QueenOnline on Tour: Double Texan Special
Wilki Amieva, our QOL.es webmaster is over in North America taking in 14 shows of the Queen + Adam Lambert tour. He's out there as a fan, but we could not resist getting him to do a few reports while he is out on his adventure... ;)
Nick asked me to do some tidbit pieces about the remaining Queen + Adam Lambert tour dates in North America. As Houston was my first gig on the run, after a 5,400 miles flight from Buenos Aires via Miami and 120 minutes of a nerve-wrecking World Cup semifinal, I decided to play it safe, and wait until I had seen a couple of shows before I write my first impressions. So here it is - a double Texan special, with a side of mac 'n' cheese.
OK, Houston first, but before that... a cultural-shock-type-of-thing... Floor seats!? I mean, FLOOR SEATS!? at the ARENA!? in a ROCK concert!? I wouldn't have worried... In both shows, right after the first seconds of kick drum from 'Procession', all the floor people stood up and remained that way pretty much the whole time. Kudos to them.
Back to the Houston Toyota Center... I didn't catch many of the first three songs, as I was 'on duty' taking photos, besides a lovely lady who had come all the way from New Orleans to review the show. Then, ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ and... 'Houston, we've got a problem', Brian's guitar for that song refused to do the blast-off. After some guitar changing and some re-tuning, everything was right on the orbit. ‘In The Lap Of The Gods …revisited’ followed, and I noticed how tight the backing vocals were - in the whole medley, in fact. During ‘Killer Queen’, a girl behind me grabbed my shoulder and shouted "This is too much, ain't it? Too much!" as Adam was doing his thing on on the couch joined by Brian - she was really enjoying herself, so I took it as a good sign. Adam: "This is not me. I'm trying to connect with you guys". ‘Somebody To Love’ was superb, with the audience joining in for every bit. Brian got a standing ovation during his vocal part in ‘I Want It All’. The audience seemed more shy during ‘Love Of My Life’, perhaps they were overwhelmed by emotion. For ‘'39’ the whole band entered the B stage wearing NASA caps, courtesy of Brian's morning trip to the Space Center. He introduced Mr. Taylor "in the cockpit" told us all that Spike's portable keyboard was actually a time-machine! After ‘These Are The Days Of Our Lives’, magnificently sung by Rog, he dueted with Adam in ‘Under Pressure’ - standing ovation, again. But before that, Neil Armstrong, I mean Fairclough incorporated ‘Don't Try Suicide’, ‘Body Language’ and ‘Dragon Attack’ into his bass solo, followed by a frantic drum duet by Rufus and his dad. The re-vamped version of ‘Love Kills’ and ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ brought the house down - Adam really nails them both. Between ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ and ‘Radio Ga Ga’, Adam did his vocal play with the audience. For some reason, Dr. May wasn't able to play the solo from the latter. A somewhat fast-paced ‘The Show Must Go On’ followed. ‘Bo Rhap’ left everyone waiting for more. For the encores, Brian wore a Houston Astros baseball shirt, with the name May and the number 14 on its back. (Edit: Brian said in his website that he thinks he was below the crowd's expectations in this show. Well, if you ask me, the Doc worries too much... :-)
Howdy, Dallas! After some Dealey square walk-around and some steak, I was in the AA Center, what a huge place! Good seats, near a Dutch couple (sorry, dudes!). Now I could properly enjoy the beginning of the show, and what can I say? THAT's the way to start it! Fans of the 'Sheer Heart Attack' album should be on the clouds: 4 songs on the setlist of the current tour are from it, and then ‘Live At The Rainbow '74’ out in September. ‘Fat Bottomed Girls’ not only was glitch-less this time, it was also perfect, with Brian improvising solo after solo. The medley was again brilliant - 'wowo lalala' sing-along included! That set the mood for ‘Somebody To Love’. Brian became quite emotional during ‘Love Of My Life’. Not a single dry eye! ‘'39’ got Rufus, Neil and Brian himself on cowboy hats for the rendition of this "country song", Brian asked for a "yeeeeow!" at the end - he surely got one. Neil added ‘Staying Power’ to his solo. Taylor junior and Taylor senior did a great job on their shared solo, prompting a proud dad to acknowledge: "Rufus Tiger Taylor on drums!" ‘Under Pressure’, the new ‘Love Kills’ and ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’ were followed by three resounding standing ovations in a row - the band was on fire. And it got better! Adam's vocal ad-libs between ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ and ‘Ga Ga’ developed into a full-band jam. Then ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ ended with both Brian and Adam lying on the stage floor, after an extended coda with an sparkling Spike. ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ had the Taylors on a tight pattern - Rog on timpani. In ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, I noticed how Freddie's image quality varied between the film-sourced and video-sourced material. The ending was powerful. By the way, I must say this was probably one of the finest live shows I've attended in my entire life.
Over for now!