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A Few Words About Tonight's American Music Awards

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Something is happening in pop land. A change is taking place. After the Britney-style ditties, squeaky clean pop divas and the teenage pop stars that dominated the past decade, it appears a new category of pop icons is emerging who are trying to push the limits of the genre into a whole new direction.

This new group clearly surfaced at tonight's American Music Awards when Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert delivered performances that stood head and shoulders above the rest.

Sure, Kelly Clarskon was vocally strong, Whitney Houston was touching, Green Day was solid, Carrie Underwood was flawless, Rihanna was out there, Jay had swagger, Shakira was bold, Timbaland delivered the beats, Nelly was Pucci, Taylor Swift stayed up late to give "thank you" speeches, but nothing was as mind-blowing (there I said it) as the performances of Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert.

Even though Lady Gaga did not win any AMA awards, her performance tonight was Oscar worthy. She performed "Bad Romance" and "Speechless," starting off appearing as something that is best described as an eerie human/animal hybrid raised in the spotlight of a disco ball. The singer took the act to a whole new level of shock and awe when smashed the window of a glass box to get to her piano to perform "Speechless." If that wasn't enough, the piano then caught fire while violin players wearing gas masks surrounded her. Just surreal.

And then there was Adam Lambert. He's a bit like a male Lady Gaga with his fine sense for theatrics. Tonight, the San Diego showman broke with his wholesome American Idol past for once and for all. In a frantic S&M inspired set, he strutted up and down the stage like a dominatrix focusing more on giving people a show to remember than on vocal perfection.

The moment that will have ABC programmers worried came in the last few seconds of the show when Lambert kissed his male keyboard player full on the mouth. This was definitely no wardrobe malfunction, and it may be censored from the show's West Coast airing. If it is not, this will be a huge step in the right direction for network TV. That in itself would be a major accomplishment and a television history milestone brought on by Lambert.

And here's something I have noticed. Now that Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert are taking risk and injecting their show with a heavy dose of concept and performance art (whether it works or not), I can't help to notice that other artists are attempting to follow their lead (Rihanna, Shakira). More reason for me to believe that Gaga and Lambert are blazing a new trail in pop land. What did you think of tonight's AMAs?

November 22, 2009 in A Few Words | Permalink

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it was lady ga ga and adam blah blah tonight, despite the theatrics, adam needs to concrete on better music choices, lyrics and songs, his song tonight was pretty forgetable, he is gonna have to do more than just kiss a guy to keep up with the fickle young generation that is shifting and looking for its voice

lady ga ga remains a great song writer and she is doing everything right and pushing us to the edge, she is the one to watch

Posted by: edward at Nov 22, 2009 9:07:54 PM

I don t know. This Things are not really new - shock effects are already in Pop with Ziggy Stardust, Alice Cooper etc.

Gaga should better put out more quality music instead of blood shock-treatments.

Madonna, Roisin Murphy are much more prefered in my House.

Posted by: UweB at Nov 22, 2009 9:22:07 PM

Wow! Adam's performance was one hot mess. OMG!! Keep everyone talking Adam.

Posted by: Dorena at Nov 22, 2009 9:23:55 PM

This is the first positive review that I have read. Yes, over the top! But, definitely edgy and blazin a new trail.

Posted by: fefe4u at Nov 22, 2009 9:26:10 PM

Thank you for a the great article. Many people are bashing Adam Lambert for his performance. May not have been his best vocally but, amazing theatrics! I expect many great performances from Adam in the future!!!

Posted by: smlzlikrozs at Nov 22, 2009 9:27:36 PM

I loved his performance and I'm 62. uptight America needs to relax their thinking, it's not that deep it's art. Both Lady GaGa and Adam Lambert take risks in music, you have to otherwise you don't grow as an entertainer. every generation has entertainers that shock us, Elvis comes to mind. Both Lady Gaga and Adam are a breath of fresh air.

