Date / Venue: Friday January 22nd, 2016 - Town Hall, Auckland
For those of you who are not so familiar with Adam Lambert - he's a chart topping, multi award winning, multi platinum selling, singer, songwriter and one hell of a performer! All that after finishing as runner up in the 2009 series of American Idol!
When I heard he was back in New Zealand for The Original High tour, and playing Auckland Town Hall, I just knew it was going to feel like a private party!
Running almost 30 minutes behind schedule due to the mammoth task of cramming everyone into the sold out venue, queues were still forming down the street with only 5 minutes to go til stage time! A warm buzz filled the humid hall as thousands of "Glamberts" excitedly awaited their favourite of all the Idols
Eventually the stage lights up as his band appears, and a silhouette of Adam appears as graphics on the backing screen, just a short teaser before the man himself bounces larger than life onto a podium to a loud cheer from his audience. Dressed in a futuristic style, cape like sleeveless jacket and knee high, white Doc Martens, he almost looks like a super hero.
He opens with Evil In The Night from the tours namesake album The Original High album and follows up with For Your Entertainment from 2009, just to remind us of where he began. Then without hesitation, he launches straight back into the new stuff with Ghost Town.
After an extremely energetic start to the night, a slightly more laid back sound with Rumours which was originally recorded with female vocalist Tove Lo. Mid song, what sounded like a gunshot fired, a blown amp perhaps? This happened another 3 times throughout the night, but we didn't loose sound and Adam wasn't phased at all and continued on like nothing happened!
Accompanied by a male and female backing vocals/dancers, the three of them bounced off one another radiating a fiery energy.
Adam has created a pretty unique sound with this album; I can clearly hear influences of dance, house and also a bit of funk. As he begins Runaway, his female vocalist/dancer takes to the centre platform and performs some suggestive pole dancer moves and super high kicks, while black and white scenes of a strip club played out behind her.
The lead guitarist then takes a turn on the platform while Adam disappears for a short but a well-deserved breather, and we hear an impressive long guitar solo. Adam returns to the stage looking every inch the star in a cerise suit and a catchy beat fills the room. The crowd are clapping in time as the tempo of After Hoursbuilds like a classic club anthem.
He hasn't really said much to this point, preferring to jump from one track straight to the next, but now takes a moment to have a wee chat with his fans. He thanks Auckland for coming to see his first show on the "Oceania" leg of the tour, and admits he had never even heard of Oceania - "What's up with that? Where the fuck is it?!!"
He tells us that The Original High tour is a journey, and that there are evils in this world, but it's up to us to fill it with love! "Fuck that darkness" he pronounces! He took us back in time with a heartfelt rendition of Mad World from the Donny Darko soundtrack and then back to the happy feeling sounds with There I Said It.
A single blue spotlight on a darkened stage set an appropriate scene for Another Lonely Night and I suddenly noticed the lack of cell phones illuminated throughout the crowd. This I have become accustomed to seeing at concerts in this digital age, and it was nice to see the audience engrossed in the performance instead of being busy recording it on their tiny screens! All eyes were on Adam and captured by his theatrical presence.
Another short interval begins as coloured disco lights bounce around the Town Hall, and graphics that remind me of 80's video games dance on the big screen.
Then as if to say 'Yeah we are 80's babies', he returns with his stage mates all dressed in 80's/90's fashion! The male backing dancer is now in multi coloured overalls and a green baseball cap, and his lady colleague in fluoro hot pants! Adam is now in green cargo pants and adorned in a shiny gold bomber jacket as he gives us The Original High. The lyrics really do have a reminiscent feel to them, reflected well by their choice of outfits, this one is bouncy and anyone who wasn't already on their feet, certainly are now.
He surprised us with an absolutely awesome cover of David Bowie's Let's Dance, of which I'm pretty sure the legend himself would have been proud of! This performance was certainly deserving of the roaring applause it received! He also gave a nod to Queen who will be joining him later on in his tour, with Another One Bites The Dust.
At the very end he introduces us to his awesome band one by one, and lets them take the spotlight for a solo each as he sits to the side and takes a much-needed rest! I really have no idea where this guy gets his energy from!
I was beginning to wonder if all the true artistry will be buried along with greats such as Bowie, but Adam Lambert is living proof that the theatrical side to music will live on in the next generation.
I left tonight having had an absolute ball, smiled heaps and enjoyed every second of his performance! I'm totally sold, and if he returns to NZ, I will most definitely go see him again!
The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus are gracing our shores on the 28th of November at Galatos. After a 4-year hiatus, they have burst back onto the scene and headed straight for the spot they are most familiar with, number 1 on the Billboard Christian Rock Charts.
Breakups are never easy - whether it's a romantic tryst, a teenage crush, or with a young Mark and his favourite band Dream Theater, that dark moment when founding keyboardist Kevin Moore left the group in 1994.
