Chasing the Original High with Adam Lambert at Sydney’s Enmore Theatre

03 Feb 2016

In the early 90’s I was heavily in to grunge music. I lived and breathed it: the oversized flannel shirt, the unwashed rock ’n roll t-shirt underneath, the original Doc Martens and frayed knee length jeans.  I wanted to be Eddie Vedder. I admired Billy Corgan’s melancholy. I had a mad crush on Chris Cornell and worshipped the ground Kurt Cobain walked on.

If you had told me back then, that one day I’d be standing at a pop show with laser lights and a glamazon of a front man belting out tunes in a glass shattering falsetto to some snappy choreographed dance moves I would have locked myself in a dark, dark room for a long, long time.

Oh how times have changed. Walking out of Adam Lambert’s sold out show at the Enmore Theatre on his first of two nights in Sydney made me feel like a gushing teenager at a 1D show. The small-ish venue is perfect for a show that makes you feel like you’re out dancing on a saturday night in a dingy club with sticky floors, lasers, and performances with dancers in shiny outfits. The majority of the music Adam Lambert plays tonight are all the foot stomping dance tunes that have shaped his rather fruitful career. Proof that American Idol really can serve you well – IF you have the talent. If you don’t you’ll float back into anonymity as quickly as you can say Kris Allen. Who? That’s the guy who actually won back in 2009, the same year Adam was his runner up.

Adam Lambert, The Original High Tour, Sydney 7
Adam Lambert, The Original High Tour, Sydney 10
Adam Lambert, The Original High Tour, Sydney 10

Talent is something Adam has in spades. As much as there are choreographed moves to the songs, there’s plenty of room where he has the freedom to roam, interact, and flirt with the audience. And then of course there’s the voice. It ranges across 3 octaves, although spends little time in the lower register. The falsetto and the belting range are his power players that send the crowd into a frenzy every time. A particularly impactful moment takes  place during the “Mad World” cover he’s had in his repertoire since his Idol days.  The entire theatre goes completely silent. A white light beam lifts Adam out of the sea of blue lighting behind him and an otherwise empty stage. A piano and just his voice hitting those high notes with almost angelic qualities has us all completely mesmerised.

Those eye brows and those eyes combined with those hip movements have the power to turn many a straight man gay. There is a predominantly LGBTQ community contingent present tonight and peculiarly,  hoards of women in their mid 40’s and up. I find this ever so slightly puzzling but on reflection remind myself that I (almost!) fit into that demographic myself. *slaps forehead.

In an interlude after the first 45 minutes he addresses the very excitable mix of “Glamberts” (aka dedicated Lambert fans) to let us know that all his “angry” songs are now out of the way. It’s not exactly the type of angry that Rage Against The Machine get in “Killing in the name of”. It’s much more polite and sexy and you’re usually too busy busting out dance moves to realise you’re singing “angry” lyrics like: “Hey, whataya want from me?”

Lights! Lycra! Daaaaaance!!!

Adam Lambert, The Original High Tour, Sydney 2016jpg

Before the end he treats us to a Bowie cover of “Let’s Dance” – not that we need any more encouragement. The Enmore is more dance party than concert at this point and it feels like every last person in this room is having the time of their lives. Even though Adam might still be chasing the original high, the rest of us in this room tonight all look like we’ve found it.


  • Hi Sally, you’re quite right in questioning why I find it peculiar that his fans fall into an age group. Really with his sex appeal and talent – age shouldn’t really come in to the equation at all. I guess I somehow expected the crowd to be twenty something gay boys, but like I said in my review – I’m in my forties and neither a boy nor gay. That’s the wonderful thing about music, it’s universal and transcends age & gender. Point noted! I too have put together a rather lengthy playlist for myself which now means that most other artists have been put on the back burner for the foreseeable future… And I’ll look into his theatre performances too – thanks for pointing those out. Thank you for your comments Sally and needless to say: have a sensational evening with Adam when he visits your town soon! All the best!

