ADAM LAMBERT GLAM HISTORY American Idol Live! Tour 2009 The American Idols LIVE! Tour 2009 consisted of 52 concerts spanning 50 cities starting in Portland, Oregon, and ending in Manchester, New Hampshire. At each show, a dramatic countdown of A – D – A – M on the backdrop whips fans into a frenzy as Adam (finally) takes the stage to the beginning notes of Whole Lotta Love--and the crowd goes wild! Adam’s set list remains the same for all of the shows on this tour:
"Whole Lotta Love" (Led Zeppelin) "Starlight" (Muse) "Mad World" (Tears for Fears) "Slow Ride" (Foghat) duet with Allison Iraheta David Bowie medley ("Life on Mars?"/"Fame"/"Let's Dance")
Adam also performs in the finale each show. He briefly joins Kris Allen with the other idols at the end of "Hey Jude" (The Beatles) and then again in a mash-up of "Don't Stop Believing" (Journey) and "Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye" (Steam/Bananarama).
As the tour progresses, certain aspects of Adam’s performances begin to change and fans want to know after each show: Was his hair down or up? Did he sing “baby” or “woman” in Whole Lotta Love? Did he pick up anything that was thrown on the stage? Even though he sings the same songs every show, Adam manages to make each and every show a unique experience, much to the delight of all of us fans. I have tried to include those unique aspects from each show in the descriptions. If I missed anyimportant ones, please let me know!
I would also like to recognize and thank @essellsari who graciously allowed me to use her graphic (top of this page). Her site contains hundreds of beautiful Adam-related wallpapers as well as iphone and twitter backgrounds--check it out!
July 5 Portland, Oregon Rose Garden Whole Lotta Love: Cute grin when he does some pelvic thrusts, sings "baby" Slow Ride: At start says, "What? I can't hear you. Louder!" Finale: Thanks band
July 7 Tacoma, Washington Tacoma Dome Whole Lotta Love: Woman
July 8 Vancouver, British Columbia General Motors Place Whole Lotta Love: Baby, strokes mic Slow Ride: Allison picks up a pink bra and throws it at Adam’s feet. He picks it up, swings it above his head, and throws it back into the crowd.
July 10 Sacramento, California ARCO Arena Whole Lotta Love: Baby Adam tweets an apology after the show that he has a headache and doesn’t go out to meet fans.
July 11 Oakland, California Oracle Arena Whole Lotta Love: Woman Bowie medley: Picks up black bra, says a sexy ‘yeah’ and then throws it into the audience. Adam’s mother, Leila, is in the audience.
July 12 San Jose, California HP Pavilion Whole Lotta Love: Baby Adam’s mother, Leila, is in the audience. Adam wears his hair in a pompadour for first time in this tour. Before the concert, a small group forms in front of the arena and make a pathetic attempt at protesting that is completely ignored by everyone.
July 14 West Valley City, Utah The E Center Whole Lotta Love: Woman
July 16 Los Angeles, California Staples Center Whole Lotta Love: Woman, gestures ‘come on’ and places his hand to his ear (and everyone screams louder), puts the mic stand between his legs. Bowie medley: has trouble removing his jacket, so spins around to give himself more time, later tells the audience, “You better get up out of your seats, bitches… dance!”
July 17 Ontario, California Citizens Business Bank Arena Whole Lotta Love: Baby
July 18 San Diego, California San Diego Sports Arena Whole Lotta Love: Baby Bowie medley: Swings blue feather boa over his head
July 20 Glendale, Arizona (Jobing.com Arena) Whole Lotta Love: Baby Starlight Mad World Slow Ride David Bowie medley: “I want to see you dance, bitches” followed by a mischievous “ha ha!” Finale
July 23 Dallas, Texas (American Airlines Center) Whole Lotta Love: Baby Starlight Mad World Slow Ride David Bowie medley Finale
July 24 Tulsa, Oklahoma (BOK Center) Whole Lotta Love: Baby, changes “every inch of my love” to “all of my love” Starlight Mad World Slow Ride: Adam and Allison play with a red bra and then throw it into the audience David Bowie medley Finale
July 25 North Little Rock, Arkansas (Verizon Arena)
Posted by Jim Harrington on July 12th, 2009 at 2:38 am | Categorized as Concerts | Tagged as Adam Lambert, American Idol, American Idols Live, Kris Allen, Oracle Arena (Oakland CA)
By Jim Harrington
The “American Idols Live! Tour 2009” features nine vocalists not named Adam Lambert and one that is.
The latter is the person who matters; at least that’s what Bay Area “Idol” watchers have told me repeatedly over the last few months. Of course, some of those same people said that past winners Taylor Hicks and Ruben Studdard would maintain lengthy, high-profile careers in the music industry. I’ll be sure to pass those words on to Hicks and Studdard when I see them performing at some future county fair.
The thing is, however, those viewers may just be right this time around.
The one thing that was blatantly evident from watching Saturday’s “Idols” show at the Oracle Arena in Oakland _ one of three tour stops over the weekend in Northern California _ is that the 27-year-old Lambert is a bona-fide star.
No matter what a person thinks of Lambert’s overtly dramatic vocal style _ I, for one, find it more than a tad nauseating _ it’s still nearly impossible to deny his almost limitless potential. Indeed, just how the singer goes about trying to make good on all that promise should make for one of pop culture’s most fascinating storylines over the next few years.
Unfortunately, the rest of the top 10 finalists that performed on this night weren’t nearly as interesting as Lambert. That definitely included Kris Allen _ who, many have apparently forgotten by now, actually ended up besting Lambert to win the title of “American Idol” 2009. Whatever the voting public saw in this “average Joe” vocalist _ who comes across as a blander version of John Mayer, if indeed that’s even possible _ certainly didn’t translate at Oracle.
Overall, the show was a snoozer, much more boring than the 2008 version. This tour simply lacks the Vegas-style razzmatazz of earlier “Idol” treks. It was designed to be a straight-forward affair, one that shuns all the fun stuff like wild wardrobe changes, theatrical elements and thematic musical skits in favor of strictly spotlighting the vocalists’ raw talent. As it turned out, there wasn’t much worth spotlighting.
The Idols appeared in reverse order of how they finished, starting at 10th place with Michael Sarver and ending with Allen. The bottom six were pretty weak, but they did serve a purpose _ they set the bar so low that the big guns had no trouble clearing it.
The first singer to really connect with the crowd was fourth place finisher Allison Iraheta, a 17-year-old Ashlee Simpson wannabe that delivered Radio Disney-appropriate versions of such rockers as Pink’s “So What” and Heart’s “Barracuda.” She was followed by Danny Gokey, who has a nicely scratchy and soulful voice, but who also lacks any type of real presence onstage.
Next up was the man that seemingly every one in the three-quarter-full house had been waiting for: Lambert. The crowd went bonkers when the goth-rock Idol, recently featured on a cover of Rolling Stone magazine, appeared in his black leather outfit and began belting out Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love.”
