Queen came back in a major way in 2014. They brought in Adam Lambert and the tour kicked off somewhat unceremoniously in the press. I found a chance to go see it on a whim and I went with a group of friends. Nobody in my group was like really excited about this tour. We sat in a Joe’s Crab Shack eating seafood and guzzling back a few brews and it was starting to hit me, “Man, we are actually going to see the epic rock group – Queen”. I knew about the talent of Adam Lambert from American Idol and I was starting to get pumped up about the experience.
We got into the parking lot at the Palace of Auburn Hills which is where they were playing in Michigan and that’s when I saw the fleet of big white trucks. I remember reading about Queen back in their heyday and they always travelled with an extensive light show. There were people standing out by those trucks taking pictures with their cell phones. The words, “Queen +Adam Lambert” was printed on the side of them in big black letters. Now, they people in my car might have not shown any hint of excitement but I could tell already by the gawkers that this was going to be a big deal. We ended up not sitting near each other which might have been a good thing. I got closer to the band than they did and for me this was turning into somewhat of a religious experience.
Paul Glantz, of Emagine entertainment, would sometimes show Queen concert movies in his theaters. I remember getting bummed out during one of those screenings while watching singer Freddie Mercury command the stage and the massive audience. I recall thinking that some people were irreplaceable and magical and once they’re gone they are really gone. Freddie had that kind of power in himself and in his fans. I remembered thinking I would never experience that kind of energy in my lifetime. Maybe, I had missed my chance and that was a long walk back to my car.
Now skip ahead months down the road and I am here live at the, “Queen + Adam Lambert” show. The tour – oddly enough, was called, “Once in a Lifetime” and this perked up my spirits a bit. I could tell that the audience had this, “Paul McCartney Effect” where the young and the old came together and this music was spanning generations. I mean, some of the elderly in the audience were pretty old and I mean that in a good way. Rock music has become this accepted art form for the masses and you don’t see that kind of an audience very often. The young in the audience were very young, as in kids, and the old were pretty old.
THE HOUSE LIGHTS GO DOWN AND IT’S SHOW TIME
The energy was shooting across the halls of the Palace and I can see people buying shirts, getting excited and I am wondering where in the hell the press was on this? I literally didn’t even know this was even happening until my friends told me about it. This was no flash in the pan. This was a big deal. Queen is one of those big epic rock bands and is right up there with The Who, Led Zeppelin, and Aerosmith. This was big for another reason. Queen had tried this before with another singer a few years back, Paul Rodgers, and they didn’t go very far. Rodgers has a great voice and carried the band really well and delivered for the fans. Then I didn’t hear anything more about the band or any more shows and I really wrote them off after that. I pretty much gave up the idea of ever seeing the group live.
“Damn man, where the hell was the press on this?” I kept thinking in my head. “Why weren’t more people notified” I mumbled to myself and I started to wonder if the show had sold out?
I sat back and my mind raced back and forth over the whole thing. I could feel the tension that something big was about to go off. I really didn’t want to miss anything so I made sure that I was in my seat and then the lights started to go down and people started to cheer around me in anticipation. There was a big see through nylon net that draped over the set and it had the original logo of the band. You know the story about this one right? Each animal in the logo represented a member of the band. This came out in the 1970’s when the album, “A Night at the Opera” was released. But I haven’t ever see this used in a modern day promotion of any sort in decades. The idea was still valid of course but tonight it seemed to take on new meaning. I could see we were going back to basics on this tour and there were lots of details about the bands history everywhere I looked. The classic guitar riff, “God Save The Queen” came on as the audience cheered louder and louder. I could see this was going to be a mesmerizing experience.
