Adam Lambert - Pacific Amphitheater - 7/19/12

Categories: American Idol
Adam Lambert - Matt Oliver - OC Fair 2012
Matt Oliver/OC Weekly
Adam Lambert singing a track off of Trespassing















Adam Lambert
Pacific Amphitheater
7/19/12

Glambert fever took over the Pacific Amphitheater last night as Adam Lambert belted out crowd favorites and brand new material in part of the Orange County Fair's summer concert series. In honor of his May sophomore album "Trespassing," fans paraded around with yellow crime tape to welcome the screaming, American Idol alumni.

The night before, A.I.'s 2011 winner Scotty McCreery was gracing the stage for a very different (i.e. wholesome) countrified concert.  Lambert, the first openly gay artist to top the Billboard Top 200 album chart at number one with Trespassing, took the stage with some serious disco diva swagger,  tossing hits "Whataya Want From Me" and "If I Had You," along with a brand new variety in "Never Close Our Eyes" and "Naked Love". With poof'd gelled hair, limp wrist and a face plastered with makeup, Lambert vogued on the neon lit stage while wearing a stallion imprinted blazer, accompanied by a wailing guitarist with bright pink hair, a female bassist who challenged Lambert in the fashion department with Skrillex-style shaved hair. Of course our favorites in the band were two voluptuous black backup singers named "The Va Jay Jays". I must say it was nice to see girls with shape and meat on their bones singing and dancing in the spotlight.

Adam Lambert - Matt Oliver - OC Fair 2012 #2
Matt Oliver/OC Weekly
Adam Lambert reenergized

After spending some of his summer in London as temporary fashion-forward frontman of rock legends Queen, Lambert brought the crowd to its feet for an entire standing only set on Thursday night. It hasn't been confirmed yet, but the San Diego native is eager to take the lead with Brian May and Roger Taylor for a future Queen studio album.

As for glam nation, Lambert brought his full vocal capacity on new track "Shady", which sounded like a Funkadelic version of Michael Jackson's "Remember the Time."

The vocal phenom did not forget his personality at the door as he said "Thanks for coming out tonight to my house." He took off his shoes to feel the comfort of a bright yellow tiger print rug placed at center stage, and proceeded to say, "If you are ever nervous, sweaty or anything, just take your damn shoes off." A older lady yelled back provocatively. "Take your jacket off!"

Although he does not have moves like Jagger, he exuded the sex-appeal of Prince and Michael Jackson during  "Pop That Lock" which came with a "Smooth Criminal" outro. While observing the crowd, the bright colored shirts, teased hair and ripped fabric felt like a flashback to the early 90's. "Naked Love" filled the missing void, as the crowd waved their hands back and forth to this Mariah Carey-esque bubble gum pop song.Bright blue and silver strobe lights helped bring the electro world of Lambert's brand new lead single "Never Close Our Eyes" to life.

Though he left the stage without an encore, Lambert's final song , "Cuckoo" allowed him to exit just the way he came out, with a ball of energy and glittery, electrified funk that beckoned the crowd to "party 'till they take us away."

Critical Bias: I came into this concert thinking I would hate my life. Watching Lambert allowed me to appreciate an amazing vocal talent and stage performer.

Crowd: Generations of screaming females, from glammed-out  grannies to teens wrapped in yellow no trespassing caution tape.

Random Notebook Dump: This video from last night gives you a little taste of what we're talking about.

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44 comments
stephrz.hb
stephrz.hb

Mind-blowingly amazing someone wrote? Did I miss something at this concert? I enjoy Adam's music but wasn't blown away by his performance at the Pacific Amphitheater this year. Yes, he has a great voice BUT he didn't do anything mind-blowing on stage. He stood in front of the audience and belted out some great tunes. It was actually relaxing, sitting in the back of crowd, listening to him sing and people watching.  I was a big fan of his on American Idol and was expecting more of a stage presence from him.  I don't know about anyone else but I was getting distracted by his finger flicking which was probably what was meant by his limp wrist. How many times does he need to quickly flick his fingers at his audience? That was all I could watch when he was on the big screen. I thought that would make a great drinking game.  Every time Adam flicks his fingers, take a drink. :)