He then turned his operatic voice, so ripe for the Broadway stage, on Muse’s “Starlight” and Tears for Fears’ “Mad World,” which turned out to be the two best songs of the night. The one major misstep of the set _ and the decision can’t be blamed on Lambert _ was when Iraheta was called out for an unbelievably hokey duet of Foghat’s “Slow Ride.” Yet, he recovered nicely by ending his set with a David Bowie medley.
In direct comparison, Allen’s set felt absolutely anticlimactic as he moved through folksy pop renditions of such tunes as Kanye West’s “Heartless” and the Beatles’ “Hey Jude.” The show provided no clues to what might happen with the singer’s career – it still seems equally plausible that he might become the next John Mayer or that we will never hear from him again.
Far be it from me to argue with the approximately 100 million voters who decided that Allen deserved the 2009 “Idol” crown. On this night, however, he was simply one of nine performers not named Adam Lambert.
Music sales are going down and labels are taking up innovative measures of fighting recession and, implicitly, poor sales numbers, either with unique promotional campaigns or by means of including advertising on the album itself, like Def Jam announced it would do with Mariah Carey’s upcoming material. The one thing that seems to last in these financially troubled times is the Idol Live series of concerts, and that is mostly due to runner-up Adam Lambert, as USA Today informs.
Numbers made public by Billboard and then cited by USA Today show that the tour, which features AI winner Kris Allen and nine other finalists, is actually faring just as well as the one from the previous year. On an average, the Idol Live tour sells 82 percent of tickets, grossing so far an estimated $11.2 million. If this does not sound as that much, Billboard, as cited by USA Today, assures us that it actually is, since most concerts or tours sell tickets only in a percentage of 60, with the remaining 40 percent going down the drain, so to speak, or being offered as prizes.
“According to Billboard Boxscore, the first 19 shows of 2009 averaged 9,456 attendees per city, almost even with the 9,771 for the same period last year. With ticket prices ranging from $40.50 to $69.50 – a dollar higher than last year – the tour gross is almost exactly equal. In the industry, ‘40% of tickets go unsold,’ says Billboard senior touring editor Ray Waddell. ‘They’re doing better than average,’ especially since ‘these are baby acts on their first national tour, even if they’ve had the best exposure you can get.” USA Today writes of the recently revealed numbers.
Those wondering why so many people pay so much money to be at one of these concerts need to wonder no more: Adam Lambert, American Idol runner-up is actually the one who is making these impressive figures possible. His fanbase is huge and extremely devoted, so he is the main attraction of the tour, Billboard also reveals, as cited by the aforementioned publication. “The Adam Lambert fan base is incredibly avid. That dedication is what sells tickets.” former Idol blogger Richard Rushfield tells USA Today.
Another fact that must weigh heavily in the balance is the lineup itself, with boys outnumbering female performers, which is perfect since the concertgoers who pay to see them live are mostly girls, it is further being said.
August 6, 2009 Concert review: American Idols Live tour 2009 Posted by Sam Sessa at 7:00 AM
Before we get rolling, I have a couple guilty confessions to make. First, even though I have interviewed Adam Lambert, I have never seen a complete episode of "American Idol" since it started in 2002. I've caught snippets here and there, but I've never seen a whole episode. I know, I know, shame on me.
Even worse: Due to a Baltimore Unsigned taping with Caleb Stine, I missed pretty much the entire first set of the show.
Why send me in the first place? Reality TV expert Sarah Kelber was indisposed, and editor Tim Swift was desperate, I guess. So they sent the wide-eyed pop music writer (me) instead.
All that said, the American Idols Live tour, which came to 1st Mariner Arena last night, was quite the treat, if you dig that sort of thing. The show features performances by the top 10 contestants on the 2009 season of "American Idol." It was, in a sense, a souped-up, flashy, extravagant karaoke show. And what a show it was ...
I got there in time to catch the second half of Matt Giraud singing "Georgia on My Mind." Sporting a fedora and sitting at a piano, he tore through a rendition of The Fray's "You Found Me." Then, a handful of other Idols joined him on stage to sing a medly of old school numbers like "Can't Take My Eyes Off of You" and "Tell Her About It." I liked how there was no down time between tunes. When one song ended, they just barreled right into the next one.
A 20-minute intermission came after the medly. The bottom six contestants perform during the first half of the show, and the top four sing during the second. Here's a link to a photo gallery from the show.
Looking around, I realized I was one of only a few guys in a sea of women. There were little girls, big girls, moms -- even grandmoms. My informal poll put the ratio at two or three women for every man in the arena.
I also realized the star power of runner-up Adam Lambert (pictured). He hadn't even performed yet, but every time his picture popped up on the big screen, the crowd screamed. It was wild. I should have brought ear plugs.
During intermission, I asked my neighbor, Doris Ditzler, what I'd missed.
"You missed Megan Joy's first outfit," said Ditzler, who made the 90-minute drive from Carlisle, Pa., for the show. "Megan must have had a shoe horn to get it on. It was very tight; very short."
Anything else I missed?
"They all sounded better than they did on the show."
Sweet. Thanks, Doris!
The first performer after the break was Allison Iraheta, a spunky singer dressed in black leather. Her hair was dyed red with purple points at the end of it. She started with Pink's "So What," and proceeded to wail her way through "Cry Baby" by Janis Joplin and "Barracuda" by Heart.
Next up was Idol No. 3, Danny Gokey. Gokey has a surprisingly soulful voice, but not much of a stage presence. He did Michael Jackson's "P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing)," Santana's "Maria Maria" and closed with two Rascal Flatts tunes -- "What Hurts the Most" and "My Wish." Good stuff, good stuff.
After Gokey left, it was time to get Lambertized. Everybody knew it. Before he even came out, the screams were deafening. There was an explosion of light and sound, strobe lights and then -- BAM! -- there he was, singing Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love."
Lambert Law #1: If you've got it, flaunt it.
Wow. I've never seen a man scream like that before. Robert Plant could hit some high notes, but Lambert launched into the stratosphere. And if you think Plant's screaming sounded feminine, wait until you hear Lambert. It was like Geddy Lee on steroids. And boy oh boy did he have a stage presence. That crowd ate out of his gloved hand. Even when he was sitting on a stool singing "Mad World" by Tears for Fears, he commanded the crowd's attention. Of all the performers, he seemed the most at ease on stage.
Lambert Law #2: Black is beautiful.
Black hair, black guyliner, black fingernails, black fingerless gloves, a black jacket (which he ripped off to still, yet more screams), black pants, a black sequined vest. His belt buckle was massive and sparkled fiercely. (In case you're wondering, this photo of him was taken during the encore, after he had changed into a new outfit.)
After "Mad World," Iraheta joined Lambert on stage to sing a duet of "Slow Ride" by Foghat. During the song, someone in the audience tossed a large hot pink bra onto the stage (someone must have been "in the mood"). Iraheta tossed it to Lambert, who tried to chuck it back into the crowd. But the bra fell short and landed on the stage instead. Hee hee.
