Queen with magical moments: “That was Mount Olympus!”
By Frank Neusser –
TRANSLATION BY: ALISON SESI (with thanks)
Cologne: What a magnificent evening in the sold-out Lanxess Arena! Queen with Adam Lambert brought about magical moments on their ‘Rhapsody Tour’ in front of 16,000 fans.
Actually, the band formed around guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor should have appeared in summer 2020 in Cologne; however, the concert had to be postponed for two years due to the Corona pandemic.
That didn’t dampen the delight of the attendees: even before the start, the atmosphere in the seated inner floor area as well as in the stands, full to the very last seat, was marvellous. When, at 20.06, Queen stepped on to the grandiose stage, which looked like a theatre, there were already the first storms of enthusiastic applause. At this point, Lambert entered his workplace to the tones of ‘Now I’m Here’ in a black glitter jacket and an enormous black top hat.
The singer, who has been deputising for Freddie Mercury – who died in 1991 – since 2012, spread a good mood from the first of the 29 songs and repeatedly called upon the audience to sing along: “You could be louder”.
However, the singer wasn’t the sole headliner on the stage. The interplay with May was perfect. On his guitar solos, Lambert stayed in the background; on Lambert’s singing passages, May did the same.
Queen – One of the Greatest Rock Bands in the World
Lambert, who in 2009 took second place in the eighth season of ‘American Idol’ and therefore attracted the attention of Queen, still shows the utmost respect before the English rock legends. “Before, I was a fan like you. Now it fills me with pride to appear with the greatest rock band of all time!”
There was a first goose pimple moment when Brian May turned to the fans: “Cologne, how are you? Kölle Alaaf! (Local dialect: ‘Cheers, Cologne!’) We’ve often been here in the city and love Cologne!” He added: “the next song is for everyone who loves someone and for Freddie”. Then he played an acoustic version of ‘Love of My Life’.
But that wasn’t the only moment when the former singer was remembered. At the classic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ there were clips on the huge screen from the video made back then with Mercury; before ‘We Will Rock You’, a silhouette of the singer was projected on to the catwalk.
Another highlight was a guitar solo where May was elevated on a hydraulic lift, which looked like a comet in outer space, with the stage set showing many stars as in the universe.
A lavish and perfect light and laser show was also convincing, and the sound exceptionally good. After 135 minutes and countless world hits like ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ ‘A Kind of Magic’, ‘I Want it All’, ‘We are the Champions ‘ , a great music evening was concluded – as befits their standing – with ‘God Save the Queen’.
Arena boss Stefan Löcher was proud of the concert
“That was incredible, that was Mount Olympus! Even I have rarely experienced such a show here at the Lanxess Arena. Everyone who was here today will talk about the show, the sound and the amazing effects for a long time to come”, said Arena boss Stefan Löcher proudly.