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, before declaring that “Frank” was “so far up his ass”…
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.
Imagery of Mercury was present quite often throughout the set, from the classic “Day O” vocal improvisation made famous from the 1986 Wembley Stadium show to parts of the video for ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ appearing during the band’s performance of that track near the end of their set — something that had the arena’s 20,000 capacity rocking out in a manner straight out of Wayne’s World.
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 band perform — needless to say, it really is “Queen Forever”.
Photos by Bonnie Britain.