 

Not sure I will go to another concert of his, unless it is with Queen, but  I will still buy and enjoy his music and do think he is a great musician.  

allowecious
allowecious

Fellow Glamberts, calm down. This was a good, complimentary, fairly objective review. There will never be a perfect one. And as for the limp wrist thing - yes, it has a pejorative history, but I agree with workaday, Adam was very camp in that performance with the hand gestures. So what? It is who he is. I also agree that a lot of female fans prefer to ignore this side of Adam because it would interfere with their sexual fantasies. I may be quite wrong, but I think it is actually kind of disrespectful to Adam, because instead of appreciating him as he is, they prefer to create an image of him in their heads to worship. It's almost like they don't know of any other way to appreciate a highly attractive, charismatic and sexy male performer, that does not involve a *personal* sexual attraction. Maybe Adam will help us find a new way of doing that...He's breaking the mold in a lot of other ways.

 

Secondly, I will say that this is NOT the way to win converts to Adam's music. I've never known anyone to go out and buy music after being preached to about it. People buy music because of a gut reaction (they hear it and they like it), or because of hype and exposure (earworms played repeatedly on the radio), or because, especially for young people, a particular singer is regarded as being "cool". I don't know of any more effective way of making someone's music uncool than to have a bunch of (mostly motherly) women online preaching at people that they *ought* to love Adam and his music for X, Y or Z reason. Ladies, you couldn't be more harmful to Adam's career if you were actually trying to do so. You're doing a lot right - buying his music, attending his concerts, placing videos on youtube. But the outraged and preachy comments on reviews and youtube videos have got to stop if you actually care about Adam's career. JMO.

ADAMFAN
ADAMFAN

IF YOU COULD HAVE SKIPPED ALL THE HOMOPHOBIC COMMENTS I THINK THIS WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD REVIEW. SHAME YOU FELT COMPELLED TO DISCUSS HIS SEXUAL ORIENTATION MORE THAN HIS MUSICAL ABILITY WHICH IS TREMENDOUS.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

The idea put forward here that some of Adam's die-hard fans see him as they WISH he was, not as he really IS,  really made me LOL.  Have you seen the sold-out world wide  GlamNation Tour vids?  Have you seen the Zodiac Show vids?  I think everybody got the idea that Adam is into make-up, feathers, and dressing up.  Be pretty hard to miss.    (He was never a drag queen, though, sorry).  What really bites my ass is when he is ridiculed for it, looking at you Mr. Oliver. Adam is proud of who he is, and we are just as proud of him.   Make no mistake that review was a series of gay slurs and triggers.  And what does Scotty McC reety have to do with Adam?   Oh right,  he's "wholesome"  Another zing to Adam.  Can't believe I am seeing posts from people who profess to be Glamberts defending this guy.

clair
clair

Good review minus the "limp wrist and plastered with makeup" references (I didn't see this at all--just an amazing singer and charismatic performer)

mtnfine
mtnfine

I'm happy that the reviewer had an open mind and recognized the great talent of Adam Lambert!!!! I love his music, but there's nothing better than seeing his live shows! (I've seen many!!) I appreciate all of the positive comments about Adam & his music!  Fans probably should lighten up a bit on this one!!

nandb
nandb

I appreciate the fact that you had the intelligence to realize that Adam Lambert is a fantastic vocalist and a first rate performer. Your review was spot-on.  I also appreciate that you were able to overcome your initial ignorance of his music and admit that you were impressed. Now, if you could only edit out the homophobic remarks, that would be real progress!

literarilover
literarilover

I really don't understand some of you "reviewers."  Adam is an exciting, talented performer who is judged before people even attend one of his shows.  It is so disheartening.  The public often laments the trash played on the radio but don't understand they get what they deserve, as do many bloggers, reviewers.  Some of your comments are just so wrong!  Who says things like that in this day and age outside the testosterone filled football locker room?  Adam is a gorgeous, kind, intelligent, funny, articulate man.  Just because he doesn't beat his chest, drop his pants, or show his abs doesn't translate to limp-wristed,  poof'd hair (so sue him for having great hair which he combs,) and plastered with make-up?  WTF? 