  • Hi Lauriellen, great to hear he’s even influenced your wardrobe! The powers of Adam are endless it seems! 😉 You’re up to 11 gigs – that’s quite impressive. I’m sure if we moved Australia a little closer to the US I’d have seen him more by this time too! But knowing he’s got a quickly growing and loving fan base over here now, I hope it’s not another 6 years until he returns!

  • Hi Sharon! You lucky duck having seen him that many times! I’ve seen what he does with Queen (only on TV unfortunately) and agree it’s magical. He really adds so much to that band without trying to be Freddie. He’s his own persona and somehow it just works incredibly well. Not an easy job with any band that is as legendary as Queen – but he’s truly nailed it! I may have to travel to see them together this summer (Australia is not always on everyone’s touring list unfortunately….we’re sooo far away!!) but I have no doubt I’ll get my fix at some point. 🙂

  • A great review, Sandy! I was privileged to see Adam 2X in the US with Queen, the most exciting, first class concert I’ve ever seen. Adam had Queen fans as well as his own on their feet,I’m sure making Freddie proud! I’ve also seen Adam 12 other times performing his own music, since his Idol tour & cannot get enough of him. He has an elegance & edgy quality that electrifies the audience. His performance with Brian May of Who Wants to Live Forever had the crowd mesmerised with many in tears & in awe of this man’s ability to touch & connect unlike any other artists I’ve seen to that degree. He has a magical quality with Queen that radiates into the audience. There’s a powerful connection of respect, admiration & affection that’s uplifting & joyful. It’s in their body language,proud looks & is so genuine. Remembering it makes me always smile. Adam is a genuine super star. I’ve seen great entertainers, but none that have given me the Ultimate high like Adam. So glad you had the opportunity to see him live. Hope you’ll be able to see him with Queen this summer. You’ll never be the same! 🙂

  • I’m anxiously waiting for my 11th. concert in Nashville. YES, every single performance is different and makes you want to see the show over and over again. It never gets old and I never lose the excitement. I’m 55 and Adam has reawakened me. My wardrobe looks a lot different than it did 7 years ago too. 😉

  • Sally (WingedHeartOhio)

    Sandy, thanks for this wonderful review and for fan-girling with the best of us! When the Original High Tour makes it’s way to the States, I will see Adam for the third time although, like you, I have yet to see him with Queen (something I sure hope to be able to do in the future). After seeing all the photos and videos coming from the Far East and from your part of the world, I couldn’t be more excited that my turn coming up in just a little over a month. I am, however, surprised you found it peculiar at the amount of women age 40 and up in attendance at the concert you reviewed! We have been with Adam from the beginning and aren’t going anywhere anytime soon! I think it’s probably safe to say that a good 75% or more of actual Glamberts fall into this category (at least here in the United States. I, myself, will be 64 in a couple months. Even though I am a lesbian, I find Adam to be one of the sexiest performers to come along since Elvis…and, in my opinion, he is even more talented vocally. As you stated, his range is three octaves, not including his falsetto, and his tonality and timbre are unparalleled in the music industry today. As Ruth said in her comment, he really has spoiled us and listening to anyone else is almost painful at times. I listen to his entire playlist every day, including every single performance predating Idol that I can find on You Tube! If you haven’t listened to his theater performances, I highly recommend you do so. Once again, thank you for your very well written review. Blessings to you and yours.

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  • You’re a lucky lady, Ruth! I’ve yet to see him play with Queen. But in whatever capacity he’ll next visit Sydney, I’ll most certainly be there with lycra on!

  • Ruth

    What an excellent review and very insightful. I’ve seen Adam Lambert 5x with Queen and 4x solo. Each time was like the first time but every time was different. Adam changes up every song to make it feel brand new to the fan. Seriously he has spoiled me for any other male singer. Adam’s voice is 1 in a Billion as Brian and Roger have said many times. I just can’t listen to or buy anyone else’s music now. Can’t wait to see the Vegas show of The Original High tour.