Adam Lambert’s voice shot out over the speakers as he sang, “Here I stand… Look around… around… around…”. This was the classic song, “Now I’m Here” from Queen’s old catalog of stadium numbers. I first heard it off the album, “Live Killers”. I was at the edge of my seat and thought to myself, “Holy shit…. They are bringing the sound back to life”. When the curtain dropped the strobe lights went off and Adam belted, “Cause you made me live …AGAIN !!!” and the whole house went bananas. My heart leaped up in joy and I was uplifted. There were Adam Lambert fans in the audience who were waiting for him and they were screaming with jubilation. This kid had a range and he cradled every note but then he did something extra….. he would put his own spin on the notes. This gave the song character and new life and really transformed it into this out of the ordinary experience. We were in his world now and in a new place. This was a blend of the new and the old and I was blown away by what I was seeing.
“Damn, man…. Where was the press on this? How could they miss this entire thing? How could they screw up this badly?” That question zoomed around in my subconscious as I watched Adam take command of the audience and the band. This was a blend of new rock music
…. Of classic rock music…. And a celebration for all people and if that is not newsworthy then I don’t know what is.
The stage was like a gigantic Q for the band, Queen. The extension of the letter Q jutted off to the right, (audience view) into this ramp where Adam would strut his way into the front rows and greet the people. They were getting a full blast of energy off of this amazing performer. I have to admit I had tears in my eyes when I saw this because I really never thought I would ever see this happen. It was a rebirth of the classic sounds. Brian May was on guitar and sounding fantastic and drummer Roger Taylor was bashing away on the kit.
Fans know this but Adam addressed the audience early on and mentioned that when the band and the fans get together they make a special kind of magic. This is oh so true. Consider for a minute that this is kind of like one big mastermind group, ( to anyone out there who has studied marketing ). You have all of these collected minds, bodies, souls….. coming together for a special cause and together transforming the room into one big epic rock event. That energy, that vibe is the collective element. That feeling wouldn’t be possible if the interested parties stayed independent. It is only by coming together and uniting that such a powerful force is made possible. Adam Lambert addresses this in the show, “We believe that when a group of people come together like this that it creates a special kind of magic….”. That feeling, that power, is unmistakable. You can feel it in the air.
You hear stories about the Beatles or Led Zeppelin and how they collectively became bigger than anything imagined because of coming together. In a four piece band that collective power is sometimes known as a “fifth element” – it is an additional energetic entity that wouldn’t be there if it weren’t for the collective effort of the band members. Led Zep believed this so much that when they lost their drummer, John Bonham through a tragic death, they never attempted to recreate the band and continue. They honored the original lineup and called it quits. In the Queen + Adam Lambert space it is the audience that contributes to this big, universal, energetic pulsation. You become part of the show.
What we were seeing on stage was not only a recreation of the classic rock sound of Queen but a re-introduction to style on stage, pomp, glamour, and outrageous sex appeal. Adam Lambert looked fantastic in his killer leather jacket, boots and slicked back hair. He came to dazzle and blow people’s minds. This comes from after years of watching 20 something’s on stage in Goodwill clothes screaming about the unfairness of life and, “The Man” and that whole miserable rock scene left me tired and uninspired. This had no reflection on any of those lackluster Grunge years and punk rock ethics. This was full powered, high octane, enthusiastic – rock and roll music.
Now I ask you…. Where the hell was the media?
I gotta tell ya, I was embarrassed. And I say that because Michigan is my own home state, I was born here, I am a Queen fan of way back in the 70’s and I applaud talent when I see it. I feel in many ways that this band was neglected and ignored on the PR front. Now that didn’t deter the fans and that sure as heck didn’t deter the band. This was a party for them and for the fans. This was a celebration.
MEET THE GLAMBERTS: Delivering The News Of The World
Don’t feel too bad about the PR front because the fans have Adam Lamberts back. I have to admit I was fascinated by the entire show. It burned in my mind and I looked up on the web to check on anything I could find about the tour. Sure enough I found some reviews but they were nothing like what I had been anticipating. Some of the reviews were just flat lining, they had no pulse, no life to them at all. Others were just plain terrible like the ones I read in Las Vegas. It was obvious that who ever wrote it wasn’t much of a fan. I mean he had nothing good to say about the show at all. If there were positive comments on there they were disguised really well because I couldn’t see any.
