Glasgow Reviews


18 January 1915
Queen find fitting new lead in former American Idol star Adam Lambert as they rock The Hydro

LAMBERT delivered a spectacular performance that showed he was his own man and not a Freddie Mercury tribute act.

Adam Lambert, Glasgow Hydro
Adam Lambert – There’s no Queen without Freddie Mercury.

So it’s easy to knock this new band as a tribute act, especially as they’ve drafted in a singer who made his name on American Idol. But this was really special, a proper spectacular in every sense of the word and it was all down to one man. Adam Lambert.

If he’d just tried to do a Freddie impersonation it would have been awful but the American singer was firmly his own man, with a charisma and star quality that couldn’t be denied. Funny, camp and in your face, Lambert stole the show, helped in no small part by that incredible voice. Make no mistake, technically speaking alone, this guy leaves pretty much everyone in the dust. Seriously. He’s that good.

Of course, it helped massively that he was singing from one of the best back catalogues in music, firing off one huge hit after another.

It kicked off in suitably epic style with Brian May appearing in silhouette on the screen covering the stage, cranking out the first monster riff of the night, the mighty One Vision.

Queen @ The Hydro in Glasgow: Piper tells of delight at getting chance to perform in front of 13,000 crowd

The crowd went ballistic but they didn’t waste any time soaking in the applause, barreling straight into Stone Cold Crazy, a rare cut from way back in 1974, its full-tilt boogie echoing Led Zeppelin at their most swinging. Despite being surrounded by better-known anthems it was one of the real highlights of the night.

It kicked off a short run of early tracks, like Fat Bottomed Girls, In The Lap Of The Gods and Seven Seas Of Rye, each delivered with the swagger of a band that knew they were smashing it, with Lambert making each song his own.

He draped himself over a decadent chaise longue for Killer Queen, before addressing the elephant in the room as way of introduction to I Want To Break Free, telling us: “I wouldn’t have a ****ing clue what I was doing if it wasn’t for the singular, unique and great Freddie Mercury.”

Brian May
He wasn’t trying to replace the great man but he was doing an incredible job of paying tribute to him. So much so that when he left the stage for a few songs in the middle of the set, you missed him instantly.

Brian May took over on vocals for a solo acoustic version of Love Of My Life, its poignancy reinforced with video footage of Freddie finishing off the track’s last lines. Roger Taylor took his turn in the spotlight, with an emotional These Are The Days Of Our Lives, backed by vintage footage of the band.

Sure, it was good, but it was when Lambert came back on for Under Pressure that the gig really ignited again. He really shone on Who Wants To Live Forever. A big song, but it said a lot about just how jaw-dropping that voice was that it suited him perfectly.

Queen @ The Hydro in Glasgow: Piper tells of delight at getting chance to perform in front of 13,000 crowd
15 January 2015 by Beverley Lyons

CRAIG WEIR got the chance to perform the intro for We Will Rock You after Queen guitarist Brian May contacted him via email.

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A SCOTS piper was delighted to play to a crowd of 13,000 with legendary rock band Queen.

Craig Weir, 21, from Carnoustie couldn’t believe it when he was contacted out of the blue by Queen guitarist Brian May in October – and asked if he’d be able to play the gig at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro.

Craig and his celtic rock band Gleadhraich won a Sunday Mail Young Scot award for making pipes more accessible to audiences.

He said: “I didn’t know Brian and had never spoken to him before I got the email from him. I suppose I thought it was a wind up but the other half of me thought it was real. I’m still trying to get head round it.

“We spoke about it first in October and then after chatting about more Brian confirmed it in November. I don’t even know how he knew about me.”

Craig Weir with Queen and Adam Lambert aftershow
ASM Media & PR – Craig Weir, second from right, meets Brian May, Roger Taylor and Adam Lambert after the gig

Craig Weir, second from right, meets Brian May, Roger Taylor and Adam Lambert after the gig Craig, who has been playing the pipes since he was eight years old and had performed for Babyshambles, the First Minister and the Dalai Lama before, was in his element when he stepped on stage with the rock legends and their vocalist Adam Lambert at the end of their Scots gig.

He said: “I chatted with Brian about music and the late Freddie Mercury in the dressing room for about 15 minutes before watching them from side of stage. He said Glasgow had always been good to Queen.

