His invitations to perform on Dick Clark and Anderson Cooper's New Year's Eve parties in the Big Apple may have been lost in the mail, but Los Angeles welcomed Adam Lambert with open arms. The Gridlock NYE party at Paramount studios featured the gay goth-popper as its headliner, and Lambert, as usual, refused to phone it in.
When The Advocate asked Lambert whether his Gridlock performance would involve mashing a man's face into his crotch (a la his infamous American Music Awards performance) he replied, "It's just music tonight," with a big smile on his face.
The star stayed true to his word, and kept his most risque act to a slug from a flask (making sure to say he "didn't condone alcoholism"). His 10-song performance began a few minutes after midnight. Pamela Anderson introduced him to the crowd, assembled at Paramount's outdoor "New York" set. Mostly straight, and universally plastered, the 4,000-plus revelers embraced Lambert with whoops and hollers. Dressed in a long black studded jacket, black shirt, gold tie, and fingerless gloves, and backed up by pounds of makeup and fierce hair that a Chicago gust couldn't have swayed, Lambert looked every inch the rock star (at 6'2'', he doesn't need Prince-ly heels to appear larger than life).
Living up to his earlier words, he opened with the '80s throwback "Music Again," before launching into "If I Had You," with its rocking chorus (and throwaway lyrics). Lambert really hit his stride with "Strut," "Whatcha Want From Me," and especially with "For Your Entertainment," which is designed to get juices flowing. In a nod to his American Idol roots, he gave the people what they wanted and closed the show with "Whole Lotta Love," the Led Zeppelin classic he owned on the talent show.
The Gridlock set went off without a hitch, making clear that this long-seasoned performer (he was a minor star of stage and song before Idol) is ready to take it on the road. That may be indeed be one of his New Year's resolutions.
"I'm going to make more music videos in 2010 and possibly tour," he told us just minutes before the new decade began.