It’s no secret that Queen and Adam Lambert have been desperate to get back on the road after a two-year delay to their Rhapsody world tour. Now it’s the UK and Europe’s turn and Express.co.uk had the pleasure of witnessing the second of their epic 10-night residency at London’s The O2. It’s been over 30 years since Freddie Mercury died and 25 on from John Deacon’s retirement, but Brian May and Roger Taylor have been determined to keep Queen going ever since.
Having Queen perform with only half the original line-up may seem a brave choice, with accusations of being “a tribute band” having been thrown at them in the past by some snooty critics.
Nevertheless, having found a voice to live up to – and maybe even surpass at times – the incredible vocals of Freddie Mercury in Adam Lambert, Brian and Roger knew they were on to something. A decade on and the trio are still touring together, but does it work? After all, the Queen pair are in their mid-seventies aren’t they?
Attending our first ever Queen and Adam Lambert concert this week, Express.co.uk undeniably can confirm that yes, absolutely – well beyond even the most positive expectations.
Effortlessly, the trio sped through high-powered, loud and fully energised Queen classics from Tear It Up and Hammer To Fall to Killer Queen and Don’t Stop Me Now – and they’d only just started.
Just witnessing the opening, we were thrilled to see how full of life and vigour both Roger and Brian were at 73 and almost 75. And they kept going for over 2 hours without a break!
Accompanied by their thundering drums and stupendous electric guitar riffs was, of course, Adam on the vocals, wowing the audience with his unbelievable singing that showed not just complete control at the highest level but also sheer talent that totally lives up to Freddie Mercury and his legacy – as did his multiple elaborate costume changes.
Queen have always been known for being incredible live and only lived up to this 50 years on, with a sound as clear, smooth and dynamic as an actual record.
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Halfway through, Queen and Adam Lambert slowed a little on their journey for some of their quieter tracks, giving both Brian and Roger a chance to show off their impressive voices too.
A real highlight was seeing the guitarist go acoustic for Love of My Life, inviting the 20,000 strong audience to shine their phone torches in a wave of beautiful lights.
Adding touchingly to his rendition was seeing footage of the late, great Freddie appear behind Brian to sing with him before the two nodded approving at each other on the big screen.
On top of their sheer musical talent, Queen and Adam Lambert are incredible performers, who accompanied most of their songs with stunning special effects behind them or theatrical magic on and around the stage.
For Bicycle Race, the singer appeared on a motorbike, while for A Kind of Magic saw Brian fire sparks from his guitar as he does in the 1986 music video.
Another highlight saw him standing on the moon surrounded by planets during one of his epic guitar solos.
It’s also worth mentioning on the musical side the impressive work of their fellow band members, keyboardist Spike Edney, percussionist Tyler Warren and bassist Neil Fairclough, with the latter nailing John Deacon’s bass riffs on Another One Bites The Dust and Under Pressure.
It wasn’t long though before Queen and Adam Lambert were back to blasting us all away with the band’s all-time greatest hits, most notably with Bohemian Rhapsody and Brian dressing up as Cyborg for the iconic guitar solo.
And who could forget the encore? Freddie soon came back on stage for his Ay Ohs, warming up the crowd further before We Will Rock You and a gold-covered stage accompanied We Are The Champions in one epic finale.
An amazingly entertaining night from Queen and Adam Lambert. We wanted it all, we wanted it now and we got it.
Queen and Adam Lambert tickets can be booked here.