It was an experience to remember and treasure. The sell-out last night of Queen’s European tour, with America’s new superstar Adam Lambert filling Freddie Mercury’s shoes. Not that anyone could replace Freddie, but the boy came very close.
The songs about life, love and the universe proved as fresh as ever. Mostly the two-and-a-half hour set (with no interval!) consisted of familiar sounds, and the 12,000 fans
packed into the Arena knew all the words and joined in with gusto.
Clad by turns in leather and studs, gold fringing, tartan trews and leopardskin with a diamante crown, Adam Lambert is as much of a showman as Freddie ever was. Original band members Brian May and Roger Taylor stuck to sober black and let the music do the talking, while the other band members just quietly got on with it. Well, maybe not quietly...
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Everyone got a moment in the spotlight. The Taylors, father Roger and son Rufus, played a thundering drum duet. Bassist Neil Fairclough had an intricate solo. As well as making
his iconic red guitar scream and sing, Brian May gave a short acoustic set including Love of My Life, one of my all-time Queen favourites.
And they saved the best till last. Bohemian Rhapsody (amazingly it’s 40 years since it first set the charts on fire) was the finale, with Freddie making a guest appearance on the big screens, and when the crowd demanded an encore, they gave us We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions.
It wasn’t just a concert; it was a spectacle, with dramatic lighting effects and three screens for inventively fractured images and close-ups of May’s flying fingers as well as a visual aid for the people at the back. Full marks to the unseen techie guys who made it all happen.
What a night it was. Long may Queen reign over us; after four decades, they still make the rockin’ world go round.