Fantasy Springs July 21, 2012
And now, on to Indio.
Fantasy Springs - The Sixth Circle of Hell - Heresy
After our lovely evening at the Orange County Fair, we hung around Costa Mesa through lunch. My traveling companions were kind enough to wait for me while I had a date with my high school sweetheart (and that is another story altogether), then we drove in bad traffic through the desert, arriving at Fantasy Springs around 5:30. I was pleasantly surprised. The hotel was nice, the grounds pretty, the service good and it was uncrowded. We enjoyed dinner at a cool Palm Springs restaurant, anticipating our quiet day by the pool and then the concert.
Twelve hours later the scene was very different. Black and yellow littered the lobby. We headed for the pool, staying out of the fray. We were rewarded with glimpses of Brian and the divas going to rehearsal, and then Isaac and Ashley at the pool. We followed the happenings in the hotel on Twitter. It was surreal. While crazed hordes waited for Adam and company to arrive, we drank adult beverages and cooled off in the pool from the 108 degree heat. Dinner was pizza in the beautiful 12th floor lounge, with very good wines, where we were virtually the only customers. On the way back from dinner we bumped into Tommy in the elevator, and Susan L wished him a good show. We were incredibly sane and normal, once you discount the fact that we had traveled a collective 20,000 miles to see Adam. While waiting to go into the venue we saw Terrance, the Divas and Sutan. We maintained our composure.
And then, the show. I took my front row seat. I was pretty far over to the right side but had a great view of the stage nonetheless. I chatted with an EMT - this will become significant later - and my seatmates. Shortly before show time, Adam's entourage entered from the right and stopped near my row while security made arrangements for their seating. Leila, Sutan, Terrance, two other men and Sauli. Sauli. Sauli. Sauli. Sauli. But I digress.
The show started off with a high energy version of Trespassing. I had a great view although I wasn't in a good spot for the sound. It didn't take long for things to go off the rails. With his speech to the people in the center front section who were posing as Easter Island statues, Adam's crazy started to show. And it bloomed and bloomed throughout the night. There was more to the lengthy costume change than being mesmerized by the divas. Most likely scenarios are that he was ripping the sound guy a new a**hole, or fighting with the venue. Both Brian and Tommy could see Adam from their vantage point, and were staring to that side of the stage. The divas looked worried. Unfortunately, the pace of the show was disrupted, and would be disrupted again when he invited fans to move to the front, and when he decided to move among the people. It seems his intention was to have front row patrons move to the center, in front of the again-seated statues, but once he issued the invitation all hell broke loose. I went right to the stage and anchored myself with my elbows up, but within a minute felt the crush of the crowd. It was scary. Then security must have intervened because the pressure eased and I could breathe again.
So I was at the stage for most of the rest of the show. I was never more sad to be short. Like everyone else, I reached for him as he grasped fans' hands, but my arm was about five inches shorter than the average so he missed me on every pass despite my standing on my tippiest toes. There was a moment when I considered touching his boot, but reason prevailed. Barely. When Adam decided to do his romp into the crowd, I was farther away from him. If I had kept my seat, I would have been next to him. That also disrupted the pace of the show and caused another long delay without music.
Then, during NCOE, the security people began to clear the aisle. I was shoved pretty forcefully back, and told to exit up the middle aisle. When I complained that I had a front row seat, I was told to go up the center aisle and come back down. I was allowed to do that, but by them I was fairly far from the stage. I was close to speaker sex, and could see him from the knees down. Cuckoo was an incredible closing, and the crowd was going crazy, but at that point it was hard to see, and even to hear becasue of the shitty sound.
My immediate impression was that the concert was a HOT MESS. He was not in control of what was going on, was improvising to the point of discomfort for the band and although he seemed to be having the time of his life, was frenetic. I enjoyed myself immensely, but thought WTF????
Then, I saw the videos. The performances were off the chain. He was sexy, vocally masterful, shining like a bright like and was the HBIC. That's when it hit me. The videos show a performance, and Adam NEVER flubs a performance. They don't represent THE SHOW though. Individual songs were delivered beautifully (although I preferred PTL, WWFM and Cuckoo at Costa Mesa), but the whole thing didn't hang together for me. People loved it - Adam got down with his bad self - but there were glitches that threw off the timing and pace, and seemed to fire Adam up. My theory is that during the costume change he asked Security about moving the crowd and they said no. Once that happened, he was into Fuck It territory.
It's been very interesting to think about the live experience vs. watching videos. Adam gives so much in each performance that it's hard to take it all in live when you are surrounded by other stimuli. The videos isolate that and allow you to savor it. In a good venue, like OC, the sound is way better live, but that wasn't the case at FS.
Other random comments - Isaac is my favorite. He smiles from ear to ear at all times and seems to be having a blast. Brian wore a tank top with New York Fucking City on the front - all for me. And then there was Sauli. Sauli. Sauli. He left the arena to go backstage and walked by me while I still had my seat. We smiled. We had a moment. He is stunning and strong, giving the appearance that he will not take shit from anybody. Including the Glam God.
