my post from this time last year for a summary of everything up to then and my story of The Point of No Return.
It wouldn't be a celebration without presents now, would it? So without further ado here is my latest gift to you all, my edit of Sleepwalker from the penultimate Glam Nation concert at LA's Music Box. I had to sweat that extra bit harder, pulling out all the stops to make something worthwhile, especially since now I'll have to prise you away from the DVD.
Sleepwalker to me is about sadness, it's that pain that hollows you out and renders you numb to everything except that intense feeling of loss. It's what makes you feel that detachment from reality, a floating onlooker onto your own life. Nothing is quite real or comprehensible or possible or tangible in the way that had previously been so familiar and natural. The whole universe and everything in it has shifted and you don't want to be trapped this strange and frightening new reality but instead hope to wake up from it. That is what Sleepwalking in this song means is to me.
If I'm in despair, I'd be too weak to channel any anger and if I felt anger, it would be directed, which would keep reality in focus enough to be fully awake. This makes me curious about Adam's angry interpretation which I find it hard to reconcile with my own. He draws upon something to give us that emotion through clenched teeth, making “always there to haunt me” my favourite part of this intense performance.
I was a little more liberal than usual with the effects in this edit, primarily intending to make it into a haunting dreamscape where things aren't quite as they should be. I wanted the result to be beautiful and something you'd want to watch more than once. It's the edit which has the highest work-to-length ratio so I hope it was worth it!
Ever since hearing that first preview snippet of Sleepwalker, I have always associated it with a powerful visual cinematic element. The staging from Glam Nation is consistent with that and I think he built upon what we saw for the top two performance of MW. For Sleepwalker, he cuts a solitary world-weary figure, wearing an outfit that's part Matrix, part Final Fantasy or anime. The lonely tortured fantasy comic book superhero. That is what I wanted to capture with my attempt at artwork — Adam represented as a character who is regrettably too familiar with sacrifice but stays strong and resiliently optimistic in the face of adversity, continuing to fight. The results aren't quite as stylised or dynamic as I would have liked but I've already spent much longer than I'd care to admit on it as I'm not an artist and am new to this kind of illustration so it's another first for me.
I have made two pieces using my illustration of Adam, both available as T-shirt designs (links to T-shirts at bottom of page). One is the original dark moody version with a backdrop of turbulent clouds, the other is a charity Japan version that I would like to dedicate to my Japanese friends. $5 (£3) from each shirt featuring this red design will go to the Red Cross Japan Earthquake and Tsunami appeal. Alternatively, you can donate directly to the UK Red Cross or US Red Cross sites. I decided to make this version because that's where the inspiration behind the style originated. I feel that my description of the character could also represent the qualities shown by the Japanese people in light of recent events. With the blossoms and warmer colours, I hoped it would have an uplifting and positive feel. Click to view the bigger versions. I'm afraid I've had to add a watermark as my other artwork has ended up on various pieces of tat on eBay.
UPDATE: Thank you all for your support through the purchases. As promised, I have donated £3 for each item sold bearing the design towards the Japan Tsunami Appeal and will continue to do so until it ends. After that, the donations will go to the Red Cross's most pressing appeal.
This past year we have seen Adam being received by enthusiastic audiences all around the world on TV and radio promoting his album. This is where I got to see him perform live for the first time. Then came the fantastic news that he was to headline for his first ever solo tour, initially starting off as around 50 dates in the US but extending into a worldwide sell-out tour of well over 100 concerts. We were truly entertained as we followed Adam and the Glam Troupe on a virtual tour around the world, self-imposing jet-lag by getting up at or staying up until ridiculous hours. We invested in better equipment and got more tech-savvy, video quality became sharp and clear, and fandom got organised so wherever we were, we too could experience concerts in real-time with real friends through the virtual world. We were thrilled as Adam got up close and personal with Tommy and then with some lucky fans. We looked forward to all the surprises and performances of new songs, waiting with bated breath so see what the encore would bring. Some clutched pearls as he got more risqué with an on-stage spliff, others were begging for him to get even wilder.
With your help, I won one half of a pair of crystal gloves, the other half of which is in Adam's possession. I tried to get a campaign going to reunite the gloves but unfortuntely this didn't happen when I went to my second Adam concert. The year has has its fair share of controversy with AI snub-gate, pap-confronting fugly hat-gate, teen mom-gate and Gaga-gate. Almost everything he tweeted ended up trending. There was some gentle wrist-slapping whenever his followers got a bit out of hand and we enjoyed some classic rumour control tweets and twitter rants. Adam seemed to gradually gain confidence to step up to the challenge of discussing political issues, but still wanted to champion them in his own way.
We partied along with Adam to IIHY and its music video and were overjoyed at news of an acoustic EP. After such a long wait, we were relieved to finally be able to get our hands on a live CD/DVD from Glam Nation, sales of which have exceeded expectations. We got a remix of Aftermath supporting the Trevor Project, one of a number of charities supported by Adam. Well over half a million dollars has been raised for DonorsChoose.org and $320,000 for his Charity Water birthday campaign. We celebrated TV specials, news of Adam's Grammy nomination and his appearance at their social media summit.
The summary wouldn't be complete without a commentary on Adam's chameleonic looks, where shaving a side of his head hit the headlines. There was the long hair with and without goatee and let's not forget the fashion choices, the memorable ones being the Glammer trousers, glittery zebra and lace-up trousers amongst others. The year ended neatly with a return to AI as Adam works on the second album and we are left speculating over the intriguing collaborations and eager to to hear anything new.
Another year on and the Adam Lambert Effect is still very much thriving as he continues to inspire us in many ways. The contents of this post sum up where it's taken me, which is to be creative, strive for perfection and to give something back. Thank you all for being a part of this, and thank you Adam.
DOWNLOAD Sleepwalker mp3 - 10.03MB
DOWNLOAD Sleepwalker iPod compatible mp4 - 29.96MB
DOWNLOAD Sleepwalker HD mp4 - 116.83MB