The electrifying flamboyance of Queen was palpable as breathless bodies in the full arena pulsed with excitement during the opening of “Now I’m Here.” Head to toe in studded black leather, front man Adam Lambert oozed charisma, cheek and glam. “Stone Cold Crazy” continued the thrilling musical chaos with focus on original Queen guitarist Brian May. All smiles, May ripped into his first solo of the night with classic ease.
The simple stage set-up let the music and theatrics of the night envelope fans with its well-rehearsed vigor. “Another One Bites The Dust” was potent with its catchy riff, while Lambert’s immaculate vocal control and freedom played out simultaneously. Not a note was out of place the entire evening. Despite aired concerns over inevitable comparisons with the late Freddie Mercury, 32 year old Lambert was a true showman who captured the songs of Queen with perhaps similar extravagance as Mercury, however also carrying his own personality boldly.
Timeless gems “Fat Bottomed Girls”, “Seven Seas Of Rhye”, “Killer Queen”, and “Somebody To Love” kept everybody on their feet as Lambert strutted the stage with the air of a careless rock star, throwing thrusts to each gritty beat and soaring into falsetto with ease. Lambert was indeed alluring in his racy stage presence, and he knew it too which made the show that whole lot more inviting. At one stage Lambert spread himself out on an elegant purple velvet lounge swigging champagne from the bottle, the essence of mischievous glamour. On the contrary Lambert was quite humble at times revealing pride in sharing the stage with Mercury’s friends and band members, expressing how it was an ‘honour to be up here with icons.’
The spotlight turned to May at this point in the show. Alone on a stool with an acoustic guitar May disclosed his happiness to be in Australia and dedicated the song “39” to Mercury; ‘we’ll do this one for Freddy.’ After flashes of Mercury graced the large screen at the back of the stage throughout the song the rest of the evening’s band was introduced by May. Through “Some Kind Of Magic” original drummer and vocalist Roger Taylor sang as his son Rufus Tiger Taylor accompanied brilliantly on drums.
Another costume change for Lambert as he then flaunted himself on stage once more and performed the crisp and captivating “Under Pressure” and “Dragon Attack.” “Who Wants To Live Forever” ascended with richness and sincerity. An eerie and lengthy interlude followed which centred on May who stretched the boundaries of time and space with an eclectic guitar solo that weaved through the dazzling light show.
Sleeveless and wearing knee high black boots Lambert pulsed through “Radio Ga Ga” enticing a sea of clapping hands. “Bohemian Rhapsody” rose in its brilliance, needing no introduction. Alternating between vocals by Lambert and nostalgic video footage of Mercury in his element, the performance had the arena of fans gripped and wanting more. And so the show continued with a rocking encore.
“We Will Rock You” pounded through the arena as did “We Are The Champions”. Clad in a leopard print suit topped off fittingly with a gold crown and bare chest Lambert was a star with attitude who had the audience rapt from the beginning to the end, where a surge of gold confetti closed the stunning show in style. Nevertheless it is certainly clear that May is the heart of Queen, the man who keeps the spirit of Freddie Mercury alive through the music and lavish thrill of Queen not only as a band, but as a momentous musical entity.