There's no denying that at my core, I'm a lover of progressive music - whether that means I love "prog" music or not is a question for another day, and is a topic which I touched on whilst talking to Steven Wilson the other week regarding the upcoming To The Bone show at Auckland's Bruce Mason Centre.
Auckland-based quartet Openside have added an extra date to their first, all-ages, nationwide tour. The group headlines The Seamless Tour will now perform a final show in Tauranga on July 20th featuring special guests DUNES .
Consisting of drummer/vocalist Cat Leahy and guitarist/vocalist Leisha Jungalwalla, This Way Northwill be a part of a very special night in Auckland called ‘Sass the Patriarchy’ an event they have been running in Australia.
As the days and nights get colder, we need something more to laugh about than the unpredictability of Auckland weather and lucky for us, The New Zealand International Comedy Festivalreturns (kicking off this Thursday 26 April).
I Am Giant’s have recently released their third and final album ‘Life in Captivity’. Featuring the singles ‘Dead Flower’, ‘Playing With Fire’ and ‘Don’t Look Back’, the band are currently touring New Zealand; their final tour and last hurrah in NZ.
To this day I still remember my introduction to Sepultura - camped out in the granny flat bedroom of long-time friend Kerry - a live version of their cover of Motörhead's Orgasmatron, and from there it continues to this day
Due to incredible demand, internationally renowned award-winning musician, comedian, actor, writer and composer TIM MINCHIN has today announced a third and final Auckland show as part of his Australasian tour of his live show BACK.
Legendary, GRAMMY-award winning band FLEETWOOD MAC today announced an Australian and New Zealand tour, set to kick off on August 9 with two shows in Auckland on September 16 and 19, along with a welcome return to Dunedin on September 21.
California’s radical sons, The Growlers arrive in the country this week for the start of the Australian leg of their mammoth worldwide ‘Beach Goth’ tour. In what is guaranteed to be a rollicking, majestic wave of movements all around our golden coast,
Timaru’s iconic Soundshell in Caroline Bay will host two of the most well-known bands in New Zealand in a one-day entertainment extravaganza this January. Katchafire and The Black Seeds will headline the R18+ event at the Soundshell on Saturday, January 26, 2019. They’ll be joined by The Butlers.
In true kiwi summer tour tradition Marlon Williams will now take The Tūrangawaewae Tour to a further six markets this February making it a total of 12 shows - Marlon’s most comprehensive New Zealand tour ever!
With sounds primed for a hot summer ahead, Christchurch four piece Mako Road have arrived with the perfect soundtrack for long nights, cold drinks and hazy days with the ‘Local Safari’ EP, which releases today.
“Music can bring us all together, it bonds us, it strengthens us...” this song “Your Guardian Angel” by Red Jumpsuit Apparatus has been dedicated to Toyah Cordingley.
Please spread the word to anyone who loves the song, or has lost someone too early also, feel free to leave any dedications in the comments of which we will share direct for Toyahs’ family and the band to see.
On the heels of releasing several collaborative hit tracks this year, five-time Grammy Award-winning artist and producer Mark Ronson returns with a brand new single of his own ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’ featuring Miley Cyrus.
George Ezra toured the world nonstop for more than two years following the release of his debut LP Wanted On Voyage, finally making it to Aotearoa for one of the standout sets of this year’s Auckland City Limits.
Colin Mochrie, Brad Sherwood and Greg Proops the popular stars of the Emmy nominated Whose Line Is It Anyway? have teamed up to present an evening of extraordinary improvisational comedy for one show only at the Bruce Mason Centre in Auckland.
In a New Zealand first, five of the stars of Twin Peaks, Sheryl Lee, Kimmy Robertson, Michael Horse, Al Strobel, Dana Ashbrook and the Executive Producer of Twin Peaks: A Limited Event Series, Sabrina S. Sutherland, will visit Auckland and Christchurch for an exclusive and unique CONVERSATION WITH THE STARS evening.
Singer Elaine Paige has announced an 8-date series of concerts from October 10 to October 25 2018, which will see her perform songs from her illustrious career along side an array of her favourite tracks by contemporary songwriters.
The critically acclaimed, award-winning comedian and actor, Catherine Tate, is bringing The Catherine Tate Show - Live to New Zealand for the first time, with shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch commencing November 28, 2018.
It has been announced overnight that Last Tapes Theatre Company's original production Valerie has been selected for a month-long season in the prestigious Summerhall programme at Edinburgh Festival Fringe this August.
Featuring Brouhaha: choreographer Malia Johnston, composer Eden Mulholland, AV designer Rowan Pierce; In Transit: choreographer Louise Potiki Bryant, composer/AV designer Paddy Free; The Geography of an Archipelago: choreographer Stephen Shropshire, composer Chris O’Connor.