SINGAPORE – This writer was rooting for Adam Lambert when I first saw him on American Idol back in 2009, where he impressed with his multi-octave range and amazing ability to rearrange songs. Hence, I felt rather upset when he eventually lost the crown, and I remember thinking to myself: “If only I had the chance to hear him live, I bet that would be amazing.”
Well, I finally had the opportunity to do so when Lambert graced our shores on Friday night, performing a one-and-a half-hour set of his hit singles at the Star Performing Arts Centre. Sporting an electric blue suit, Lambert opened the show with a faced-paced, energy-pumping rendition of If I Had You, much to the delight of his many screaming fans. It was nothing less than what I would have expected of the glam rock diva, and soon enough, everyone was dancing along with him. It was an explosive start to a concert.
Keeping up the pace of the concert with his other more popular songs like Naked Love and Never Close Your Eyes, Lambert sashayed across the stage with a truckload of attitude and sass, entertaining with both his amazing vocal ability and his many dance interludes during the performance. He followed that with a slower set, kicking off with an emotional rendition of What Do You Want From Me. It was refreshing seeing a slower, mellower side of Lambert, and it brought back memories of when he first caught my eye with his haunting cover of Mad World on American Idol. It was the set I personally preferred, and I wished it lasted longer.
Strip away all the theatrics, and it is evident that Lambert is a very accomplished vocalist - one whose voice carries loads of experience, with incredible range and falsetto. But one thing really stood out for me: The amount of vocal control Lambert displayed showed how much more polished his performances have become, and long gone are the days where critics labeled him as “over-indulgent”. Truth be told, I was bracing myself for an over the top performance filled with lots of theatrics and screeching falsettos, but to my pleasant surprise, Lambert did not go overboard.
There was also a treat in store for the Queen fans in the audience when Lambert delivered a powerful cover of Queen’s Dragon Attack, a fitting tribute to the late Freddie Mercury. It was so good that I was a little disappointed that he did not cover more songs, as I really wanted to witness his ability to make those songs his own.
It was an overall coherent performance, even though there were a few awkward pauses in the middle. But that’s nitpicking. Lambert is undeniably a natural performer, effortlessly charming and endearing, and the crowd took to him immediately. He went to the crowd numerous times to shake their hands, and told them to get on their feet and dance.
Lambert also took the chance to address the controversy surrounding a few of his pre-event interviews, telling the audience that he was only concerned about promoting a lifestyle of “love, friendship, music, joy and fashion” (the latter being evident as he changed into four different flamboyant outfits during the concert).
Whether you love him or hate, agree or disagree with him, you can’t deny that Lambert has mad talent. He is one performer who knows who he is, and this was something that clearly translated in his whole performance. Adam Lambert’s concert was fun, fierce and fabulous - all the little things everyone knew he already was.