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Concert Review: Adam Lambert’s Glam Nation Tour, 7/23/2010, San Francisco, CA

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On July 23, Adam Lambert kicked off the first of two nights at The Warfield in San Francisco. The fans, who started lining up early in the morning, were more than ready.

After the doors opened for the show, the venue filled up just in time for the first of two openers, Allison Iraheta, to take the stage. Iraheta was a contestant alongside Lambert on season eight of American Idol.

Iraheta’s voice sounded fantastic as she worked the stage during her five-song set, which included a mash-up of her singles, “Scars” and “Don’t Waste The Pretty” (complete with second act Orianthi on guitar), and a cover of “Heartbreaker.”

Iraheta’s stage presence has come full circle since the Idol tour last summer. She interacts with the crowd, seemingly feeding off their energy as she performs.

Orianthi took the stage next. The musician who is known more for playing guitar for Michael Jackson left much to be desired. Her guitar playing skills somewhat made up for her lack of vocal prowess. That being said, her set, which was lasted around 35-40 minutes, was way too long.

She played her radio hit, “According To You,” a couple songs into her set, which was the only time the crowd got into her being on stage, other than her appearance during Iraheta’s set. You could almost sense the relief in the room when her set finally ended.

Around 10 p.m., a remixed version of Lambert’s first single, “For Your Entertainment” began playing, and the singer took to the stage a handful of minutes later.

Adam Lambert at The Warfield on July 23.Lambert appeared at the top of the stage, decked out in a long, fringed jacket and top hat, kicking off the show with a medley of “Voodoo,” “Down The Rabbit Hole,” and a fan favorite from his days on Idol, “Ring Of Fire.”

From there Lambert shed his coat and hat to perform the Lady Gaga-penned track “Fever” complete with tongue-touching with bassist Tommy Joe Ratliff.

Lambert and his dancers seemingly had gotten the party started in the room as everyone was on their feet dancing, when the tone of the show suddenly shifted to high energy to rather mellow.

Lambert was at the platform at the top of the stage in a ‘Neo from The Matrix‘ type jacket to perform “Sleepwalker.” With blue glowsticks being waved in the air, Lambert performed an acoustic version of his popular hit, “Whataya Want From Me.” Lambert beamed as the crowd sang along with him.

A standout performance during the stripped down part of the set was “Soaked.” His vocal sounded clear and pure. It was absolute ear candy. His voice just absolutely shines on that song.

After a quick wardrobe change, Lambert let the crowd know that it was time to dance before kicking off the upbeat “Strut.” Lambert, his dancers, and fans danced all the way through the rest of his set, which just seemed to fly by.

After introducing his band and dancers, Lambert had something to tell the audience before launching into his latest single, “If I Had You.”

“This next song is what this whole show is about to me,” Lambert told the crowd. “What I’m trying to say is that no matter how much money, fame, success, fortune or sex that you have in your life, it actually really doesn’t mean shit, unless you’re connected with love.”

The energy in the room was electric. Lambert had turned his concert into one giant dance party.

For his encore, Lambert pulled a couple more songs out of his Idol handbook, “Mad World” and a very bluesy version of “Whole Lotta Love,” before making his final exit of the night.

The Glam Nation tour is a great show. The only tweak that should be made is that Allison Iraheta deserves more stage time. A five-song set is just not enough. Iraheta has the vocals, the amazing music, and the fanbase that makes her the better lead-in to Lambert’s set than Orianthi. Other than that, Lambert puts on one heck of a show. It is definitely a treat for all his fans who attend.

For more information on Adam Lambert and Glam Nation tour dates, check out his website.

Check out Lambert’s performance of “Whole Lotta Love” below.

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About Kirsten Coachman

Kirsten Coachman is a writer and editor from the San Francisco Bay Area. Visit her long-running music blog, Wait...WHAT, at waitwhatmusic.net. Follow Kirsten Coachman on Twitter: @KirsCoachman


  • What’s Up

    Three shows in No. Calif. not enough. Agree that Oranthi’s set a little long…but very hard to hear either girl sing. Maybe band too loud. Adam is a born entertainer. From start to end you are mesmerized. Only wish is that he would do FYE–that is his mantra. Maybe next year.