Posted by: Donna at Nov 22, 2009 9:27:56 PM

I adored it.He's got balls of steel and everyone wants them as well.He said a huge FUCK YOU. and sex is not a killing machine, however purely entertaining. He is the master of both vocals and contraversy and will reamin so for years to come. So the fuck what he kissed a dude,simulated whatever..did someone die? Ok then, watch it or not you gotta luv it even if it's your guilty pleasure. So sweet what he has to offer. Sit back and enjoy the ride.

Posted by: Richelle Barrish at Nov 22, 2009 9:29:23 PM

the show was LAME!

maybe there's a change...but it's not good

the award show was so Boring!!!
i'm sorry but i miss the britney-style.

Adam Lambert was so fake and overcalculated, and lady gaga even with all those costumes... doesn't quite entertain

Posted by: edoardo at Nov 22, 2009 9:35:34 PM

I still can't believe it. Adam did it. I knew it was gonna be huge.

Posted by: I love it at Nov 22, 2009 9:37:57 PM

No one out performs Lady Gaga, but Adam came close...

Posted by: Danny Chris at Nov 22, 2009 9:41:34 PM

the adam lambert performance rocked on so many levels...i love him even more now. he has never been apologetic for who he is; he just is. and that's the point. the public has enough bubblegum performers. we want adult entertainment and gaga and adam give it to us, and, boy, they give it really, really good :)
i concur with your point about other artists starting to dirty up their acts. i've seen the sex quotient turned up for rhianna, shakira, carrie underwood in her gold diapers tonight, and even sweet teens like miley and swift. come on, miley performed with a stipper pole and still has the disney label. keep your children watching other stuff if it doesn't fit your morals, but the rest of us WANT to watch adults performing for adults. btw, watched it with my kid and heard him singin "for your entertainment afterwards." kid knows good music when he hears it and hasn't been brought up to judge. he'll be a better man for it.

Posted by: adamdevotee at Nov 22, 2009 9:42:16 PM

I loved it. I had to watch it a few times to get the full extent of what Adam was doing, but it did not shock me. I had already heard the song and knew that Adam was going to do something in that vein. A lot of people are shocked because they still want to put Adam in the box of their own minds and keep him locked up like some punishment they have to mete out to him. Adam has had to deal with being in boxes all his life, and now he will not be cornered again. I say, You go, Adam Lambert!! More power to you.

Posted by: adamsluvjnes at Nov 22, 2009 9:43:19 PM

I LOVED it EPIC WIN it was everything I expected from Adam & then some!!! I can't wait to see him on tour.. AI is in the rearview window now! Adam keep doing it your way <3 U

Posted by: moonchild721 at Nov 22, 2009 9:45:53 PM

the adam lambert performance rocked on so many levels...i love him even more now. he has never been apologetic for who he is; he just is. and that's the point. the public has enough bubblegum performers. we want adult entertainment and gaga and adam give it to us, and, boy, they give it really, really good :)
i concur with your point about other artists starting to dirty up their acts. i've seen the sex quotient turned up for rhianna, shakira, carrie underwood in her gold diapers tonight, and even sweet teens like miley and swift. come on, miley performed with a stipper pole and still has the disney label. keep your children watching other stuff if it doesn't fit your morals, but the rest of us WANT to watch adults performing for adults. btw, watched it with my kid and heard him singin "for your entertainment afterwards." kid knows good music when he hears it and hasn't been brought up to judge. he'll be a better man for it.

Posted by: adamdevotee at Nov 22, 2009 9:51:08 PM

Why would they sensor it on the west coast? There are gay kisses on other shows like Brothers and Sisters...One life to Live...etc. Get over it, it's 2009, stop being so uptight. I thought the performance was all I expected from Adam Lambert...He is over the top, doesn't take himself too seriously and was out to break away from squeeky clean AI...mission accomplished. I enjoyed his and Gaga's performances the most tonight, most of the others were just boring. Get ready for a new era in pop music!

Posted by: Linda at Nov 22, 2009 9:53:35 PM

Thank you for an awesome review. Adam did entertained the world. It was a powerful vocal and a message. Adam never shocks me. I knew this was coming. Adam is Adam. His artistry is here to last. I just thought about the 2012 movie message and his song Time For Miracle, Adam is the wake up call! I agree with you his blazing a fire of new trail in the pop land.

