Before Adam Lambert debuted his signature yowl in front of Randy, Paula, Kara and Simon, before the judges and the viewing public declared him a favorite to win the eighth season of "American Idol," the 27-year-old California native rocking painted fingernails and jet black hair was just another talented singer trying to make it in an unforgiving city.
His venue of choice was often West Hollywood, California's Upright Cabaret, and on Saturday night, the revue presented "Upright Loves Lambert," a one-night-only tribute concert to the man himself.
"We've seen Adam perform on 'American Idol,' and all of these people, every single person who has been on [Upright Cabaret], is so proud of him," said Shane Scheel, one of the event's producers. "We've had so many fans of the show come to us and say, 'Is Adam gonna sing? Is Adam gonna sing?' So what we decided to do is just do a whole night dedicated to him, because it's a pretty amazing thing, what he's done."
The night's performers included artists and musicians who had once shared the stage with Lambert at Upright Cabaret, including singers from the musical "Wicked" and another Hollywood revue, "The Zodiac Show." Each person sang a song or two that had some connection to Lambert.
During a growly version of the Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Fortunate Son," singer P.J. Griffith announced, "Frankly, I don't think Danny Gokey is Adam Lambert's competition. I think it's Elvis Presley!"
Before taking the stage, singer Talia Thiesfield told MTV News, "We're a family here. He's like our brother. ... It's a really warm, proud feeling, and we're all rooting for him."
Toward the end of the show, Lambert, who couldn't attend because of contractual issues with "Idol," called in to thank the assembled crowd. "I'm sorry that I can't be there," he said. "I'm completely honored by everything you guys are doing tonight. I can't believe it. It kind of freaks me out, I'm not gonna lie. I love you all!"
He then hopped off the phone to catch some shut-eye before the next day's Ford commercial shoot, but not before adding, "I feel the love, and I can't wait to share it with you guys!"
The crowd, of course, was already sending the love Lambert's way, certain he'll win the "Idol" competition. And when he does, Scheel said, "Every man in America will have eyeliner and nail polish on!"
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