“Just before the encore I stood on the walkway and played a chorus of We Will Rock You before the band joined in and Adam start singing.

”They let me take my family and girlfriend backstage for drinks and a meet afterwards and my dad was so starstruck he couldn’t even speak.”

He added: “They gave me a signed set list and Brian is keeping in touch.”

Craig, who releases new EP Where We’re From in March, is now looking forward to his next gig in front of an audience of 200 for Burns’ Night before heading out to support Runrig’s Donnie Munro in Montrose in February.

Live Review: Queen and Adam Lambert WOW at the SSE Hydro in Glasgow
15 January 2015 by Martin Lamont

If we know anything here at Unreality TV it’s how amazing Adam Lambert is and after months of reporting on his tour, last night we finally got to attend a show ourselves.

Queen are without a shadow of a doubt one of the biggest and most influential bands of all time and Lambert has definitely given the band a new lease of life – but they didn’t forget Freddie!

Freddie Mercury is one of a kind, no one can ever replicate him but Adam comes a close second and that’s not a bad thing. His performing style is certainly not imitation, it’s more of a continuation of the Freddie Mercury legacy.

Adam’s stage presence from beginning to end was something that had to be seen to be believed, from the moment he walked out to thousands of screaming Scottish fans, he owned the stage and everyone in the arena.

Freddie Mercury and Brian May in Glasgow (14th January – © Martin Lamont, Unreality TV)

Of course, Queen isn’t just about Freddie Mercury – or their new frontman who has definitely earned his place in the band – no no, Brian May and Roger Taylor are also key components.

It was refreshing to see them have their own time during the gig, performing their own sections while the vocal powerhouse took a well deserved break to get his breath back.

Roger Taylor and his son Rufus Tiger had a drum-off that we really didn’t want to end as quickly as it did while Brian May had an acoustic set.

The band certainly didn’t forget the late Freddie Mercury however as made regular appearances on the giant screens during various songs including a duet (‘Love of my Life’) with Brian May that everyone appreciated, it was perfectly timed, and a fitting tribute.

As you would expect, all the major hits were there, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Killer Queen’, ‘Radio Gaga’ and of course it only takes a few notes to recognise what’s coming next.

Vocally, Adam was incredible, insane and mind blowing, he’d hit high notes at all the right times and he performed each song with ease.

Brian May and Roger Taylor Adam Lambert and Queen in Glasgow (14th January – © Martin Lamont, Unreality TV)

He strutted around the stage, interacted with the fans and even got his bum pinched when he got a little too close with someone’s mum (his words!) but, he took it all in his stride and seemed to enjoy it all as much as we did. It wasn’t long before the band performed an upbeat version of ‘I Want It All’ is quickly and his like ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ shortly followed – of course the latter being sung by both Freddie and Adam in a moment that would send chills down your spine. Their encore consisted of ‘We Will Rock You’ complete with a piper before ‘We Are The Champions’ brought the show to an end. We don’t know where the time went, but it was a night we’ll never forget and even today, I find myself asking, did I actually see Queen and Adam Lambert?

Last night during the show, I did wonder how I’d put all of this into words, because even on the journey home, the only word I could think to describe it was just ‘Wow’, plain and simple. I was honoured to get the chance to see them live.

Sure, it’s not Queen without Freddie Mercury, the band know that, Adam knows that but I couldn’t imagine anyone else putting on a Freddie Mercury like show and doing it with such ease. Adam Lambert is a fitting frontman for Queen in 2015 and beyond.

Review: Queen & Adam Lambert, SSE Hydro, Glasgow
14 January 2015
Stuart Morrison’s verdict: Five Stars

Picture: Colin Templeton

In August, it will be 29 years since Freddie Mercury’s last live gig with Queen. Since that day at Knebworth, Brian May and Roger Taylor have toured with ex-Free blues man, Paul Rodgers, as unlikely a Queen front man as it was possible to imagine. Now, they have American idol graduate, Adam Lambert, a man described by May himself as “a gift from god”.

The curtain dropped as May crunched out the opening cords of One Vision with Lambert, in a black leather ensemble, looking and sounding the part.

May and Taylor… played as well as ever. May, in particular appeared to be enjoying himself immensely. Stone Cold Crazy, Another One Bites The Dust, Fat Bottom Girls and Seven Seas Of Rhye completed a dazzling opening section.

