On a dark stormy night in August, Queen + Adam Lambert came riding in to town for the very last show of their Rhapsody Tour. Yes, Charlotte, NC was able to bid farewell to this legend of a band who has seen a massive resurgence thanks in large part to the movie ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and in small part due to the current singer Adam Lambert.
There is no exciting story to tell leading up to the show except the Rain Gods were nice to my daughter and I by not raining on us. We got in to the Spectrum Center and about 5 minutes later the skies opened up. People were coming in dripping wet, but no one cared because everyone was there to have a good time and listening to everyone’s favorite band, Queen.
When we finally arrive to our seats after a long line at the merch table and a long line at the bathroom and a short line at the refreshment stand to grab a couple of $5 waters (each), we were greeted to this…
A giant crown wrapping the stage. It looked so real and like it was made out of metal. Impressive. Even more impressive was the fact it was a giant TV screen. The graphics, detail, clarity, hell everything about it was impressive. It looked 3D without the glasses…amazing.
Queen came on a few minutes later and the band played for over 2 hours and over 28 songs and it was everything I hoped it would be.
The track list was exactly what you expected and since I have never seen Queen before with or without Adam Lambert or Freddie for that matter it was exactly what I wanted to hear. They played all the hits and even some that were not hits. Check it out…
- Innuendo – opening music before they appeared
- Now I’m Here
- Seven Seas of Rhye
- Keep Yourself Alive
- Hammer to Fall
- Killer Queen
- Don’t Stop Me Now
- Somebody to Love
- In the Lap of the Gods…Revisited
- I’m In Love With My Car
- Bicycle Race
- Another One Bites the Dust
- I Want It All
- Love of My Life
- Doing All Right
- Crazy Little Thing Called Love
- Under Pressure
- Dragon Attack
- I Want to Break Free
- You Take My Breath Away (tape and brief)
- Who Wants to Live Forever
- Guitar Solo
- Tie Your Mother Down
- The Show Must Go On
- Fat Bottomed Girls
- Radio Ga Ga
- Bohemian Rhapsody
- Ay-Oh (video of Freddie Mercury)
- We Will Rock You
- We Are the Champions
- God Save the Queen (on tape as they bowed and waved goodbye
- Heroes (Bowie cover – also on tape as you left the arena)
With so many songs, I will stick to the highlights for me. First one being Adam Lambert and especially on “Killer Queen”. Adam might be the only person that comes close to matching Freddie’s flamboyance and theatrical abilities as well as the voice. Say what you will about no one can replace Freddie, and they can’t. But Adam did not disappoint. On this song, Adam was a flaming queen in every sense of the word and he played it to the nines. He even admitted during the song he was a “queen”. It was very memorable.
Another cool moment was when Roger Taylor got hit moment in the sun when he sang “I’m In Love With My Car” which was awesome and sad. The sad part was that a ton of people took a bathroom break and people sat down as the average Joe doesn’t know it, but for me it was really cool. Roger sounded great.
Right after that song, the band went in to “Bicycle Race” and Adam rose from the end of the stage in the middle of the arena on a motorcycle. He pumped and gyrated all over that thing and the crowd loved every minute.
The next highlight for me was with Brian May. He came out to where that motorcycle was (it was gone by this point) with a stool and a mic and sang “Love of My Life” and “39”. On “Love of My Life”, Freddie Mercury appeared on screen and finished up the song. It was a cool tribute for Freddie, which they celebrated him all night.
The band played “Under Pressure” with Adam taking Freddie’s parts (obviously) and Roger Taylor taking David Bowie’s and it gave me goosebumps. This is one of my favorite Queen songs, if not the favorite and to see if played live was a thrill for me even if it wasn’t David or Freddie…it was still Brian on guitar and Roger on drums though.
The next cool thing was the Brian May guitar solo. He rose from the stage on a giant space rock as the background on the stage turned in to the solar system. It was visually stunning and the picture I have does it NO justice. It was so original and one of the coolest things of the evening. The video screen use was none like I have never seen and just Wow!! You had to see it to believe it.
After that you knew you were getting close to the end and the band’s energy went up with “Tie Your Mother Down”, “The Show Must Go On” and then “Fat Bottom Girls” which the harmonies on that one from the band were stellar. The crowd was going nuts and sing as loud as the band like they did most of the night (not use to that – well, I normally sing along the whole show, but the entire audience doing it was cool).
“Radio Ga Ga” was another favorite and then came “Bohemian Rhapsody”. The crowd again goes bat-shit crazy. Adam Lambert nails the song and the cool thing was the homage they paid to Freddie and the band of old with scenes from the music video for the song. At some point, the song was on tape with Freddie actually singing. I have to admit, I didn’t care and thought it was cool
And that was the end of the show…well, there was still the encore. The encore came with a video screen dropping down on the stage and out comes Freddie Mercury doing “Ay-Oh” to the crowd and we did not disappoint and gave it back to him and then some. Another fantastic tribute to Freddie.
And of course they ended with the one-two punch of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”. There is no other way to end the show. The confetti went flying and the crowd enjoyed every second and so did the band. It was an extremely well put together, well performed, well sang and all around terrific show.
The back-up band was sensational as well. Brian introduced them all and they got a few seconds to stand-out with a quick solo. There was another drummer…sorry, percussionist, to assist Roger. Not do, assist and enhance the drum sound. The bass player got a few moments in the sun with “Another One Bites the Dust” as well and the keyboard player has actually been with the band since around 1984/85 so he basically is a member of the band.
The show was incredible and Adam Lambert is such a great singer and performer which the role of Queen lead singer requires. People who complain have never seen him live. The man can sing. He hit notes that were stunning and for this to be the last night of the tour and he still had his voices speaks volumes!! Brian can still play a hell of a guitar and he put in some miles walking out on the long runway and back so many times…probably for each guitar solo. Roger still has it and the man can sing as well and my daughter even commented on how well he sang (same with Brian). It was a magical evening and one I won’t forget for a long time. I will leave you with some more pictures…
The robot from New of the World looked so real. It was 3D like as well and practically popped out of the screen. Coolest thing on screen the whole night.
The pretty colors…oooooh….
And the concert ticket…
And the shirt…(my daughter got the same one in Purple)
And that is all. I hope you enjoyed the review. I know I enjoyed the show!!