Review Scene: Queen, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne – 2nd March 2018

There’s nothing like seeing a classic rock band and finding out that they’re still at the top of their game. From the explosive opening of Hammer to Fall to We Are the Champions the band kept the audience in the palm of their (robot) hand the entire night.

Roger Taylor & Brain May were joined onstage by Adam Lambert on vocals, Spike Edney – keyboards, vocals, Neil Fairclough – bass guitars, vocals and Tyler Warren – percussion, additional drums, vocals.

The set featured the robot from the “News of the World” album (their 6th studio, album released in 1977). The robot, apparently named “Frank”, popped up throughout the night on the video screen and as an animatonic head rising from the stage, supporting Adam Lambert while he sang Killer Queen.

The stage very cleverly recreated the shape of May’s “Red Special” guitar – with the neck of the guitar forming a walkway out into the audience. May took to the end of the stage with an acoustic guitar to play Australia’s National Anthem, which turned out to be Highway to Hell. He then played Love of My Life, accompanied by the light of the audience’s phones (the only thing iPhones are good for, according to Brian). The end of the song brought out Freddie Mercury on the screen to finish it off, cleverly superimposed to look as if he were standing beside May at the end of the catwalk. It was an emotional moment.

Photo by Ros O’Gorman

Vocally Brian May & Roger Taylor could carry the gig by themselves – Taylor in fact did sing a couple of songs – I’m in Love With My Car & Kind of Magic, but they really need a front man to be Queen. The great worry about the night was that Lambert was going to try to be Freddie. He brought up the “elephant in the room”. He was very open about the fact that he wasn’t Freddie and wasn’t trying to be. We were all there to pay tribute to Freddie through the music. Lambert achieved that admirably.

May had his signature Vox AC30s – 9 of them. You’d be hard pressed to find that many anywhere in one place in Australia.

The catalogue of songs that they ran through was just staggering. There were so many hits that it was hard to count. The inclusion of a P!nk cover (What Do You Want From Me), was a little mystifying (I’ve since found out that it was recorded by Adam Lambert first). The audience really didn’t seem to know what to make of it.

It was slightly disturbing to leave the venue to find a six foot rabbit playing We Are the Champions to a backing track, but the passers by seemed to enjoy it.


SET LIST:

Hammer To Fall
Stone Cold Crazy
Tie Your Mother Down
Another One Bites The Dust
Fat Bottomed Girls
Killer Queen
Don’T Stop Me Now
Bicycle Race
I’m In Love With My Car
Get Down, Make Love
I Want It All
Highway To Hell
Love Of My Life
Find Me Someone To Love
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Drum Solo
Under Pressure
Kind Of Magic
What Do You Want From Me (P!nk)
I Want To Break Free
Who Wants To Live Forever
Guitar Solo On Top Of Robot Hand
Radio Gaga
Bohemian Rhapsody

Encore:
We Will Rock You
We Are The Champions

Editors Note: There are a lot of Adam Lambert fans out there! Our reviewer was unaware that Adam Lambert had recorded the song written by Pink “Whatya Want From Me” before she released it. We stand corrected.

About Mandy Hall 668 Articles
Mandy is a music photographer & writer. She runs Mandy Hall Media, which includes Social Media marketing, PR & Graphic Design for the music industry. She is also a web developer - she created and supports this website.

6 Comments on Review Scene: Queen, Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne – 2nd March 2018

  1. You Apparently did not do your homework. Whataya Want From Me is an Adam Lambert song co-written by Marten, Shellback, and Pink. It was on Adam’s 2009 album For Your Entertainment. Adam also got a Grammy nomination for his song Whataya Want From Me.

  2. You are still incorrect and misleading. Pink wrote “Whatya Want From Me” and gave the song to Adam. She never recorded it at that time. Once Adam had a huge hit, she began to use it in her shows regularly. So she covered Adam’s original version. Fact checking works…..

  3. Whataya Want From me was written by Max Martin, Pink, and Shellback. It was only released as a single and made a hit by Adam, so not a cover. Double platinum in the US and Platinum in Australia and multiple other countries. Adam’s fans were at these concerts too so his song would be familiar to them. Brian and Roger have said that without Adam, they would not be touring and filling arenas around the world. So very nice of them to allow one of his songs in the concerts to show their appreciation and admiration for him. It is their call. Queen is great and Adam is recognized by them and fans as a valued addition. They have been pleasing fans all around the world and Australia as well.

  4. Nice review – but May and Taylor could never vocally “carry the gig” by themselves – which one would sing “Who Wants to Live Forever” – and May has said a number of times that the only reason they can tour is Lambert. But it’s a great show – have seen it. Thanks again –

  5. Adam has several hits in Australia in his own right. WYWFM is just one of them – the biggest hit while his most recent was Ghost Town. Since it’s Queen + Adam Lambert I think they decided after 5 years touring together it was about time they let Adam showcase one of his hits too especially since a large section of the audience is made up of Adam Lambert fans who have never heard of Queen before he introduced them to their music. Thanks for the review. I was there too. It was a stunning night and the audience adored Adam!!! Brian & Roger have still got it and can both sing & I don’t know where they all get their energy from. These are intense songs they’re performing. Brilliant in so many ways

  6. Who cares that Adam originally did What di ya Want From Me? The show is about THE band. Saw it Mar 3rd. May was brilliant and Taylor has brushed up his vocals too. May sang a lot of the original Who wants to Live Forever. He could have sung it again. Tears in my eyes when Freddie hologram appeared to sing a verse of “Love of my Life”. Greg

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*