23 August 2014 by Angie Raphael
Perhaps no frontman could compare to Freddie Mercury, but Adam Lambert does his best to honour the rock legend on stage with Queen
. In their first tour of Australia since 1985, Queen and Adam Lambert opened their show at Perth Arena on Friday night with Now I’m Here. It was the first of many hits the band played over two hours, including Another One Bites The Dust, Fat Bottomed Girls, Somebody To Love, I Want It All, and Who Wants To Live Forever which included strobe lighting and a giant disco ball.
With the death of Mercury from AIDS complications in 1991, and the retirement of bass player John Deacon, Queen has just two original members – guitarist Brian May, 67, and drummer Roger Taylor, 65.
While Lambert is too flamboyant at times, the American Idol star never imitates Mercury – he brings his own energy on stage, dancing and hip thrusting. He had several wardrobe changes including a leopard print outfit, studded jackets, vests, tasselled sleeves, a lace shirt, bronze leather pants, sunglasses and a crown. For Killer Queen, Lambert laid down on a red couch and then sprayed champagne into the crowd from his mouth. In one touching moment, May asked the crowd to sing with him. “Let’s do this for Freddie,” he said before acoustically playing Love Of My Life. “I can hear ya,” he smiled, and Mercury later appeared on screen to sing the ending.
Taylor also commanded attention during a drum battle with his son, and singing These Are The Days of Our Lives and Under Pressure, which he performed with Lambert. Unfortunately, May’s 12-minute guitar solo dragged on. He had already been given so many moments to shine and the time would have been better spent playing more hits.
The crowd joined Lambert in a sing-along before the band continued with I Want To Break Free, Radio Ga Ga – with a shout out to Lady Gaga who they watched perform on Wednesday – and Crazy Little Thing Called Love. They ended with Bohemian Rhapsody, with May dressed in gold and Mercury appearing on screen to sing parts. The encore included We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions, in what was a fitting conclusion to a celebration of the English band’s music.
Queen and Adam Lambert will also travel to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.