Queen with Adam Lambert brings iconic rock anthems to the South: Will you be there?


3 July 2013 by Kara Martinez Bachman T

he band will appear at the Toyota Center in Houston, Tx., on July 9, in the show most accessible to fans from the New Orleans area.

For its only concert date in the Gulf Coast region, Queen – plus vocalist Adam Lambert – will bring its first full arena tour in eight years to the Toyota Center in Houston. As the concert in closest proximity to New Orleans, it’s expected that some Queen fans will travel to Houston for the July 9 show of the tour, which guitarist Brian May has suggested might be the band’s last full-scale outing.

Since the death of powerhouse vocalist Freddie Mercury in 1991, Queen – which still includes original members May and drummer Roger Taylor – has struggled at times to find front men recognized as capable of filling the shoes of the larger-than-life Mercury. They tried Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers with a tour in 2006, but some fans and critics believed the pairing lacked in elan

. In 2014, showy vocalist Adam Lambert attempts to walk in those flamboyantly theatrical Mercury footsteps, and the band – as well as reviewers – apparently feel that it works.

“I’m completely in awe of the Queen phenomenon,” Lambert said in a press release. “The thought of sharing the stage for a full set in North America is so beautifully surreal. I’m honored to be able to pay my respects to Freddie’s memory; he’s a personal hero of mine, and I am deeply grateful for the chance to sing such powerful music for fans of this legendary band.”

As of now, the North American tour – which consists of 19 arena dates in the U.S. and Canada – is receiving positive reviews. Here’s a rundown of what critics are saying:

According to Dan Hyman of “Rolling Stone,” at the tour opener in Chicago on June 19, “Queen put on a rock show, but one that often feels more like a Vegas spectacle.” He also said “Lambert proved as brilliant a fill-in as you’re bound to find.”

Of the same premiere show, Jeff Elbel of the Chicago Sun-Times said showstopper songs such as “We are the Champions” and “The Show Must Go On” showed off Lambert’s “pop sensibility and dizzying range while simultaneously showcasing May’s unparalleled rock soloing technique.”

Jim Harrington of the San Jose Mercury News said of the July 1 show at the 12,000-seat San Jose SAP Center – which reportedly sold out in just one day – that Queen “is still rocking in 2014.”

Queen first became acquainted with Lambert when they performed “We Are the Champions” together on the 2009 “American Idol” finale, when the San Diego native was a finalist. Although not crowned the winner, Lambert — unlike that year’s “Idol” winner, Chris Allen — has gone on to perform around the world, both on his own and fronting Queen. The singer received a best pop vocalist Grammy nomination for music from his debut album, “For Your Entertainment,” and released a second album last year, “Trespassing.”

For those interested in following the trajectory of how Lambert became linked with the classic rock/glam rock icons Queen, “Reality Rocks” columnist for Yahoo Music, Lyndsey Parker, gives a run-down of the path that led to the pairing.

The show – the only within reasonable driving distance of New Orleans – will take place at the Toyota Center in Houston on July 9 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are available at Houstontoyotacenter.com.