Queen and Adam Lambert at Nottingham’s Motorpoint Arena were ‘ludicrously OTT, moving and magnificent’ – review, setlist, photos
‘A robot’s head came though the floor, Lambert rode a tricycle round the stage’
Make no mistake, this show was a magnificent triumph.
Of course, there will be some who’ll say this isn’t Queen, and they would have a case. Freddie Mercury has been dead for 26 years and bassist John Deacon has been retired as long. Guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, however, keep soldiering on. For years it was even perhaps a little embarrassing.
But then they found American talent show sensation Adam Lambert. Blessed with a phenomenal vocal range and strutting the stage like a camp clotheshorse, he certainly ain’t Freddie Mercury. But he’s the closest they’ll ever get.
He even stands out against the visual effects and lights which, true to form, are ludicrously OTT. On a giant stage shaped like May’s guitar, its neck a 21-metre catwalk, the band played for two and a quarter hours, notching up 26 songs. I bet everyone reading this knows nearly all of them.
A robot’s head came though the floor, Lambert rode a tricycle round the stage and multiple live-action films, animations, lasers, explosions and confetti guns blasted the crowd. But those songs were always the stars.
As the robot from the cover of their 1978 LP News Of The World bashed its way through a wall, which then rose into the air to become a curved screen, the band tore off a couple of choruses of We Will Rock You before surging into Hammer To Fall, kicking off an aggressive opening stretch before lightening up with a note-perfect Killer Queen.
Lambert’s singing on Don’t Stop Me Now, Somebody To Love and Who Wants To Live Forever was awe-inspiring.
Behind him, May (70) and Taylor (68) occasionally looked their age, but never sounded it. The band – beefed up with keyboard player Spike Edney, bassist Neil Fairclough and percussionist Tyler Warren – was as sharp as the crystal clear sound mix.
And the most touching moments all came from the veterans. May led a moving singalong of Mercury’s Love Of My Life and Roger Taylor’s remarkable voice was showcased on I’m In Love With My Car, a beautifully performed Under Pressure (in which he took his friend David Bowie’s part) and a brilliant A Kind Of Magic.
They ended with Bohemian Rhapsody before ecstatic encores of We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions.
By this time the costumes were truly daft. But it had been a right royal celebration. God save them.