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Adam Lambert Finds His Superpower

December 15, 2019

by Juneau

Adam Lambert’s many virtues—his peerless vocal instrument, dazzling looks, steamy sensuality, and endearing personality—have also been his Achille’s heel. With a voice that can out-belt every other diva on the planet, leap over rock gods in a single bound, riff faster than a speeding bullet, and gently twine velvet fingers around your heartstrings, he may well be the most versatile singer alive. Yet being so abundantly blessed can be a kind of curse. Everyone wants him to rescue their favorite genre. Classic rock! Heavy metal! Pop! Broadway! Opera! Or for whatever material they think will turn him into their cash machine.

Between his own nebulous desires about the type of career he wanted and a relentless fusillade of advice and demands by fans and corporate suits alike, our superhero has struggled to find his groove. But no longer. As he unveiled this past Thursday evening in the elegant Renaissance revival Mechanics Hall in Worcester, MA, Adam has finally come into his own. This 80-minute set, which launched his Era Four solo tour, revealed Adam at the most confident we’ve ever seen him.

Dressed in a stunning midnight-blue velvet suit and sporting artfully scruffy hair and beard, he was relaxed and playful. His trousers flared into bell-bottoms voluminous enough to shelter a litter of puppies, or in actual case, dazzling silver Louboutin platform boots that lofted Adam to supermortal heights. He strutted out sporting Gucci shades and opened with “Stranger You Are,” then doffed the glasses to dazzle us with his cerulean blues and gold glitter eyeshadow. Later, he shed the jacket to reveal an elegant Gucci silk blouse and Gucci belt buckle. (LOL! Best brand ambassador!). That was the extent of his costume changes and it was enough. More than enough. Much as he loves to dress up, the numerous outfits that have become a kind of trademark for him were also a distraction. Now, with just one outfit, he exuded joy and comfort in being simply fabulous.

Backed by his excellent touring band, which included his Idol “little sister” Allison Iraheta, Glam Nation keyboardist Camila Grey, and Original High guitarist Adam Ross, Adam kept the focus on the music. I found this to be a much more satisfying concert experience than previous tours, where the sets, multiple costume changes, and dancers, while fun, could be distracting.

Above all, with this tour, Adam has crafted a musical lane that is authentic and taps into his greatest superpower—his emotional intelligence. When he digs deep into the heart of a song, as he did with his newly released cover of “Believe”, he is at his most intimate, cathartic, and healing. While there is no denying the release that fans find in dancing, partying, and drinking in his sexual aura, I believe what brings us back to his shows time and again until we lose count are the ballads. A high note for me in Worcester was the alchemy he worked with “If I Had You,” which he sang right after telling us about his new Feel Something Foundation. This radio hit was never my favorite, so I was unprepared to be emotionally floored by his reinterpretation of the pop dance tune as a soulful ballad. He “covered” his own hit and made it so much better.

While it’s often said that Adam Lambert could sing the telephone book, that’s no way to find artistic fulfillment or success. What Adam had on American Idol, and what he has often lacked in his solo efforts since then, are songs worthy of his voice and interpretive skills. Songs with lyrics and melodies that move our souls and change our lives. When he has produced such gems (like “Outlaws of Love” or “There I Said It”), they were inexplicably not promoted as singles. But he no longer has to kowtow to the bean counters. With the financial freedom he has gained from touring with Queen, the musical experimentation, life experiences, and maturity he has gained over the past decade, he has truly reclaimed his superpower. We can’t wait to see what he does with it. Believe.

9 Comments leave one →
  1. Carolyn Joyce permalink
    December 15, 2019 8:15 am

    Juneau, you have written a beautiful essay expressing your own experience and relationship with Adam. Much of it echos how I feel. Thank you.

    • December 16, 2019 7:50 pm

      Thank you for your sweet compliments. It gave me much joy to think about and express what I had seen, and to connect with you through my writing.

    • Susie permalink
      December 17, 2019 9:02 am

      This is a spot on review! Anyway you could submit this to one of the larger publications I need to read it? It really is possible.

  2. Linda permalink
    December 15, 2019 5:33 pm

    Still following you consistently. Thank you for continuing your site these many years. Of course I bought your book. Fascinating.
    Thanks for the heads up on this concert tour. I’m more excited than ever to see him at fantasy springs.

  3. Dori Bova permalink
    December 16, 2019 6:02 pm

    100% agree! Incredible show.

  4. December 20, 2019 12:00 am

    Adam posted on Instagram that those boots are by Syro. We stand corrected. The red sole fooled us. (Did he read this post?)

  5. January 14, 2020 6:25 pm

    Juneau, I am only lately reading your blog… I find it so enlightening, entertaining and full of facts, ideas and more and more Adam of course…. I am nearly 78 years old and simply obsessed by Adam Lambert so find the blog such fun. Thanks for writing with witt and admiration for him. Enjoying this so much.

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