Lambert wrapped up his set with a David Bowie medly. He definitely left the crowd wanting more.
That left one man. And that man was this year's American Idol: Kris Allen. To be honest, I wasn't bowled over by Allen. He's a good-looking dude, sure. And he's got a good voice. It's not a great voice, but it's a good voice, and he knows how to use it. I just wasn't that impressed with him.
The high point of Allen's set was "Heartless" by Kanye West. It was refreshing to hear someone actually sing the song -- not just West's auto-tuned original. Hearing Allen sing it gave me new respect for West's songwriting. It really is a great track, and Allen sounded great on it.
Allen closed his set with the singalong to end all singalongs: "Hey Jude" by the Beatles.
For the encore, the cast regrouped and sang the '80s anthem "Don't Stop Believing" by Journey. For a few more minutes, the crowd sang along to this one last number with the contestants they'd come to know and love in the past few months. Then the house lights came on and it was time to go home.
MusicReview| 'American Idols Live!'The Top 10! Cover Tunes! Flying Bras!
By JON CARAMANICA Published: August 10, 2009
NEWARK — “Should I show her this?” one young woman wondered out loud to her friend, nodding at the item of clothing in her hand. “No,” her friend replied, shaking her head vigorously. “No.”
And no, Leila Lambert probably wasn’t interested in a white jockstrap with pink lettering on it, a tribute to her son Adam, the runner-up on the “American Idol” season that ended in May.
Losing the competition — to the tepid Kris Allen, who has most likely inspired no homespun jockstrap tributes — has done little to dilute the phenomenon of Mr. Lambert, as was clear at the Prudential Center here on Sunday night. This year’s “American Idols Live!” tour, which features the Top 10 performers of Season 8 on Fox, could have easily passed for an Adam Lambert concert with nine supporting acts.
Mr. Lambert, perhaps the most currently visible openly gay American musician, received a thunderous reception from the audience, far louder than that for anyone else. His mother, seated in the audience, barely had a moment to herself between camera-wielding fans. He had the sharpest merchandise, including a David Bowie-esque black T-shirt with neon accents. And his fans were the most, um, creative, from personalized intimates to an L.C.D.-display belt buckle that scrolled “ADAM” ad nauseam to a sign, ringed with Christmas lights, that read “Adam electrifies my life!”
He didn’t even have to use his superhuman voice, largely keeping it in check during his set, which inspired flying jockstraps and, yes, bras too. Wearing a distressed-leather ensemble, he instead concentrated on poses, every moment camera-ready: sinuous on Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love,” pensive during “Mad World” (the Gary Jules version). During a medley of David Bowie songs he showed some skin, wearing a vest over a bare chest, and turned glam king, purring the lyrics, lost in a dance reverie.
Mr. Lambert has traveled almost the whole distance from overrehearsed and hammy to effortless and charming. And he’s learned that vocally, less can be more: where his singing often felt gratuitously indulgent on the show, here he employed restraint, and effectively so.
So relaxed was Mr. Lambert that he practically ceded the night’s musical high points to others. Anoop Desai was precise and devastating on “Always on My Mind” (though goofy on Bobby Brown’s “My Prerogative”). The most muscular vocalist “Idol” has seen in some years, Danny Gokey, came alive on the Rascal Flatts songs “What Hurts the Most” and “My Wish,” shouting the refrains like a melodic Henry Rollins.
Allison Iraheta, this season’s most impressive female contestant, was appealingly messy, sounding but not looking far beyond her 17 years. And the typically dull Lil Rounds showed surprising flashes of personality on Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It).”
Scott MacIntyre performed a roaring duet of Billy Joel’s “Tell Her About It” with Matt Giraud, whose lovely, facile voice, especially during his solo rendition of “Georgia on My Mind,” was far more impressive live than on TV. (With crowd bias heavily in favor of Mr. Lambert, the bold individualist who wore a “Matt Giraud Is Bangin’ ” T-shirt deserves special commendation.)
Watching this show gave no indicators that, offstage, “Idol” has been in a bit of turmoil. This season’s finale was one of the lowest-rated in the show’s history. And last week Paula Abdul, one of the show’s four judges and its lone source of nurturing, announced she would depart following a stalled contract negotiation. No replacement has been announced, and no one onstage mentioned her. Here, the only reminder of the show’s potential vulnerability was its winner, Mr. Allen. As this season’s champion, he headlines the concert — but that is no prize because each night he has to follow Mr. Lambert, a task for which he is ill prepared.
After Mr. Lambert’s master class, the meek and limited Mr. Allen could do little but act as a palate cleanser, sending fans into the night with a few benign tunes: an edgeless version of Bill Withers’s “Ain’t No Sunshine,” a scattered “Bright Lights” by Matchbox Twenty and a “Hey Jude” that would barely score change on a subway platform.
Last month Mr. Allen dropped from his set “No Boundaries,” the widely maligned “Idol” victory song. But while it was insipid, it was also Mr. Allen’s first single, the concert’s only original number and its only literal reminder that there is life beyond “Idol.” He replaced it with the Killers’ “All These Things That I’ve Done,” a tough and flamboyant song that he guilelessly massaged the lumps out of. Frankly, it begged for Mr. Lambert’s firm touch.
“American Idols Live!” plays at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, N.Y., on Tuesday and Wednesday; nassaucoliseum.com.
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'American Idol' tour hits Portland -- and we're still with Adam
Published: Monday, July 06, 2009, 9:55 AM Updated: Thursday, October 08, 2009, 4:53 PM
The top 10 contestants from Season 8 of "American Idol" hit Portland Sunday night.
Adam so should have won.
How you react to that claim may say a lot about you -- at least whether or not you follow "American Idol."
With Portland selected as the first of 50 stops on the American Idols Live! Tour -- featuring the top 10 contestants from the eighth season of the country's number-one television show -- some 12,000 Idolaters of all ages piled into the Rose Garden Arena Sunday night to cheer on their favorite entrants in what could be considered the largest karaoke match in history.
And from the cries as the Idols flashed across projection screens, it was clear who the winner would be.
Michael Sarver couldn't hide his glee, but also couldn't stir the crowd with his awkward two-song fusion of country and R&B. Megan Joy, appearing as Call Girl Barbie, didn't command the stage, and her attempts to mine the soul of "Tears Dry on Their Own" just turned shrill.
Proving that some Idols (it's creepy how they are referred to as such) can do more than sing, Scott MacIntyre's two songs, including a rousing take on "A Thousand Miles," went over well and were amply aided by the five-member backing band.
Lil Rounds, filled out and with long hair, really got the crowd pumped, belting out a trio of tunes from the splashiest ladies in hip-hop. But how did so much vocal sound come from only two backup singers? Never mind, just enjoy the show.
The odd charmer was Anoop Desai. Gangly and geeky, he delivered a power ballad version of "Always On My Mind" that would have made poor Willie hit the hookah hard. Desai's set was, in a word, histrionic, but somehow you just wanted to throw personal clothing at him.
