The Glamrock Eagle Has Landed
By Juneau, co-author of On the Meaning of Adam Lambert
February 13, 2010
Adam’s show last night at the Highline Ballroom in New York City, part of the Rock My Town triple bill featuring HRH alongside Idol pals Alison Iraheta and Kris Allen, will be remembered as a milestone in his already astonishing rise. During Idol, thousands of viewers who had not been regular Idol watchers began to tune in weekly just to see what the “emo kid” would do. Early on, Adam promised to surprise us, and he delivered the goods. Week after week, he would compel us to watch, twisting up a classic, going against the flow, tackling iconic songs with reckless and exhilarating courage. Love him or hate him, you remembered him. Now, following months of media exposure (bordering on over-exposure?), how would Adam surprise us this time?
He sets the bar high for himself, and Highline’s intimate ballroom was a powder keg of anticipation. The crowd erupts when Longineu, Monte and especially Tommy (sporting pouty red lipstick) amble out on stage. Then Adam emerges from the shadows and strides into the light, sending the audience into a convulsion of shock and awed delight. Tonight he stands before us as glamrock avatar – beautiful and fierce bordering on grotesque – his eyes encircled in peacock blue glitter, with harlequin teardrops slashed vertically across each of his aquamarine eyes, and lips blackened, evoking the fierceness of a bird of prey. The hair hangs in spikes over his eyes and stands up on his head like the fur of an angry beast. His crown is thick with glitter, which spills down his neck and chest. He spins around and shows off the dark wings etched in sequins on the back of his jacket. Flashing on his chest, a large, silver pendant in the form of an eagle’s feather (an Alexander McQueen design – what a tasteful tribute).
The New York crowd roars its appreciation. This is the Adam we’ve been waiting for – the Adam of the Zodiac Show, waving the freak flag of glamrock – and he gleefully displays his full, incendiary glory knowing this crowd will not be struck blind and dumb, but will love him back. The sparks ricocheting between Adam and the audience ignites the room, and we are off for the ride of our lives. (Thank the glam gods Little Rock did not win Rock This Town!).
The erotic energy of his performance envelops every body in a shimmering haze of sweat, and Adam keeps cranking it to a higher fever, thrusting his maleness in our faces over and over, teasing us with his eye lock and smirk, back-rubbing Tommy, grabbing Tommy’s blond hair, pushing down his waistband to expose an expanse of touchably creamy skin with a trail of ginger down, until an emboldened fan, allowed at first to stroke his thighs, reaches higher to deliberately rub his crotch — an invasion of personal space that crossed the line even for HRH, as this eyewitness saw him move deftly to push the offending hand aside. (But other Glambertinae say they did not see that push; a topic for future debate by Adam Lambert scholars that will require hours of reviewing video footage of said incident.) The incident makes me reflect on why Adam has attracted such fan devotion bordering on the unhinged, and it hits me that his fans are set loose by his message about breaking free, expressing themselves, to not be afraid to go after what they want. And what they want is him, every inch of him. (Time to temper the message perhaps with a countermessage about self-discipline?)
Xena is hard at work on her first-person report of this epic concert, and I have no wish to steal her thunder (lest she write me into yet another humiliating scenario), so I leave further details of the concert experience in her more than capable and brilliantly manicured hands. Suffice it to say that Adam exceeded all expectations, strutting, high-kicking, swaggering, playing sexual tic-tac-toe with us, working us until we were screaming his name, and delivering the coup de grace with that impish, sweet smile and Pan’s laugh of delight – wasn’t that fun?
See Xena II’s photos of Adam – this was what we were seeing. Can’t believe my eyesight is still intact…