So I don’t know about anyone else but Queen have been one of those rock legends I have grown up listening to and I always thought to myself ‘I want to be like them when I grow up’… However looking back on my childhood self, just being in the same room as the rock gods Brian May & Roger Taylor was enough to satisfy my childhood dreams.
So I had a rocky start to the night with several delayed trains but eventually I made it to Birmingham with just enough time to grab a hot, chocolate waffle from the German Market. (Note these are incredibly hard to eat whilst walking in the freezing cold!) The queues were relatively small and fast moving so I got into the arena in no time at all. As I walked in with anticipation I was filled with joy to find our seats were, in my opinion, the best in the house! Not too high and not too low, just right!
As the lights dimmed and the crowd cheered excitedly and we were greeted with not Queen, but Frank the Robot (a graphic character who would reappear throughout the set). As the teaser for ‘We Will Rock You’ faded, the spot light fell to Brian May and thus began the night of rock with ‘Hammer to a Fall’ into ‘Stone Cold Crazy’. One minute I thought I was in a Queen concert then the next I was transported to a soft metal gig! The versatility in their songs never fails to surprise me! After hearing ‘Tie your Mother Down’ it finally hit me-‘I’m at a Queen concert’ the funky chord sequences and distortion filled the Arena and everyone began clapping-definitely a song you can’t help but tap your feet too!
Now, Adam Lambert! Flamboyant, passionate, Lambert. I mean no one could ever replace Freddie Mercury but Lambert is by far the best vocalist to represent him. The only way to truly explain Lambert’s performance and personality is, if you were to imagine Freddie Mercury’s voice and George Michael’s fashion combined=Adam Lambert. What a beautiful creation! His first eye-opening outfit was a pink glittery suit with 4 inch pink glittery heels! The LGBTQ+ community and I certainly respect him!
As Frank’s head reappeared again from within the stage floor, with Adam sitting on top, ‘Killer Queen’ began! The facial expressions and comedic dancing exaggerated his personality and connected with the audience, however he was not too over the top. Even though this was a gig for all the generations Lambert managed to slip in many innuendos- especially at the end of ‘Killer Queen’ as he attempts to get off ‘Frank’.
Before starting one of my favourite songs by Queen (‘Don’t Stop Me Now’) Adam Lambert introduced Brian May and Roger Taylor which in my opinion was something rather special, it wasn’t just the ‘Adam Lambert’ show, you can tell how privileged it is for him performing with them. I think the most memorable part of the gig was definitely Lambert riding across the stage on a pink glittery tricycle singing ‘I want to ride my bicycle…tricycle’! (photo). However , Brian May’s acoustic version of ‘Love of my Life’ was certainly an emotional one, as slowly fades in a clip of Freddie Mercury. The arena erupted in cheers and little lights lit up the room like a starry sky. A beautiful tribute.
To switch the mood around everyone left the stage but Roger Taylor and a second drum kit. This meant only one thing…Drum Battle!! For someone of the grand age of 68 I take my hat off to Taylor, he has serious talent and would win a drum battle any day! After a lovely introduction to the rest of their tour band Lambert and Taylor combined their vocals for ‘Under Pressure’. Even though David Bowie’s duet with Queen is phenomenal Lambert and Taylor certainly did the song justice! As soon as the synth and May’s ‘I Want to Break Free’ riff was heard, I was expecting Lambert to walk out in an extravagant outfit holding a Hoover. However to my surprise he came out in a fairly plain outfit (glittery silver top with a cape and ripped skinny jeans)- plain for Lambert.
Another moment in the gig which certainly pulled on my heart strings was when the arena fell in complete darkness and another clip of Freddie Mercury appeared singing and interacting with the audience to ‘You Take My Breath Away’. I can tell you now, the performance certainly took my breath away! Mercury would be proud!
Frank returned to lift Brian May into ‘space’ taking full advantage of the graphics and the space theme. May’s astounding guitar solos in ‘Last Horizon’ and ‘Brighton Rock’ further increases my love and respect for my all time guitar hero. After 5 minutes of synchronised clapping to ‘Radio Ga Ga’ the rock anthem that is ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was sung from the top of everyones lungs! Everyone was up on their feet as a tribute to all four original members of Queen; Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor was played in the form of the original music video.
With a final outfit change in the encore Adam Lambert came running back on the stage wearing a silver suit with a sparkly crown. The champions were back for the last two songs; ’We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are The Champions’! Queen. Definitely royalty of rock music and as the outro suggested ’God save the Queen’ (or King Freddie Mercury).
By far the best gig I’ve ever been too! Never forgotten, Freddie Mercury.
Seren Hutchinson Xx