Q+AL Reviews – Chicago


antiMusic.com – “Queen + Adam Lambert is pure majesty.”
– Rolling Stone – “Queen have a boatload of hits… and a boatload more.”
– Camel Clutch – “…put on a brilliant show on their opening night of their US tour.”
– Voice – Suntimes – “Queen, Adam Lambert rock the United Center in tour kick-off.”
Chicago Tribune – “Queen, Adam Lambert bring back the glam.”
– Music News – “…proved that Brian May and Roger Taylor remain immense talents and Adam Lambert can certainly sing.”
– Hollywood Reporter – “Adam Lambert and Queen Rock Chicago on Opening Night. Tour kicked off in glam style onThursday night.”
Contact Music – “Queen, Adam Lambert Blast Off With Bombastic Tour Opener.”
– Classic Rock – First night video and pictures.
– Reuters – “Queen continue to rock.”
– Associated Press – Queen + Adam Lambert in Concert – Chicago.
Billboard – Opening Night Photos!
– Today.com – Adam Lambert Rocks Out with Queen
– Official Photo Gallery – Facebook.


Queen and Adam Lambert’s Tour Opener: 5 Things We Learned
20 June 2014 by Dan Hyman

Regal rock band and their new frontman make a grand U.S. debut at Chicago’s United Center

Adam Lambert and Brian May, United Center, Chicago
Adam Lambert and Brian May perform at Chicago’s United Center in Chicago, Illinois. – Neal Preston

Even when he was auditioning for American Idol, singing “Bohemian Rhapsody” for the judges with all his falsetto fireworks, it was readily apparent Adam Lambert had a major soft spot for Queen. That he would later perform with the band itself at the end of his season — and brilliantly so, at that — only solidified the increasingly obvious fact: This singer and all his octave-defying range and theatrical flair owed a clear debt of gratitude to the late Freddie Mercury.

It was fitting and not altogether surprising, then, when Lambert quickly linked up with the legendary act, serving as their frontman at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards and again during a brief European tour. Last night, kicking off a 24-date North American run at Chicago’s United Center, the union of Lambert and Queen became official.

“It’s so crazy that this came out of American Idol,” Lambert admitted during a recent interview with Rolling Stone. Yet if the singer was any parts bewildered by his luck, he didn’t show it on Thursday evening: The tour’s opening show was a spectacle of the grandest order. Here are five things it taught us:

Adam Lambert is no Freddie Mercury, but the man sure can sing.

This isn’t the first time Queen have attempted to replace their iconic frontman: Everyone from Wyclef Jean to Robbie Williams to Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers, who toured with the band for the better part of the Aughts, has stepped into the late singer’s massive shoes. From his cheeky call-and-response during “Another One Bites the Dust” to his outsize take on “Killer Queen,” spreading out on a purple lounger and fake-chugging champagne, Lambert proved as brilliant a fill-in as you’re bound to find.

It’s a shame he wasn’t given more a cappella turns, however: “Somebody to Love” was goose bump-inducing thanks to Lambert’s vocal acrobatics. And that’s to say nothing of his vocal magic during “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions.”

Photo: Neal Preston
Photo: Neal Preston

Queen don’t skimp on spectacle.

Queen put on a rock show, but one that often feels more like a Vegas spectacle. Dizzying, rainbow stage lights: check. Red-and-green laser lights draping the entire arena in a Christmas hue: surely. A floating drum riser from which Taylor smacked the skins during a thrashing encore rendition of “We Will Rock You”? Of course. A gold glitter shower to close out the evening? How could they not? These flourishes were always for the best.

Queen have a boatload of hits… and a boatload more.
Beyond the classics, Queen earned a huge response from tracks like the slinky soiree “Who Wants to Live Forever,” the Broadway-esque “The Show Must Go On” and the swaying “In the Lap of the Gods.” Their greatest undertaking? A reinterpretation of Mercury’s “Love Kills,” a 1984 solo track that the frontman made with Giorgio Moroder for a restored version of the 1927 silent film Metropolis. Here, the band slowed it down, performing as a trio at the front of the catwalk. Lambert’s vocals hung just below the upper-deck risers: “Bless him,” he said in a toast to Mercury. “But we do a version of this our way.”

May and Taylor are supremely underrated talents.
Lambert made the headlines, but his vocals would have nowhere to sit if Brian May and Roger Taylor weren’t such pros. Last night, the former channeled David Gilmour during a brilliant extended guitar intro to “Tie Your Mother Down” and unleashed far more thrash and distortion then many would have expected. The latter, meanwhile, kept his sticks on the pulse all evening, dropping smacking martial beats during “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Radio Ga Ga.”

The wardrobe department came through bigtime.
Let’s be honest: What’s a Queen show without some spectacular outfits? By our count, Lambert wore eight different ones during the two hour gig. His bandmates? They stuck to more traditional attire — shirt and slacks — but don’t worry: May did don a gold cape during “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It was only fitting.