Matt Giraud got fans to their feet with a balance of rock, schlock and fun during "Hard to Handle" and showed he's a showman to be reckoned with, despite the questionable "live" delivery of "You Found Me."
After a top six medley that had all the spontaneity of a parade, and an intermission, it was time for the fans' favorite four.
Allison Iraheta was an absolute rock star, complete with fan-blown rainbow hair and an electric guitar for her confident take on "So What," and she whipped up a witchy wail for a stunning version of "Barracuda" that would have made Ann Wilson drop her fork.
It might have been too early for Danny Gokey to do a Michael Jackson song ("P.Y.T."), but his two Rascal Flatts tunes had the crowd happily waving their $5 glow sticks.
Then it was time for the real show, and it belonged to Adam Lambert.
The slightly androgynous gothy singing sensation absolutely tore up "Whole Lotta Love" and, with help from Iraheta, transformed the classic rock dude anthem "Slow Ride" into something sly and fun.
Finally, the huge hall was full of energy.
And then some guy named Kris Allen came onstage and did a few dull songs, including, oddly, "Hey Jude" to end his winner-but-losing set.
Of course there were the show-closing group numbers, complete with choreographed moves and 10 pumping fists.
PAM KRAGEN - firstname.lastname@example.org | Posted: Monday, July 20, 2009 12:00 am
SAN DIEGO -- Local concert-goers rolled out the welcome mat Saturday night for hometown idol Adam Lambert, who so dominated the American Idols Live Tour concert at the San Diego Sports Arena, the rest of the singers felt like an appetizer and dessert.
The top 10 finalists from the Fox television show's eighth season each have their moment in the spotlight during the well-produced, three-hour show, but it was clear that Lambert -- who spent 17 of his first 18 years in Rancho Penasquitos -- was the anointed crowd darling.
A concession stand worker said Lambert T-shirts and photos have been outselling those of season winner Kris Allen by a wide margin at every tour stop; ticket-holders (from grade-schoolers to grannies to gay) arrived in droves with Lambert signs, photo collages and homemade T-shirts; and Lambert's every appearance on the wall of video screens behind the stage (in photos and Ford commercials) elicited loud squeals of delight.
And once the long-anticipated Lambert finally stepped onstage during the concert's final half-hour, the near-capacity crowd's deafening, on-their-feet response left no doubt that his future as a pop/rock superstar is secure. Swagger, sex appeal and stratospheric range are what his former San Diegan is selling, and it's a seller's market.
Lambert's five-song set includes three numbers recycled from "AI," including a soaring version of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love" (his pelvic thrusts and suggestive mike-stand straddling seemed of special appeal to women in the crowd), a playful "Slow Ride" duet with tour sparkplug Allison Iraheta, and his hit single "Mad World," which he changed up a bit with a whispery delivery.
The set highlight is Muse's "Starlight," a galactic high note-filled song that showcases the power, control and range of his voice. Lambert sheds his coat (a blue leather number with tails and shoulder spikes) to close his set with an upbeat medley of David Bowie songs designed to highlight his dance and dramatic skills he honed over the past decade as a musical theater actor.
By the time he descended into the stage with a final shout of "I love you, San Diego!" Lambert had proved he's the total package -- voice, charisma, confidence, star power and good looks (a striking mix of broad-shouldered masculinity and almost feminine beauty enhanced by his trademark guyliner and shimmery electric blue eyeshadow).
So what of Allen, who bested Lambert in the show's voting this season? He has the unfortunate job of following Lambert to close the show with a lower-wattage set that put most of the audience back in their seats. Critics at previous tour stops have harshly criticized Allen, but that's unfair. He's charming, cute, earnest, multi-instrumental and accessible. But both his vocal range and his stage presence are modest, so he doesn't ignite the crowd with the same fire or energy.
Allen wisely dropped the "AI" coronation song "No Boundaries" from his set list last week (the mediocre number strained his voice to its limits) and replaced it with the Killers' "All These Things I've Done," the only number in his five-song set where he moved freely about the stage and engaged the audience. The set highlights were a soulful "Ain't No Sunshine" delivered from the piano bench, and his acoustic guitar version of Kanye West's "Heartless."
The other singers on the tour acquitted themselves with varying degrees of quality, and in near exact order of how they finished in the voting this season. Here's a quick recap of their sets:
- Danny Gokey: The spiritual third-place finisher's set-opener "P.Y.T." doesn't inspire, but his Latin "Maria, Maria" accompanied by some accomplished salsa dance moves, was fun. Gokey's raspy soul voice sounded great in the opening numbers but the effort made some of the notes in his two-song Rascal Flatts set fall flat. He delivers a mini-sermon on reaching for you dreams near the end that comes off sincerely, having been inspired by the death of his wife, Sophia, one year ago this month.
- Allison Iraheta: This little fireball will go far. The petite, flame-haired spitfire stomps around the stage in a rocking, bluesy set of Janis Joplin, Pink and Heart and has acres of vocal heft to spare.
- Matt Giraud: The first-act closer is also the first act's best performer. He's got masterful stage presence, lightning-fast piano skills and confidence that serve him well, especially in "Hard to Handle."
- Anoop Desai: The North Carolina R&B singer seems to have put as much effort into his sweet singing voice (his highlight is Ne-Yo's "Mad") as his dance moves, which seem ripped from the MTV video archive. The girls love him, in spite of his costume, which included oversized glasses, preppy clothes and dangling suspenders that reminded me of an Indian version of Steve Urkel.
- Lil Rounds: Despite some flat notes and a "Single Ladies" closer that failed to get the audience moving, she's got class and diva stage style and does especially well with Mary J. Blige's "Be Without You."
- Scott MacIntyre: Rising from the stage seated at a piano, the visually impaired finalist has a pleasant singing voice and seems at ease onstage. His highlight is Vanessa Carlton's "A Thousand Miles." He even does some nice synchronized choreography and a winning Billy Joel piano duet with Giraud.
- Megan Joy: The Salt Lake City looker is a beauty and she's developing as a stage performer and singer. Her stage presence is still a bit stiff and awkward. Hard to tell if it is nerves, inexperience or the six-inch platforms she's toddling around on.
- Michael Sarver: Call him the tour cheerleader. He gets the crowd going with a rousing performance of Gavin DeGraw's "I Just Want a Girl." It's not an enviable slot on the show's lineup but Sarver has confidence and likability.
Two cities, three ‘Gerogias on My Mind’ , and one Glittery Alien.
A little about me: I am in my mid-fifties, a well-educated marketing executive, who has watched American Idol casually over the years, but never really got too involved with the show or interested in any of the contestants. I have lived all over the country, but now live in Mississippi. When I was younger, I was in a couple of rock/new wave/punk bands. I play piano, keyboard and lead guitar. I am also a classically trained vocalist. This year, like many others, I became an Adam fan and decided that I had to see Adam in concert. I got tickets for both the Little Rock and Memphis shows. My husband is not really much of an Idol fan, although he likes Adam and Allison, but he agreed to attend both concerts with me.