Throughout the show, Lambert was a revelation. He had the swagger, the presence, the humour, but above all, the voice, to really give a new life to these songs.

He sang Killer Queen draped over a chaise lounge. He hit all the high notes in Somebody To Love and plunged into the crowd during Radio Gaga. He paid due respect to his illustrious predecessor, who appeared on video from time to time, ultimately duetting with the new boy on Bohemian Rhapsody, which closed the set.

They finished with the traditional We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions encore, which was introduced by a lone piper, a cheesy but effective crowd pleaser, with Lambert sashaying on in a leopard skin suit and sporting a diamante crown.

The crowd loved it and whilst he may not be divine, in Lambert, Queen have, at last, rediscovered the spirit of Freddie.

Review: Queen and Adam Lambert, SSE Hydro
Five stars
14 January 2015 by Jill Castle Assistant Digital Editor

Adam and Brian - Glasgow
Picture: Colin Templeton

It’s difficult not to love Queen.

From their flamboyant stage shows to their perfectly crafted rock songs, the band, who have sold an estimated 200m albums worldwide, are one of the most influential groups of all time and the proud owners of a back-catalogue that most acts can only dream of. For many, a Queen show without iconic frontman Freddie Mercury is unthinkable and something that should only be discussed in hushed tones if at all. However, as irreplaceable as Freddie is, Queen’s not just one person and, for me, the chance to get to see Roger Taylor, the person who made me want to play drums, and Brian May, whose tutorial dvd taught me my first few chords and riffs on guitar, play live is exciting.

Taking to the Hydro stage, the band do not disappoint, launching into an energetic performance of One Vision, followed by Stone Cold Crazy and Another One Bites the Dust.

At times it’s a bit rough around the edges, but Queen still know how to put on a show and Adam Lambert is a revelation, dancing, strutting and grinding his way through a note perfect performance that Freddie would have approved of.

Fat Bottomed Girls, I Want to Break Free, Don’t Stop Me Now, Somebody to Love and a medley of Seven Seas of Rhye/Killer Queen get the crowd singing along, while Who Wants to Live Forever shows the band’s softer side.

The set is full of nods to Freddie, with acoustic versions of Love of my Life sung by Brian May, with a little help from Mercury, and Roger Taylor’s rendition of Those Were the Days of our Lives accompanied by a video of the band proving to be particular highlights. Under Pressure and a drum-off between Taylor and his son Rufus Tiger also go down well.

An upbeat version of I Want It All is quickly followed by Radio Gaga, Crazy Little Thing Called Love and Bohemian Rhapsody with Freddie and Lambert on vocals, before an encore of We Will Rock You, complete with bagpipes, and We Are the Champions brings the show to a close.

I know it’s not the same without Freddie but no-one’s suggesting it ever would or could be. This is not about replacing the iconic frontman, it’s about paying tribute to him and letting fans hear Queen’s songs in the environment they were meant to reside in. As Lambert told tonight’s crowd: “I wouldn’t have a f***ing clue what I was doing right not if it wasn’t for the one and only Freddie Mercury. Tonight’s about a celebration and reminding you how he made you feel.”

This impressive hit-filled set has definitely accomplished that, Freddie would be proud.

Former American Idol star Adam Lambert set to perform with Queen at Glasgow’s SSE Hydro
14 January 2015 by Beverley Lyons

Brian and Adam on stage - Newcastle

THE star kicked off the rock legend’s European tour in Newcastle last night and will tonight wow Scots fans as he interprets many of Freddie Mercury’s greatest hits.

Adam Lambert performs on stage with QueenAdam Lambert performs on stage with Queen FORMER American Idol star Adam Lambert takes to the stage of Glasgow’s SSE Hydro in just a few hours to perform with Rock legends Queen.

The star kicked off their European tour in Newcastle last night and tonight will raise the roof as a follow-up from their massive tour of North America last summer, which also saw the group visit Australia and New Zealand.

The band just boarded their private jet from Newcastle and are expected to enjoy some days off after their gig here before their heading to London on January 17

. As fans prepare to watch Adam interpret many of Freddie Mercury’s greatest hits we thought it would be fun to dig out a chat we did with Adam when he first came to Scotland. In it we even have the pleasure of speaking about his kilt… And touching his sporran.