Taken from The Day (Dec 16, 2019)

Review: Adam Lambert's superpower in Foxwoods concert? It's his voice.

by Kristina Dorsey

Adam Lambert performs. PhotoCredit: Sonja Flemming/CBS
Adam Lambert performs. PhotoCredit: Sonja Flemming/CBS

You have your wonders of the world: The Great Wall of China. Machu Picchu. And Adam Lambert's voice.

In his Sunday concert at Foxwoods' Grand Theater, Lambert's vocals were pliable and potent - and not in a way that was about doing mindless acrobatics but in a way that brought emotion and nuance to each number. He exhibited a seemingly effortless command of every note.

He revved up dance-club romps from his latest EP, "Velvet Side A." "Superpower," "Stranger You Are" and "Loverboy" were all 1970s-funk-fueled get-the-party-started firecrackers. (He noted that "Velvet Side B" would be out soon, followed by a full-length-album version.)

At one point during the set, Lambert settled onto a stool for some dramatic ballads. There was the gorgeous "Closer to You" from the new album, and then Lambert transformed Cher's "Believe" into a slow, emotional piece. It's the same version that brought Cher to tears when Lambert performed it at the Kennedy Center honors last year. Go ahead and Google it; it's worth watching.

In addition to that transcendent voice, Lambert has a superstar shimmer about him. He was all charisma and joy-in-performing on Sunday. He looked the part of music star, too, with his Elvis-like bounty of jet-black hair and his kohl-rimmed eyes, and with a sartorial nod to the throwback vibe of his new songs. He was turned out in a modern take on a 1970s suit. The blue-gray ensemble consisted of bell-bottom pants hanging over platform shoes, a vest and jacket - no shirt, but a scarf wrapped casually around his neck.

Of course, Lambert is also now lead singer for Queen, having stepped into the void left by the late Freddie Mercury. At Foxwoods, Lambert seemed to luxuriate in the chance, in his off-Queen-time, to focus more on his own repertoire - he was clearly enjoying himself. But it wouldn't have hurt to have included a couple more Queen classics; after all, the concert only ran about an hour and 15 minutes, so it wasn't a time issue. The only Queen tune he did was "Another One Bites the Dust," which he turned into a sort of mini-medley with his own "Trespassing."

Some random notes about other numbers: Lambert gave "If I Had You" a reggae sway. "Ghost Town" soared on its theatrical, Western flair. While most of the tunes were exhilarating, the mid-set combo of "Comin in Hot" and "New Eyes" seemed to dampen the crowd's enthusiasm before it rebounded. The encore was The Eagle's "Please Come Home for Christmas," and it was absolutely glorious.

Lambert was supported by an accomplished band, which, except for the male guitarist, consisted of women. That's worth noting because it's still rare to see a mostly female band backing a performer of Lambert's stature.

Lambert thanked his fans for hanging with him for 10 years because, yes, it was a decade ago that he hit the national consciousness as a contestant on "American Idol." (It's still hard to believe he was a runner-up, not that season's winner ...)

The fans who packed the Grand Theater were an ardent lot; there was a lot of love for Lambert in that room. The woman next to me had flown all the way from England to see Lambert on Sunday at Foxwoods and then Monday in New York City. She had been to his concerts with Queen but wanted to see his solo gigs, too.

Afterward, I asked her if she was glad she made the trip. She said she absolutely was. That's the best review an artist could get.




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