 

Adam's comment in reference to negativity about his looks or sexual orientation has often been a shrug of his shoulders and the suggestion that maybe the problem is with the speaker, not with him.  

 

By the way, glad you enjoyed the performance in spite of all his personal faults.

lydia
lydia

You obviously put a lot of time into this, why not try presenting yourself with some dignity and class?  In your own self interest, think about this...when you try to be cute by using derogatory terminology, it makes you come off as foolish and close-minded.  Then your hard work is diminished because a lot of people see that and instantly lose any respect they may have had for you and your opinion. 

 

 

lydia
lydia

Was this a conscious effort to sound like an ignorant bigot?  Mission accomplished!!    :-D

 

 

workaday
workaday

Oh, dude, Matt, this is a great review.  Unfortunately, the limp wrist reference has a pejorative history - hence the wild freakouts in the comments - but it's the journalistic TRUTH that Adam was working that wrist hard last night.  It's a fun little part of gay culture to do that in a tongue-in-cheek way.  We black girls do it sometimes, too!  I know "the gay" pretty well, I think, and when a gay man is proudly calling himself a queen and doing the wrist thing Adam was doing last night, he is feeling safe, free, and good!  Do you have to pretend not to hear and see that?  Not unless you secretly think there's something wrong with it, as many of his fans obviously do.

 

And I see how a guy who isn't used to seeing men in makeup could say that boyfriend had a lot of makeup on.  We fans are so used to it, we're like, "It was a tasteful smokey eye with tinted moisturizer!  What?"  But y'all - Adam doesn't wear makeup to blend into the woodwork, so why scold men for calling it out?  Who are we protecting here?  Adam or our own misgivings with how openly gay men present themselves at times?

 

Matt, you went in expecting the worst, kept an open mind, listened carefully, wrote the facts and told the world you had a good time in spite of yourself.  THANK YOU.  And thank you also for complimenting the backup singers.  I have heard more veiled, racist, weight-phobic comments from some Glamberts about these women than I care to recall - everything from "they're ugly" to "they can't sing."  Excuse me, folks, Adam chose them.  (remember what you all told the hostile Queen fans about how Brian and Roger chose Adam?  Yeah.  Use that argument against yourselves now.)  I think he knows what good singing is.   

 

I am so SORRY my fellow Glamazons went crazy on you.  Again, Great review.

KellyMcGee
KellyMcGee

"Limp wrist," really? How very 1950s of you.  If you thought throwing that into your review was "clever," I have to say that I found it to be both dismissive and insulting.  But, maybe that's what you were going for? 

vice
vice

Thank you for the great review! I am glad Adam converted you despite your negative prior bias; poor Adam needs to convert one fan at a time, but I am sure your review helps!

celtcwrtr
celtcwrtr

the prejudicial language vibe with ageism and homophobic overtones of this review merely reflects the locale (i.e., Orange is a Red county minority mindset within Califas).

HSM_atop
HSM_atop

Ummm... Surprised you were expecting to hate the show, but glad you wound up loving it? I've seen Adam perform now about six times, and each time his show has been mind-blowingly amazing. Not only is he an incredible singer, but an awesome PERFORMER. Concerts whiz by in a dancey blink and you're left afterwards sweaty and telling your friends "I gotta get tickets for the next show". It's why so many people keep coming back! He's just so good live. YouTubes don't come even close to capturing the magic. BTW - due to a lot of things working out at the last minute, I was fortunate enough to see Adam fronting Queen in London earlier this month. It was **easily** one of the best shows I've ever seen in my entire life, and I've been to a lot of shows. Honestly, if you ever have a chance to attend an Adam Lambert show....Go.

apolowho
apolowho

I am not fortunate enough to attend Adam's performance in any capacity, ie blogger, fan, so I am thankful for the fans that record and use utube.  When I look at the videos I see a man who is extremely talented.  I see a face with a smile that comes deep from inside.  I see a man who loves what he is doing, entertaining his fans.  I see a man that gives better than 100% of himself every time he performs.  

