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Monday, August 9, 2010

Setlist + Review + Photos: Adam Lambert Transcends American Idol at the Pageant, Sunday, August 8

Posted By on Mon, Aug 9, 2010 at 2:00 AM

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Adam Lambert last night at the Pageant. More photos from the night right here! - TODD OWYOUNG

Yet Lambert has a chameleonic quality which hints that he's not just a one-trick novelty act. As a mid-set breather, he perched on a stool for an acoustic-based version of mega-hit "Whataya Want From Me." The song "Aftermath" also featured acoustic guitar and some almost Timberlake-ian vocal moves. The encores focused on songs he covered on Idol: Tears for Fears' "Mad World," unadorned and sincere, proved a contrast to the heavy seduction of Led Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love."

While he's openly gay, Lambert is the kind of pop star that's just sexual, regardless of his personal preference. (He did lightly kiss bassist Ratliff, but it was more playful than it was exploitative.) His pants ranged from "tight leather" to "form-fitting" - and for the second half of the set, he sported a sleeveless shirt with a glittery "A" on the back. (An inverse scarlet letter?) He oozed confidence as he strut across the stage and pleased the screaming crowd with plenty of crotch thrusts, full-body shudders, fluid footwork and synchronized high-steps. The only real misstep was his banal stage patter, which felt canned and contrived.

Lambert likely wouldn't have found such a huge audience had he not been on Idol. (His fanbase probably wouldn't have been as diverse, either: The crowd's ages ranged from elementary school to grandma, with a special emphasis on soccer moms and teenage girls.) However, he's been acting and performing for years before he was on TV, and it shows: Lambert's a natural, lithe performer with an impeccable sense of rhythm. This bodes well for his future career prospects, because he's already very comfortable on stage being, well, there for your entertainment.

Allison Iraheta, a fellow American Idol eighth-season runner-up, opened the show. She looked the part of a rock star, with long reddish hair, a form-fitting black-and-white dress and kicky boots. Unfortunately, her performance felt like she was simply playing the part of a rock star; she didn't quite inhabit the ferocious front woman role. When she sang and strutted around the stage simultaneously, her hard-rock-clouded voice wavered and went hoarse, as if the material wasn't quite suited to her vocal range. A cover of Pat Benatar's "Heartbreaker" also felt like a reach. The cumulative effect was "diluted Heart."

Iraheta sounded more confident and solid during the moments she veered toward musical theater or smoky blues-rock, or when she stood still at the mic to sing, as she did for "No One Else." Perhaps due to familiarity, the raucous single "Don't Waste the Pretty" also went over well. The set ended with the Sounds-resembling single "Friday I'll Be Over U," which again was somewhat wobbly. Iraheta's still young - just eighteen - and so her stage awkwardness likely comes from inexperience more than anything. Hopefully, she'll find her own voice in the future.

Adam Lambert Setlist: For Your Entertainment Voodoo Down The Rabbit Hole Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash) Fever Sleepwalker Whataya Want from Me Soaked Aftermath Sure Fire Winners Strut Music Again If I Had You

Encore: Mad World (Tears for Fears) Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin)

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