Posted by: ikah at Nov 22, 2009 9:55:50 PM

Oh Adam that was really out of this world......a stunning bold and fearless performance that will go down in history.....you are who you are....and we love you for it.....TOTALLY AWESOME

Posted by: suebella at Nov 22, 2009 9:57:18 PM

a bit overloaded,a bit too provocating,so hughe pressure,hughe expectises from everwhere.closing a big show,little time for rehearsals.he got kinda lost between singing and handeling a very complex,complicated choreografie.Fantastic moments (the beginning) when he had time to concentrate on his vocals,which are ,how we know very well,out of discussion outrageous.
Dont forget,that he is,even with all his professionalism and theaterbackground,a new-comer .Give him chance to learn,to cut,to pull together,to polish,to add,to filter.I love this man and believe he ll be very important for the new age of music!!

Posted by: LambertsLabelle at Nov 22, 2009 9:58:44 PM

I really, really, really wanted Adam to be amazing, but I was disappointed. Song is not great, and the kiss was a gimmick. Big deal, and really, too easy of a place to go... in my humble opinion.

Gaga on the other hand, I could listen to her at the piano all day long. Fame Monster is really good and it's going to take her to the next level. I'm just mesmerized by her. I don't know why, I just am. Though, breaking the bottles on the keyboard was a little much.

Other standouts: Whitney. I think the more gigs/live shows she does, the better her voice gets! Not as pitchy, cracky as earlier performances when she dropped her CD. And Jay-Z + Alicia Keys. Songs are just better when Alicia sings. Love that girl (and that song).

Posted by: Brian at Nov 22, 2009 10:04:27 PM

Are you for real reviewer? His performance was soooo bad I couldn't even believe it. Were you paid to say good things about it. You're one of the few who has because it was terrible and you know it. He sang bad, danced bad (heck he even fell for God's sake) and it was tacky and tasteless. And you call it head and shoulders above the rest. Ms. Blige and all. You're insane.

Posted by: anarocks at Nov 22, 2009 10:09:38 PM

I totally love Adam Lambert and think he's got the best vocals in the biz so really for me I was disappointed in the quality of the sound, true he was one of the few performers with a complex set to actually sing vs lip sync or have the soundtrack back up but they do that for a reason, he wanted to do it right and it was sort of a fail on that level which is so rare for him but otherwise, so what, it was outrageous, sexy, crazy but so is Adam and his talent, love him!!!!

Posted by: LisaW at Nov 22, 2009 10:14:03 PM

OMG - thank you for getting it!!! I too heard the bum notes, but his performance was vintage Adam. I think he just lost a whole bunch of pearl-clutching AI fans, but it's for the best.

And I just heard that Tommy Joe (the keyboard player) is actually straight. So, way to go Tommy!

Posted by: RandomizeME at Nov 22, 2009 10:40:35 PM

Thank you! So many people are just fine with all the crotch grabbing Janet did and the mic stroking from Carries dancers and Rhiana S&M and alien boob cups - because it is the common sex fest of music videos. Adam and Lady Gaga took it up a notch and made it an artistic vision. I was sad their were tecnical sound issues because it did throw Adam's vocals off a bit - but he was a total hoot!! Taking on expression of male sexuality with a bang. Loved it!!

Posted by: Jenn at Nov 23, 2009 2:06:29 AM

Adam's performance took guts and so did Lady Gaga's. It is about time we get some artistry and creative vision!! Love Adam and Lady Gaga just wish the sound hadn't thrown Adam off his vocal ques. But his album is totally fantastic and I am thrilled he is taking risks.

Posted by: Jenn at Nov 23, 2009 2:10:49 AM

For those of you who may have missed the AMA’s last night you will probably be hearing about what Adam Lambert did, how Lady Gaga looked and the Janet & Rihanna performances. So I found this great album of pictures for you to see! They are definitely shocking and I wanted to pass on, enjoy!!

http://tinyurl.com/amarecap2009

Posted by: chrissy marie at Nov 23, 2009 7:14:44 AM

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