Concert Review – Queen + Adam Lambert
Stop what you're doing right now.
Stop what you're doing, go online, and find the quickest way to get yourself to Houston, TX tomorrow.
That's the last date on the U.S. leg of 2017's Queen + Adam Lambert tour.
But after their rousing success and glowing reviews, hopefully they'll load up the trailers again (at least 5 full sized ones that I could see) and get back on American soil sometime soon.
I've been a Queen fan since I was 13 years old.
I vividly remember watching the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert on the TV in the living room of my father's house in 1992, and being stunned by the sheer size and scope of the show.
Over 70,000 people packed London's Wembley Stadium. The broadcast was carried on multiple TV channels around the world, and the biggest names in music performed in honor of one of rock's most unique, flamboyant, and purely talented figures.
After seeing the spectacle, I decided to educate myself, and dove in to their whole catalogue.
In the time since, I've gained a pretty deep knowledge of the band and their music.
But here's the thing - discovering the band after the untimely death of their irreplaceable frontman, it was a foregone conclusion that I'd never get to see the band live.
The surviving active members, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor (bassist John Deacon having retired shortly after Freddie's death) had done a few one-off performances over the years, including shows with Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers.
But after seeing videos of those shows, all due respect to Rodgers, I decided that I'd be more disappointed than blown away.
It isn't easy to be Freddie for a day.
And then Adam Lambert came along.
The singer, who got plenty of grief from the American Idol judges for his theatrical, wailing flourishes, turned out to be just the man for the job.
Rumblings of his possible involvement with the remaining members of Queen started to kick around a few years ago.
When I had a chance to interview him in 2012, I respected the sensitivity of the rumors and asked him off the air about singing with May and Taylor, and he told me that while nobody can ever replace Freddie, it would be a dream and an honor to sing his songs.
It turned out that the collaboration was already in the works, and the rumors became reality only a few months after our conversation.
Flash forward 5 years, and the Queen + Adam Lambert collaboration has become a worldwide phenomenon.
I decided that I needed to see for myself, so I snagged some tickets to the show this past Sunday at Philadelphia's Wells Fargo Center.
Adam made it very clear to the audience right at the start that he wasn't there to replace Freddie. Just as he told me years ago, he was there to pay tribute to the rock god.
And boy, did he pay tribute.
The 2 hour plus show was both a walk down memory lane and an introduction of Queen's music to a new generation.
The musicians were into it.
The sold out crowd was into it.
And the energy was palpable.
While there will never be another composer, musician, and performer all in one like Freddie Mercury, I got to see something that I truly never thought I would - one of the greatest bands in rock with a singer who could truly do justice to the genius who set the bar so impossibly high.
If you ever get the chance to see Queen + Adam Lambert, do it.
You won't be sorry.
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