Journal of an Intrepid Glambertina – Part 2 Adam’s Vision
Earth and Fire
Art attracts us only by what it reveals of our most secret self.
– Jean-luc Godard (b. 1930), French filmmaker, author
Adam Lambert’s Visions
Adam has explained that the style and format of the concert stemmed from his dreams and imagination and guided by his music, he takes us on a tour. Does this manifestation succeed? Do you want to live here in Adam’s dream world? He explained that his inspiration was drawn from the song Voodoo, an exotic mix of magic, mystery, superstition and a range of timeless cultural influences, French, Spanish, Catholic, West Africa. All amassed in the New Orleans of the early 20th century. Adam’s parade emerges in a wooded cemetary and takes us down Rue Bourbon from earth to Mardi Gras, showing us some hot spots along the way.
Opening the jewel box of Adam’s visions unleashes the elements of earth, air, fire & water through the prisms of precious gems and each produces its own enchantment. Adam presents them to us with such joie de vivre and pride, his contagious smile beams his joy to the furthest reaches of the audience. Eyes sparkle with excitement as he unveils each tableau, each carefully wrought and a symbolist’s dream – or nightmare.
The interior of this box is oddly familiar, then I realize why, it’s Xena’s “…..sitting room. It’s decorated in crimson, purple, sapphire and curry, a lush room with silk covered walls – the floor splendid with cushions over Turkish rugs – a room designed for lounging and relaxing. Another world – sachets of exotic spices and flower petals are tucked into the folds of velvet and silk… Oil lamps bathe the room in warm amber, leaving the corners dark and infinite. The sequin and crystal adornments flicker around the room like fireflies.”
Adam’s vision captures the spirit of each element and serves them up in a series of vignettes, in miniature animated music boxes. I feel I am the lone watcher in the dark room. It’s up close and confined. Nose pressed up against the window of the first panorama. I pull the lever and Adam appears.
Purple – the blessed child of hot red and cool blue
Magenta, plum, violet, orchid
Passion, royalty, power
Purple Haze, Purple Rain
The colour of royalty, favoured by Cleopatra, it is power and it is spirituality. It’s the cloying fragrance of fading lilacs and spicy lavender. It’s the youth of sprightly violets, the mysterious powers of amethyst. Purple demands confidence in the wearer, regal bearing, commanding eyes, strong arms and vocal prowess capable enough to raise the dead, rally the troops, seduce the lovers. Robes, capes, made for grand gestures, the matador, the chivalrous knight. The ripest purple grapes produce the richest wines, Bacchus beckons and we’re inebriated. The pull of the lever releases twilight mist rising to a full moon; it bodes well for a busy night on stage.
Through a bourbon soaked haze, Dr. Adam absorbed the sights, sounds, colours and mysteries of New Orleans, consulting Dr. John, listening to Le Jazz Chaud. In the bayou a little Zydeco, tidbit of Cajun, potions, lotions stirred in the moonlight, the moonshine. This regal witchdoctor learned the magic of Voodoo, HooDoo, Taboo.
The conjurer emerges, from grounded unshod feet to the tip of his plume de coq jauntily inserted into his top hat. Fully regaled in his finery, a patchwork of skins, now shredded to fringes from eternal wear, a plush dark pelt atop, recent payment for a successful invocation of passion. The veiled top hat of the Victorian funeral announcer, dressed with amulets held in place by a scrap of netting, obscures his face until he steps forward, looks up and the moonlight catches his eyes – ah! There’s life! No lasers competing with his eyes for attention, bright enough to light his way in the moonlit night.
He maneuvers his posse from their wretched limbo to moonlight. They are simply marionettes invisibly tethered to their puppeteer. Dr. Adam is clearly in charge tonight, sweeping across this twilight zone with grace and power – as his atmospheric love potion fills seven thousand people who rise with a lift of his gloved hand. We will remain there until he releases us into the cooling air some untimed moment later.
The green snake appears and who are you tonight? Li Grand Zombi? As a recurring symbol the snake insinuates itself into our psyche. Fear, sin, evil, everlasting – Medusa. Adam keeps son serpent near and reveals it in the most unlikely places. Rolling Stone, FYE video and tonight the backdrop.
Does Adam’s voice sound different? At times, it’s the feel of rich burgundy silk velvet in a lower register while at others, bright, soaring sunlit sky blue. This velvety voice is new to me, warm and luxurious as the notes trail behind him.
DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE
Psychedelic purple, strobes and lasers – shock the system into momentary blindness, inducing hypnosis and signaling a change in speed and direction. Wherever Adam is taking us, we’ll follow. He’s decided it’s The Down the Rabbit Hole Disco tonight. Time means nothing down here, the looking glass clock runs backward, good – more time in a wonderland underworld, leather streamers swirl from his arms and shoulders as his dance moves gather speed and lasers strobe. Otherworldly, psychedelic imagery flows and flowers on the backdrop.
Clearly the Mad Hatter has partaken of the potion as he swaggers across the stage and here we go, the fuse is lit – it’s sparking under our feet and travelling to other regions. He’s flanked by Monte and Tommy, each gets some quality time with us up front to show their stuff.
Apparently Mr. Hatter carries upon him, under his cloak, a kaleidoscope and he demonstrates its magical utility, its raison d’être. Now that spark is rising and turning into a sizzle. His voice changes, evocative of what’s to come next, a little vocal bridge to connect the two elements. Backdrop – Da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man? At first sight, but a second look reveals the merged images separate and Shiva appears. Between voodoo practioner the Purple Prince and the refreshments down the rabbit hole, can we trust our eyes? We can’t even trust our minds and we’re only one element, two songs, two visions, a single jewel laid before us, yet a veritable orgy of music, light, movement, voice and emotion – so rich, so dense.
Who can even recall the backdrops a moment after the song? We don’t even want to blink lest we miss a glorious, fleeting moment. Each performance an amorphous illusion like a snowflake, melting before our eyes and next replaced with another unique presentation, tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow. We may want to catch them, wrap them and clasp them to our bosom but they soon disappear in the heat of our hands.
Metamorphosis of Da Vinci’s man as voodoo skeleton to Hindu god signals the next element.
At this point the air ignites!
Golden, molten, spicy, curry
sensual, magnetic, healing, confers attraction
Fire – explosive attraction, stimulation
volcanic eruption, sunburst
Light my Fire, Sex on Fire
RING OF FIRE
Adam takes us from the mysterious underworld of Voodoo and the Rabbit Hole – the element of Earth, to emerge from the volcano of the second element Fire, the heat continues with Fever but cools us later as we rise in the blue Air. Coat discarded, he reveals the bejeweled shirt beneath and releases the exotic baubles draped around his neck. Theatre training makes his transition of costume changes smooth, hardly noticeable as we are momentarily distracted by the changes in light and atmosphere.
Hindu God of Fire Agni explodes, a ring of fire escapes from the total eclipse and our high priest, Eastern mystic kneels at the top of the mountain. With hand gestures and sinewy body movements he calls up Agni. The smoldering ember at the centre of the fire catches light and the flames explode. Arms trace the shape of flames as they rise and lift the spiritual one to his feet.
Adam is more effective with his feet rooted, limited movement to torso, arms, face and voice than any other performers with the full utility of their bodies. Even when he’s kneeling. Recall the shock of the first time, the maiden performance of RIF, blatantly zippered. Now the accoutrements are laced-up and corseted. He’s lost none of the original exotic performance with the exception of judges with jaws on their desks.
Finger cymbals tinkle, gypsy belly dancer seduces with a body supple and sound, voice rises and falls with the licks of flame.
Red, carnelian, carnation, garnet, roses, cherries
true love, passion, desire, fire, fever
Tommy’s Lipstick, Tommy’s Bass
“There he goes……”, Will he? Won’t he? The tension builds from the start, Mr. Flirtatious and Tommy Terrific teasing us with their game and then the boys come out to play. Up close and very personal, Adam is flanked by sleek and sexy bodyguards protecting his assets. Girls enter ruffling their gypsy flamenco, pirate wench skirts! Can-Can we stand it! Moulin Rouge, Kit Kat Klub, Chicago speakeasies, Studio 54 – all rather nefarious for their respective eras. This venue trumps them all for heat. Neon signs beckon and flash.
Anyone still sitting when Fever detonates is in need of a defibrillator! Instinctively the audience jumps, pumps and gyrates as the heat seeking missile hits his targets – how many times? How large is the audience tonight? Nothing is mechanical, constructed, hard, formidable, cold, calculating or cynical. Adam’s dreams are so accessible, organic, emotional, passionate, born of flesh, hot blood, infused with sensuality. (I took out a special license for all those adjectives, I saved up for weeks)
The fuse lit with the opening notes of Voodoo the flame slithers underground with frequent outbreaks of utterly splendid sexuality. He consumes the audience within his performer’s mind.
Whew! Cool it people! There’s more to come, maybe we’ll get some respite with the acoustic set. So hot and humid we need the witchdoctor to release the rain from the sky.
For your viewing pleasure –