Review: Queen + Adam Lambert @ Manchester Arena


22 January 2015 by Katie Fitzpatrick

Adam Lambert MEN 21 Jan 2015
MEN Arena 21 Jan 2015

The rock band’s new frontman well and truly converted Manchester into a city of Glamberts with this five-star performance.

Queen blew our socks off with a special New Year’s Eve show that well and truly established their new frontman Adam Lambert If people in the UK didn’t know who Lambert was before the BBC concert, they were converted Glamberts by the end of the night.

It has been nearly a quarter of a century since the late great Freddie Mercury died but Queen has been reinvented again with an impressive new heir to the throne – American Idol runner-up Lambert – a fabulous, glamorous force of nature in skinny pants and a fantastic line in fingerless gloves and enviable eyeliner. He isn’t meant to be a Freddie clone. But here is a charismatic singer who performs and celebrates Queen’s timeless back catalogue, including Another One Bites The Dust, Tie Your Mother Down and Fat Bottomed Girls, exactly the way they should be with added new electricity.

Legendary guitarist Brian May has claimed Lambert, who first sang with them on the American Idol final back in 2009, can sing even higher than Mercury could in a live situation and you feel Freddie would definitely have given his seal of approval. The 32-year-old American possesses a voice that reaches as high as his towering rhinestone-studded platform heels. He’s a much better fit than previous frontman, Queen and Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers.

Theatrical crowning moments arrive in a sublime Somebody to Love and Killer Queen – with Lambert seductively sprawled across a purple velvet chaise longue, spraying champagne from his mouth into the crowd. Guaranteed to blow your mind, indeed.

“We’re in the presence of one of the greatest guitarists of all time,” exclaims a woman behind me. And she isn’t wrong. Brian May and Roger Taylor showcase the talents that made them the rock gods that they are, Brian taking the spotlight for an acoustic set including a video screen duet with Freddie on Love of My Life and later a 10 minute guitar solo adventure.

Manchester bassist Neil Fairclough replaces John Deacon who retired in 1997 and Roger’s son joins the fold to play throughout the concert on percussion, sometimes taking over the sticks from his dad. Roger sings solo on These Are The Days as a video montage of Freddie plays behind him. And Freddie joins them again from the big screen to sing on the iconic Bohemian Rhapsody.

Asked what they think of Lambert the crowd gives a standing ovation. A frontman fit for a Queen.

Adam, Roger and Brian MEN 21 Jan 2015
MEN Arena 21 Jan 2015