01. We Will Rock You
02. Hammer to Fall
03. Stone Cold Crazy
04. Tie Your Mother Down
05. Another One bites the Dust
06. Fat Bottom girls
07. Killer Queen
08. Don’t Stop me Now
09. Bicycle Race
10. I’m in Love with My Car
11. Get Down Make Love
12. I Want it all
13. Love of My Life
14. Somebody to Love
15. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
16. Drum Battle
17. Under Pressure
18. A Kind of Magic
19. Whataya Want From Me
20. I Want to Break Free
21. Who Wants to Live Forever
22. Guitar Solo
23. Radio GaGa
24. Bohemian Rhapsody
25. We Will Rock You
26. We Are the Champions
Queen and Adam Lambert – Brisbane Entertainment Centre
Photos by Vincent Shaw
The air consisted of part excitement and part humidity as the crowd of people outside the Brisbane Entertainment Centre stretched long past the concrete structure and out into the surrounding wetlands. After waiting for what seemed like an eternity I made it through the gates and into the centre. An exceptionally diverse crowd milled about, spilling all around the arena while we waited for the show to begin.
The ambitious Queen and Adam Lambert project took root almost a decade ago, when the legendary band performed with Lambert on American Idol back in 2009. After the show wrapped up, lead guitarist Brian May told Rolling Stone that he was so impressed with Lambert’s performance that he was considering him as the new frontman for Queen. It wasn’t until about five years ago that the collaboration became official and they have been touring together since. Whilst one may have doubts that resurrecting a legendary band such as Queen with an American idol runner up may be risky business; rest assured that Adam Lambert fits in perfectly. The chemistry between Lambert and the band is immediately apparent and each song is sharp and delivered in such a beautifully flawless manner that left me hoping for an eternal partnership between the two.
The show began with a giant robot lifting up part of the stage, revealing Lambert and the band who sung the chorus from We Will Rock You as a taster before transitioning into Hammer To Fall, Stone Cold Crazy and Tie Your Mother Down, Lambert finishing the latter with a vocally impressive sustained high note which made the crowd go wild. The visuals and lighting were paired beautifully with the guitar expertise of Brian May as well as Lambert’s unwavering confidence and stage presence; which definitely drew some parallels to the late Freddie Mercury.
May’s chugging guitar riffs and mesmerising solos continued through Another One Bites the Dust, Fat Bottom Girls and Killer Queen which saw Lambert rise from below the stage dressed in a pink three piece suit on the head of the robot, which he later named Frank. Lambert then addressed any critics by stating that there will never be another Freddie but that he hoped that he could celebrate his life with the audience. This was immediately followed by a masterful performance of Don’t Stop Me Now and I Want to Ride My Bicycle which funnily enough featured Lambert riding around on a tricycle with a basket of roses which he then threw into the audience.
Adam Lambert appeared on a podium shrouded in smoke for the finale, Bohemian Rhapsody. Brian May rose from the stage in a glistening black robe and literally played his heart out whilst the crowd got on their feet and sang along. Adam Lambert thanked Brisbane and the band left the stage. After the stamping of feet and the crowd yelling for an encore, the band returned once again, with Lambert dressed quite literally as a Queen, complete with a crown and golden robe, delivering the coup d’etat with We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions.
Queen and Adam Lambert provided a two hour, intermission-less audiovisual spectacle for the eyes and ears that left me yearning for more. An absolute delight in every way.
QUEEN AND ADAM LAMBERT: LIVE REVIEW AND GALLERY | BRISBANE ENTERTAINMENT CENTRE | SATURDAY 24 FEBRUARY 2018
There are performances that you never thought you’d be privileged enough to see in the flesh. There are also times as a writer when you struggle to formulate a review worthy of such a performance. Tonight is one of those nights.
Queen, yes THE Queen (well, the band, not the ACTUAL Queen), are pulling out all the stops for the Brisbane crowd tonight. If you grew up in the 70’s and 80’s like myself and so many of the other ticket holders tonight, then you know Queen all too well. Their music was the soundtrack to our formative years and we hold so much love for the tunes that they have bestowed upon this earth. Bringing forth one of the most enigmatic front men in Freddie Mercury, Queen smashed out hit after hit, building an extensive repertoire. When Freddie passed, we were left with a void in one of the greatest rock bands of all time. Thankfully that void has been filled by Adam Lambert, someone of immense swagger and talent. Powerful and soulful, Lambert’s voice is the perfect accompaniment to Queen’s distinctive sound.
The house lights go down, and the crowd cheers in excitement as the drum beats of ‘We Will Rock You’ resonates throughout the BEC. Prompting a singalong this early is nothing short of spectacular, but prompting a ‘stomp-along’? Well that’s something else entirely. The whole crowd stomping and clapping in unison to make a venue this large shake is amazing to witness. The band graces the stage and the applause is thunderous. Launching full tilt into ‘Hammer To Fall’, it seems as though we’re in for one hell of a night. The way Brian May handles a guitar is breathtaking. It seems like the guitar is a part of him, delivering riffs and solos so effortlessly, that it’s hard to believe he could call this ‘work’.
Roger Taylor is a percussionist that cannot be faulted. His iconic style of drumming is one that has been emulated by many performers, and rightly so. Somehow it has a complexity and simplicity all in one. It’s incredible to watch and you can understand why he is a performer a lot of musicians look up to. The usual drum solo spot of the night is overshadowed by the presence of two drummers on stage having what can inly be described as a ‘duelling banjos’ moment. It’s a spectacle to be witnessed. Taylor is the band’s everyman, whether it’s the percussive genius or taking the reins for vocals on a couple of tracks (perfection filling David Bowie’s part on ‘Under Pressure’), Taylor seems to not miss a beat at all. Every member of this band gives it their all into tonight’s show and the crowd feeds off the energy. It’s hard to believe they’re nearly in their fifth decade as a band. Tributes to Freddie are plentiful throughout the performance. From a brilliant rendition of ‘Love Of My Life’ by May (with an eerily phone lit BEC accompaniment), to Lambert speaking with the crowd in regards to his predecessor, Mercury is not far from anyone’s minds tonight.
Hit after hit keeps rolling out; from ‘Killer Queen’ to ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’, this massive setlist is all encompassing. The crowd goes absolutely nuts when the opening riff of ‘I Want It All’ begins to ring through the centre, sending everyone into a collective frenzy to give their energy back to our guests for the night. As the main set closes out with ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, it’s hard to imagine how Queen would deliver a encore to top this. Departing the stage, the crowd beckons them to return, not knowing how they will close out their performance.
Now THIS is what I wanted. A packed out BEC, chanting, stomping, clapping, making as much noise as possible while Queen blasts out ‘We Will Rock You’ in all its glory. While not open air, I imagine this is only a fraction of what Wembley felt like back in 1986 in terms of atmosphere. Giving us ‘We Are The Champions’ directly after is like being delivered the old 1-2 from a heavyweight boxer, it completely floors you. Queen and Lambert have given us nothing short of an immense, half century career encompassing performance. Dreams have been lived for some and in my opinion, this is going to be a hard show to top this year.