 

I wish you could see this man through my eyes.  Have a great day.

cindy420
cindy420

Going to see Adam at the WinStar July 27th. Cant wait I've seen him 2 other times and he is the

only concert I've gone out of my way to see. Including Elton John and Tina Tuner. I respect and love their music very much. But Adam has the it factor.

You saying limp wrist and massive makeup is not only homophobic but just shows you're ignorance. He was voted most beautiful male pop star of 2012. He's hot he's sexy and that's for all genders. You should be ashamed!

Elizabeth
Elizabeth

Seriously, in this year 2012, you too-cool-for-school psuedo writers with your homophobic remarks , which you think are clever and catchy, just make you look like dumb, unevolved asses.  Have you noticed the struggle of the LGBT community is waging to gain equality, and to resist bigotry and ridicule?  Have you noticed the huge effort being made to stop bullying, and to ease the suffering of young gay people as they come to terms with their sexuality?  Have you noticed the courage, bravery and sheer guts that it takes for someone like Adam Lambert to be a person of high profile , and be out and proud, constatly being put down by homophobic morons?    Oh, and glad you liked the show.  

HSM_atop
HSM_atop

Ummm... Surprised you were expecting to hate the show, but glad you wound up loving it? I've seen Adam perform now about six times, and each time his show has been mind-blowingly amazing. Not only is he an incredible singer, but an awesome PERFORMER. Concerts whiz by in a dancey blink and you're left afterwards sweaty and telling your friends "I gotta get tickets for the next show". It's why so many people keep coming back! He's just so good live. YouTubes don't come even close to capturing the magic. BTW - due to a lot of things working out at the last minute, I was fortunate enough to see Adam fronting Queen in London earlier this month. It was **easily** one of the best shows I've ever seen in my entire life, and I've been to a lot of shows. Honestly, if you ever have a chance to attend an Adam Lambert show....Go.

kerrykolsch
kerrykolsch

Adam Lambert has toned down the guyliner and now has the same amount of makeup and poofed hair as young Elvis. The "limp wrist" you refer to was in your own mind. Stereotypes do not fit Adam. He has become an international sex symbol, not only because of his vocals and showmanship, but because he is a handsome, strutting Alpha male, with move that would make Elvis seem sexually repressed. Your bias makes you look foolish and mean.

allegory77
allegory77

Oh boo hoo you might hate YOUR life because of being subjected to the slightly gay cruise for an hour.

 

How do you think the LGBT community feels? Life is one big old 80 year heterosexual cruise with no safe port in the storm except to hide inside the house or get served a buffet of poisonous crap from people like YOU.. 

 

Shame on you. 

Allie
Allie

OMG  You have got to be kidding me.."limp wristed..make up plastered??. OMG What kind of homophobic review is this? Adam Lambert is an AMAZING Artist. The writer needs to retract and reword this article..RIGHT NOW.....What blatant disrespect...And you were ALREADY to hate the show..WHY??? Because he was Gay??  WTH...Why was this review allowed to be printed?

mers48
mers48

so sick of the gay thing always mentioned. WTF cares? And make up, how about Steven Tyler?

Oh that's right, he's the straight guy. And limp wrist? WTF is that all about. Take your homophobia elsewhere. We don't need it!

jang
jang

glad you enjoyed the show. it sounded like you wanted to hate the show but got sucked in like the rest of us because of his amazing voice. He is one of the only entertainers I can say is better in a live show. He gets fueled by his audience for sure.

lladden
lladden

Why use homophobia, tired, old stereotypes, and disrespect to the artist whose show you are sent to review? Was that called for?  AND ironically, you seem shocked that you witnessed a show that showcased an artist with immense vocal and performance talent... thought America was working to move past bigotry..what a poor example to our struggling #LGBT youth... immensely disappointed that we still have so far to go for #LGBT respect and acceptance.... BTW...  rock stars from the 60's 70's 80's..to today...men, as well as women, wear makeup...

freeyourmind
freeyourmind

Glad you enjoyed the show despite having to put up with the "gay" (eyeroll)...must have been terrifying for you.

glamswarm
glamswarm

OMG. Screaming, ok, it's a common nonsensical term some bloggers apply. Was "Outlaws of Love: the scream or the part that solidified your homophobia?

