On June 28th, Vancouver’s classic rock fans were treated to a special evening with British Rock Royalty Queen (with active original members Brian May and Roger Taylor) and American Idol‘s Adam Lambert at Rogers Arena. I went to the show with a friend, who I had first seen Adam with on the American Idol Season 8 tour with back in 2009. It’s crazy to think that five years later, he made his return to the same venue as Queen’s lead guest vocalist along their North American Tour. Queen and Adam Lambert fans alike had been anticipating this tour since the guys first collaborated together on the American Idol Season 8 finale. Since then, the band has invited Adam to join them for awards show performances, music festivals, and a small European tour.
The concert’s setlist consisted of 20+ songs. In two hours, they powered through a catalog of crowd boosters (“Now I’m Here”, “Stone Cold Crazy”, Lap Of The Gods… Revisited”, “Seven Seas of Rhye”, “I Want It All”) and classic hits (“Another One Bites The Dust”. “Fat Bottomed Girls”, “Killer Queen”, “Somebody To Love”) with the help of Adam’s soaring vocal range and Brian and Roger’s intricate instrumentation skills. Both Brian and Roger had spotlighted moments during the set, in which they got to show off their tricks and pay tribute to Queen’s late and great frontman Freddie Mercury, ensuring the crowd that the spirit of their dear friend still surrounds the group. The guitar wizard laid it all out acoustically on “Love Of My Life” and “’39” and hypnotized the audience with a spellbinding electric guitar solo. The drumming genius sang “These Are The Days Of Our Lives”, delivered a thunderous drum break, and shifted to “Under Pressure” with Adam. The guys slowed it down with a stripped down re-imagining of Freddie’s “Love Kills” and “Who Wants To Live Forever” before finishing with fan favourites “Tie Your Mother Down”, “Radio Ga Ga”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, “The Show Must Go On”, and of course, the iconic rock opera “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Not to be forgotten, the encore included the essential closer of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions”.
Glam rocker Adam Lambert shares some key qualities with Freddie Mercury – the charismatic personality, the flamboyant stage persona, the theatrical and fierce stage presence, and the star power. There’s no competition to be had against the then and now; as the rock band’s temporary frontman, Adam does a respectable and riveting job commemorating the artistry and showmanship of his musical idol. Coupled with the presence of rock music legends, Brian May and Roger Taylor, Adam complements the band with an easy camaraderie.
Simply put, Queen + Adam Lambert killed it on all levels. The spectacular production was outstanding – everything from the vibrant visual effects (lights, lasers, and smokes, oh my!) to the pulsating sound effects, from the elaborate staging (can’t get over the purple chaise lounge on the catwalk) to the costumes (Adam’s regal crown, Brian’s gold cape, etc.) – and added to the electric and exciting vibe in the room. I am eternally grateful to this band for electing to keep their music alive in a live setting and allow fans of all generations to experience the majestic extravagance firsthand. All hail the reign and legacy of Queen!
Queen + Adam Lambert will be touring across North America through to the end of July, continuing with shows in Asia and Australia in August. Visit Queen Online for the tour dates.