Monday, June 21, 2010

Adam's Glam Nation Tour at Mystic Lake Casino, Prior Lake, MN

You know how I love him, so you know that it pains me to say this: the show was disappointing.  Part of the problem is a mismatch between the show's budget and Adam's aspirations.  He wants to create a spectacle, an extravaganza, but the show is apparently on too tight a budget to pull that off.  Yet, Adam doesn't want (and the albums songs don't call for) an intimate, organic, non-staged kind of show.  The result is an awkward in-between sort of presentation.  There are costumes, but no set except a short set of aluminum stairs; dancers, but only four of them; a small screen showing static images instead of showing a live feed of a camera showing Adam close up; recorded backing vocals instead of backup singers. There are cool lasers shooting out over the audience, but I assume that's kind of standard for concerts these days.

His vocal performance was, of course, excellent.  Generally, he avoided the super high notes.  I understand this completely.  He's going to do 70 shows in three months and needs to take care of his voice.  Yet his ability to hit those notes is part of what makes his singing thrilling so I was disappointed to not hear that live.

All in all, I would say that the production values are not equal to his talent.

Soaked, performed with just piano accompaniment, was gorgeous.

The set list was:
1. Voodoo
2. Down the Rabbit Hole
3. Ring of Fire!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
4. Fever
5. Sleepwalker
6. Whataya Want From Me
7. Soaked
8. Aftermath
9. Surefire Winners
10. Strut
11. Music Again
12. Broken Open
13. If I Had You
14. Encore:  uptempo, acoustic Mad World

My favorites songs of his are Voodoo, Down the Rabbit Hole, Fever, Sleepwalker and Broken Open, so the song order was sort of upside down for me, with the best stuff near the beginning.  Ring of Fire live was fabulous and will be a special moment on tour when he sings it at the Ryman in Nashville, after Randy Travis (or was it Simon Cowell?) declared during Idol that Adam's Ring of Fire wouldn't go over very well at the Grand Ole Opry.

Adam has said the set list will change and evolve as the tour goes on.  He's been doing acoustic, jazzy, improved improvised Whole Lotta Love for an encore at most venues.  He sang Madonna's Ray of Light during a sound check recently, and it often seems to be the case that sound check songs turn up in sets later.  He sounded great on it; it's a really good song for him.  (As you may recall, if you actually read my Adam posts, Monte Pittman, Adam's guitar player and musical director, was Madonna's guitar player.)

The venue had horrific sound problems for Allison Iraheta's and Orianthi's sets.  The instruments were so so so loud that the singers' voices were amplified to distortion, so it was as if you couldn't hear them singing at all.  We had to leave the auditorium during Orianthi's set because of this.  The sound was good for Adam's set, though.

The financial aspect of the music business must be so frustrating for artists.  Gaga was reportedly in the red with her tour until a couple months ago, in spite of being the most expensive, most sought-after ticket around the world and in spite of having a slew of hit songs and huge record sales.

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