Freddie Mercury is a legend that will never be forgotten for many reasons, with one of those being that even now he’s still inspiring artists all over the world. It’s clear that Adam Lambert, who shot to fame while competing on American Idol, respects that. His intention is not to emulate or replace Mercury, but pay homage to him as he performs with remaining Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor.
Touring together for over six years now, Lambert, May and Taylor work together so efficiently on stage that you’d be hard-pressed to find a show like it. It’s slick, professional, and a spectacle in its own right that had every audience member transfixed. The imagery used on stage for this tour was heavily focused on Queen’s 1977 album News of the World, using the robot designed by American sci-fi artist Frank Kelly Freas. At one point, the robot’s head came up through the stage with Lambert sat on top of it — he introduced it as “Frank” and encouraged the crowd to say hello.
The set-list itself was a good mix of Queen’s most famous tracks and a few less-known gems that would sit well with the band’s most dedicated following. Lambert was able to put his own spin on each offering while still celebrating the life and talent of Freddie Mercury. One touching moment was when only Brian May remained on stage with an acoustic guitar, dedicating the track to Mercury and asking the audience to help him out with it.
An encore consisted of ‘We Will Rock You’, which surely shook the building, then ‘We Are The Champions’ before the band took a bow in front of one mighty applause while ‘God Save The Queen’ played in the background. Lambert may not be Mercury, but his presence is definitely appreciated by both the band and lasting fans because instead of brushing Mercury’s existence under the carpet, his life is celebrated in each and every concert that the newly constructed band perform — needless to say, it really is “Queen Forever”.
Queen and Adam Lambert channel the spirit of Freddie Mercury at London’s O2 Arena – review
Freddie Mercury’s memory lives on as Lambert rips through Queen’s classics.
The latest Queen + Adam Lambert show is one that Freddie Mercury would surely have loved.
They’ve taken the visuals into the stratosphere, with stunning lighting, cannons firing confetti into the audience, giant projections of the robot from the News Of The World album cover, said robot’s head ascending from under the stage with Adam Lambert perched on top of it, likewise a flower-adorned bike ascending for Lambert to ride around the catwalk on.
It’s a surprise they haven’t ripped the sinks out of the backstage kitchen and thrown those into the mix too.
As spectacles go, this is as good as live shows get. Then there’s the music, which plunders the back catalogue of one of the greatest-ever rock bands, with original Queen members Brian May, 70, and Roger Taylor, 68, playing the hell out of it with the energy of musicians a third of their age.
Saving the best for last, they start with the older stuff like ‘Seven Seas Of Rye’ and ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ and end with ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are The Champions’.
We also get everything from ‘Love Of My Life’ done as a loving tribute to Freddie and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (which the capacity crowd at The O2 turned into an epic singalong) to ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ and ‘Killer Queen’ via ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and ‘Under Pressure’ with Taylor filling in very well for David Bowie.
Which brings us to Adam Lambert, the American Idol runner-up who has become a winner with Queen fans for breathing new life into the band whilst never, ever doing a Freddie impression.
Like Mercury, he’s a showman and a show-off but he’s doing the songs his way, going much higher into the falsetto of ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ and tearing into songs like ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ with gay abandon.
And gay’s the word with Lambert, who shouts his sexuality from the rooftops and wears it on his tattoo sleeves and golden cloaks, in his high heels and guyliner, in his red leather jacket and sparkly crown. Freddie never hid his gayness but he butched it up in blue jeans and white vests, whereas Adam is an androgynous peacock who struts around making cracks about how far up his ass that robot’s head is.
All this would be to hollow avail if he wasn’t such an awesome singer: Lambert’s got the pipes to tear the roof off rockers like ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ and to tear into the heart of anthems like ‘The Show Must Go On’, not to mention the charisma to coax every single member of the crowd to do the ‘Radio Ga Ga’ hand claps.
Singing ‘I Want It All’, he leaves you wondering what more any Queen fan could possibly want.