Yes. I got to attend two The Original High shows – the very first US one and the New Brunswick one a week later. I probably could go to the one in Manhattan Mar 3, but I can’t do general admission.
The Paramount seemed to be mostly bar. I sat in the loge area, perpendicular to the stage and overlooking the GA floor. We had real chairs, a ledge in front of us with a little bag of (kosher!) pretzels and waiter service. I had Diet Coke, but people around me ordered real drinks and French fries.
The view was excellent. I like this theater arrangement. Everyone gets what they want.
Alex Newell was a delight, clearly happy to be opening for Adam and singing beautifully.
Adam himself was…Adam, filling the theater with infectious joy and energy. He seemed so happy to be bringing his tour here.
He opened strongly with Evil in The Night (my favorite song on the album) in an outfit that I can only describe as future colonial meets Tron, with layers and bright white trim. Behind him, four video screens provided a moving, changing backdrop to his songs. His band was in shadow. Even his dancers stayed obscured much of the time.
The first set ended with Lucy, with dancer Holly in gold hotpants enacting the role, and the Gigi Gorgeous scenes from the Another Lonely Night video on the screens. And especially with guitarist Adam Ross’s searing guitar solo.
Adam reappeared to croon After Hours in a pale turquoise and pink tuxedo. He gave the first night crowd a gift – Things I Didn’t Say live for the first time. This set is mostly him, lighting and a microphone, and shows his ability to own a stage.
The third set, following dancer Terrance’s solo to Kickin’ In, was a dance party. He had me laughing at his new outfit – a white denim graffiti short set worn with glow in the dark tube socks and 3 inch creepers. Have to love this.
In the earlier leg of his tour, he ended the set with a mash-up of Trespassing with Another One Bites the Dust, with an encore of a reggae version of If I Had You. That was a relaxed performance, with improv, an audience singalong and band intros with solos. Many fans didn’t like that version of the song, although I found it fun live.
In this show, he added the song These Boys to the set, doing brief band intros then, and then the original version of IIHY, with Tres/AOBTD as a high energy encore. I missed the improv, but this did work better.
Last night, the set was shorter. He cut out several medleys and a lot of banter. He also had had costume changes – the knee high Docs of the first set were now glittery high tops with black stockings. And he wore a camouflage suit with glittery details for the third act. I preferred it.
But the biggest change was that my husband was with me. He’s an amateur singer who plays clarinet and recorder, and he’s always thought Adam had a remarkable voice. Last night, he realized how skilled and versatile it was. He was also impressed by Ross’s solo. And he’s not a pop fan at all. Grateful Dead, folk and classical are his speed. If he’d known the music better, he’d have enjoyed it more.
In previous tours, Adam interacted with the band members more, whether his own or Queen. And they were always visible. He kissed one regularly.
I’m not sure why it’s different this time. Maybe he just needs to emphasize he’s a solo act, in contrast to his other career as Queen frontman. I don’t know. But it does center him as star.