First of all, with a few minor differences, the two concerts were almost identical. But the total experience of these two concerts couldn’t have been any more different.
Little Rock ‘â€œ ‘Kris’ Hometown’ : I had pictured this concert with 14,994 Kris fans and 6 Adam fans, our small group from Mississippi. When we checked into our hotel, I was pleasantly surprised to find the hotel bar and lobby were filled with Idol fans ‘â€œ mostly Adam fans who had traveled from Louisiana, Texas, Mississippi and other states to see the show. We had amazing, 2nd row floor seats which I purchased from a broker for only a $20 premium. There were a number of Adam fans seated around us and many, many Kris fans. The crowd was really loud, for everyone. Louder for Adam. And insane for Kris. Seeing Kris in Little Rock, so moved by the crowd, was wonderful and joyful for everyone who was lucky enough to be there. The show was also entertaining but the night was really all about Kris. We ended up having drinks with a bunch of Idol fans ‘â€œ both Adam and Kris fans and had a wonderful evening. The next day, our friends returned to Mississippi, my husband told me that I was really crazy to buy tickets to two concerts, and we headed off to Memphis ‘â€œ just 2 hours away ‘â€œ but a whole different world.
Memphis ‘â€œ ‘Home of the Blues, Birthplace of Rock & Roll’ : Little Rock is a city that is alive during work days; Memphis is a city of the night. Business gets done in Little Rock, music is business in Memphis. This concert is in the hometown of Elvis and Justin Timberlake, Beale Street where B.B. King and the other great Delta bluesmen created the Memphis Blues, the place where the electric guitar became part of blues and rock music, and the home of Stax Records where Otis Redding, Isaac Hayes and so many others recorded. The venue is just down the street from the home of Gibson Guitars and Sun Records. When you play Memphis, you need to bring your A-game.
We arrived at The Peabody Hotel in downtown Memphis. This hotel is a wonderful, historic hotel famous for having real ducks in the lobby fountain. But today, the lobby isn’t filled with just ducks, it’s packed wall-to-wall with Idol fans. The line for registration takes almost an hour so we have time to meet many other fans. People have come from Kentucky, Alabama, Texas, Louisiana, and even farther. A young man, maybe 18 years old, with Lambert emo hair and eyeliner is leaning against a wall, purposefully not making eye contact with anyone. I met his parents in line and discovered they are from the UK, Elvis fans touring Memphis and going to see the Idol concert. Their son loves Adam; I am not surprised.
Our hotel is 4 blocks from the Fedex Forum. We take a slow walk down Beale Street on our way to the arena. Beale Street is lined with blues clubs, BBQ joints, street performers and Idol fans. We notice many younger girls wearing Adam shirts and see a few fans with Adam signs. There are also ‘plain clothes’ Idol fans we guess are Kris fans. The street is teaming with music ‘â€œ blues, rock & roll, hip hop, urban beats. A great blues band is performing at the Coca Cola Pavilion, and a few people are dancing. Every club has pictures of Elvis. A large wall has a mural of Elvis. He is omnipresent. After stopping at a couple of the clubs to listen to some music and have a drink or two, we head to King Creole for a bowl of gumbo and one more margarita. A few minutes after we arrive, a lone blues guitarist sets up on the stage and starts to play. After a couple of songs he starts to sing, ‘Ain’t No Sunshine’ . There’s a murmur in the restaurant, and we look around. Everyone is talking about American Idol, the whole place is filled with people getting a drink or a quick bite before the concert. The guitarist is really good. The waiter informs the people at the next table that this song isn’t being played because of Idol, it just a blues standard everyone plays. A few more songs and he starts to play ‘Georgia on My Mind’ . It’s a great version. The murmur starts again, the waiter just laughs. We finally head down to the arena.
The Memphis concert: We have spectacular seats, about 45 degrees from the stage, over the floor on the Club level, and lined up with the massive arch of speakers. 6:40 the Carrie Underwood, Daughtry, Cook, Disney, Ford video loop starts. And we get the joy of seeing it repeat 3 times before the concert starts. People from the crowd scream whenever Adam picture shows up. There are a lot of Kris fans, but maybe they just are not screamers. I see a couple a young girls in Kris T-shirts, some in American Idol shirts but most of the fans wearing Idol fav garb are Adam fans. About 20 minutes late the concert finally starts.
The arena: Fedex Forum is a big arena; it’s not quite sold out, my rough guess is 18,000+ people are there for the show. It was designed for basketball, not concerts, and the seats on the three tiers are very steep. Everyone, except the people on the back of the floor, have great views ‘â€œ even if you stay seated. It takes a lot to get people in this arena on their feet and cheering.
The band and sound mix: The band is really great but way too loud for most of the singers. In a couple of cases, this is a good thing, but generally it is not. And overall the sound may be too loud in some parts of the arena.
The back-up singers: Most of the time the two back-up singers do the same dance step, a bit like two robot zombies. The just don’t seem engaged with the performers or the songs. They’re distracting.
The production: The stage design is really pretty good but some of the content is distracting or worse. The worst is the video for Megan’s ‘Tears Dry on Their Own’ , a cartoonish story created with giant icons including a man and a woman symbol like they used on restroom signs, and a mysterious hopping rabbit.
The first 6 performers: The first four performances are well-meaning but not very engaging. It’s Lil’s ‘hometown’ concert but she really just gets a lukewarm response. Things get a lot better when Anoop takes the stage. His personality really shines and his voice is really quite good. He also does a great job working the floor. And some people in the audience are finally paying attention.
Then Matt takes the stage and delivers the first breakout performance of the night. He is energetic, engages the audience and just fun. His performance of ‘Hard to Handle’ is great, he tears across the piano with a style that would make Little Richard and Jerry Lee Lewis proud. He then commands the entire area with a piano solo performance of ‘Georgia on My Mind’ ‘â€œ no band, no special effects, just one man and a piano. Matt’s massively talented and I would buy a ticket for a Matt concert any day of the week.
Intermission, Ford commercials start again, I know that more videos of Carrie, Daughtry and Cook. We go into the Club Suite and avoid them. The other people in the suite are all involved in the music business. All anyone can talk about is Matt, and the countdown to Adam. One of our music pro friends express one concern about Adam, he needs to be careful that he doesn’t become a caricature. At first I am offended, but then I realize the danger is real. I hope he has really wise management. But everyone agrees that he really could be a star.
Allison: We love Allison, but the band is so loud that she is just screaming her songs and fighting the band. I desperately want to fix the sound mix. She frantically bounds around the stage and the whole thing just isn’t working. The audience isn’t really engaged during the performance but applauds loudly at the end. We all love Allison!
