QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT
Photos by Linda Dunjey
It’s been said a million times. You can not replace Freddie Mercury. I get it, we all get it by now. He is the greatest frontman in the history of Rock N Roll. Untouchable. One of a kind. Never to be duplicated again.
Now that’s out of the way, I want to talk about the EPIC production that was Queen + Adam Lambert at Optus Stadium. This was an incredible show and a marvelous display from Brian May, Roger Taylor and Adam Lambert. These three are the show’s focus, with a backing band of tremendous musicians to help them through the complexity of some of their crazy songs. They wouldn’t be able to do this with just the three of them – so first and foremost I want to give mad props to those backing musicians; Spike Edney on Keys, Neil Fairclough on Bass, and Tyler Warren on percussion & additional drums. The camera didn’t show them very often but their work on the show was essential.
He’s got the grunt, the strut, the attitude, the posturing, the stance – he walks the walk, talks the talk and then you get to Adam’s incredible singing prowess, he can do absolutely whatever he wants with that voice.
The show began as expected, with a lot of power and sheer excitement as they blasted in ‘Now I’m Here’, which is the perfect opening tune. ‘Seven Seas Of Rhye’ and ‘Keep Yourself Alive’ were next followed by my beloved ‘Hammer To Fall’. I am pretty sure this was my first ‘goosebump moment’ of the evening, and then it was followed by ‘Somebody To Love’. Brian May was phenomenal as always, but the star here is Adam Lambert. From his amazing wardrobe, (I’m jealous) to the flawless eye makeup and not one hair on his head out of place – he looked the part, and then he performed the part. He’s got the grunt, the strut, the attitude, the posturing, the stance – he walks the walk, talks the talk and then you get to Adam’s incredible singing prowess, he can do absolutely whatever he wants with that voice. Brian May was correct when he said Adam was a miracle sent to them from God. There is only one man that can do this job justice, Adam Lambert is the only person on Earth who can do it. Rant over – time to get back to the show!
‘Killer Queen’ was up next, with Adam certainly playing up with a bit of cheekiness as he sat cross legged on the Piano. ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ picked up the pace after this and the crowd were eating it UP. ‘In the Lap of the Gods… Revisited’ and ‘I’m in Love With My Car’. Adam Lambert would then rock up during ‘Bicycle Race’ on a spinning Motorcycle lifted from the ground – I just love the effort through the production values to do something like this for just one song!
The next three were my absolute favourite tracks of the night, ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ is one of the best topics ever, and the song got everybody moving. It’s a big bloody sing-song when you’re at a show like this! ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ is always a wild time, and then to finish off this threesome with ‘I Want It All’, it almost felt like “Gee, how many amazing songs do they have again?” It never ends with Queen.
Things calmed down from here as Brian May sat down at the end of the catwalk and played some tunes on an Acoustic guitar, shared a duet with Freddie Mercury on the big screen for ‘Love Of My Life’ before eventually Roger Taylor and Adam Lambert showed up for their rendition of ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’. Roger then played a very welcome Drum Solo which proved that even at the age of 70, Roger has the chops of a man many years his junior.
‘Under Pressure’ was next with Adam and Roger taking the places of Freddie and Bowie, and I was very impressed with this duet! They did it justice, Roger has an amazing voice as well. ‘Dragon Attack’ was next, along with a couple of covers of Led Zep’s ‘Whole Lotta Love’ and Elvis’ ‘Heartbreak Hotel’. Which were done absolute justice. ‘I Want To Break Free’ was song #23 of the night and it seemed like this night would never end! I wasn’t complaining.
‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ was next which displayed some of the most impressive live vocals I’ve ever heard from anybody! I’m not just saying that. Adam Lambert was on fire. Brian May then treated us to a fairly long Guitar solo – if I heard any complaints about the show from anybody afterward, it was Brian’s guitar solo going too long. I didn’t really have an issue with it – but I have to say there were a lot of references to outer-space through the proceedings, I think Brian wants to let us all know he’s not just a Guitar player, but also an Astrophysicist too. Which he actually is.
We finally got back to business for ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ which was followed swiftly by the amazing ‘The Show Must Go On’. ‘Radio Ga Ga’ was next which I had completely forgot about so it was a nice surprise. Our last song before the obligatory Encore was, you guessed it – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.
I loved the next bit – a massive Freddie Mercury doing the Ay-Oh singalong on the big screen for the crowd to participate in. It was fun, but it also made me sad that such an incredible human being isn’t with us. It would have been great to see him do his thing. Queen + Adam Lambert never let you forget the importance of the man, the myth, and the legend that is Freddie Mercury.
‘We Will Rock You’ was the first of our two-song encore, and then we finally finished things off 31 songs deep with ‘We Are The Champions’. What a way to end the show. These guys are doing the Queen legacy justice, as they have perfected their show and live performance. I enjoyed this more than the time I saw them at RAC Arena many moons ago, and was happy to see them fill a stadium like they did.