Queen, Adam Lambert rock the United Center in tour kick-off
20 June 2014 by Jeff Elbel

Brian and Adam
Brian May of Queen (left) and Adam Lambert at the United Center Thursday night. | PHOTO BY JEFF ELBEL / FOR THE SUN-TIMES

One thing’s certain: Thursday night’s concert at United Center by Queen and Adam Lambert was the only show in Chicago to include both a physics lesson and a singer in a diamond-studded leopard skin suit. It was the perfect pairing of brainy and challenging rock music with outrageous and glamorous attitude.

Since the death of beloved Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in 1991, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor have tended the eternal flame of the band’s legacy. During the 2000s, the pair partnered with Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers. Rodgers’ pipes were well-matched to full-tilt rockers like May’s “Tie Your Mother Down,” but perhaps lacked a measure of the flamboyant flair to fully inhabit the grand, romantic sweep of Mercury’s “Somebody to Love.”

Enter Lambert.

Adam and Roger
Adam Lambert brought his personal glitz to the music of Queen Thursday night at the United Center. | PHOTO BY JEFF ELBEL / FOR THE SUN-TIMES

As he struck a decadent pose atop a purple-and-gold chaise lounge during a very glam “Killer Queen,” it was clear that Lambert possessed the charisma to pay maximum tribute to Mercury’s larger-than-life persona. It helped that he had skill to match the theatricality. Rafter-raising showstoppers including “We are the Champions” and “The Show Must Go On” displayed Lambert’s pop sensibility and dizzying range while simultaneously showcasing May’s unparalleled rock soloing technique.

“We played to some of your mothers and fathers, I’m sure,” said May after crossing the catwalk with his acoustic guitar to the center of the room. Dr. May then gave a brief description of Einsteinian relativity while introducing “’39,” a tale of tragic love and time travel.

Adam and Brian
Adam Lambert and Brian May in Chicago, June 19, 2014. | PHOTO BY JEFF ELBEL / FOR THE SUN-TIMES

Taylor paid tribute to Mercury while singing “These are the Days of Our Lives.” The video screen flashed nostalgic images of Queen’s younger days. Next, Taylor performed a drum duet with his son. Taylor brought the house down with bombastic precision during “I Want It All.” The players offered little evidence of opening-night jitters on their North American tour’s debut. The technical side exhibited a few minor bugs including microphone trouble during “Now I’m Here,” occasional synchronization glitches with the video, and a missed cue on the steam jets. Although the band was somewhat loose during “Love Kills,” Lambert’s empathic delivery and soaring vocal flight were spine-tingling. The deep cut was taken from the score for Giorgio Moroder’s 1984 restoration of the film “Metropolis.” “Metropolis” footage also rolled during “Radio Ga Ga,” while the crowd mimicked the unified hand-clap motions of the MTV-era video.

Adam and Brian
Adam Lambert and Brian May ignite the crowd at the United Center on Thursday night.

The camaraderie and mutual love between Queen and Lambert was evident. May and Lambert frequently rubbed shoulders and struck heroic poses together. Taylor and Lambert high-fived after assuming the roles of David Bowie and Mercury for “Under Pressure.” “You know, love makes me feel a little cray-cray, too,” said Lambert as the band launched “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” Lambert channeled Mercury and Elvis Presley in equal measure.

By the time the band finally reached the show’s centerpiece with “Bohemian Rhapsody,” anticipation had built to fever pitch. The crowd roared as Mercury’s image sang the second verse via projection screen. Lambert threw May briefly off balance by bowing down to him, causing May to laugh and miss his last solo entrance. Rather than derail the moment, it seemed endearing and joyful. The performance wasn’t flawless, but the spirit was right for Queen. It was both openly human and majestic. Queen’s next move will be to release “Queen Forever” later this year, featuring outtakes from previous Freddie Mercury studio sessions. It is unknown whether May and Taylor will record with Lambert, as they did with Rodgers for 2008’s “The Cosmos Rocks.” The show at United Center suggested that it could be a powerful collaboration.


Now I’m Here
Stone Cold Crazy
Another One Bites the Dust
Fat Bottomed Girls
In the Lap of the Gods
Seven Seas of Rhye
Killer Queen
Somebody to Love
I Want it All
Love of My Life
These are the Days of Our Lives
Drum duet (Roger Taylor and son – Rufus)
Under Pressure
Love Kills
Who Wants to Live Forever
Guitar solo (Brian May)
Tie Your Mother Down
Radio Ga Ga
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
The Show Must Go On
Bohemian Rhapsody
We Will Rock You
We are the Champions

Adam LambertMUSIC NEWS
Queen & Adam Lambert open US tour
21 Jun 2014

Queen & Adam Lambert officially opened their tour on Thursday night at the United Centre in Chicago with a set that proved that Brian May and Roger Taylor remain immense talents, Adam Lambert can certainly sing, even if it isn’t like Freddie Mercury, and the Queen catalogue is one of the greatest in rock.

The band touched on music from twelve of the fourteen studio albums released during Freddie Mercury’s lifetime, missing just their debut, Queen, and the soundtrack to Flash Gordon. Four each were performed from Sheer Heart Attack and A Night at the Opera. With such a huge catalogue of hits, it is inevitable that some will be missed. Left out of their top twenty American hits were You’re My Best Friend and Body Language. From their British top ten catalogue, they omitted Don’t Stop Me Now (which they did perform earlier in the week at their preview performance), Flash, I Want to Break Free, It’s a Hard Life, One Vision, A Kind of Magic and Breakthru.