Danny: He enters to the biggest opening applause so far. He starts off with ‘PYT’ and some people stand up and dance. I particularly notice two women that are really into the song and really dancing. Most people just sit. There are some young girls screaming like crazy for him. ‘Maria Maria’ is OK but the dancing and microphone work are just not very good. He starts his speech, almost identical to Little Rock, the audience isn’t really getting it. He sings ‘My Wish’ . I’ve seen him twice and I’m still confused about what kind of artist he wants to be ‘â€œ Michael Jackson, Santana, Rascal Flats, salsa dancing, rock attire, inspirational speech.
Adam: Finally. The intro starts, the audience goes crazy. From the moment the intro starts, Adam has command of the whole arena. I notice that the two women who were dancing for Danny are now totally into Adam. He comes out with Elvis hair and I swear that his eyebrows and eye makeup were styled to be more Elvis-like. The whole set is even better the second time I see it. During ‘WLL’ they show a big image of Adam on the large video screen on the side of the stage, he looks like all the Elvis pictures in the photos and murals around Memphis. It’s a bit eerie, but oddly fitting. He doesn’t imitate Elvis, it’s just a nice nod to the King. Adam doesn’t do much talking but tonight he says that he’s really liking it here in Memphis. Then he introduces ‘Starlight’ and I am on another planet. I have seen Muse perform ‘Starlight’ live and the Idol band isn’t as good, but Adam’s vocals surpass Matt Bellamy. For me, it is the highlight of the concert. Perhaps, because it’s the 4th straight concert there are some vocal changes in Adam’s set, a pleasant one comes at the end of ‘Mad World’ when he replaces the last high note with a 4-note improvisation that is beautiful. He introduces Allison for ‘Slow Ride’ . The band is not fighting with the vocals for this song. Allison can sing, not scream, and it’s her best performance. That’s the Alison that I love! They have so much fun the whole place is smiling and clapping along. It ends is a huge hug. Then Adam closes his set with the Bowie Medley, most people are on their feet, and just like that he’s gone. But we are all still under his spell. Adam is quite simply one of the best vocalists I have ever heard and not like anyone else. I believe his brother Neil was right when he called him ‘The glittery alien from Planet Fierce’ . Because that is the only plausible explanation for some of the notes he hits.
Kris: Loud applause and cheers. Not quite as loud as for Adam, but maybe more widespread. The two dancing girls are already dancing for Kris. Some people wearing Adam shirts are clapping and cheering for Kris. It’s a really nice welcome from the Memphis fans. Just about everyone sits back down. Kris starts with ‘Heartless’ . The band is really loud. Kris moves on to TTTIHD and tries to get the crowd to join into the chorus, people don’t. This has been a really tough crowd all night and stays that way. Kris continues through the set and the band is just powering him out. When he gets to ‘Hey Jude’ , Kris asks people to turn on their cell phones, a few obey, but mostly it’s just the same glowsticks moving back and forth. A few people sing along, but mostly people just listen.
Clearly, the production strategy was to make Kris’ performance ‘big’ but in the end I just don’t think it worked very well. I think ‘bandzilla’ just buried a lot of the things people loved about Kris. Having seen Kris perform live, I respect his self-awareness; he is really well suited to the Joe King (The Fray) soft rock/alt. rock space.
Don’t Stop Believing/Na Na Na Na: The crowd in back into the final song. Then it’s done. As we’re leaving, I overhear a few people complain that there wasn’t an encore. But most people are happy. And there’s a ton of music one block away on Beale Street.
We head out to get some dinner on Beale Street. Finally we settle on a club with a late kitchen and dueling piano players. We start eating, the music is great. The piano players are both better than Scott or Kris, but not Matt. We start talking about how surprisingly good Matt is, we agree the judges were right to save him and wish that the happy, fun, secure Matt we saw tonight had been on Idol. All the sudden the piano players start singing ‘Georgia on My Mind’ . Third time tonight! What a strange, wonderful world.
Final note: We learned there are some advantages to being #11 on Idol and missing the Top 10 Tour. The folks of the tour were rushed out of Memphis to fly to Tampa. As we were walking back to our hotel, we spotted Alexis Grace cozily chatting with a handsome young man while taking a ride in one of the horsedrawn Cinderella carriages that stroll around downtown Memphis. That sure beats dealing with baggage check-in at the airport!
Published: Tue July 28th, 2009 By: Maxine Nelson Category: Music
It would be a gross understatement to say this concert was actually an Adam Lambert concert with all the other Idols acting as warm-up and opening acts for him. You knew who the fans were when they kept showing up on the video screens the advertisement for the American Idols Live Tour. When they got to Adam Lambert the entire venue started screaming. It was shown at least 8-9 times, including intermission, and they screamed right on cue. Like someone said to me who was sitting in my row, "it's just a picture" (of Adam). My ears are still ringing from some fans sitting next to me who screamed when Adam came on for his set. That I will certainly get to later.
For now I will merely recap my impression of who I thought greatly improved after the show and who gave the better performances. Megan Joy actually worked the staged unlike being glued behind the microphone stand when she was on American Idol. Scott MacIntyre truly impressed me with his two songs. He had a great rapport with the crowd. I liked how Scott talked about the "high five" he got from Ryan Seacrest and the reaction from the media over it. My favorite part of all was his spot on imitation of Simon Cowell. Of course he was at the piano during the set. Being behind the piano and playing it is what Scott does best.
Lil Rounds may have gotten a lot of criticisms from the judges during her Idol journey, but she really got the crowd going. I loved her second song, especially the sing-a-long chorus. I was singing along to it as well. However, when she did her own dance number on Beyonce's "Put a Ring on It" the crowd went crazy. She was definitely on fire. Matt Giraud was the last finalist to perform before the 20-minute intermission. He opened with a song I really like "Hard to Handle" by The Black Crows. Towards the end of the song the piano comes up from a stage opening. Once it was leveled to the rest of the stage Matt starts doing his version of Jerry Lee Lewis at the piano.
After the intermission you could tell the crowd was anxiously anticipating the arrival of Adam Lambert on stage. Before that moment would arrive there were two more Idols to listen to. Allison rocked that stage with her ultimate rock sets just like she did consistently on American Idol. Next, Danny Gokey was on stage and he really was the consummate performer. He had an excellent rapport with the crowd, strong vocals as always, and moved all over the stage by going close to the edge to sing to the crowd one-on-one. However, I felt something was off with his vocals. At first I thought maybe it was the sound system. Whatever it was Danny pulled through and was passionate with all four of the songs he sang. He got rousing applause after each song.
Without further adieu the headliner, according to the majority of his fans in attendance at the St. Pete Times Forum, was Adam Lambert. There were two young girls sitting next to me who were screaming at the top of their lungs when Adam came on throughout his opening song "Whole Lotta Love". Afterwards, he slowed it down with "Starlight" by Muse and my favorite Adam Lambert song, "Mad World". Things kicked in once again with the audience when he and Allison took the stage with Foghat's "Slow Ride". Closing his set was the David Bowie medley. When he finished Adam descended on a platform that took him down from the stage. The crowd was a scream fest for a good solid minute.
