The Coronation of Adam Lambert
I have not stopped smiling for the past 24 hours. I’m practically levitating from that heart-so-full feeling, all that joy, wonder and — yes, I’m not ashamed to admit it — vindication, swelling me up like helium of the spirit.
We hard-core Adam Lambert fans have dedicated the past five years to countless sacrifices at the altar of our Idol: hundreds of thousands of words, our life-savings, burnt offerings (dinners that went untended while we were glued to concert Ustreams), the stretched-thin toleration of spouses, children and pets, seasons of garden plants wilting for lack of attention…fill in the blank, the list goes on and on!
And what was it all for? We were driven by a profound belief that this young man who sashayed into our living rooms back in 2009 would some day command huge arenas filled with adoring and astounded spectators. We faced down the doubters, the trolls, the eyeball rollers. We brushed aside those who ascribed our passion to a particularly absurd flavor of mid-life crisis. When family members cried “not Adam again!!” we clamped on our sound-canceling headphones and cranked up the volume on “Cuckoo.” When Grammy nominations and Billboard #1 album debuts were not enough to convince the doubters, we muttered “just you wait!”
And I think we can now declare, the wait is over. Adam is fronting Queen, one of the biggest rock bands in history, and their kick-off concert in Chicago was the realization of every fantasy we Glamberts have nursed for the past five years. It had guts. It had glory. It had lots and lots of gold and glitter. Just about every aspect of Adam that had us swooning for the past half-decade — the sultry fashion shoots, the Glam Nation strutting and campiness, the tight pants, the glitter, the leather fringes, the animal prints, the absurd shoes, and the Voice, oh the Voice — it was all there without apologies. It was everything we so love about Adam, married to the legendary music of Queen.
The result? A frigging Miracle. The show is spectacular beyond anything we could have imagined. That massive Q with the jumbo screen embedded in it is a digital Fairytale Mirror telling us who is fairest of all. We have not only a catwalk but a crow’s nest, so Adam can morph from strutting fashion queen to dashing pirate king in the space of a few beats. And THE CHAISE!!! Praise Apollo and Dionysus!! We could see Adam’s creative fairy dust sprinkled all over the set, like incendiary powder. The show is a spectacle of the highest order and sure to be the talk of the summer as the tour rolls across the planet.
But what truly dazzled above all was Adam himself. He was on fire, joyful, playful, totally owning the music and the audience. Within moments, he had that crowd, 22,000 strong, in the palm of his ring-encrusted hand. Across the livestream, you could hear the roar of the crowd intensify with each song over the entire two-plus hours, explosion after explosion after explosion. A multiple O to end all multiple O’s!!! Adam took us on an emotional journey of operatic scope, from tender vulnerability to ecstatic celebration, pouring every ounce of his soul and musicianship into a performance we will never forget.
To those who are offended that any artist attempt to ascend the throne left empty by Freddie Mercury’s death, I say this: Adam, Brian and Roger have paid the greatest tribute to Freddie’s memory, by performing this music live, out on a high wire before an ocean of humanity. Recordings are relics that preserve moments that have come and gone forever, but music achieves transcendence when people gather together to experience great artists perform. It’s deeply moving to see this extraordinary partnership between legends like Brian and Roger, on what may be their final tour, and a young rocket ship like Adam who is just launching his career.
Should Beethoven’s music have died with him? Obviously not, and neither should Freddie Mercury’s. He created music that deserves to outlive him, that deserves to be resurrected by a singer like Adam Lambert, who loves and respects it, and who has the power and soul to bring it back to vibrant life.
The show’s finale, with Adam sporting a princeling’s crown in a campy but heartfelt tribute to Freddie, was a stroke of genius. But that unscripted moment when Adam had removed the crown, and Brian placed it back on his head, that was…divine.