  • jrain

    People who are hyping Allison are not objective, she’s not good live in fact she needs alot of work. I like her but it’s clear that she’s not connecting.

    Adam’s crowd was always going to prefer Allison, however Orianthi has really stepped up her stage presence/performance skills. She’s much more polished than Allison and has layed the foundation to break out as a major artist with her next cd. Kudos to her for improving as an artist and navigating a pretty crappy situation.

  • Glitter

    ADAM always INCREDIBLE! Genius! AMEN
    Allison and Orianthi like night and day.
    Orianthi coming out like the true professional she is! Wish the crowd would have had better manners towards her…because that girl sure can play!

  • pr62

    saw adam’s show in ct 6/24. incredible. has the stage presence of jagger and voice better than daltry. too much time in between sets-allison & orianthi. not enough time with adam!. rock & roll, baby!!

  • kat23morgan

    i agree about allison..love her but when i saw them live i could not understand a lot of what she was singing because she was trying so hard to belt it out that she lost something..don’t worry though…allison has said she is learning much from her “big brother” adam, she will be just fine.

  • kat23morgan

    doubters beware… the king of glam is born… his name is adam lambert and totally owns the stage, with gorgeous looks, even more gorgeous vocals and performance… doubt me, check out wll from costa mesa… omg..amazing… name me one singer who can top this… no one i can think of… not even the great robert plant..

  • Fenton

    Adam, of course, was fantastic. His voice is flawless, and he is a true performer. Your eyes are riveted to him. I also enjoyed Orianthi. Mad guitar skills. Allison on the other hand was a big disappointment. That girl needs some serious work. You can’t understand a word she sings. Speaking of words, “nuance” is one she should add to her vocabulary. Everything she sings is at full throttle. She needs to add some layers and texture to her vocals. All her songs sounds the same because they’re all sung the exact same way. She also needs to work on her peformance skills. She’s way too manic. I’m surprised her “people” aren’t working with her on developing her performance skills. She’s not connecting with the audience at all. People seemed bored by her. It’s really hurting her. She’s opened a lot of shows now for Adam. If people liked her singing, they would be buying her album and downloading her singles, but they’re not, so that has to tell you something. It’s too bad because she has talent. She just needs to develop a whole package that people can connect to. She comes across as an angry girl who’s screaming out her feelings at the audience. Dial it back Allison before it’s too late. Let Adam help you. He’s such a showman. You can get a lot of tips from him.

  • Spiceyone

    I could not hear one word Alison said or sang. She was Awful. Adam was fabulous.

  • addie smith rn

    i cant wait till he comes to dallas. i love him

  • Jake

    This guy although having a really bad marketing advisors has some really nice songs… He should check his icon though and he could make something pop out of it…!

  • Samantha

    All the people saying this review is wrong…did you go to the concert some artists are just not as good live as in studio…and oranthi is one of then allison desirves much more time compared to oranthi because she can hold her own vocally live

  • lyn

    that’s funny Shawn… I see Orianthi as the “little kid” – especially her vocals

  • shawn

    I completely disagree with this review. How can you state Allison has a larger fanbase than Orianthi? Just check record sales. Allison’s are lousy even compared to the majority of prior Idol contestants. After all her exposure, my God, she should be doing alot better. I think people when they see her at the concert, they embrace her as Adam’s sister. But she has abolutely not connected to the mass audience. Who know what the future will bring, but she need alot of years experience. A better album would help.

    Form the 3 concerts I’ve been to, it was Orianthi who got the crowd standing. They sat the whole time for Allison.

    I have a different perspective. I enjoyed Orianthi much better. Much more professional and I like her music. Allison was more like a little kid…

  • abigail

    wow – is this a serious review? it reads as if it was written by a third grader. with the amount of excitement that adam provides, it would have been nice to see that conveyed in the review. don’t give up your day job, kristen!

