GIG REVIEW – ADAM LAMBERT AND QUEEN – UKRAINE JUNE 2012 (plus photos/set-list)
GIG REVIEW – ADAM LAMBERT AND QUEEN – UKRAINE JUNE 2012
#AntiAIDSmaidan twitter tag to raise awareness.
Elton John organised this concert to highlight the growing danger of AIDs in the Ukraine, it was also timed to link into the Euro 2012 Football Tournament with thousands of people enjoying a free gig in Maidan Nezalojnosti (Independence Square).
More on Elton’s charity here - http://ejaf.org/ - there is a ‘Donate’ link on the front page.
Before we get to see Queen and Adam Lambert on stage we watched a 20 minute documentary on Queen with the focus being on lead singer Freddie Mercury who lost his life to AIDs back in 1991 at the age of 45. Elton John and the remaining members of Queen were a few out of the 35 people who attended his funeral. Although Freddie kept his diagnosis a ‘secret’ until 24 hours before his death it is thought he was formally diagnosed in 1987.
The opening to the Queen/Adam Lambert set was pretty spectacular, lots of blue smoke and the sounds of ‘Flash’ before some awesome guitar from Brian May, Adam shouts of the crowd ‘yeah c’mon’ before launching into ‘Seven Seas of Rhye’ as their opening song.
Adam is wearing a lot of leather! Leather jacket with some awesome silver studs intertwined with some silver chains, he is also wearing leather trousers and what looks like some platform boots – there is a lot of interaction between Adam and Brian on guitar and Adam is also busting out some amazing moves whilst Brian is jamming away!
Second track is ‘Keep Yourself Alive’ which definitely suited Adam’s style of singing..Adam also lets out a swear word after this song…fill in the gap as it went ‘f*ck you’!
Next track was ‘We Will Rock’ you – done in a slightly different style I just felt that they had sped the track up a little bit and shortened the length of gaps between the chorus and verses..it worked in terms of this gig as the energy is so high paced there.
Little break after that track which allowed Adam to speak to the audience in Independence Square before they started up Fat Bottomed Girls – what an amazing song it is! I have to say it wasn’t the best rendition of the song I’ve ever heard but I thought that it was the backing singers who were actually a bit out on this song, perhaps their in ear mix wasn’t right. It was a great moment for Adam to take centre stage though which he did with all of his charisma..
After the song he shouted..I WANT TO SEE SOME FAT ASSES TONIGHT…LET ME SEE SOME ASS, C’MON THIS IS ROCK AND ROLL!
‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ is perhaps one of Queen’s most iconic and well known songs so it is a huge congratulations to Adam for making the song sound as good as ever and also for putting his own spin on the track without losing the fact that it is originally a Queen song which is he obviously singing with Queen…the way he sang ‘sex machine’ was just magical Again when it’s the guitar solo moment he allows Brian to take to the centre stage but still looks like he’s having the most amazing time up there…which I imagine he is!
Brian May then took a backseat whilst Roger Taylor’s son took over his drumming duties to allow him and Adam Lambert to sing ‘Under Pressure’ together – this really was one of the ‘moments’ of the gig, it was more of a duet in places and it really worked, Adam was tackling all the big notes but his and Rogers’ voices blending in together really nicely, I must admit I didn’t know Roger’s voice was that good still – he covered David Bowie’s parts really easily! For a 1981 song as well it is just timeless…
After the song Adam says ‘rocking the f*ck out’!
‘I Want It All’ is the next song…I could actually imagine Adam writing something like this for his solo career, it’s full of attitude. This was from their thirteenth studio album..which is just incredible, I can’t imagine many current music stars producing such iconic tracks that far into their career. Again great interaction between Adam and Brian on this track, anyone going to see their London gigs is in for a total treat, and as I tweeted out the other day there are still circle tickets available for those gigs.
I am trying to think of something critical to say at this stage of proceedings just to play devils advocate but I really haven’t noticed anything negative about whole gig…the only thing I would say is that the audience seem really tame..I’d be going nuts!
Who Wants to Live Forever is the next song, this is a tune that always gets me right in the heart..Adam’s facial expressions and emotions during this song are a joy to watch.
Roger Taylor sings the whole of ‘A Kind of Magic’ whilst Adam goes off stage – costume change time? Again Roger man I’m sorry I didn’t realise your voice was that good, he also wrote this song entirely on his own and although it debuted to mixed reviews at the time I think now we can all agree it’s a great song.
