Adam Lambert's first year of stardom forges a sexy, wild path not traveled by previous 'Idol' stars. He appears in Atlantic City this Saturday for sold-out concert.
Adam Lambert, who makes his solo debut in Atlantic City this Saturday (June 26) at the Borgata, was not your typical American Idol contestant. That was obvious from the first moment he stepped onto Idol’s Hollywood stage with his guy-liner Glambert persona, theatrical panache and powerhouse pipes. His musical interpretations, from “Mad World” to “Tracks of My Tears” to “Whole Lotta Love,” illustrated that he was a polished entertainer with an edgy vibe.
He provided a decidedly offbeat twist to a career path that has been a staple of musical theater since the beginning. Right before he decided to try out for American Idol he had a job in the chorus of the Broadway hit Wicked at the Pantages Theater in Hollywood, Calif. He went practically overnight from chorus kid to the cover of Rolling Stone, an appearance with Oprah, a hit album and a breakout national tour.
Oh, and did we mention that he didn’t win American Idol?
There was some controversy about his Idol run. Late in the season eight competition in 2009, a photo of Lambert kissing another man went viral on the ’Net. And while Lambert had never hidden the fact that he was gay, he rightfully thought his sexual preferences had nothing to do with his talent. In his Rolling Stone interview he explained that, “I am an entertainer, and who I am and what I do in my personal life is a separate thing. It shouldn’t matter, except it does.”
Some Idol watchers suspected that Lambert lost out to Kris Allen because the more conservative fans voted for the “safe” choice. Lambert never subscribed to that theory. Besides, he knew that he got what he needed from the Idol platform: a launching point.
In an interview with E Online, Lambert had his own spin on the outcome, saying, “My dream now is to make a really dope record. Do something new. Push the boundaries a little bit. Push people’s buttons. Open people’s minds up a little bit. If there’s anything that can come from this experience, I hope that all the fans out there can pick up that even if you’re really different there’s a way to get along with each other.”
As promised, Lambert has unleashed the full power of his theatricality. He had to hold back on American Idol, smooth the edges a little bit, but now he is competing with the Lady Gagas of the world for the pop-rock spotlight.
His pop/dance album, For Your Entertainment, dropped in November 2009 and sold nearly 200,000 copies during its first week, outdoing new releases by both Rihanna and Lady Gaga. Videos of his songs are as wild and out there as he promised, in particular his latest for the song “If I Had You.”
Among the positive critical feedback was a review by Joe Vogel in The Huffington Post: “As a whole, For Your Entertainment marks one of the most impressive mainstream pop album debuts in recent memory, surpassing its trailblazing sister-album, Lady Gaga’s The Fame. While Lambert’s work obviously covers some similar terrain (thematically and sonically), it showcases greater consistency, diversity and creativity.”
Lambert told Oprah the biggest difference between his life before Idol and now has to be the level of notoriety.
“I try to go about my daily life as if nothing has changed, but you don’t have much anonymity anymore, which feels really good. People come up and say they enjoy your work ... I’m doing what I love and it was such a struggle [before].”
Adam Lambert has his own version of the fame monster working. In the current synth/pop/dance explosion his style fits perfectly and he has taken the tagline “former American Idol contestant” to a whole new realm.
Where: The Borgata, Atlantic City
When: Saturday, June 26, 8pm
How Much: Sold Out
‘American Idol’ top 10, including country rocker Skylar Laine, head for Boardwalk Hall Friday, Sept. 7.
Country traditionalist Trace Adkins and 2005 American Idol finalist Kellie Pickler took very different routes to country music stardom but those roads have converged this summer with a successful summer tour that lands at the Taj on Friday, Sept. 2.
Adam Lambert was outrageous in a PG-13 way while making his Atlantic City headliner debut Saturdaynight at the Borgata’s Event Center. He strutted across the stage with a delightful swagger that seemed half Mick Jagger, half Elvis.
In 2009, the American Idols Tour played at Boardwalk Hall, a 12,000-seat venue. This year, the show is taking place at the much smaller Mark G. Etess Arena at the Trump Taj Mahal this Saturday.
This season’s group of American Idols made its Atlantic City visit this year much earlier than in past years. Therefore, the Idols you saw on the TV show are pretty much the Idols you get on tour.
The Wrecking Crüe
Laughing with George Lopez
Fight Night at Boardwalk Hall