It Happened One Night – New Year’s Eve 2014
Many have wondered what made this performance so special. How were millions around the world converted in about one hour? Actually the conversion took about five minutes and rest was sheer, rewarding pleasure. People who had never heard of Adam Lambert have been Googling, downloading, ordering anything they can get their hands on – tickets, trinkets and CDs. The long-obsessed say “what took you so long?” It’s a relief to know Juneau and I won’t have to issue the media releases the pros should have done, but with a little help from his friends Brian and Roger, okay and a lot of confidence and trust, Adam has finally launched into the stratosphere and how fitting, on New Year’s Eve with bagpipes and fireworks!
So, what the hell happened that night? While I made some quick notes right after, I did my usual pondering, ruminating and watching the whole thing on YouTube countless times. Oh the sacrifices I make! Thank you video people.
Watching over my shoulder, Dearest Daughter remarked “I have never seen Brian so happy and I’ve watched a lot of old Queen videos.” Chemistry and love. They are a band; a tight, cohesive piece of machinery albeit one with a heart and soul. Not a lead singer backed by great instrumentalists, but a band of brothers whose whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Adam is the lynch-pin who engages each band member by bringing Spike and Neil out of the shadows too and keeps it all together. They interact on stage with joy and passion, as if they have never done this before, but know it by heart anyway and the audience feels it all. Did you hear those ovations? The love affair is no longer surreptitiously guarded, but paraded in front for all to see – tens of millions of eyes upon them and they proudly display their love for each other. Who could have missed the glances, nods, the grins and the laughter? They closed with such a show of camaraderie, they must have won the World Cup! Is this better for Adam than winning AI? Yes!
Adam has that charismatic affect on people. Easy sex appeal, naturally gregarious, he softened the stiff-upper-lip personae of these modest Englishmen and released them – free to smile, laugh, flirt and skip – on stage! It’s effortless for our lad, eye contact and that genuine smile. We know that power, we’ve been there, the heart quickens at the memory.
The High Wire Act
A one hour, live show leaves no room for mistakes and this show was flawless. Like men on a flying trapeze, the artists perform together but must let go and catch each other to create the excitement. It was a high-wire act with a rope that’s tight and taut but with enough “give” to sway a touch for balance and live TV means – no net. At any moment, a missed cue, a wardrobe malfunction, forgotten lyric – anything could happen with no time to recover. It was flawless.
Without the pressure to fill two hours and pace themselves so they don’t run out of steam, they produced a brilliant, lip-smacking essence of a show. No major costume changes, no big instrumental solos and a spare set, the band was fully engaged, on stage for an hour of exhilarating and utterly spellbinding performances allowing us nary a moment to catch our breath. Like the trapeze artist flying above our heads, Adam’s vocal acrobatics are breathtaking and so satisfying when he nails the landing and he does it every single time. We adore the big ballads encouraging the dramatic and emotional moments, but they would have been out of place here, slowing down the pace, pricking the exuberant bubble.
The only moment that distracted our focus was Freddie’s appearance, however the recovery was perfect and the duet did nothing to diminish our appreciation of Adam’s clear, precise intonations. Another risky decision – the Bohemian Rhapsody/Killer Queen medley – surprising and delicious.
The sound of bagpipes is a near universal signal, eliciting a visceral response in many of us. With the drums, the chanting, the clapping – shivers. Then timpani and Adam’s voice joins as the bagpipes subside. A rhythmic stomp and battle cry “We will rock you!!!” The tension builds until Brian releases the strings on his guitar with a crescendo. Following one anthem with the another, “We are the Champions” was the first song Queen and Adam performed together and Adam takes it to church!!! It’s not good-bye – simply au revoir.
A World of ‘Show Me’ Fans
Brian and Roger tried to explain in words how Adam inspired them, how much fun they’re having now, but people didn’t believe them until they saw it with their own eyes and heard it with their own ears. They are together by choice and in a way, can’t help themselves. They didn’t have to do this, but having begun, they discovered how great if feels, they can’t stop now and must let the love affair run its course. This brief concert appearance should dispel any notions that Adam is not up to job. He’s up to it, down to it, next to it and in it! Brian and Roger? Can’t think of nicer, more talented gentlemen deserving of this new, bold incarnation of their songbook, in front of huge audiences once again.
All that and I didn’t even mention Adam’s beauty, expressive eyes, devastating smile, toned body, swaggery charm, campy edge…….
Dedicated to N.S. and E.K.