 

LIMP WRISTED, face plastered with makeup? Words fail at the utter homophobia you don't even know you own.

 

Regardless of your admission that his good show cannot be denied....I would prefer to deal with a blogger's bias against Lambert's music than the bias of homophobia foisted generically upon millions of human beings who have every right to breathe the air YOU breathe with whatever personal attributes they are born with without your recriminations of YOUR values of their worth. 

 

You owe the LGBT community a HUGE PUBLIC apology for your ignorance. And that's me being polite about it, because I'm quite sure you know better. 

audrieg0
audrieg0

"Lambert brought the crowd to its feet for an entire standing only set on Thursday night." 

 

I think this statement may be the most important one in your review. Adam does more than sing . . . he entertains giving the audience (in his own words) 'something to look at, to listen to, and to feel' as your complimentary observations illustrate. I'm not sure why so many critics like you expect to hate it / hate him. Why? I appreciate your honesty and the fact that you ended up enjoying the show, but for your information, this performance was no fluke.  Adam has always been this awesome! I hope skeptical music-lovers will read your article and have a similar change of heart.

LisaW
LisaW

thank you for your review, I appreciate that you acknowledge an initial bias on going but ended up listening with and open mind and giving a good review.  He does always put on a heck of a show.

 

I must admit I read your description of him with dismay tho, while your ears were open your eyes were clearly clouded by the gay label so that you saw a man with a : "limp wrist and face plastered with make up".  Now, face was not plastered with makeup but  Limp Wristed? really? THIS was the best stereotype you could come up with?  That is just lazy dude, there are so many more clever ways to be dismissive and demeaning than that, jeez.  

 

Glad you enjoyed the show of the limp wristed poof with the freak show band tho  :) 

CandyLee
CandyLee

Nice review except:

 

"poof'd gelled hair, limp wrist and a face plastered with makeup"  -

Eyeliner and grey smudge consitutes a face plastered with make-up?  Which monastery do you  live in, Mr Oliver?  What on earth is poof'd hair?  A failed attempt at homophobic humorous play on words perhaps?  The not just irrelevant but totally inaccurate limp wrist comment is the sort of pre-written sounding thing that ruins reviews.

 

"Of course our favorites in the band were two voluptuous black backup singers named "The Va Jay Jays". I must say it was nice to see girls with shape and meat on their bones singing and dancing in the spotlight." -

A pair of attention-seeking squealers who neither look nor sound the part.  As my grandmother would say "Neither use nor ornament".  The sooner they're replaced, the better.

 

"the San Diego native is eager to take the lead with Brian May and Rodger Taylor for a future Queen studio album" -

As eager as they are to have him after the hugely positive response to the gigs from Queen fans and critics.  By the way, it's Roger Taylor, Mr Oliver, Roger, not Rodger.

 

"Although he does not have moves like Jagger" -

No, he actually has rhythm.

 

"screaming females, from glammed-out  grannies to teens wrapped in yellow no trespassing caution tape" -

Funny, those are some big, butch and hairy females I've seen on the videos from last night.

 

msjane1912
msjane1912

Really good write up but just wondering why the mention of only females at the concert. The crowd pictures I saw showed almost as many men in attendance. 

allowecious
allowecious

@Elizabeth I don't think the Scotty McCreety thing was a zing to Adam at all. It's simply pointing out the difference in their persona's and performance styles. Adam is known for pelvic thrusts and kissing men on stage - hardly stuff that the "family values" crowd goes in for, as their reaction to the 2009 AMAs solidly proved. For someone like me, who has little interest in WGsWGs and has an interest in stuff that's a little more spicy and avante garde, that just told me that I would probably would not have enjoyed Mr. McReety's show - and that's no diss to HIM either - different strokes for different folks.

vice
vice

 @Elizabeth Have you read the review until the end? Maybe the author has a bias against the LBGT community rather than against Adam in particular, but this was a good review for Adam, in particular. This glambert prefers to focus on the latter.

lydia
lydia

 @workaday You rather contradict yourself by praising the reviewer for keeping an 'open mind' and then dismissing other people's opinions as going crazy.

