Queen’s original classic lineup lasted 21 years and came to an end with the death of their legendary lead vocalist, Freddie Mercury. Many consider Mercury to be sui generis and the greatest voice in rock to this day. His vocal range could shatter glass. In that time, Queen had six #1 albums in the U.K. and another one following Mercury’s death. After Mercury’s passing, bassist John Deacon left the band. Only twice since Mercury’s death have Deacon, guitarist Brian May and drummer, Roger Taylor reunited. The two occasions were the Freddie Mercury tribute concert and their Rock N’ Roll Hall of Fame induction. In 2004, May and Taylor re-formed Queen with Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers. With Rodgers, Queen completed two tours. Four years later, Queen found an emerging artist to be their new lead vocalist. After placing second on American Idol, Adam Lambert went on to become Queen’s front-man at the age of 29. Queen stopped at The Forum in Los Angeles, CA for two sold-out nights this past weekend, (July 19 and 20). The first night fell on May’s birthday and the second night was the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 landing, which had various celebrations last week.
Lambert is now on his fifth tour with Queen. The current tour is called The Rhapsody Tour to coincide with the film Bohemian Rhapsody. When Lambert joined Queen, he brought in a new generation of fans. With the immense success of the film, the band saw the coming of a new fanbase. It’s not uncommon for bands today to find a new lead singer from a tribute band that sounds exactly like the singer being replaced. For Queen, Adam Lambert doesn’t sound like or try to be Mercury. Instead, he performs as himself but with a modern twist on Mercury’s essence and larger than life persona. Appreciation is shown to Lambert for creating his own presence in the band. If there is anyone that can fill Freddie’s larger than life position, it is Lambert; he's the perfect fit. The show began with a virtual curtain opening on the big screen with Brian May playing the lead riff to “Now I’m Here.” Then, Lambert emerged behind Taylor’s drums. Queen played a staggering 30 songs, however some were shortened to fit in all of the hits. Enjoying the band's charismatic charm from the crowd included Steve Vai, Nuno Bettencourt (Extreme), Eric Singer (KISS), Linda Perry, Brent Woods and more.
There were many highlights from Lambert rising up on a motorcycle for “Ride My Bicycle” in a Rob Halford style outfit, to a giant disco ball on “I Want to Break Free,” and Frank the Robot from the News of the World album cover making an appearance during “We Will Rock You.” May rose atop the screen for his solo song "'39" and had an asteroid below him that came down for an epic guitar solo. Mercury was brought back to life twice during the show. The first was for "Love of My Life," which May performed solo on acoustic guitar and the second time was for his famous "Aye Oh" sing-along, which came before the encore. Lambert's vast amount of wardrobe changes were also memorable, especially his final outfit replicating Mercury's king persona.
Queen ended the show with “We Will Rock You,” and “We Are The Champions,” with confetti shooting out. The band took a bow before exiting the stage leaving fans in indescribable awe.