Jeff Scott Soto – ‘Live at the Queen Convention 2003’ (2004) – Album Review (The Jeff Scott Soto Series)

How does Jeff Scott Soto end up doing Queen songs at Queen conventions? Well, he had always loved Queen and Freddie Mercury was a big influence on his life, but that is common with a lot of people. For Jeff, it all started back in 1999 when one fateful day he met Jacky Smith who was the head of the Queen Fan Club. That chance meeting led to Jeff getting to meet Brian May and a chance to jam with him and the SAS Band at the annual Freddie Mercury Birthday Party.

That keep him in touch with the Queen family and in 2002, Jacky asked him to come to one of the Queen conventions. He made an appearance and actually jammed on a few songs during the convention. The feedback was so great, Jeff was brought back to do the North America convention as the first was in the UK. This led Jeff to be brought up on stage at an after party with Brian and Roger Taylor when they received a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. If that wasn’t enough, Jeff was asked to come back in 2003 and instead of a handful of songs, they wanted Jeff to perform an entire set of Queen songs. But not as a tribute act, as a real act and doing everything his way with his own band.

Jeff brought his solo band with him which was Gary Schutt, Howie Simon and Alex Papa. Now, Jeff was a massive Queen fan and knew all the songs, even the deep cuts. However, his band only knew the hits. This was the Queen Convention and “the Hits” aren’t enough. You need deep cuts. So, the band took a crash course in Queen and after several rehearsals, the band was ready to go. What we get here on a 2 CD set is the entire set they performed and it is massive. They played around 45 cuts (some in song melodies) and it was incredible. They released it on video and CD. I have the CD, but I need to get the video. Let’s get to it.

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Queen – “A Night At The Opera’ (1975) – Album Review (The Studio Album Series)

Before the band could record their fourth album, they had to go through a lot of a business crap. Money was becoming an issue in the fact they weren’t getting any. They were extremely disappointed, to say the least, with their current management and record label, Trident. The hired a lawyer and for nine months, battled back and forth until they were successful in getting released from the Trident deal. But it was costly. They were able to get ownership back of their first few albums, but it cost them 1% royalty on the next 6 as well as pay £100,000 and the tour that was scheduled had to be cancelled because it was set up by the old management. Now this was 1975, so that is a lot of freaking money.

Queen was able to get new management and they singed with EMI (UK) / Elektra (US) and were set to create their next masterpiece. This album would be the most expensive album ever to be made (at the time of 1975). It cost £40,000 (or $338,000 in today’s dollars). It was so expensive due to the fact they recorded the album in seven different studios, over 4 months and required a lot of multi-tracking and they ended up using a 24-Track set up. Their last album only used a 16-Track tape. Queen was going big or going home. And if you know them at all, going big is the only way they know.

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Queen + Adam Lambert – ‘Live Around the World’ – Album Review

When I heard Queen + Adam Lambert were releasing alive album, I was quite excited. I had seen them live together and thought it was a wonderful show. They were here in Charlotte back on August 23, 2019 and you can read about it HERE. Sadly, this show wasn’t part of this release. But there were many others as the band chose from over 200 shows to come up with the 22 song set. The release came in both the CD and a Blu-Ray with the actual clips from the shows they used including the Fire Fight Australia appearance where they performed the full Queen set from 1985’s Live Aid and yes, that included the famous “Ay-Oh” actually done by Freddie.

The CD is missing two tracks that you only get on the Blu-Ray and those are the “Drum Battle” and the Brian May Guitar Solo / “Last Horizon”. The “Drum Battle” was really awesome because Roger was dueling with his son, Rufus Tiger Taylor. And Tiger is a pretty great drummer in his own right. What a proud moment that must be for Roger. The Brian May guitar solo was similar to what I saw at my show, but the difference was instead of riding an asteroid into the rafters, Brian was being lifted in the palm of the hand of the robot from ‘News of the World’.

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Queen + Adam Lambert – Concert Review (Charlotte, NC – August 23, 2019)

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…

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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.

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Bohemian Rhapsody – Movie Review

I have been a Queen fan since I was a young teen back in the 80’s and when this movie came out, I wanted to go see it.  I was worried about the cheesiness of a biopic and if they could represent Queen and Freddie Mercury respectable enough or would it look like a LIfetime biopic?  Could the actors make it believable enough that I could imagine that this was really the guys from the band I know so well?  Could I get lost in the movie and enjoy it?

All valid questions and let me tell you, the answer is yes to all three questions. The movie was respectable, believable and I enjoyed it.  It opens with the band about to take the stage for their Live Aid show and then cuts to 1970 where it all began and Freddie would meet Brian and Roger while the latter two were playing with their band Smile.  And the rest you can say is history.

The movie takes you through the start of the band, the struggles with the label, the struggles with each other and the struggles of Freddie’s life.  And the movie ends with that Live Aid concert which was quite possibly the greatest 20 minute set of any band in history.  How they recreated the Live Aid scene was magical and the Blu-Ray comes with an exclusive behind-the-scenes look on how they did it. Probably worth the price of admission alone.

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Tuesday’s Memes – Queen

Happy Tuesday!  Welcome to this week’s memes.  We are tackling the band Queen this week and why not!  Queen is so worthy of getting this treatment.  So if you week has started off pretty crappy, maybe this will cheer you up a little.  Enjoy!!

Here is the Real Most Interesting Man in the World!!

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And a Phd in Astrophysics…pretty impressive:

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