QueenOnline On Tour: Detroit rocks! / Double Canadian special
Wilki Amieva from QOL.es continues his North American adventure...
After a long detour to visit the Niagara Falls and eat some Buffalo wings, I was finally in Detroit... Now, I've been told that Detroit is a 'rock city', so I was really looking forward for this concert. We met some locals and had lunch, I decided to go 'healthy' (for once) and had a great Michigan cherry chicken salad (thanks Andrea!). The Palace of Auburn Hills is a big building surrounded by a massive parking lot. Since mid-afternoon this lot was getting full of people sitting outside their cars, under the sun, a refreshing can or glass of beer in hand, talking about music in general and rock in particular... A real American tailgate party! Really nice (but definitely NOT 'healthy' :-). The concert itself was wonderful. ‘Lap Of The Gods’ filled up the place with smoke so dense you couldn't see the band - it was a very '70s sight! After ‘Killer Queen’, Adam took a long sip from the champagne bottle, and spat over a lady on the first row, then mischievously said “Sorry, Ma'am... Did I get you wet?” (that line was a keeper). '39 saw Brian May introducing 'Commander' Roger Taylor, 'a younger' Mr. Taylor, 'Navigator' Neil Fairclough and Spike as the handler of the 'flux capacitor'. ‘Days Of Our Lives’ was really appreciated by the audience, and both Freddie and John Deacon were cheered. Neil added a full bass adaptation of ‘Nevermore’, played in his Fender Precision, to his bass solo, then continued on the upright bass - no ‘Staying Power’ this time. ‘Nevermore’ was really, really beautiful, albeit not so many people noticed this hidden gem from ‘Queen II’ got played! During ‘Love Kills’ the audience was speechless. Brian's solo was beautiful, but not as long as Dallas'. As soon as the intro from ‘The Show Must Go On’ started, the crowd approved with a big noise. This time, Brian came out to do ‘We Will Rock You’/’We Are The Champions’ in a 'Made In Detroit' t-shirt.
I arrived in the beautiful city of Toronto (in which I had spent some time in my youth) just in time to meet with some friends from Argentina and England in a sports bar to watch the World Cup Final. It was more like a very long chess game than a football match, and both teams had little chances to score. Anyway, I enjoyed the final a lot, despite the outcome. I must say Germany was an outstanding team and deserved the championship ...but we felt so depressed! Molson beer helped a little - knowing we were heading to the Air Canada Centre (after a quick visit to the nearby CN Tower) to enjoy a Queen + Adam Lambert concert helped a lot. The show itself was tight, and it had a lot of experimentation on it. I decided not to review it song by song, because I was 'on duty' taking pictures, I was tired, and after three shows it would get repetitive and hence boring. Sorry Toronto, perhaps next show. But I do remember a few things... The solos were fairly long, and Adam's vocal interaction with the public was extended. They used the confetti cannon this time, and the venue was literally filled with golden sparks. By the way, there are a LOT of golden ‘things’ in this show, but I'll leave that for another time…
I briefly saw Roger and Brian after the show in Montréal, they both smiled at me and said they were sorry about the WC Final. I also met big boss Jim Beach, and he kindly let me see the concert from the front-of-house sound desk, and take pictures of the production. I felt so humbled - what could I say? But I digress... The stage design, the lighting, the screens, the special effects... they make such a BIG impression in this show - no photos could do it justice. From the starter ‘Now I'm Here’ it was clear that we weren't dealing with an ordinary crowd. You're LOUD people, Montréal! I saw soundman extraordinaire Rob had to slide the master fader a couple of notches higher during the show. ‘Lap Of The Gods’ was sung so beautifully by both the band AND the audience, that it brought tears to my eyes. Freddie would have been so proud that one of his 'non-hit' songs is still rocking 40 years on! After ‘Killer Queen’, Adam took his customary long sip of Champagne, spat it and said “Champagne sucks!!!”, which was met with hysteric laughter from the crowd. It seemed everybody was on fire tonight. Bri, before ‘Love Of My Life’: “Bonjour... bonsoir! I'll be speaking in a très, très bad... mélange of Anglais and Français […] Do you remember the old times? For those who do not remember them – like me...” Haha! The love song by “Monsieur Freddie Mercury” was sung by everyone at the Bell Centre, and I mean EVERYONE - even the local security staff. Rog's solo was also superb! Adam's vocal ad-libs after ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ were great: “Give me all your Montréal love!”. Another song that got strong crowd reaction was ‘The Show Must Go On’, again. For the encores, Brian appeared on stage wearing a Canadiens de Montréal ice hockey jersey, and both songs were, well, LOUD!!! And this time the confetti was yellow!
Now, after five shows in six days, having slept only about 16 hours in total (most of them NOT in a bed), I'm really looking forward for a free day of rest and a little of sightseeing. See ya later!
(Photo: Corinne Cavallo)