Queen + Adam Lambert Gear Up For Much-Anticipated UK & Europe 2022 Rhapsody Tour
Epic 36-date itinerary begins in Belfast, Friday May 27 with final stop in Tampere, Finland, July 25, including 10-date run at London’s The O2
Twice postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the much-anticipated Rhapsody Tour by Queen + Adam Lambert is finally all set to rock its way across the UK and Europe for eight weeks from late May to late July.
The show has been hailed as “the latest astonishing chapter in the story of rock’s greatest band, putting a brand new, highly distinctive spin on over five decades of Queen’s music.” The arena tour begins on Friday, May 27 with the first of two consecutive dates at Belfast’s SSE.
Brian May, Roger Taylor, Adam Lambert and the band then perform at Manchester’s AO Arena on May 30 and 31, moving on to a brace of shows at Glasgow’s OVO Hydro on June 2 and 3. They then begin a rarely-achieved residency of no fewer than ten nights at London’s The O2 on June 5, during which time there are also two shows in Birmingham at the Utilita Arena (11 and 12).
In all, the Rhapsody Tour will see Queen + Adam Lambert performing 36 shows across Europe. After a two-year wait, audiences will finally have the chance to see the epic new show which drew awe and acclaim on its initial outing in North America in 2019 and became rock’s hottest ticket of the year in the US. The concerts will be the band’s first European dates since the worldwide box office sensation that was the Bohemian Rhapsody biopic.
The all-new Rhapsody show - praised as “a marvel of technical advances” – followed its North American outing with 17 stadium concerts across South Korea, Japan, Australia and New Zealand in 2020 playing to nightly audiences as large as 75,000 when in Sydney, Australia, Queen + Adam performed for Fire Fight Australia, before the show was abruptly curtailed by the unprecedented world lockdowns introduced in April 2020.
Ever the masters of extravagant performance and sumptuous visuals, Queen + Adam Lambert’s newest production is again the work of Stufish Entertainment Architects’ set designer Ric Lipson and lighting designer Rob Sinclair. Both have a long-term association with Queen including the band’s eye-popping News Of The World-inspired touring show of 2017-18.
Lipson describes the two-and-a-half-hour production as “a new chapter in the history of the band. Once again for them expanding the parameters of what a live music experience can be, this new show delivers the band’s most spectacular yet, an innovative and interactive celebration of the continued power of Queen’s music.”
Since Adam Lambert first shared the stage with Queen for the 2009 American Idol final, his dynamic performances have reinvigorated the band and delighted fans worldwide. Starting as they meant to go on, their first full show together in June 2012 thrilled a crowd of half a million strong in the Ukrainian capital city of Kiev. Since then, May and Taylor’s musical fireworks have been matched by Lambert’s vocal prowess and stage presence, making for an explosive combination.
Over 200 gigs later, the partnership has remained a commercial and critical triumph, playing to enraptured full houses in every corner of the world, with total audiences of close to four million. The band’s Live Around The World album, released in October 2020, provided Queen with its tenth No. 1 album in the UK and gave Adam Lambert his first, and topped charts around in the world.
Roger Taylor said: “We are all absolutely gagging to get out there and start filling arenas with Queen again. I was lucky enough to play a tour last October to promote my album Outsider, which was great fun but it was obviously a more modest outing. However, playing with Queen is the real deal. It was so frustrating when the Rhapsody Tour was interrupted in March 2020, and it feels as if we’ve been suspended in aspic ever since. But I’m absolutely overjoyed that the half a million or more people who bought tickets for this leg of the tour have kept their tickets. The absolute joy of being able to get out and connect with thousands of people is palpable.”
Brian May said: “Just the thought of getting back on tour is incredibly exciting. I can feel the tension building already! Two years ago we finished the Australia leg of our tour, which included the Fire Fight benefit concert at the ANZ Stadium in Sydney, in front of around 75,000 people. That was like another Live Aid and it was one of the best concerts we’ve ever played. So we were on a real emotional high after that. We’d played the States, Korea, Japan, New Zealand and Australia – and we were then plunged straight into lockdown. So we now have a real obligation to deliver, after postponing these dates twice. We’ve got the crew back together. There will be no compromises. This is going to be a full Queen show. There’s nothing like it. We are all so excited to see people’s reactions and exceed everybody’s expectations.”
Adam Lambert said: “I am so anxious to get back on stage! It has been incredibly frustrating for all musicians over the last two years because we really do live for this physical connection with the audience. We had just played an amazing tour of America, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, and we were all ready to play Britain and Europe, but then lockdown happened. I was very lucky to do a few shows on my own last year – but there is nothing like being on a stadium and arena tour with Queen. It is such a thrill and I am desperate to get out there again.”
Click here for Tour dates and ticket links.
(Photo: Bojan Hohnjec)