On Tuesday of this week, Queen took to the stage in Glasgow with American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert fronting the band. When Queen front man Freddie Mercury strutted across the stage at Wembley Stadium during the 1985 Live Aid performance, he had the world at his feet. Sadly, just six years later, the great and much lamented Freddie left us. Who would have guessed that all these years later, Queen would be kicking off their European tour with Lambert filling Freddie’s flamboyant shoes?
The Guardian claims that Queen and Adam Lambert are an unlikely union but that it works. Less than two weeks after Lambert and Queen’s highly acclaimed performance on the New Year “Big Ben Live” show, the unlikely and much anticipated show has finally hit the road to the delight of UK and European concert goers.
Writing about the opening night of the tour, Glasgow’s Evening Times said, “Queen still know how to put on a show and Adam Lambert is a revelation, dancing, strutting and grinding his way through a note perfect performance that Freddie would have approved of.”
Queen and Lambert played their way through hit after hit from Queen’s extensive back catalog, and the set was full of nods to Freddie Mercury. Several songs featuring video of Freddie singing as an accompaniment to the track.
The Times concluded its report by saying, “It’s not the same without Freddie but no-one’s suggesting it ever would or could be. This is not about replacing the iconic front-man, it’s about paying tribute to him and letting fans hear Queen’s songs in the environment they were meant to reside in.”
Adam Lambert clearly agreed with that assessment, as he told the crowd, “I wouldn’t have a f***ing clue what I was doing right now if it wasn’t for the one and only Freddie Mercury. Tonight’s about a celebration and reminding you how he made you feel.”
It says something about the strength of Queen, a band that have sold over 200 million albums, when a two-hour set can’t even include all the hits. Perhaps ironically, “The Show Must Go On” was one of the hit songs missing from the set. The Herald hailed Adam Lambert’s performance as a revelation.
“He had the swagger, the presence, the humor, but above all, the voice, to really give a new life to these songs. He sang Killer Queen draped over a chaise lounge. He hit all the high notes in Somebody To Love and plunged into the crowd during Radio Gaga.”
The encore even had Lambert coming onstage in a leopard-skin leotard and a diamante crown. As the Herald concluded, whilst he may not be divine, in Lambert, Queen have, at last, rediscovered the spirit of Freddie Mercury. Freddie would be proud!