  • Lisa W

    PS to Kristen’s comments – about the audience, a lot of them give love to Ori too but remember a lot, not all but quite a few, of Adam’s fans know Allison from American Idol and so just connected to her more. I totally loved Adam and Allison on AI and have wanted her to really do well, she has an amazing voice.

  • Lisa W

    I agree entirely with 100% of this review. Adam’s vocals amazing, shows energy amazing, Soaked in beyond words and overall the show is fun. His band and dancers are fantastic, Monte is guitar master, he needs a few more solo’s thrown in. Also 100% agree Allie’s vocals way better than Ori, I like Ori but she is really all about the guitar and yeah she shreds but then after a while it got repetitive. And yes I understand the positioning was due to the hit song, so not hating on Ori but Allie is better. I just can’t see why she is not doing better, dont waste the pretty is soooo good and it needs more airplay. But Adam on a whole other level from both of them, just amazing. I saw the show a little while ago and as soon as I saw it I said OMG I gotta see that again and have tix to another show now, really looking forward to it.

  • Kirsten

    I just wrote what I saw. The crowd, including myself was way more into Allison’s set, than Orianthi’s.

    Orianthi’s guitar playing was amazing, but I prefer Allison’s voice. And if Allison had a longer set, it could benefit her in selling more albums.

    I don’t mean to come across harsh about Orianthi, she just didn’t seem to be the crowd’s cup of tea based on what I saw.

  • Jazz

    I think the writer’s subjective i.e. Ori & Allison. I guess you like Allison better than Ori. However, to be fair, I think Ori has a better fan-base than Allison. According to You was the #2 most played song in the country with digital sales of over 1 million! If Allison has more fans than Ori, why can she sell her single? Singing wise or vocally, yes Allison sounds better than Ori, but fan-base? It’s still arguable. The Glam Nation audiences love Allison, because she’s Adam Lambert’s “little sister” and Adam loves her. We, Adam fans or most of his fans, have the tendency to accept/love the people he loves. However, it doesn’t always translate to single/album sales, meaning that we love Allison but we won’t buy her single/album.

  • annie

    FINALLY! A review that was spot on !
    Thanks for giving Allison the kuddos she deserves, and the fact she should have a longer set, her band is also very good. Orianthi and her band – disappointing – …good time to go get a drink.
    As to the chipmunk sound someone mentioned – that’s the sound system, if you put a little tissue in your ears or lightly hold your fingers to your ears the vocals will be perfect. Saw both shows in SF – Adam was incredible both nites, but Sunday he just blow it out – AMAZING !!!

  • james

    Orianthi rocks…..and she’s hot.

  • Vickie

    Love this review!!!! Adam you rock and your fans love you……Can’t wait to see you again in Atlanta.

  • Rick

    Gotta agree with the review. Saw the same thing in Myrtle Beach. Needed more Allison and less Orianthi (or at least more guitar shredding from O – that she does VERY well)

  • melissa

    You were far to critical of Orianthi- I love her. She adds so much credibility to this show- what an inspiration to girls in music.

  • hayden

    I dont know what this reporter saw tonight but I though Allison was terrible. She so unpolished and just screams words that you cant understand. Its painful to watch her trying to make people involved. Tone it down girl- dont try so hard . It comes across as phony.. shes got real potential though

  • Jorge

    He was great. I don’t know how the sound was on Friday, but during a lot of the Sunday show there was like a chipmunk effect going on or something. The visuals and his performance made up for that.

    I still thought Allison’s criminally short set was the best of the night though.

  • Efram

    OMFG that Whole Lotta Love is amazing. Guy has pipes. I was not a Lambert fan. Until now. Gonna watch again.

  • brownie

    I’m only on this web-site, because they make it easy (I thinK) check out north country times san diego article by pam krazen ,us glamberts. Best ever write-up on adam ever SPOT ON ! Tried to comment but inpossible to do so I came here to spread the word!

  • Glitzy Tink

    I absolutely ADORE Adam Lambert!! What an incredible talent! From the moment he was on American Idol you knew he was a winner!! I think if he stays focused he can become a musical icon.