Adam Lambert’s Original High Tour: A ‘Glambert Utopia’ for Fans of the ‘American Idol’ Alum
2/28/2016 by Michele Amabile Angermiller
“This ain’t ‘American Idol,’ bitches,” the singer announced to fans in Atlantic City.
Even before Adam Lambert took the stage at Caesars Circus Maximus Theater in Atlantic City, Glam Nation was treated to a thumping remix of the star’s single “Better Than I Know Myself.” The excitement in the room amped up as a swirling light show of graphics spelling out his first name beckoned the arrival of Lambert — dressed to the nines in a chic black ensemble paired with sparkly boots — as he welcomed fans to his Original High tour.
“This ain’t American Idol, bitches,” he declared with a smile. “This is my show.”
Since competing on the Fox show’s eighth season, Lambert has had a career that many aspire to emulate — Grammy nominations, No. 1 albums, sold-out tours, radio hits, a gig touring the world as the frontman for Queen, topping the Forbes list of top earning Idols, guest spots on Glee and Pretty Little Liars, and the list goes on and on (coming up: the role of Eddie in the TV production of The Rocky Horror Picture Show) — and on Saturday night, he was living the dream in full Technicolor. Welcome to “Glambert Utopia,” as he described it to an audience of all ages coming to celebrate his music and message of inclusion. “Being an idealist in the music industry is a little hard,” he told the crowd.
Opening in dramatic fashion with “Evil in the Night,” Lambert framed his arrival with the thumping artistry of “For Your Entertainment,” with special emphasis on the lyrics, “Do you like what you see?” This gave way nicely to an early inclusion of the hit “Ghost Town” before red lighting enveloped him for a mashup of “Underground” and “Rumors.”
Worth noting: a medley of songs that included “Chokehold” was not included in the set, nor was the Avicii EDM collab “Lay Me Down.” Whether Lambert is tightening up the show, or working with a casino curfew, was not clear.
Still, Lambert delivered nicely on his first radio smash “Whaddya Want From Me” and the rocker “Lucy,” a major highlight of the set, which featured Queen guitarist Brian May on the album. Lambert delivers the song as if he’s narrating a play — beautifully orchestrated with a backup dancer portraying the character in the song. His chops as an actor and interpreter were clearly defined during that part of the show, which also featured a scorching solo by Adam Ross. No doubt it will get more epic as the tour progresses.
After a brief interlude, Lambert returned in a tapered white suit for a throwback to his Idol days: a pensive and brooding rendition of Tears for Fears’ “Mad World.”
For “Another Lonely Night,” the second single off of The Original High, Lambert was pierced in silver lighting, providing an almost angelic experience for the faithful. He followed it up with a medley of “The Light” and the album’s title track.
In a show of appreciation to the late David Bowie, Lambert reprised a number he performed on Valentine’s Day at the Clive Davis Pre-Grammy gala in Beverly Hills: the Nile Rodgers-produced “Let’s Dance.” Demonstrating his vocal range and showing off his own dance skills, it was another in a night-long run of triumphant moments.
For a finale, Lambert mashed the Lady Gaga-penned “Fever” with a joyous “These Boys” and kept the crowd on its feet for closer “Trespassing,” which he interspersed with Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust.” It was a fitting conclusion, seeing as the 34-year-old has melded his career to a beat of his choosing.
Opening for Lambert was Glee star Alex Newell, who warmed up the crowd with a fun, danceable set that included the kiss-off song, “Basically Over You.” Newell is a charming presence, making jokes about his weave and asking the crowd to scream for Lambert. Newell was a hit with the Atlantic City crowd–he entertained in the lobby taking photos with fans well after the show came to a conclusion.