Kris Allen and Adam Lambert, a.k.a. American Idols No. 1 and 2, Tuesday night at the Tacoma Dome.
A point of disclosure: I’m not the biggest "American Idol" fan. Just don’t get it, actually. It’s kind of like televised karaoke, minus the sloppy drunks singing hideously off-key versions of Crue tunes before hitting the parking lot for a quick chunder. (For the record: Always entertaining.) So over the course of eight seasons, I’ve tuned in only about as much as my nine to five required; that is to say, I mainly just followed local boys Sanjaya, Blake Lewis and A.J. Gil (remember him? Season one?) and ignored most of the rest.
But I must confess that, as jaded as I am, I may have caught just a smidge of Lambert mania Tuesday night.
The top 10 idols were on site for the second stop of the American Idols Live 2009 tour, and Adam Lambert was there in all his eye-linered splendor in the No. 2 (but should have been No. 1) slot.
I was sequestered by the T-Dome’s security office with the other photogs during the early part of Lambert’s set, and could just make out a muffled cover of Tears for Fears’ "Mad World." Then the tour publicist lead us out into the arena just in time to catch the charismatic crooner downshifting from a a fiery rendition of Foghat’s "Slow Ride" into an medley of Bowie classics that went from operatic (the always awesome "Life on Mars?") to slinky and funky. Fans screamed louder than they had all night as Lambert shed his jacket and gyrated his way through a Minneapolis funk-infused version of "Let’s Dance," before sinking back into the stage.
Very impressive range, Mssr. Lambert. You are, indeed, a rock star. I’m actually looking forward to hearing what you come up with on that album you said you’re cutting later this year. All that Bowie suggest you’ll follow through on the promise to go glammy you gave during your recent Rolling Stone interview.
Lambert was the night’s biggest star (I’d argue bigger than winner Kris Allen) but the rest of the "Idol" gang had their moments, too. Tall, leggy Megan Joy tried her hand at Corinne Bailey Rae and Amy Winehouse hits, with just minor pitch problems (if I may pull a Simon Cowell.) Scott McIntyre mocked that infamous high five with “Idol’s” Ryan Seacrest between piano ballads. Anoop Desai was the first to get fans on their feet with Bobby Brown’s "My Prerogative." (Huh? That’s hot again?) But the night’s most diva-like performer (aside from Lambert) was Lil Rounds, confident as he strutted her way through a short set of Mary J. Blige and Beyonce hits.
Armed with piano and acoustic guitar, "Idol" winner Kris Allen capped things off with more of a singer-songwriter oriented set, which was decent if a little bland next to Lambert’s. The rest of his "Idol" homies returned for a two-song finale, which consisted of the Beatles’ "Hey Jude" and (speaking of drunken karaoke) Journey’s "Don’t Stop Believin’." And that last part looked a little something like this …
Kris Allen rocks the "Bright Lights."
Anoop Desai with Megan Joy (top), Michael Sarver and Allison Iraheta.
Allison Iraheta tackled Heart’s “Barracuda” during her three-song set.
Scott McIntyre: Piano man.
A fan lets her "Idol" vote be known.