Q+AL Korea concert review


17 August 2014

Last weekend was heaven for music lovers in Korea, with the nation’s last two major summer music festivals taking place back to back for three days in Seoul. With Korean Independence Day falling on a Friday this year, Super Sonic 2014 kicked off the long weekend on Thursday, followed by the inaugural AIA Real Life: Now Festival 2014 on Friday and Saturday.

In line with the local festivities, some of the biggest names in music including legendary rock band Queen and international pop star Lady Gaga made their way to Korea to meet tens of thousands of local fans last week. Moreover, YG Family consisting of K-pop acts from YG Entertainment including Psy, Big Bang, 2NE1, Akdong Musician, Epik High, Lee Hi and rookie group Winner led a particularly large-scale collective performance on Saturday, drawing an international and age-diverse crowd.

Super Sonic 2014: Queen and Adam Lambert

Though this year’s edition of the annual Super Sonic music festival was reduced in scale and size, the presence of Queen with Adam Lambert singing in place of Freddie Mercury was more than enough to draw over 15,000 local fans on Thursday.

Brian May and Roger Taylor of the iconic English rock band Queen staged its first-ever concert in Korea, with popular “American Idol” season eight runner-up Adam Lambert taking the mic as the band’s honorary lead vocalist.

Adam Lambert and Brian May Korea
Brian May (right) of Queen and Adam Lambert perform at Auxiliary Stadium at Jamsil Sports Complex on Thursday. Live Nation Korea)

For over two hours, the trio delivered a boatload of hits including “Stone Cold Crazy,” “Fat Bottomed Girls,” “Killer Queen,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Somebody to Love” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”

While lacking the full energy of their prime years, the two original members of Queen nonetheless led an electrifying concert featuring not only the band’s classics but also well-executed guitar solos and heartfelt vocal solos.

And as for Adam Lambert, though he is no Freddie Mercury, the “American Idol” star proved that he had more than enough flair and spectacular vocals to send thousands of fans jumping and enthusiastically singing along throughout the entire performance.

The most memorable moment of the night was undoubtedly Queen’s grand closing performance of its greatest hit “Bohemian Rhapsody,” during which a video of the late Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991, appeared on the back screen singing the well-recognized melody.

Queen and Lambert closed their first concert in Korea with an encore performance of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions” with Lambert’s driven vocals soaring through the night.