 

This reviewer said things that really rubbed people (myself included) the wrong way.  Maybe he is like several members of my own family and uses such expressions without stopping to think about the implications.  People pointing it out may make him think twice in the future.  Maybe he meant it to sound the negative way a lot of people read.  People aren't allowed to be offended? They're mentally unstable if they are?

 

Writing people off as crazy or assuming they have these strong feelings because they are projecting their own underlying misgivings is NOT open-minded.  Being open-minded is indeed a praiseworthy quality; exercising it oneself in the process of praising seems reasonable.

mers48
mers48

 @CandyLee AND I do believe Jagger wears make up and I believe Daughtery and maybe even Enrica wears eyes makeup too.  Yikes!

lydia
lydia

PS The *way* people say/print things is a factor in how people responded--such as using phrasing that is typically used as insulting--not just the content when removed from context.  If this reviewer had chosen words more carefully, and described objectively rather than using the chosen language, it could have made a big difference in how people reacted.  These things matter. @workaday 

workaday
workaday

 @allegory77   There's nothing "self-serving" about saying that Adam was doing what the reviewer said he was doing.  For that to be the case, I'd have to be the reviewer.  So stop trying to sound high-minded and literate.

 

Adam's a proud gay man, and if you think I don't know that more than a few gay people resent that and bitch about how dare he be so effeminate in public, and why doesn't he work out, and why does he sing so high - blah, blah, blah - you're again incorrect.  Adam has indeed has high shellacked hair, last night, he was working a limp wrist, and he wears noticeable, gorgeous makeup.  I love every bit of it, and for a writer not to note these lovely, jump-out-at-you things is just poor, non-specific writing.  Sorry you can't be proud of how Adam werks it.  Your problem.

vice
vice

 @allegory77  @workaday Even if you have a point, what can be achieved from ranting madly, other than hurt Adam Lambert? At least this reviewer has an open mind, which is rare, and the most important thing about this review. Choosing when to fight goes a long way. There is way to much ranting about what is ultimately an excellent review

allegory77
allegory77

 @workaday You are self serving because you made your reply all about YOU, your little "insider" dish about Queen, and your ridiculous assertion that Glamberts have been racist about his back up singers. Attention hoar much? You are insignificant to our efforts to force hetero people to face their institutional use and acceptance of traditional slurs against other human beings, and, yes, girl that includes you. 

vice
vice

 @allegory77  @vice "no surprise" about what? I agree with your points, but there are other, better, points I prefer to focus on. Your remark about "poor Adam" is lost on me, other than you mean to be condescending to me. Perhaps you want to include another link to educate me on that one too.

kerrykolsch
kerrykolsch

 @workaday I describe Adam Lambert as an Alpha male because he is. It does not matter if he wears make up or feathers. Google my name and you can find articles I wrote on the subject. Adam is a large powerful, sexy male and even though he is attracted to guys, women are still attracted to him. No one has to engage in fantasy to find Adam attractive. He is loved just they way he is. The writer of this article did rely on stereotypes to describe Adam. Many straight men in the music industry wear or wore makeup. When Elvis went to meet Nixon they say he had on more eye shadow than the Avon lady. Elvis was also a fan of mascara since, like Adam, he dyed his light hair dark. Remarks were made in this article with the intent to demean Adam's sexuality. Since you know what it is like to engage in a Civil Rights movement, pleas to not make excuses for someone who crossed the line. As part of the LGBT community I find this article offensive.

 

I agree with you on the issue of the back up singers. They bring an interesting energy to the stage.

workaday
workaday

 @vice  I hear you.  Usually its just people being protective of Adam, but this time, the comments told me a lot of folks are fans of what they WISH Adam was, not of what he IS.  Women  find him sexy, say he's alpha male, etc., but Adam's also a lover of makeup, feathers, drag, and queening it up.  So when the writer described him - pretty accurately - the  people who like to "politely" ignore the most feminine side of Adam called it homophobia.  The homophobia is their own.  This writer was firmly in Adam's back pocket and wrote a rave review.

 

That said, I agree with you, vice.  I will say no more.

allegory77
allegory77

@vice No surprise coming from someone who can't resist using the term "poor Adam". Go lecture someone else. 

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