Review in the Swedish newspaper Skånskan, February 16.
Queen + Adam Lambert
Jyske Bankboxen, Herning February 15.
4 stars out of 5
”Grandiose, luxurious, and variously professional”
REVIEW. Let’s get it out-of-the-way from the get go to not upset all the doubting hardcore fans; no, you cannot replace Freddie Mercury as the singer of Queen, of course not.
It was not possible previously when Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers did his five-year long stint during the past decade, and it’s not possible now either with the American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert as their front man. A big plus sign between Queen and his name on the posters and t-shirts emphasises that point. So if it ever happens that someone else becomes a proper replacement as the front man of Queen, it’ll be when hell freezes over, to spoof The Eagles’ Don Henley’s rigid opinion on a possible reunion of that particular band when it was spoken of.
However, that does not mean that the remaining members can’t honour their previous front man and at the same time make a whole lot of people happy. Especially if it’s done with such colourful dignity, inspiration and style as it was done on Sunday. Because one can only conclude that this is a combination that works. You could have done without some of the shorter solo numbers but apart from that, this was an as luxuriously grandiose as variously professional event which showcased the band’s work in all its multifaceted adornment. It might sound predictable to describe it all as an unstoppable procession of triumph, but it’s difficult to avoid such statements. With a hit-filled song catalogue like the one Queen possesses, a lot would be needed to not make it a success when the already existing structure is so good.
But it’s worth stressing that the exuberantly energetic Lambert is the vitamin-kick the original duo Brian May and Roger Taylor need in order to be motivated to keep their legacy alive, considering that they’ve now reached their retirement ages, and the 33-year-old did indeed take the command from the first note in the opening numbers One Vision and Stone Cold Crazy, two of the band’s most obvious hard rock songs. The gravitas and showmanship was as convincing as the pitch perfect voice. But there would be even more memorable moments. The always sorrowful Who Wants to Live Forever was filled to the brim with grand emotions and class that almost equalled the original.
In similar fashion, I imagine that Mercury was smiling in heaven when the leather clad Lambert performed a sparkly, theatrical, tongue-in-cheek version of Killer Queen whilst posing on a divan at the edge of the stage. And speaking of Freddie, it might just have been May’s interpretation of Love of My Life that was the night’s most touching moment. A montage of the singer flashed by on the video screen as the guitarist sang, and it was also then that you understood and realised just how much he still misses his friend. Therefore, it was a given that Bohemian Rhapsody was performed with both Lambert and Mercury on vocals. In that way, the deceased rock legend was almost present for real. Which I think he would have appreciated. Because this show was exactly as pompously rich, glamorous, and tastefully over the top as you have the right to expect in a Queen context.
Review by Peter Eliasson
Translation by @hellonhighheels