Juneau and Thea’s Excellent Adventure in Hollywood – Part 2
Now our band of AT&T Live Proud winners was herded back across the street to the nightclub. Once inside, I promptly lost the rest of our group because I got distracted by this:
I had to push and wriggle my way to the back of the club and up the stairs to the VIP Lounge, only to discover that Thea had not made it to that inner sanctum. Our handler told me she had gone back to the hotel. Her knee and back were hurting, and she had found the noise and crowd of the club overwhelming. My heart plummeted. If this had been an acoustic show at a cabaret, things might have turned out differently. (Just putting it out there, Adam.)
Meanwhile, our new friends were having such a good time in the V.I.P. lounge schmoozing with all the celebs who were hanging out there (so I was told later) that we almost missed Adam when he came on stage to thank everyone for sharing their stories. Amid wild cheers, AT&T announced its $50,000 donation to the Trevor Project.
The winning photos and stories were displayed on the jumbo screens. The winners included gay and lesbian couples young and old, a young man who had grown up with two moms, and our wonderful friend Eric M from San Francisco. He had submitted this amazing image of himself waving the rainbow flag in front of the U.S. Capitol last January, when he attended Obama’s inauguration:
And then Adam returned to the stage with his band. I estimate there were around 300 crowded into the club, a diverse mix of men and women of all ages and ethnicities. This was for the Trevor Project and LGBTQ rights, so it wasn’t surprising to see that half the crowd were guys. I was happy to see that most seemed to genuinely be fans of Adam. They knew the words to his songs and danced along with enthusiasm.
In the context of this Live Proud concert, the cover songs “Shout” and “Are You Gonna Go My Way?”, which hadn’t really captivated me when I saw them on YouTube, made much more sense. It hit me for the umpteenth time how no video could possibly capture the energy and quality of Adam’s live performances.
Still, Adam most ensnares my heart when he slows it down and lets his voice carry the emotions of sadness, longing and defiance in “Outlaws of Love”. He has the power to hold the audience captive in that moment of communion and catharsis, so I don’t know that he needs to break the spell so quickly and reggae up his signature ballad. However, this did make for a nice segue into Bob Marley’s “Is this Love?” What do you think?
Adam performed with playful energy, working the crowd and clearly having a great time. I had to strain to hear him through the harsh, dense sonics of the amplified band, but I enjoyed the organic rock direction that he’s taking. The show concluded with a Queen medley and “Shady”, which spiralled into an exhilarating, sustained jam. Enjoy!!