You would think for someone like me, who is absolutely enamored with Adam Lambert, that writing up this post would be a piece of cake. But short of filling it with frivolous key-smash (i.e. excitedly flailing across the laptop’s keyboard resulting in red underlined “words” like askfhsklghqpihp) or the ubiquitous “OMG!!,” I began writing only to discover I was at a loss for words. I’m just overwhelmed with so many feelings!
But if I had to sum up the Queen and Adam Lambert show in one word? I’d simply say… MAGICAL! I attended two shows on this summer’s North American tour: Madison Square Garden and Mohegan Sun Arena. Both shows were fantastic; each holding a different, unique energy.
As did many children of the 80’s, I chanted “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions” and “Another One Bites the Dust” at sporting events. I head-banged with Wayne and Garth to “Bohemian Rhapsody.” I even sobbed at the series finale of Will & Grace to “You’re My Best Friend.” Their music transcends decades and generations. A child of the 80’s himself, Grammy-nominated artist Adam Lambert is undeniably the perfect fit to introduce their music to younger fans while sharing his stellar voice with lifelong Queen die-hards.
Of course Queen’s original vocalist, the iconic Freddie Mercury who passed away in 1991, can’t be replaced. But his memory and music should certainly be celebrated and that’s exactly what this tour accomplishes! Adam steps brilliantly into this role–complete with studded platform boots and unbridled panache. He joins guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor, bassist Neil Fairclough (original bassist John Deacon retired in 1997), musical director Spike Edney on keyboards, and Roger’s son, Rufus Tiger Taylor on percussion. (Rufus is 23 and adorable, but that’s another topic for a different day… LOL!)
I didn’t go to the shows with intentions of writing a legit review, I went as a fan! So this is more or less just a gush-fest of all the awesomeness!! Plus I was too busy waving around purple glow sticks and gaping in amazement at Adam’s vocals; not to mention reveling in being in the presence of rock legends, as well as screaming my voice into non-existence.
Adam struts across the stage in leather and studs, fringe and sparkles, and even a gold leopard print suit topped with a shiny crown. And he owns it. His killer vocals are only a part of the whole package. His charisma, sense of humor, and sexiness radiate through the arena. Somewhere, Freddie is smiling.
And fans were torn between smiles and tears as Freddie’s image appeared on the screen several times during the show. Thanks to technology, Brian performed a duet of “Love of My Life” with Freddie. CHILLS. It was breathtaking. Brian also took us on a journey with “’39” and a hypnotizing guitar solo accompanied by a cool visual of dashing through space on the projection screen. Roger did vocals on “These Are The Days of Our Lives” and he and his son Rufus had a fun drum duel! There was something for everyone at this show!
Adam sprawls out on a gold-trimmed royal purple chaise lounge, fanning himself as he grins. “She keeps Moet et Chandon in her pretty cabinet,” he coos. It is campy, it is sexy, it is amazing! He then rolls on to his stomach and kicks his legs back and forth like a little kid, all while singing the song. It’s basically adorable. Afterwards, he takes a swig of champagne and squirts it like a fountain into the crowd. (I wasn’t close enough to get sprayed, unfortunately. And it should be noted that this is probably the only time I would wish for someone to spit their drink on me, haha!) He finishes the song and the crowd roars when he asks if we’re having fun. He says he can’t believe he’s on stage with Queen and that it’s such an honor. He then snarks on his chaise-lounge wriggling and proclaims, “That’s not the real me.” He then explains that maybe sometimes we like to dress ourselves up in sparkly things because perhaps we’re running away from something. “Or maybe we’re just looking for Somebody to Love!” Best segue ever!
Somebody To Love
At the Mohegan Sun show, my seats were probably fifteen feet away from the side of the stage and a staircase! Several times through the show, Adam and Brian came up on these steps! I couldn’t even believe how close they were! Adam did a call and response at one point, too, and that was a lot of fun!! He was so close, maybe he even heard me repeating after him! Or! Maybe he saw my purple glow sticks!
When Brian was fifteen feet in front of me, I was immediately struck by the presence of greatness!! It was an immediate feeling of just WOW! All these classic songs that he wrote, that everyone knows… and he’s RIGHT THERE in front of me!! He probably sees me! He knows I exist! I felt like bowing down and repeating, “I am not worthy!”
Fat Bottomed Girls
The vocal harmonies on this song are always fun! Plus Adam yells, “Get on your bikes, and riiiide!” and does this sexy sort of motorcycle gesture. He also has some terms of ~endearment for the ladies to whom this song is an ode. It’s tongue-in-cheek. The audience ate it up!
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Sometimes there is an uncanny resemblance between Adam Lambert and Elvis Presley, so it’s no surprise that he completely nails this King-reminiscent jam with obligatory snarl and swagger. And then he and Brian mess with Spike on the keyboard and it’s silly and fun!
Love Kills/Who Wants To Live Forever
Just more proof that this man can, as he’d say, “saaaang.” Just sayin’. WATCH:
Oh, BoRhap! SOOOO MANY FEELINGS!! At Madison Square Garden, I got chills when that entire arena immediately sang along with Adam. “Mama, just killed a man…” Yup, those five words and I was in tears. It’s such a full circle moment for him and I am so proud to be a fan. (Yes, I adore him that much!) And then Freddie appears on the screen! And it’s as if he and Adam are sharing verses. It’s amazingly haunting in the best way possible!! I can’t even properly explain it, so just watch:
We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions
I was fully anticipating this to be the arena shaker at Madison Square Garden, but Mohegan Sun’s actual metal stadium seats really brought the *stomp stomp clap* to life! These songs were the encore, but before the band even returned to the stage, the audience started the beat!! It was incredible! This is also when Adam is donning the gold leopard print suit, which would probably under normal circumstances make a dude resemble a pimp in 1977, but Adam wears it and evokes nothing but rock star!
Happy Birthday, Brian!
Brian May celebrated his 67th birthday on Saturday, so of course Adam led the crowd at Mohegan Sun to sing “Happy Birthday!” Roger Taylor’s birthday is this coming Saturday, so join the crowd in New Jersey to celebrate!
Queen and Adam Lambert will return to the Mohegan Sun Arena this Friday, July 25th, so find yourself some tickets and I promise you won’t regret it! The North American Tour wraps next week in Toronto before the guys head to Japan, Australia, and New Zealand. OMG!!!!!
–Lisa Gold, 96.5 TIC/CBS Radio Hartford
Queen & Adam Lambert Set List
Now I’m Here
Stone Cold Crazy
Another One Bites the Dust
Fat Bottomed Girls
Lap of the Gods
Seven Seas of Rhye
Somebody To Love
I Want It All
Love of My Life (Brian on vocals)
’39 (Brian on vocals)
These Are the Days of Our Lives (Roger on vocals)
Under Pressure (Roger on vocals with Adam)
Who Wants to Live Forever
Tie Your Mother Down
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
The Show Must Go On
We Will Rock You
We Are the Champions