Queen & Adam Lambert ready what could be their final tour

Adam Lambert on stage with Brian May
Adam Lambert on stage with Brian May

14 June 2014 by Jane Stevenson

‘It’ll probably be a long show and very loud,’ guitarist Brian May promises.

We are the Champions again. And, quite possibly, for “one last time.”

British rock act Queen are playing North American arenas this summer with American Idol season eight runner up Adam Lambert as frontman for their first tour together on this side of the pond.

And the two remaining Queen members say it could be the last time they hit the road.

“We haven’t done it for a long time and I don’t know how long we’re going to be capable of doing this kind of thing,” said Queen guitarist Brian May, 66, down the line from New York City with Queen drummer Roger Taylor, 64, and Lambert, 32, also on the line. “At the moment it is that feeling, yeah, ‘One last swing around, one last gallop,’ and we’ll see how it goes.”

The trio first appeared together in 2009 on Idol, and again at the 2011 at the MTV European Music Awards before a short 2012 European tour and a seminal performance at the iHeart Radio Festival in Las Vegas in 2013. The upcoming 24-date trek, which kicks off in Chicago June 19, hits seven Canadian cities.

“It really felt like Adam has a great chemistry with us and delivers our songs in his [in]imitable way with his extraordinary and voice,” said Taylor recalling the Sin City performance.

May added fans get to hear the impressive Queen back catalogue with new life breathed into it. “Of course, we’re taking (late singer) Freddie (Mercury)’s material, and it’s alive, it’s kicking, it’s not a fossil, and all the stuff we worked on together, it is still organically growing, and so I think to take Freddie’s material out on tour as well as our own is a great opportunity.”

Certainly, the presence of so many Canadian dates would seem to indicate demand for Queen, who formed in 1970 in London, remains high.

“I think Canada’s always been fantastic for Queen, we have many great memories there, Montreal, Toronto, Vancouver, etc., but the actual routing of the tour really is in the hands of the agents and the management,” said Taylor.

Joked May: “We just have a map of North America and a set of darts.”

Added Taylor: “And a blindfold.” Fans can expect a 90-minute to two hour extravaganza of hits and Taylor says the tour production will be “spectacular but we don’t have the set list mapped out yet but I’m hoping it’ll be a moveable feast.”

“It’ll probably be a long show and very loud,” added May.

For his part Lambert – who is also working on his third solo album in Sweden – grew up idolizing original Queen singer Freddie Mercury, who had a flamboyant stage presence and four octave range before tragically dying from complications from AIDS in 1991 at the age of 45.

Needless to say, Lambert feels like has big shoes to fill and considers it an honour to try. “It’s surreal,” he said. “Having auditioned with Bohemian Rhapsody on American Idol, and this weird full circle gorgeous dream come true. When we did our first (tour) run, like giving a full set, it was definitely was intimidating. The idea that I would be in front of Queen die-hard fans and I was taking on a large chunk of the catalogue and it was a short time to put it together. And we did it and I think it turned out really, really beautifully and then when the Vegas thing happened I feel like it really grounded itself a little bit more.”

Before Lambert, Queen has previously toured with fellow Brit Paul Rodgers, 64, of Bad Company and Free on and off between 2005-2009.

“Paul has one of the greatest rock voices but it’s more blues and soul orientated I would have thought,” said Taylor. “I would say, with all due respect to Paul, that Adam is more suited to a lot of our material and whereas we had great tours with Paul, I think Adam is more naturally at home with us.”

Added May: “Yeah, I think the styles match more closely in a sense but we had a great time with Paul no doubt about it and it kind of stretched it to a new place and I think a thoroughly good experience. But Adam is really, like us, he has many, many colours, so we can explore some of those strange excursions that Queen likes to.”

Lambert says he has to pinch himself sometimes when he realizes who he’s on stage with. “Sometimes I stop and I go, ‘These guys are responsible for these iconic songs.’ The songs that Queen has released, everybody knows these songs, these songs are part of the fabric of people’s lives so getting to be on stage with them and bringing these songs back to life and seeing the reactions on fans’ faces that’s what this is all about,” he said.

May laughed: “He thinks, ‘What am I doing on stage with these old codgers?’”


Queen guitarist Brian May says the band’s late singer Freddie Mercury would have approved of Adam Lambert stepping into his shoes for the band’s latest North American jaunt. “I think the only regret Freddie would have is that he didn’t get to work with Adam,” he joked. “They would get on like a house on fire. You know that Adam has a great respect for Freddie and I know if Freddie saw Adam perform he’d have a great respect for Adam too ‘cause Adam has a matchless instrument and he’s a great performer so Freddie would absolutely be into it, I have no doubt.”

Needless to say rock bands resurrected by different singers is nothing new.

QUEEN and ADAM LAMBERT’s Canadian tour dates

June 21, Winnipeg, MTS Centre
June 23, Saskatoon, Credit Union Centre
June 24, Edmonton, Rexall Place
June 26, Calgary, Scotiabank Saddledome
June 28, Vancouver, Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
July 13 and July 28 (second show added), Toronto, Air Canada Centre
July 14, Montreal, Bell Centre