Adam Lambert "Original High" Tour Review
Adam Lambert opened the United States leg of his The Original High tour (following the release of his album of the same name). Radio station press runs aside, this is his first tour in five - almost six - years.
The tour kicked off at the Paramount, a mid-sized club venue in Long Island NY, and featured production worthy of an amphitheater tour. As a tracked remix of 2012's Better Than I Know Myself cued the band to file onstage, Lambert waited until after the intro of Evil In The Night, a song off The Original High, to join them. His flawless vocal performance of this song transitioned into the infamous For Your Entertainment, and the crowd thundered with applause. An abrupt end to that song brought on a medley from Lamberts 2012 album, Trespassing, and the set continued.
In all, the entire set seemed perfectly polished and rehearsed with minimal banter to eat up time in between songs. While his previous tour had a glam rock, at times hard rock edge to all of its elements, this one has a slick groove to it. This contrast comes with a controversial change in Lambert's entire backing band, and upon the realization of this difference, that line-up change suddenly makes sense. But this tour follows one where Lambert made out with his bassist, took five shots onstage, figuratively dragged the same bassist out of the closet, and coined the term "tongue diving" as he dove into the crowd and made out with two audience members - all in the same night, and, more specifically, all in a ten minute span. Which poses the exciting, yet fearful, question of “what will he do next?” Despite his phenomenal vocals and choreography, there was a certain rawness and spitfire energy that the show seemed to lack. Perhaps it was a symptom of it being the premier of the tour, Lambert and his audience's change in age, the absence of fan favorite guitarist Tommy Ratliff, and the popularization of smart phones that potentially detaches many fans from the moment, or a combination of it all.
However, this energy picked up when Lambert first spoke about midway through the set, seemingly looking out into the crowd for the first time as his eyes filled with more wonder than starry-eyed Jack Dawson at the beginning of Titanic. He spoke of love, acceptance, and "letting go of all the angst," a similar theme to his previous tour, Glam Nation, as he began a mellow yet still upbeat rendition of a song called Things I Didn't Say. The show then transitioned into Lambert's current single, Another Lonely Night, and then a string of club-inspired songs, during which dancer Terrance Spencer commanded the audience through his moves, charisma, and chemistry with Lambert alike. But dance their hearts out though Spencer and Lambert did, only a few audience members in the first three rows seemed able to get into the mood. The energy picked up towards the show's end, right in tune with Lambert's contagious smile and animated facial expressions. Lambert, more so than thousands of other artists, has a stage presence that rises and falls with the enthusiasm of the crowd in a way that can almost be visualized and calculated. A blasé audience makes for a blasé performance, and frequent displays of enthusiastic whoops and cheers creates an unforgettable one.
This tour has the assets required to be unforgettable, especially with its impeccable lighting, concept, budget, and, of course, Lambert's unfathomable talent. So one can only hope that, during the rest of the tour as it continues through April, the crowd’s spirits ride in parallel.