This post is purest speculation. I want to make that perfectly clear. I have no more inside information than anyone else,and probably less than many people.
If you go to mjsbigblog or other such sites, you’ll see mention after mention of this Idol performing here, or that Idol performing there – TV, concert, charity event, one-off somewhere. Adam’s not totally left out, since he had the Grammy week promotion, and he did just do American Idol, and there’s the New Now Next awards (audience of 100s. Maybe 1000s) in a few days.
But there aren’t any concerts, or rumors of concerts. There’s no hint of a one-off in a casino someplace, or maybe opening for someone else a couple of times just to be out there. He’s not doing the college circuit like Lee, or Crystal’s sold-out venues, and he’s not even opening for some larger act this summer. Unless things change (and they so could – this time last year, we were just starting to see the “handful” of shows being scheduled. Adam can just hold twelve times the usual amount in his hands, okay?), we’re not going to see Adam perform on a stage until his next single is released.
I’m good with that. Seriously, I am. I mean, I’d love to see him in concert again, but I’m willing to wait until he has his new album out. I’m selfish. I want a concert with NEW material, one that might last longer than, oh, an hour with interludes and costume changes. I want to see where Adam Lambert is taking his voice, and he’s not going there with songs he’s sung a thousand times.
And I’m good with that for another reason – if he’s not doing one-offs, it’s because he doesn’t have to do them. Artists perform to make money or to get exposure. Oh, they might also want to help out charities, but Adam’s doing well on the charity front as it is, or they may want to try out new material, but Adam’s new material isn’t ready for that yet. (Pardon while I squee a bit for the thought of new material. SQUEE! Thank you for your indulgence.)
Adam absolutely doesn’t need to seek out more exposure. In fact, I think that last week, he probably would have been happy with a tad LESS. In all seriousness, Adam is in no danger of being forgotten before his next album comes out. Heck, even Idol puts his face on the screen for several seconds twice a week, and his presence hangs around the stage just because people compare current contestants to him, fair or not. Let’s go further – someone (like Miley or Britney) shows up in leather and spikes, and the first thought is, okay, bondage gear, but the second is Adam Lambert. He’s practically trademarked glitter and eyeliner, even though plenty of male rock stars indulged in both long before he came around. Same for nail polish on men. He’s culturally relevant.
Exposure won’t hurt him, of course. He’s not going to avoid it. He just doesn’t need to seek it out right now.
And then there’s money. Money is not a bad thing. It enables one to rent nice houses with pools and buy jackets and Alexander McQueen products and pay for VIP boxes at concerts and bottle service in clubs. It also enables one to finance a headlining international tour. Adam certainly has nothing against money, and he has nothing against working so if he needed funds, he’d be out there playing in the casinos, at least on weekends. I can’t imagine any casino or theater saying no to a guaranteed sold-out show and if they could get him for a weekend – oh, my.
This tells me (again, purest guesswork) that Adam is still, in his own words, “comfortable.” That is, he made enough money that, whatever he plowed into his tour, he not only doesn’t have to work at anything but songwriting but he can also buy pretty much anything he wants short of a house. Or maybe even a house but he’s choosing to keep renting for whatever reasons.
This is a very good thing. It’s one less thing for Adam to worry about while he juggles his rock star vs. celebrity careers with his personal life. It also means that, while Adam wants a commercial album, he won’t be forced into a rash decision because he needs cash now.
This puts him in marked contrast to other Idols, both in his season and other times. David Cook seems to be in the same position, but others, while deep in album making, are also doing shows. While this is fun for their fans, it does speak of necessity as well. And David’s in the same position because he also took the same risk Adam did – he headlined a tour instead of opening.
Opening acts don’t get paid much, if anything. And they bear their own expenses – transportation, food, whatever. At best, they can piggy back on their headliners for tech crew. This is why I think it’s tremendous that Adam let Allison and her band ride one of his buses (however much she contributed, it was less than she’d pay to rent the bus herself.) Opening acts get their payback from exposure and merchandise sales. It’s hard to get a financial cushion that way.
By headlining a tour, Adam still had to pay his own expenses, of course, but he also got a bigger show and he got a share of the ticket sales. Since he financed it himself, without a sponsor and since the tour did so very well, he got a decent profit. Much of that was probably spent during the overseas leg, but the rest is in his bank account. Maybe he didn’t get the exposure of opening for a bigger act, but that’s not a problem for him. The ones going the normal route of opening act still have to pay other bills, so they’re going to do the one-off concerts, like any other new act.
It just seems that Adam has the best of all possible worlds – a headlining tour in his resume, the ability to focus on his music and no fear of being forgotten in the meantime. This is all so very good.