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.
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.
Hammer To Fall
Stone Cold Crazy
Tie Your Mother Down
Another One Bites The Dust
Fat Bottomed Girls
Don’T Stop Me Now
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
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
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.