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LIVE: QUEEN & ADAM LAMBERT – Perth, 23 Feb, 2020

| 24 February 2020 | Reply

LIVE: QUEEN & ADAM LAMBERT – Perth, 23 Feb, 2020
Optus Stadium, Perth, Western Australia
Reviewed by Melanie Scrafton
Photography by Damian Crocker

The Rhapsody Tour

In 2018 the Freddie Mercury biopic Bohemian Rhapsody won massive international critical acclaim – one would have to have lived under a rock to escape this knowledge. Whilst Queen have never actually floated under the radar in 40-plus years, this movie and its success ignited them again with even more vigor than the theatrical musical success of We Will Rock You.

Having superbly repeated (for the first time) their iconic career-defining set from 1985’s Live Aid at the Fire Fight Australia Concert in Sydney last weekend, these guys are the hottest ticket in town.

Its been widely reported over the last eight years how fortunate both Queen’s remaining members Roger Taylor & Brian May feel about the inclusion of Adam Lambert as their vocalist, whilst Lambert has also made it known that it is the most fulfilling artistic role of his life. He readily admits to feeling a connection to Freddie’s spirit at every show.

So when the six-piece arrive on stage to the dramatic backing tape of Innuendo, the near-capacity 65,000-strong Optus stadium were ready to be wowed, and wowed they were with not only music, but a light, screen and special effects show that was purely outstanding throughout.

The crowd demographic was fully represented, and how refreshing to see three generations of families enjoying this show together.

Lambert performed the first three songs – Now I’m Here, Seven Seas of Rhye and Keep Yourself Alive – seamlessly, not quite a medley of these early songs from Queens 70’s collection, but close.

Hammer To Fall recreated the 80’s and that Live Aid performance once more, and at this point the show soars to that next level, with everyone in the crowd singing along to these familiar tracks. Adam Lambert makes Killer Queen his own – vocally this man has the late Mercury covered, but his own spin is ever present.

THAT Roger Taylor track, I’m In Love With My Car, makes the cut with great graphics, proving the tune has stood the test of time after all!

Shortly after another of Lambert’s costume changes (there are a few) he appears on stage with the only thing I saw that was better looking than him – a full sized Harley for Bicycle Race. He also shows off seductive dance moves during Another One Bites The Dust.

Brian May performs Freddie’s love ballad for Mary, Love Of My Life solo and acoustic, prefaced by a few bars of John Farnham’s The Voice, featuring vocals by the audience. It’s a goosebump moment, performed simply & beautifully in a true tribute to Freddie, who passed way back in 1991. Phone lights lit up the audience and when Freddie’s image appeared on the big screen behind May for the final chorus it was as if he was still here. A hugely touching moment.

The inclusion of ’39 to their set felt like an unlikely addition, however again performed by May it fitted the spirit of the show nicely. Taylor returned to the stage to perform Doing All Right – a surprise inclusion from their pre-Queen band Smile, and kudos to Taylor: the guy can still sing and play drums, putting much younger men to shame. The band includes Tyler Warren on an extra drum kit and percussion, Neil Fairclough on bass, and Spike Edney on keys.

When the time came for May, Taylor & Lambert to perform Under Pressure, it was emotional moment for many in the huge audience – realising again the musical legacy that Mercury & Bowie have left behind, and their tribute to Led Zeppelin, Whole Lotta Love, was perfection.

With so many of Queen’s original songs so ubiquitous, it’s no surprise that every song was a singalong. May’s guitar solo was preceded by a stunning laser light show for Who Wants To Live Forever, stirring goose bumps again.

Mercury appears on the big screen for a signature singalong Ay Oh, and the audience report is the same as if he was there in the flesh again. The show is concluded – of course – with classics We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions.

Queen are a class act, Adam Lambert gave us a passionate performance, undeniably inspired by Freddie, but still as authentic as one could be in this unique situation. Also undeniable: this was an unmissable, phenomenal show that bought joy, laughter and tears to Perth on a warm summer night. Perfect.

Set List:
Now I’m Here
Seven Seas of Rhye
Keep Yourself Alive
Hammer to Fall
Somebody to Love
Killer Queen
Don’t Stop Me Now
In the Lap of the Gods… Revisited
I’m in Love With My Car
Bicycle Race
Fat Bottomed Girls
Another One Bites the Dust
I Want It All
Love of My Life
Doing All Right
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Drum Solo
Under Pressure
Dragon Attack
Whole Lotta Love
Heartbreak Hotel
I Want to Break Free
You Take My Breath Away
Who Wants to Live Forever
Guitar Solo
Tie Your Mother Down
The Show Must Go On
Radio Ga Ga
Bohemian Rhapsody

Ay Oh
We Will Rock You
We Are the Champions

Category: Live Reviews, Photo Galleries

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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