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.
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!!!
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.