Gig review: Adam Lambert


ACCORDING to American Idol alumnus Adam Lambert his Glam Nation tour is all about love. But it's a strange kind of love that expresses itself by invoking imagery such as wolves, snakes, a full moon, voodoo masks and even Leonardo Da Vinci's Vitruvian Man.

Fortunately, Lambert was all over his ragbag of influences like the experienced, consummate showman he is. An unapologetically flamboyant and sexual performer, interacting vampishly with his dancers, he is closest in musical background and spirit to Lady Gaga, seemingly content to swap the gender-bending cabaret underground for the formulaic pumping dance pop of the mainstream.

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But to this homogenous chart cocktail, he has added a fearsome rock falsetto wail and elements of glam and gothic rock in his songs and styling. Perhaps a chameleon would be a more suitable emblem for his performance.

Already a big star in the States, he has scaled down his show for its European leg. The truisms which might work well enough when hollered out across an arena sounded a little mechanical in this club venue and you longed for Lambert to break from the script and interact more spontaneously with the squealing crowd.

Instead, he chose to play about with his material, reworking some of his better tracks for the worse.

Soaked, written for Lambert's album by Muse's Matt Bellamy, was robbed of its marvellous orchestral flourish in favour of a more economical piano and voice version, but even so Lambert's elegant, soaring vocals were exquisite.

However, his spine-tingling, spectral take on Tears For Fears' Mad World was replaced by a more throwaway acoustic strum for the encore. Perverse in places, but never dull.