Lastly, was Kris Allen with all of his five songs. He got a rousing amount of applause, but no where near as much as Danny and especially Adam. Kris isn't much for his original rapport, like the other Idols. Kris Allen is an amazing vocalist, not much of a performer though. The finale was a good way to bring back all the Idols to the stage one last time. Of course the crowd went crazy when Kris and Adam came up from the bottom of the stage to the top singing with the rest. Near the end I don't know if some of the Idols missed their cue on the closing song. It seemed a bit off key. Even though I did not get a review ticket for the concert I thought it was well worth the money I spent for a ticket. All the Idols each gave a superb performance. This was my first time seeing the American Idols live in concert. I hope you will see them at a city near you.
One last word.......when I got home from the venue I went to Twitter to read the reactions of the Idols from the Tampa show, which was positive. Danny Gokey reported his throat was hurting and it was his worst performance so far on tour. I knew something didn't feel right, but I had no idea it was his voice. Nevertheless, Danny gave a 110% in his show this evening.
On July 26, the 2009 American Idol tour descended on Memphis. Memphis is no stranger to pop idols. After all, the first true pop idol, Elvis Presley, once called this city his home. People in this neck of the pop culture woods are quite used to seeing people emulate, worship and get downright loony over men in tight pants.
I should begin by saying: I don’t watch American Idol. Yes. I know. I’m the pop culture Examiner. But, honey, I’ve got to tell you: even we pop culture addicted individuals must take a break sometime. That being said, what you’re getting is a review of the American Idol tour through the eyes of someone who gets most of her American Idol knowledge through the news and one seriously addicted friend who makes watching the show unnecessary (ask me how many times I’ve heard Adam Lambert sing “Mad World” – just ask me!).
I knew I had stepped into the mouth of madness when I walked in and saw a woman wearing a shirt that was nothing but Adam Lambert’s eyeball. Not two eyeballs. Just one. And for the Glamberts out there: I don’t know which one it was. Do you guys and dolls have a preference? Because, if so, I’m sure it was that one.
The madness was only intensified anytime the jumbo-trons, guarding the stage like gargantuan monoliths, displayed the image of Adam Lambert. With each and every flash of his face, screams erupted throughout the crowd. At one point, they even replaced the top of his skull with an automobile. No matter. They still screamed.
The first half of the show, while entertaining at times, felt like it was more of a formality that was necessary to get to the second. “Get through these trials, kiddies, and I’ll show you the world!” While Idol contestants Anoop Desai and, Memphis native, Lil Rounds perked up the crowd (with a hefty dose of hometown love from the crowd), most of the audience remained seated throughout the first five’s performances. Almost as if they were waiting for something. Or someone.
After a 20 minute intermission (I didn’t realize concerts came with intermissions before this – were it not for the beers, arena smell and incessant screaming, I might have mistaken it for Broadway), the show was back on and it was obvious: this was what 90% of the people in attendance had paid for.
Allison Iraheta was first after the break and the crowd was instantly on their feet. While I think that Pink’s “So What” probably wasn’t the best fit for her, once she ditched the guitar and mic stand, she was more in her element and worked the stage as a performer should.
Danny Gokey was next. For the most part, the crowd rested through his set. Had I been Sookie Stackhouse, I’m certain I would have heard an overwhelming silent chorus of, “Adam’s next. When’s he coming out? OMG, where is he? Get out the way Danny Gokey! You might be blocking a shot of his hair tips!” Gokey seemed to stick out among the top five. His song choices clashed with the latter half of the show and took on an overwhelmingly Chicken Soup for the American Idol’s Soul feel.
His set ended and the air was nearly sucked out of the arena as almost every woman from age 2 – 98 took a preparatory breath as they awaited the appearance of the boy with the leather pants and guyliner. Looking back, those like me will remember the next moment as the moment that rendered their hearing less operative. Because as soon as the graphics appeared on the jumbo-trons indicating Adam’s arrival, the noise in the arena swelled to deafening roar. Imagine the sound that would occur if a thousand Robert Pattinsons were suddenly dropped into a swirling mass of schoolgirls and Twilight moms.
Adam’s set was less Billboard Pop 100 and more the cuts you’d find on the mp3 players of slightly more discerning music fans and wannabe hipsters (no offense intended: my MP3 player contains the discography of Bowie and Gary Jules’ Mad World, as well). He appropriately grinded across the stage, working the screaming crowd like a master puppeteer with him playing Jim Henson and thousands of female fans playing his Kermit.
It was easy to see how he won the title.
Oh wait. He didn’t? America’s top pop Idol, Kris Allen, closed out the countdown with some Bill Withers, Matchbox 20 and The Beatles. And while his set was enjoyable and all words to “Hey Jude” vocalized by the crowd in time with his own, I kept waiting for those other two rockers, Allison and Adam, to come back and appropriately close the show with a bang.
Luckily, they did – along with the other Idols who appeared before them.
The show itself was boppy and fun and, at times, even extremely enjoyable. Its enjoyment came from a mixture of some of the acts along with the reaction of the fans who have made this phenomenon what it is.
After watching the show, from the perspective of someone who showed up late to this party, I feel quite dubious as to how Adam Lambert was not the #1 Idol. Though, no doubt, he’s laughing all the way to the bank – so much that he’s more than likely tearing up, smudging his eyeliner and showing off the tracks of his tears (ask me how many times I’ve heard that one – ask me!).
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to make a quick Tweet to Adam Lambert. I need to make him an offer he can’t refuse.
Bamafan and I were both wearing a shirt with Adam's eyeball on it at the Memphis concert '09. When we finally met in Jul '10 and discussed the Memphis concert, we had both thought all that time that the article was talking about "me". Now we have no idea which one of us it was, although I'm SURE it was ME.
Adam Lambert finished second? You couldn't tell it from this crowd, which greets the explosive sounds and strobing lights with shrieks. Adam kicks off his set with Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love, and the stage fills with smoke. He's wearing a blue-and-black metallic-looking studded jacket that comes down to his knees, along with a sleeveless black T-shirt and black pants. The crowd may have been dancing for Allison and Danny -- for Adam, they're screaming. Suddenly we've gone from the world of AC pop into a real rock show.
Second song is Muse's Starlight, and the six disco balls hanging above the stage turns the Rose Garden into a planetarium. It's Adam's typically impressive song choice -- for the arrangement, imagine Erasure's Andy Bell fronting the Sisters of Mercy -- and he sings it flawlessly, beautifully, slipping in and out of falsetto. (I wonder if this begins to approach what his album will sound like -- you wouldn't hear me complaining if it did.) Matt's version of Hard to Handle was pretty cool, but this is the first of the new numbers I'd lay down cash money to hear again.
Low-level fog creeps in, as Adam takes a seat on a stool to sing the Tears for Fears/Gary Jules song Mad World. The crowd is still on its feet, and they've brought out their cameras -- you could practically read in here, the flashes are so steady. Some people are singing along; most of them just look entranced.
The guitarist cranks out the opening chords to Slow Ride start, and the audience knows what's coming -- or, rather, who. Allison Iraheta walks on stage, and the place goes ballistic.