I read some other ones too out of Chicago that were really basic and bland. I started to wonder if any of these journalists had even come to the show. A lot of what I was reading wasn’t coming off like first hand observations but snippets of facts pulled from Wikipedia and possibly newsroom feeds. I knew what I saw was spectacular and out of all the rock shows I attended in my life this was possibly one of the best productions I’d ever seen.
Now before I introduce you to Adam’s fabulous PR team, The Glamberts, I want to draw your attention to some of the city tabloid type media. There was a journalist from a well respected New York news source that nominated Eddie Van Halen, (of Van Halen) as a the top “Douchiest” guitarist ever. This insensitive comment comes during the 30th anniversary for the epic – ‘1984’ album. This recording stands as a definitive signature on the classic rock bands career. I was at that tour in Maryland at the DC Capital Center and it was powerful. I was in the first row. Now, I tell you this because I am going through these reviews and I can see that who ever is paying these guys don’t really give a hoot about quality control. They also don’t care a whole lot to give the people an honest perspective about reality.
They did a miserable job on reporting. I lost a lot of respect for journalists in Michigan, Vegas, Chicago and in New York after seeing what a shoddy job they did. I started to wonder what else they lie about on a continuous basis. Then this whole thing gets kind of interesting because once Queen ended their tour in America the US media front went silent. They were off tearing down some other great idea or influential personality of some importance. Their job of “coverage”, (if that’s allowed) was all done… at least for now. The Queen tour with Adam Lambert was fobbed off as, “just another one of those things.” And that was it. No more. No less.
But that’s not the end of the story because something very interesting happened and nobody caught it. I started doing my own reviews on Hot Metro Finds and all hell broke loose. The media, didn’t like that. We run an online magazine that tells the truth to the people. In fact, our slogan is, “Something For The People”. With all the book stores closing down like Borders and Barnes and Nobles we are at the mercy of the wretched local press which does nothing but berate and intimidate its readers with half truths, limp wristed journalism, and lifeless drivel. And those are on the good days.
Some joker sent me a story on here about an Adam Lambert burger being sold at – Burger King I think. There was talk about a, “Glam Whopper” and I was forwarded a picture of – yep, Adam Lambert, wearing his crown from the Queen show on a yellow burger wrapper. This picture looked real so I wrote about it and I am convinced now that some local newsroom in Michigan used us for a gag. But the thing is I told you guys about it as if it was real news because that’s what sensible journalism is all about.
Now, looking back on the whole thing I realize it was a hoax. But do you know who delivered that bit of news around the world? The Glamberts. That glamorous army of do gooder’s which is known as Adam Lamberts personal PR Army – dedicated to fashion, rock music, and all things Adam. That is how we got formally introduced. Now, we could never find the culprit behind this ridiculous, but clever, Glam Whopper idea but the emails started coming in from around the world. I was getting inquiries if I had heard anything more about this amazing Adam Lambert food product. People wanted this, “Glam Whopper”. Burger King, take notice, you could be standing on a fortune here. The fans welcome the idea.
The US Tour was now over but it was far from over for the Glambert’s who managed to do something extraordinary. They took over where the mainstream lamestream media failed to do. They stitched together live footage of the, “Queen + Adam Lambert” shows very several different angles and cell phones and recreated an entire performance for YouTube watchers around the world. They managed to get pictures of Adam up close off their cameras and Tweet them out. Several even made their own products, and my personal favorite, a plush toy of Adam wearing his stylish outfits. They were coming up with concert reviews, news items and were taking over the roll of reporter, VJ, and paparazzi. I was intrigued with them. And unlike the mainstream lamestream media they always told the truth.
I understand that I am not too well liked by the mainstream media because Im not part of their system. But what the mainstream media doesn’t understand is that they are outnumbered. They are hideously and outrageously outnumbered by thousands if not millions of hard core rock fans that operate outside of the mainstreams tiny world. I was informed by the Glamberts that the Australian tour was sold out thanks in part by a dedicated team of fans who marketed to the masses using social media. Another Glambert told me that she took to the streets with flyers to get the word out about the upcoming tour with some friends. She proudly boasted, “We are dedicated to Adam…. And will do whatever it takes to spread the word” – and I feel good about that.
