joooory' date='Jun 13th 2010, 4:32 PMhttp://www.startribune.com/entertainment/blogs/96240914.htmlStagey Adam Lambert rocks Mystic Lake
Adam Lambert got his Voodoo on at Mystic Lake Casino
Star Tribune photo by Tom Wallace
On “American Idol” in 2009, Adam Lambert showed that he is a star. On Saturday night at sold-out Mystic Lake Casino, Lambert proved that he is a true star — a musical-theater mega-talent playing the role of glamorous rock star.
His voice was you-should-be-starring-in-“Phantom” fabulous. His outfits were David-Bowie-Spiders-from-Mars marvelous. His stage manner was sexy, smooth and you’ve-been-onstage-so-much confident. But this irresistible star was more stagey theatrical than spontaneous rock ‘n’ roll. Still, it was highly entertaining, a splendid balance between emotional vocalizing and merry fun.
While becoming the runnerup on “Idol,” Lambert came across as the son of Robert Plant and Freddie Mercury (if they’d somehow procreated together) who was raised by Gene Simmons and Cher in Las Vegas and Hollywood with frequent visits to Broadway. He could rock and wail, dress up glam and camp it up, surprise and mesmerize — with both his arrangements and his look. He could play any role — and adapt to any musical style — for his two or three minutes in the spotlight.
For his Glam Nation Tour, Lambert, 28, got to choose the roles, looks and contexts. As director of this musical, he conceived a reverse-intuitive beginning. The house lights went dark, the stage lights came on and a slide of Lambert appeared on a screen at the back of the stage as a recorded version of “For Your Entertainment,” the title song of his debut CD, played in its entirety. But there was no Lambert. This was hardly a star entrance.
The show ended abruptly 63 minutes after that first recording began, meaning that the star was onstage for a mere 58 minutes (including the two too-long exits for costume changes). That’s too little show for a $69 ticket.
At least, Lambert gave the female-dominated audience its money’s worth in the vocals, wardrobe and dancing departments. His outfits suggested Prince if the Purple One had been more goth than glam. Lambert came out in a long purple leather coat, with fringed sleeves and fur epaulets, black leather pants, a black top decorated with silver sequins, a black top hat covered with purple fishnet, fingerless black gloves, plenty of guyliner and glitter on his eyelids and forehead. Sporting all that finery, he opted to dance barefoot.
Lambert proved to a graceful and enthusiastic dancer, though all his moves were choreographed. Four backup dancers appeared periodically, greatly enhancing the New Orleans-flavored “Strut.” Lambert’s four-person band was a good fit visually and usually solid musically, though its groove didn’t make him strut on the Queen-ly “Surefire Winners.”
Lambert offered 10 of the 14 songs from his album and two tunes he’d covered on “Idol” — Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire” (his voice went up higher and higher when he sang “down down down”) and Tears for Fears’ “Mad World” (which was more about singing than performing). Almost all of his numbers sounded more lively and immediate than on the album. Highlights included the stripped down “Whataya Want From Me,” the hymn-like “Soaked” and the catchy “Fever.”
Befitting a musical, there was little room for spontaneity — save for Lambert’s cut-loose solo dancing in the home stretch of “If I Had You” and his unguarded, this-was-really-fun-wasn’t-it smile at the end of that song.
Opening were Allison Iraheta, 18, Lambert’s buddy from “Idol,” and Orianthi, 25, Michael Jackson’s guitarist from “This Is It.” The impressively confident Iraheta has improved on ballads and still rocks with screaming abandon. Orianthi’s best moment was playing guitar on one of Iraheta’s numbers. Orianthi’s own material was either too dated or derivative but she left room to sparkle on guitar.
Lambert set list:
Voodoo (track from international version of his album)/ Down in the Rabbit Hole (song he performed on VH1's Unplugged and its on eluxe version of his album)/ Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash)/ Fever/ drum/dance segment (very dull, so Adam could change outfits)/ Sleepwalker/ acoustic set Whataya Want from Me/ Soaked/ Aftermath (costume change) full band Surefire Winners/ Strut/ Music Again/ Broken Open/ If I Had You ENCORE Mad World (Tears for Fears)