The set list:

Main Set

•Now I’m Here (from Sheer Heart Attack, 1974)
•Stone Cold Crazy (from Sheer Heart Attack, 1974)
•Another One Bites the Dust (from The Game, 1980)
•Fat Bottomed Girls (from Jazz, 1978)
•In the Lap of the Gods… Revisited (from Sheer Heart Attack, 1974)
•Seven Seas of Rhye (from Queen II, 1974)
•Killer Queen (from Sheer Heart Attack, 1974)
•Somebody to Love (from A Day at the Races, 1976)
•I Want It All (from The Miracle, 1989)
•Love of My Life (from A Night at the Opera, 1975)
•’39 (from A Night at the Opera, 1975)
•These Are the Days of Our Lives (from Innuendo, 1991)
•Drum Battle
•Under Pressure (from Hot Space, 1982)
•Love Kills (from the soundtrack of Metropolis, 1985)
•Who Wants to Live Forever (from A Kind of Magic, 1986)
•Last Horizon (from Brian Mays’ Back to the Light, 1993)
•Tie Your Mother Down (from A Day at the Races, 1976)
•Radio Ga Ga (from The Works, 1984)
•Crazy Little Thing Called Love (from The Game, 1980)
•The Show Must Go On (from Innuendo, 1991)
•Bohemian Rhapsody (from A Night at the Opera, 1975)
•We Will Rock You (from News of the World, 1977)
•We Are the Champions (from News of the World, 1977)
•God Save the Queen (from A Night at the Opera, 1975)

Queen, Adam Lambert Blast Off With Bombastic Tour Opener
20 June by Lauren James

Queen and Adam Lambert rocked the United Center with a tour kick-off to remember. Queen and Adam Lambert have managed to ace the nerve-wracking first night of their tour in North America, rocking Chicago’s United Center to its foundations with a bombastic rock show to surpass all others. Combining theatrical flair with jaw-dropping vocal abilities, Queen’s adopted singer, Adam Lambert proved his worth as the successor to Freddie Mercury once more.

Chicago - Adam and Brian
Adam Lambert Brian May – A Stormingly Successful Opening Night Left Queen & Adam Lambert Fans Hungry For More.

“We’ve played to some of your mothers and fathers,” guitarist Brian May remarked to the full-house crowd during last night’s show. “And some of your grandchildren, I’m sure.” Noughties Queen singer Paul Rodgers may have had the ability to pull of the power rock group’s more challenging numbers, but it is Idol alum Lambert who truly embodies the spirit of the late flamboyant frontman.

Chicago - Adam Lambert
Lambert Was An Undisputed Star, Working The Crowd With Charisma & Theatrical Flamboyancy.

May told iHeartRadio last year: ”He’s extraordinary. It speaks for itself, his voice. That’s one voice in a billion. Adam can do things which really I have never heard anyone else ever do in my life.”

The 31 year-old certainly looked the part last night, clad in an array of studded leather garments with white trousers and even a full animal-print ensemble at one point. He gave a charismatic performance of the band’s show-stopping tunes, including ‘We Are The Champions,’ and ‘The Show Must Go On.’

Chicago - Roger Taylor
Roger Taylor Launched Into An Impressive Drum Duet With His Son, Rufus.

Meanwhile, May’s unparalleled instinct for an air-guitar inducing rock solo was showcased alongside mellower moments, as best seen on the acoustic track ’39,’ which is a tale of love and time travel. Naturally, the degree-educated astrophysicist felt it was time to impart some of his impressive scientific knowledge upon the crowd, launching into a beginner’s guide to Einsteinian relativity.

Chicago - Adam Lambert and Roger Taylor
Adam Lambert Roger Taylor – The Bombastic Rock Show Included A Tribute To Late Frontman, Freddie Mercury.

Lambert may have taken centre-stage but the band made sure to pay its respects to Mercury, dedicating the song ‘These Are The Days Of Our Lives’ whilst a photo montage of Queen’s younger days was shown. After singing the tribute, drummer Roger Taylor broke into a joint drum feature with his son, Rufus Tiger Taylor.

Adam Lambert and Brian May, United Center, Chicago
Adam Lambert Queen – Alongside An Entertaining Show, Brian May Even Managed To Sneak in A Physics Lesson To Educate Fans – Chicago, Illinois by Neal Preston

Without any noticeable opening night jitters, Queen and Adam Lambert not only managed to pull off a rock show worthy of the history books but also further their continued relevancy in the music industry.

Chicago - Adam Lambert and Brian May, Queen
Adam Lambert Brian May Queen – Many Fans Will Be Expecting Queen To Record An Album With Adam Lambert.

Bohemian Rhapsody’ was, naturally, the jewel in the crown of a glittering and glamorous evening, leaving fans whether Queen will capitalise on the firepower that Lambert lends them by recording a new album.