The Glamberts are not BS. They understand marketing and how to get the message out to the right people. Best of all, they know social marketing. They aren’t sitting up in some office dreaming up stories to write about so they can punch out by 5PM and go home. They are living the message and that is something that paid newsroom journalists will never do. You can see it in the end product. The social media that the Glamberts produce is solid, impactful, and carries significant meaning. The media that the mainstream media produces is schlocky, and lacks heart. Now this is something that I didn’t expect but the media that Glamberts create also causes real sensation. Think Beatlemania. You can see the numbers rise in your hit counters on your website… which means… real people, real news, in real time. They take a message and communicate it others and that news travels across the globe.
The Glamberts do something that even most American companies won’t do and that is proper branding. They understand branding, strategy and communication. They have well crafted stories and marketing messages that can be transferred from fan to fan. This is a basic function for building a strong brand. If I was going to hire a marketing person – I would hire a Glambert. They understand social media like no one else and I say this only because I have experienced their magic in person. They are truly a magical group of people.
GLAMBERTS: Ushering A Powerful New Source of Social Media
As a marketer I see business flop and flounder with social media. You can probably guess that none of them really have any stories to share. Worse, when they do have something to say they just blurt it out blindly on their Twitter and Facebook accounts to no one in particular. That message sits there unattended, and gets no engagements because it is not specifically geared towards anyone. I have seen businesses go out of business because of behavior like this. I hear from them that social media doesn’t work. This not only gives social media a bad name but I also know that this is just simply not true.
These guys move in a wave – like an ocean – and messages get delivered. They sell out stadiums, they move en masse. They are the living embodiment of social media and they are the revolution. I am informing you and teaching mainstream media to watch out for these guys. The Glamberts are very real, they are no bullshit, they pull no punches and there are many of them.
The most interesting thing about them is that they convey information to one another in real time. They use social media so effectively and have the connect to one another so well. This is a very tight audience and their focus is very direct and on point. It is exciting to see them work and to interact with them. Out of all the stories we have run on Hot Metro Finds the Adam Lambert audience portrays the most interactive profile. They are attentive and very much interested in what we do. That sort of energy is not only enthusiastic but inspiring. It gives validity and new life to the idea of what social media can bring. There are a lot of social media experts out there who talk about what this type of communication can be but that usually just boils down to theory. I see a lot of social media experts out there who are broke and struggle to pay their bills. Being friends with the Glamberts and watching them interact with their fanbase and the public is really incredible. You can’t fake authenticity.
SO WHATS NEXT?
More record stores and book stores continue to close. I drive down Woodward Avenue in Metro Detroit and see shops boarded up. Borders book store, (which was my absolute favorite) is no longer in operation and as of this writing Barnes and Nobles have closed their doors in Royal Oak, Michigan. With the closing of media stores like these comes the loss of thousands of periodicals and niche magazines dedicated to music, culture and the arts. That leaves the public to rely on the mainstream media for the bulk of their information. But when that information becomes misinformation then there is a big problem on the rise. The people either have a choice but to accept it or they have the right to stand up and speak their own truth. If the mainstream lamestream media doesn’t to deliver quality news then the people simply turn their backs to it and communicate to one another.
That is fan to fan, fan to band, and fans to the masses without any mainstream media approval or involvement. That leads to direct ticket sales, outrageous live events, fan based products, (t-shirts, jewelry, dolls, toys, artwork etc.) and all of this is done outside of any type of corporate infrastructure. The interesting thing about the way the Glamberts are working is that they are disrupting the whole idea of what controlled media is supposed to be about. It is a deliberate breakdown of structure, years of limitations, and convention as we know it. This type of communication and audience gathering can be done for any audience or purpose.
And with that being said…. It is the PEOPLE who are the champions.
Hot Metro Finds – Glamberts Rule
Special thanks: Special Thanks To Susan Daleen, Juneau Underwood, Anna Zarbano, Claudia @MountainFlowr, Dee Emr,