Adam Lambert wound down the U.S. leg of his GlamNation tour at the Puyallup Fair & Events Center Tuesday night, with 7,800-plus cheering on two of the hottest “American Idol” grads – also opener Allison Iraheta – since that guy from Federal Way was on the show. (Speaking of which, he’ll be at the Fair on Sunday and I’ll be posting interview audio here soon, by the way. But I digress.)
Sporting colorful streaks in her hair in lieu of her crimson locks she’s become known for since “Idol,” the spunky Iraheta warmed the crowd up with an energetic and sometimes emotional set. She paused to wipe away joyful tears during ballad “No One Else.” “I got all this eyelash glue in my eye and it’s burnin’,” she declared, laughing, before she followed with hit ballad “Scars.”
Iraheta later let loose for the Gary Glitter inspired “Robot Love,” a rockin’ delivery of Pat Benatar’s “Heartbreaker” and set closer “Friday I’ll Be Over U.” (She’d later take a bow at the end of Lambert’s set, only to get ambushed by a shower of Silly String.)
Anticipation was palpable for the man of the hour, who kept fans waiting for a good 40 minutes despite not having a pretty bare bones stage setup. No matter, they kept themselves warm and busy dancing in the aisles as Michael Jackson, Justin Timberlake and Beyonce blared from the grandstand speakers and watching video close-ups of the Adam puppet some guy down front had made lip-syncing to – what else? – “Don’t Stop Believin’.” (The guy had a matching Allison Iraheta avatar that caught the singer’s attention during her set.)
Lambert’s set featured a lot of the theatrics and costume changes you’d expect from a diva in training, albeit done with a newer artist’s budget. (What will his shows look like once he gets his hands on Lady Gaga money?) He made his entrance sporting copious amounts of glitter and a top hat, the latter discarded by his third song, “Fever,” to reveal a towering, shimmery fauxhawk.
During his hour or so onstage, Lambert was backed by a tight 4-piece rock band and four dancers, including Renton’s Taylor Green, who apparently acted as tour guide around the Fair; through the miracle of TwitPic, we can see the photographic evidence here.
Among the highlights of the set, which lasted about an hour, were an inventive take on Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire.” Lambert and company turned the country classic into a bombastic, Middle Eastern-infused glam ballad, which I resisted at first but ended up liking quite a lot. “Aftermath” got the biggest response during a short acoustic set. And many of his songs were powered by a piercing falsetto, notably during hook-filled late set high point “Music Again.”
Surprisingly absent from the performance was debut single “For Your Entertainment” – you know, the song he stirred up so much controversy with a while back at the American Music Awards. His remakes of “Mad World” and “Whole Lotta Love” were also jettisoned from the official set list, perhaps because of the late start. Eh, the T. Rex song he closed with is less of a cliche than Zeppelin anyway. Check out the set list below.
Adam Lambert set list
Sept. 21, 2010
Down the Rabbit Hole
Ring of Fire (Johnny Cash)
Whataya Want From Me?
Sure Fire Winners
If I Had You
20th Century Boy (T. Rex)
Opening act: Allison Iraheta