam in future will only get more challenging. I wrongly thought there'd be a fair chance of seeing Adam up close if I got there six hours early. It was the closest I'd been but the effort was wasted as I would've had a better view from the back of the room. A week later I'm still ill so unless guaranteed a place in the first couple of rows, I'll never put myself through queueing that long again. But the things we do for Adam never stop surprising us. Feel free to taunt me with that statement the next time Adam returns for a concert.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

Glam Nation: Glasgow

Aftermath is a particularly pretty one and the quality of the recording is excellent. The shuffle dance at the start of Strut is well worth watching and the set finishes with a MW encore. Here are my picks:

Glam Nation: Manchester

Adam gives a mischievous look out to the audience before hungrily going for Tommy during Fever. At the start of Aftermath, he teases the audience by pretending to strip, telling them he'll do it later in the show because "This is the fucking sensitive part". SFW is an explosion of energy with some of the most impressive vocals yet and the highest "Where did all the pretty boys go?" you're ever likely to hear. He licks his cane at the start of Strut and continues in a very playful manner throughout MA. Don't miss the banter at the start of the band intro as he tells us there are loads of "Cute fucking boys" and enquires about which team they bat for. Maybe that's the reason he's so excitable. He gives a nod to all the straight guys in the audience and the ladies too before introducing the band and pretending to spit and lubricate Tommy's bass. So naughty! The Brooke dance is a cute one as he calls her a snake charmer and does a funny little jig. The encore is TCB finishing with a stripper-move and some floor love.

Glam Nation: Birmingham

It's now time to play catch-up after my time away so here's my selection of the best videos from the opening concert in the UK. Adam plays around with the vocal during an impressive Fever and Broken Open still hasn't returned to the set list. It's a tiny venue devoid of any steps which is particularly noticeable during Aftermath. The encore is MW.