My love to the women who shared these experiences with me - glitterbert, Susan L, Nicole, boys3girls0, dreadnought, open2it, getoverit, mary, qoatg - it was a very special weekend, with special people.
P.S. The EMT, a woman with a masculine appearance and a stern uniformed presence, told me that she was very impressed with Adam at soundcheck. He was very nice, as was his partner. I went to find her afterward to thank her - they really did have a harrowing night - and asked if she had enjoyed the show. She broke into a smile and said "he's really hot".
Great recap, Maeve
!--love the "normal" reference to us traveling fans. Why yes...I'll take that flight across the country to see Adam, thank ya!
I was sooooo thrilled with the Costa Mesa concert! The sound, the band, the background vocals--they all finally gelled for me. You'll remember I've had issues with what I'd heard so far from the live performances from this new combo of voices and musicians for Trespassing. (based on Kimmel and San Francisco) I was ecstatic over how tight and balanced the OC Fair show was. If I had to assign one descriptive word to this concert, it would be "professional". Everything was as if Adam and his band were in a competition and they would win! YEAY! A Bohemian Rhapsody/Fantasy RecapIs this the real life?
Is this just fantasy?
For the Fantasy Springs concert recap, I googled a definition of "fantasy" and read this:
1. The creative imagination; unrestrained fancy.
2. Something, such as an invention, that is a creation of the fancy.
3. A capricious or fantastic idea; a conceit.
4. An imagined event or sequence of mental images, such as a daydream, usually fulfilling a wish or psychological need.
5. An unrealistic or improbable supposition.
I was grinning as I read each suggested way to capture the essence of 'fantasy' because I could apply every one to what I experienced at Adam's Fantasy Springs show. Ergo:
1. Unrestrained fancy? No doubt! No doubt that Adam was unrestrained Saturday night. The more I think about it, the more I can get behind the theory that at some point Adam was told 'NO!" by someone or some thing, and we know how he reacts to that word, don't we? ;) Maybe it was something before the concert. Maybe it was the lack of proper response from the clueless sound dude. Whatever. Adam does not like to be told 'NO!'
2. Invention? You betcha! Adam was inventing on the spot...again and again. Sometimes his idea didn't work--like the impromptu costume change that turned into an energy-deflating eternity of bewildered fans and awkwardly improvising band members. Not cool. I really felt that this lull was a major problem and I hope it doesn't happen again.
3. Oh yeah..."capricious" most assuredly captures for me the spirit of what happened on stage. We've talked about how controlled and "professional" the OC Fair show was; this "hot mess" was not. It was wild and wonky and whimsically wicked. For some, I imagine, it crossed lines of artistry and professionalism. For others, it all WAS a 'fantastic idea'. Dangerous? Capricious? Spontaneous? Ah, the connotations abound!
4. Daydream? Now this one...this one is how I've mostly lived with my Fantasy Springs experience--with a WTF? Did I really see/hear that? Huh? Then again, I regularly have mental images of AFL---sometimes daydreams, sometimes nocturnal ones that fulfill my psychological needs, so.... ;)
5. Improbable supposition? Damned if I ever thought I'd be dancing and singing along to Adam one moment, squeeing with boys3
that he was feisty tonight and we were in for a great show, yeay!...and then jerking my head around sharply to Pageturner
the next moment saying, "What the fuck did he just say to those tribal elder peeps?" BWAH! and WTF?! An 'unrealistic or improbable' supposition? Ya think?
The sound sucked. My body was throbbing for all the wrong reasons, keeping reluctant time with the unrelenting bass and drum beats--which were the two dominant sounds during the whole track list, unfortunately. Adam's 'maestro' impression was in overdrive as he flipped his hands, fluttered his fingers, jerked his thumb up and down and probably threw in a middle finger from time to time to some poor sound guy , trying to get some kind of cooperation from the sound guy. I think he was as unhappy with the sound as some of us there were. I've been happy to see that the videos and their sound are much kinder to that guy's expertise than I was onsite.
But man, oh man. Adam was on FIYAH! Vocally masterful. Physically imposing. Glowing. So many of those killer smiles. So much love pouring out of that incomparable face! So much hotness rolling out of that drool-inducing body! So....much...Adam. I've honestly never seen him so 'full of himself'--for whatever single reason or combination of serendipitous joys and/or frustrations of his life--he was so very present and eager to communicate to his fans all the...'everything' he was feeling. I've never felt so connected to an entertainer.
And yet even now two nights later--while basking in all the wonder that is spending time with Adam Fucking Lambert and being so very grateful for all that he has brought to me--I catch myself recreating the look on my face when I turned to Pageturner and said, "WTF?" And then I just shake my head and smile.Because I'm easy come, easy go, Little high, little low,
Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me.