Long Live Queen with Idol alum Lambert headlining A.C. Tour Saturday


24 July 2014 by ROBERT DiGIACOMO, At The Shore

Queen + Adam Lambert WHEN: Concert, 8 p.m. Saturday, July 26; tailgate party, 4:30 p.m. WHERE: Concert at Boardwalk Hall, Atlantic City; tailgate party, Kennedy Plaza on Boardwalk in front of Boardwalk Hall. HOW MUCH: Tickets, priced at $39.50, $55 and $149.50, are available at the Boardwalk Hall box office, Ticketmaster and PressofAtlanticCity.com/Tickets

The legendary late frontman of Queen, Freddie Mercury, is very much a part of the British rock band’s North American tour, which makes a stop 8 p.m. Saturday, July 26, at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City.

Adam Lambert of “American Idol” fame is the latest vocalist to try to fill the considerable vocal shoes and oversized stage presence of Mercury, who died in 1991, but the band doesn’t shy away from including the latter in the proceedings. A virtual Mercury takes the second verse of the band’s most resonant hit, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” with Lambert taking the first.

Queen’s co-founders, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, also honor Mercury’s memory during the show.

Taylor delivers a rendition of “These Are the Days of Our Lives,” backed by video clips of Queen from the ’70s and ’80s, while May gives a solo acoustic version of “Love of My Life,” featuring a vocal track by Mercury.

In Lambert, Queen has found a performer with the potential to live up to Mercury’s flamboyant standard, according to reviews of the North American tour opener in Chicago in late June and a more recent tour stop in Montreal.

The former “American Idol” runner-up is fully up to the task of fronting the band’s over-the-top, pop-rock compositions, using his powerful falsetto to full effect and enjoying a strong sense of camaraderie with Taylor and May, critics say. The veteran members also seem to benefit from the infusion of younger energy from Lambert who, at 32, is more than three decades younger than them.

The show offers plenty of appeal for both casual and die-hard fans. The major hits — notably “We Are The Champions,” “We Will Rock You,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Killer Queen” — are all here, as is an effective version of “Under Pressure,” with Taylor taking up the David Bowie part and Lambert singing Mercury’s.

The setlist also includes some lesser-known material, such as “Love Kills,” a track from producer Giorgio Moroder’s 1984 score for the restored version of the silent film classic “Metropolis.” Clips from the movie are also used during “Radio Ga Ga,” with audience members clapping along to the music video.

The show fittingly culminates with “Bohemian Rhapsody” as the final track before the encores, joining Queen’s past, present and perhaps its future, as Taylor and May are reportedly considering a studio album with Lambert.

Both concert ticket holders, as well as the general public, are invited to a free tailgate party, complete with food and beverage options available for purchase plus a DJ. It will be held 4:30 p.m. at Kennedy Plaza in front of Boardwalk Hall.