Saskatoon: Queen’s music remains main attraction


24 June 2014

Brian and Adam on stage Chicago
Photograph by: Barry Brecheisen, Invision, The Associated Press, The Starphoenix

The true star of Queen’s appearance at Credit Union Centre is easy to recognize. It’s not Adam Lambert. This is not to say this American Idol product does not deserve credit for the way he steps into studded leathers to provide the vocals originally performed by the legendary Freddie Mercury. Lambert is a storyteller and a showman. It’s not even the incredibly resilient Brian May (guitar) and Roger Taylor (percussion) – the band originals who have been shaping Queen’s legacy since 1971.

It’s really all about the songs.

What filled the arena on Monday is a love of music that is beautifully written, inspirational and can get the most reserved person singing along.

Let’s count down some top Queen songs (according to iTunes downloads) and look at how they fit into this latest incarnation of the band’s show.

Somebody To Love: Lambert added swagger to his already confident stride for this one. He seemed to make this song his own. His strong voice, which was reliable through the demanding repertoire, shone on higher notes.

Fat Bottomed Girls: This was pure fun. Teens screeched when they heard the familiar opening and a huge pink bra landed on the stage. The band wisely played a straight-ahead version so everyone can sing along.

Another One Bites the Dust: The staging needs some praise when it comes to this and other hard-driving Queen songs. Smoke, lights, lasers, screens and a royal purple chaise set a stunning classic rock stage.

We Will Rock You: Top pick on iTunes, perfect encore along with We Are The Champions.

Bohemian Rhapsody: Again, the crowd was almost on equal footing to the band in performing this one. Top-of-the-lungs singalong chance for fans.

This reviewer’s favourite Queen song, Under Pressure, which started off with a virtuosic drum solo by Taylor. Don’t Stop Me Now and Crazy Little Thing Called Love were also highlights.

The spirit of Freddie was all over the show. A clip of Mercury played at the end of Love of My Life was a tender moment. But audiences who showed up will be glad the music is still alive and touring.