Archive for January, 2015

Queen with Adam Lambert, O2 London, 18 January 2015


19 Jan
Half of Queen & Adam Lambert

Half of Queen & Adam Lambert

So I get a message saying a friend of a friend has (free) box tickets to see Queen with someone called Adam Lambert at the O2 on Sunday…and off I go.

I was a big Queen fan in the early days – Queen, Queen II, Sheer Heart Attack, Night at the Opera, Day at the Races – but they’re not on my musical radar these days and I therefore have no clue who Adam Lambert is. I do know bassist John Deacon doesn’t play any more but seeing Brian May and Roger Taylor play ought to be worth the trip…..

Turns out that the show is part rock gig part tribute show and judging by a sold out arena and the crowd reaction, it worked. Having attended at less than a day’s notice and not bought the ticket I watch proceedings with an objective eye and the sound and visual effects are impressive, as is May’s guitar which carries the band along effortlessly.

With most public attention coming to Queen after their epic 1984 Live Aid performance, it is often forgotten that they were a top line rock band at their creative zenith from 1973 to 1977. Not so easily forgotten this evening.

Stone Cold Crazy appears early in the set and to be honest i was blown away with how good it sounded. Ditto Seven Seas of Rye, the first Queen song I ever remember hearing.

By then I’d adapted to not hearing Freddie Mercury singing, as Lambert strutted and preened in cartoon style, in a Rob Halford leather jacket and shades.

queen1

Tie Your Mother Down…

He’s a talented singer, certainly, and it was an odd fit seeing him alongside Doctors May and Taylor, but the hit songs kept coming and it was rarely dull. Save Me was outstanding, as was Lap of the Gods and I Want To Break Free, a much looser vocalist fully in his element by then. Taylor’s son Rufus joined his Dad on drums, keyboard player Spike was stage right and the sound was beefy and sharp.

Easy to forget Mercury died almost 25 years ago, and his appearance on screen and in voice weaved into the sound was emotional stuff. No more so than on the last verse of Love of My Life and when on-screen Freddie and Adam Lambert sang alternative lines at the end of Bohemian Rhapsody to bring the show to a close.

If you want to check out the 70’s rock band Queen, buy Sheer Heart Attack or listen to March of the Black Queen, Liar, Ogre Battle, White Man or Prophet’s Song.

If you don’t, you’ll probably find it hard to avoid mainstream Queen songs on radio or TV.

Either way, this concert hung together in what I can only describe as an oddly pleasing way.

Set List

One Vision

Fat Bottomed Girls

Stone Cold Crazy

Another One Bites The Dust

In The Lap of the Gods/Seven Seas of Rye

Killer Queen

I Want to Break Free

Somebody to Love

’39

Love of My Life

Those Were The Days of Our Lives

Under Pressure

Save Me

Who Wants To Live Forever?

Tie Yor Mother Down

 I Want It All

Radio Ga Ga

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

Bohemian Rhapsody

Encore:

We Will Rock You

We Are The Champions

Stephen Smith: writer

Rants, rambles and other assorted thoughts


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