Roger also sings These Are the Days of Our Lives another song that always touches my heart and makes me go misty eyed I think it’s because it makes me think of Freddie and how poorly he looked at around this time in Queen’s career going back to the present though I’m glad Queen are still touring in Freddie’s memory, it’s a poignant moment at the end of this song and Brian May looks visibly touched. Brian then sings ‘Love of My Life’ which is ANOTHER song that gets me emotional, he tells the audience ‘lets sing it for Freddie’ – the song was written by Freddie for a lady whom he has a long-term relationship with in the 1970′s, it was her who became his carer at the end of his days During the song Freddie is shown on screen and can be heard singing the song, Brian then sings along with him…*sobbing*
Again if you wish to donate to Elton’s AIDs charity you can here..http://ejaf.org/
Brian and Roger then perform a stripped back version of ’39 changing some of the lyrics to include ‘Ukraine’ which is a nice touch. Adam Lambert then comes back on stage and gets a few screams from the audience which is nice – it’s a good idea doing that split and having that time to remember Freddie.
Adam as I suspected has got a second costume on now, it consists of leather gloves and a fitted black blazer with some detailing on the collars. I think his trousers are a little more flared now too. We are then treated to a ‘drum off’ between Roger and his son..it was really cool to watch and listen too…such talent! Then Brian May has his solo guitar moment which was also genius, it’s also ‘cooled’ down the atmosphere down a bit as well, not in a bad way but it a ‘reset’ the audience way before they move into…
I Want to Break Free! Such an amazing song and Adam and Roger’s voices also blend together really well on it. Adam sings this track pretty straight to the track and the guitars all sound amazing on it. He then says ‘I wanna get sexy’ before the band go into ‘Another One Bites the Dust’! Adam leads the crowd in some audience participation throughout this track.
Released in my year of birth in 1984 next up is ‘Radio Ga Ga’ I hope the audience get into this track, if you can’t get into this then really you can’t get into anything! Again Adam sings this track pretty much to the record, I agree this is the right thing to do though, especially on the ‘sing a long’ tracks you don’t want the audience confused as to where the song is going next on numbers like this. The hand clapping moment looks great too even on my live stream. Adam is now working up a sweat as all the hundreds of lights flash around him in Kiev.
Yes!!! My favourite Queen song – Somebody to Love – I always feel that this song just has an amazing amount of energy and passion about it and Adam brings both of those to the song in spades, it’s a more theatrical piece and really allows Adam to show off his full vocal range from the deeper parts right up to the falsetto moments – one of the highlights of the gig for me. Bloody hell the last notes of that song as well…amazing stuff! Adam’s little dance by the side of Brian as well – cute!
Crazy Little Thing Called Love is the next song on the set-list, this track to me always sounds like it should have been recorded in the 1950′s it’s got that swing feel to it, in fact it was released in the late 70′s from Queen’s album ‘The Game.’ Adam gets into the feel of the song pumping his fists in the air towards the crescendo.
Wow and a huge scream from the audience (the largest I’ve heard all night) for The Show Must Go On – this was written primarily by Brian May and documents Freddie’s battle with AIDs and his insistence to carry on performing even though he was seriously ill. The band questioned whether Mercury could even sing the song as at the time he could barely walk, Freddie being Freddie though of course smashed it. He never performed it live with Queen but the song was released as single in 1991 just six weeks before Freddie died. Elton John provided the vocals for the track in 1992 when it was first performed live at a concert for Freddie – incredible song and incredible vocals.
Adam then thanks the audience for all their energy throughout the night before going into Bohemian Rhapsody, this again is done as a sort of duet between Adam and Freddie Mercury with his image again being shown on the big screens in the square. All of the band then exit the stage whilst the iconic image of the video for the song plays on the screen…they all then come back on for the third part of the song. Adam bows down at Brian’s feet at the guitar solo part!
At the end of the song Adam blows some kisses out into the audience and the whole band take their bows.
The little teases! After several minutes off stage but with the lights left on the band return for an encore song, Roger tells the crowd that ‘they have been beautiful’ before they strike up ‘Tie Your Mother Down’ more recently the band have performed this song with the Foo Fighters and it also served as their concert opening song for a long time. I should add that Adam hasn’t come back on for the encore.
And Adam is back to sing ‘We Will Rock You’- can’t believe I forgot that track, I was just thinking what else are they going to sing! They then welcome was I presume is a local singer onto the stage to sing the chorus…I’ll be honest he isn’t that good! I thought it was singing it in a different language but I think it’s just his accent! All good for world relations though! I only caught his first name which was ‘Victor’! Edit - Romanchenko is his surname!
Then the encore moves onto ‘We Are The Champions’ Queen have such an amazing back-catalogue of songs don’t they? This song also ties into the football tournament in Ukraine as well of which the final is tomorrow. This marks their last song and the concert finishes with some great fireworks and even the politicians are throwing rock signs up in the air!
Conclusion – book your tickets to see Adam Lambert and Queen now – they have produced a very professional and tight set but with magical moments and Freddie homages to boot. If you can’t see them live then lets all pray for that DVD release!
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