Now, he's doing the David Bowie medley he promised, which starts with Life on Mars (and the big red planet is behind him on the video screen). As he slides into Fame, the crowd shrieks again, but it's not for the song: Adam has shed his jacket, revealing the sleeveless T underneath. He's obviously been working with JaQuel Knight on choreography, too; he's moving lithely across the stage in a way Idol viewers never saw. The third number, Let's Dance, assumes a pulsing, throbbing club rhythm under his command, barely resembling the pseudo-horn-band arrangement of Bowie's original.
He finishes, then descends on the center-stage lift.
The Adam Lambert Variety Show: Slow Ride with Allison TheLambertLuvva
Is Adam Lambert a musical genius? His fans, whom often compare the singer to the likes of Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson, certainly think so. Perhaps the question will be best answered this fall after the release of his debut album, but until then we can certainly deduce from the American Idols Live Tour 2009 that Lambert is a gifted musician and a brilliant performer. After sitting down and interviewing Adam Lambert I also learned that he is one clever bloke.
Dressed casually in jeans and a newly acquired t-shirt the singer, with turquoise infused raven hair and flawless guyliner, answered each question with candor and enthusiasm. Ignore the diva rumors, Lambert was just a straightforward, cheerful, down-to-earth guy. He showed the highest degree of respect for his fans.
When asked about his most memorable fan encounter, he grinned and said, "I can't pick just one, a handful were exciting, strange, amazing, touching, memorable." He later added, "I love it when older women come up to me and say 'you make me feel young again' because it shows how powerful music is."
As far as gifts go, Lambert said one stood out, "there was one time I received a 4 foot inflatable kangaroo from a fan. She came from Australia." I told him that was sweet and asked if it was from a little kid and he laughed and said, "yes but that doesn't stop others!" (NOTE: this interview took place before the Velocity Live Radio interview)
Lambert recently requested that fans donate to charity rather than buy him gifts. His campaign to support public education started only one week ago but has received over $52,000 in donations from fans.
Lambert said his fans are "not demographic specific." He has found that his "range of fans has little to do with age and geographic location." He was pleasantly surprised to find that the south, home to Kris Allen, gave him a warm welcome on the tour and that his home state of California equally embraced Kris Allen. "We receive a warm welcome from fans wherever we go, that's the beauty of the show and this tour."
Even though Adam Lambert lost to Kris Allen on this season of American Idol, he brought up Allen twice during the interview. It may be a small gesture but it showed that there is no resentment on Lambert's part. He said both he and Allen have similar deals with 19 & RCA and their albums will come out in November. "I'm excited! There's a lot to be done. I put a dent in it right before the tour and I am actually co-writing some material." He said the album will be "pop which isn't about one genre."
He admitted that he was apprehensive about the process. "I was worried that I would be locked in to a bad deal based on what I've read in the past and the stigma with 19. But my experience has been very different than what I have read. They  really do facilitate what we [Allen and Lambert] want to do. We have control over the material."
Before the show in DC, the Idols had a day off to explore the city. While the other Idols played tourist Lambert made a surreptitious trip to the Ritz Carlton camouflaged by a "trucker hat and dark glasses" for a facial and massage. He then ventured west on M Street in to Georgetown to buy clothes and hair products. When he mentioned taking a cab there I was a bit worried for him but he said the cab driver was great.
So what did he think of his first trip to our Federal City? "It is just beautiful here! It is the cleanest city I've been to."
From Saturday's Globe and Mail Last updated on Saturday, Jul. 11, 2009 04:47AM EDT
American Idols Live
At GM Place
in Vancouver on Wednesday July 8, 2009
More than once during the three hour-long American Idols set in Vancouver on Wednesday, I was sorely tempted to climb onto my seat and scream: "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any more"
Something needed to puncture the sheer inertia of the audience of mostly families - sometimes three generations together - who sat, arms folded, staring lifelessly for the majority of the show. They weren't so much watching a pop concert as revisiting the television show: tolerating the Idols they didn't vote for in order to catch a real glimpse of the reality star they favoured. Unsurprisingly, given the countdown nature of both the show and the concert, that meant the fun wasn't going to start until near the night's climax.
Performing in reverse order, the Top 10 Idols were each given a short set of two to four songs to show us what they were really made of. (Not much, mostly.) It was hard to even muster the energy to wonder on what possible planet doughy, awkward Michael Sarver (scraping in at No. 10) would qualify as a pop star. Still he didn't deserve to place lower than Megan Joy, who not only can't sing (her version of Amy Winehouse's Tears Dry on Their Own was pure torture), or dance, but, in her shiny pink tube dress and four-inch heels, looked like Barbie, too.
Much better was Lil Rounds, who sang in tune, could boast some stage presence and presented a good pick of pop tracks from Mary J. Blige, Alicia Keys and Beyoncé (Single Girls, the first song of the night to get a few brave souls up on their feet and shaking their booty). That she hadn't polled higher than the likes of Matt Giraud (surely headed back to the hotel-lobby circuit from whence he came) and Danny "Hokey" Gokey is a real puzzler.
Even the geeky, angular Anoop Desai managed to show some natural performance ability despite turning the Willie Nelson/Elvis hit Always on My Mind into a Barry Manilow-esque, cruise-ship affair, white jeans included.
One might have expected the second half to kick things up a notch, and pint-sized rock chick Allison Iraheta, flame-coloured hair extensions billowing, did that nicely. Watching the 17-year-old with gravelly pipes belt out a version of Janis Joplin's Cry Baby was one of the few true bright points of the night.
Then Gokey took the spotlight. I admit, I cannot fathom how this whiney-voiced, unhip being was ever a serious contender. Kicking off his set with Michael Jackson's P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) only delivered more evidence of his nose for easy exploitation.
That paled, however, when he related the tale of his wife's death (Sophie Gokey died during heart surgery just four weeks before the American Idol auditions): "And tomorrow," he shared, "is the one-year anniversary of her going to heaven." Segue into Rascal Flatts's My Wish, as the giant video screen on stage became a shot of the sky with a beam of sunlight breaking through the treetops.
Religion was the major player in the final weeks of the show - "bad boy," a.k.a. "gay boy" Adam Lambert, the meat in an evangelical Christian sandwich of Gokey and winner Kris Allen.
Thank God indeed, then, for Lambert. The man the entire crowd had shown up to see, he had them screaming in the aisles - and tossing their undies. Upping the temperature along with the tempo, Lambert was rude, pouty and completely over the top, just as a pop star should be. With a mostly successful set that included Led Zeppelin, Tears for Fears and a very apropos Bowie medley, he offered this panting crowd the possibility of something exciting, dangerous even.
But poor Kris Allen: Never has winning looked more like losing. With hiscringe-worthy performance (ending, miserably, with the terminally drippy Hey Jude), he sucked the air out of the room in seconds. And here we were, back where we began, playing it poorly and safe, making sure everyone drinks their cocoa before bedtime.