QUEEN With Adam Lambert:  BACK ON THE ROAD IN 2014

AUBURN HILLS, MICHIGAN  -  I wasn’t paying close enough attention when I heard the news of Queen hitting the road. Worse I was so out of it that I didn’t keep up on the latest developments with their new lead singer – Adam Lambert. Then I found out they were rolling through Auburn Hills and playing at the Palace. I had to make a decision to either go or sit this one out. Now I’ve never been to a real Queen show and to the best of my knowledge I was never able to make that happen. I remember a few years ago they did a tour with Paul Rodgers. The attendance was so poor that they didn’t keep their momentum going. I was pretty sure I would never see them back on the road again. I was just a kid when Queen and Freddie Mercury were selling out arenas all over North America and Europe.

So when I got the news I was on the fence about going to check them out. I would have missed out on a great show if I didn’t go. It turned out Adam Lambert tore it up and brought back the fire from the original touring days of the band. It was an electrifying performance to say the least. Lambert not only cradled every note from the Queen catalog but also brought the songs to new and unexpected heights. It was a thrill seeing these songs brought back to the arena. Adam Lambert of course comes from the American Idol stage and an openly gay performer and knows how to command an audience. He is in no way competing with the memory of Freddie Mercury but offers another chapter of the ongoing rock legacy. Or should I say rock royalty?

The setlist kicks off with, “Now I’m Here” and I knew this song was powerful. In all my years of concert going I never thought I would hear it performed live. As a life long Queen fan I gotta say that it was a thrill watching this unfold before me. The brilliance of guitarist Brian May was surreal. Powerful. Mind blowing. Then up on the remodified electrified drum riser was original drummer Roger Taylor. These guys are seasoned professionals. The original bassist, John Deacon wasn’t in attendance. The sound was cranked up to the level of excellence that made Queen iconic. Then they songs rolled out one right after another from, “Stone Cold Crazy”, “Another One Bites The Dust”, “Tie Your Mother Down”, and “Killer Queen” just to name a few.


After the passing of lead singer Freddie Mercury I had written this chapter of rock off for the history books. I was pretty sure that it was going to be end of the band. This was in spite of the millions of mourning fans world wide. I had just figured I would never experience the fire of this band in a live performance. The AMC theater chain recently showed a digital showing of the film, “Queen Live From Argentina” on the big screen as part of their rock and roll cinema series. The film was powerful, explosive and showed the magnitude of the fanbase in numbers and in devotion. The audience would sing along with Freddie and the experience was hypnotic. You couldn’t take your eyes off the screen and you really didn’t want to. The film left you with a bit of sadness and the grim realization that Mercury was really gone for good. People --- as unique and amazing as they are cannot be replaced. We would never get another great front man like Freddie Mercury again.


Then along comes Adam…..  


QUEEN WITH ADAM LAMBERT - A Powerful Performance - Classic Rock Is Back!

The fleet of touring trucks were impressive. They were big and white with the words, “Queen with Adam Lambert” printed on the sides. People were getting out of their cars to take pictures of the trucks. I mean, there were a lot of people doing this. Everyone was grabbing up pictures with their smart phones. There were kids going to the show, there were teens, young adults, elders and well…. People of all ages. The music of this band has crossed generations and attracted the hearts of many just like – the Beatles. Queen has entered the rank of classic rock right up there with Led Zeppelin, The Who, Pink Floyd, and the Rolling Stones. This is a two hour show and it’s worth every penny. Queen came from the 70’s and like the bands from that era they believed in giving the people a full show in the classic sense. That means you get classic songs, great performance, an acoustic set, ( with songs like 39 ) and a drum solo, and a guitar solo from Brian May. The format reminded me a bit of Paul McCartney and Wings in their classic album, “Wings Over America” and the film, “Rockshow”.

QUEEN WITH ADAM LAMBERT - We feel the excitement as we roll up in the parking lot and are greeted with these monstrous tour trucks. There was at least a dozen of these scattered around before showtime. TO THE RIGHT - is the powerful stage presence of one of the greatest rock bands in the entire world.



The great thing about the show was the little disclaimer that Lambert makes in the beginning, “We believe that when a group of people get together magical things happen…. Let’s make some magic tonight”. I knew then…. That I was going to really be blown away by this performance.


And I was….


The stage presence was bigger than anything I had imagined. You have the large circular projection screen in the back that was surrounded by multicolored lights. There was a ramp that jutted off to the right of the stage and it swirled around down into a runway that cut straight into the front rows. In a way it kind of resembled a giant, “Q”. Then during some of the songs the large circular screen would tip forward and raise itself down over the entire band. There was dry ice cannons and frosty white strobe lights that raced around the circular structure like a big UFO. Then to make sure that people in the back could see everything there was two giant projection screens on the right and left of the stage that showed close ups of the band members performance.


The guitar solo by Brian May was amazing and it seemed to talk directly to my soul. I could almost swear that parts of it was taken from his 1983 music project with Eddie Van Halen, “The Starship Project” but maybe I am reaching. It was soulful and rich and very much welcomed. The guitar sounds echoed over in layered tones and brought back feelings from the classic, “Brighton Rock”. All of these cascading sounds were signatures of the classic Queen sound. It was hard to not get emotional when May made his guitar speak to the masses. There was a message in there that spoke to every generation and it seemed so familiar. It spoke to the heart.


There was an unexpected performance of, “Those Were The Days Of Our Lives” which was one of the last songs Freddie ever did with the band and it was gripping. There was footage of the band members when they were young flashing over the large projection screen to much approval of the audience. This was a very moving tribute to the late singer. It was tastefully done.


The audience was more than ready for, “Bohemian Rhapsody”. This was a tasteful blend of the old classic, and the stellar overdub video performance and then Adam comes in at the very end and delivers the finish. It is a very powerful performance. There is a great light show presence that compliments the entire performance. It is very well handled and the crowd loved it.


“We Will Rock You / We Are The Champions” is the songs finale. A funny thing about this song is that it actually two separate songs. Back in the 70’s radio DJ’s would play both sides of the single back to back because each song was so equally stunning. It has become a rock staple ever since and this is how the song is known all over the world. It was a perfect way to end show. Adam is wearing a crown and is making no mistake of the bands rightful place in rocks history. At the shows close the applause was enthusiastic and the band members all came out and bowed to us. As they walked off the song, “God Save The Queen” was played over the sound system from the album, “A Night At The Opera”. We knew then that there would be no encore. We are closing down the show in the same way Queen has been doing it since the 70’s as documented on the album, “Live Killers”.


On the way out the door I happened to make small talk with fans as we exited the arena. The word on the street is that this was a great show. One guy I talked to said it was a great blend of the past and the new and that the songs sounded updated and relevant! Other fans that I talked to confessed that they have never seen Queen before and felt like that they had experienced the bands full effect. I agree with that and really feel that we even experienced something historic.

If you get the chance to see this tour do so…. It will make your summer!






ADAM LAMBERT - Dragon Attack - We Will Rock You - QUEEN 2014



QUEEN WITH ADAM LAMBERT - The tour shirts were outstanding. Every design carries the best of the old and the new. The classic logo made famous from the album, "A Night At The Opera" is present on the 2014 Tour.



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Queen And Adam Lambert We Will Rock You
:: Now I'm Here :: Stone Cold Crazy :: Somebody To Love ::
Bohemian Rhapsody :: Killer Queen :: Dragon Attack :: We Are The Champions :: Adam Lambert Media ::
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