REVIEW: QUEEN AND ADAM LAMBERT
Forsyth Barr Stadium
Monday, February 10.
Reviewed by Shawn McAvinue
A packed house under the roof at Forsyth Barr Stadium wanted it all, they wanted it now, and Queen delivered.
The crowd were getting restless waiting for the British rock band to take the stage, chanting and creating Mexican waves in a bid to get entertainment on stage.
The chants turned to cheers by the sight of a little silhouetto of a man – guitarist Dr Brian May.
He and the other original band member, drummer Roger Taylor, were dressed for business.
Taylor, behind the drum kit, was wearing all black, including his sunglasses and sweat bands on his wrists.
May had his sleeves rolled up – there was work to be done.
Then there was the American lead singer Adam Lambert – a potent mix of masculinity and femininity – styled facial hair and sparkling eyeliner, wrapped up in a purple trench coat.
“This is a really gay outfit,” he laughed, over the first of many outrageous outfits.
Lambert asked the crowd to dance and sing to remember the band’s former singer, the late Freddie Mercury.
And party they did, as the band played hit after hit including Another One Bites The Dust, Don’t Stop Me Now, Hammer to Fall, I Want To Break Free, Radio GaGa, Tie Your Mother Down and The Show Must Go On
For a lesser-known number, Taylor was in the driver’s seat, getting the pistons pumping singing and drumming in I’m In Love With My Car
The motoring theme continued, as Lambert draped himself over a crystal-encrusted Harley-Davidson to sing Bicycle Race, which continued into Fat Bottomed Girls, Lambert finishing the song by yelling “Get on your bikes and ride”.
May then sat by himself at the front of the stage, playing a 12-string guitar and singing Love of My Life, as men and women in the crowd yelled “I love you Brian”.
The singing of the song was finished by Freddie Mercury via a recording, as May sat on the stage smiling, looking skyward through the stadium roof.
Then the party cranked up a gear, Lambert channelling his inner Elvis during Crazy Little Thing Called Love, his lip snarling and pelvis thrusting.
Taylor the sung David Bowie’s part in Under Pressure before the rock swagger was switched up a gear for a cover of Led Zeppelin’s Whole Lotta Love.
The lighting of the show was magnificent, ranging from a giant mirror ball reflecting light across the stadium roof and a laser show creating a blanket of multi-coloured fog.
The set was finished with a rousing rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody – the easily the song of the night.
When the stage lights went out, the crowd resumed chanting, demanding more entertainment, enticing Lambert out in an ensemble topped with a crystal encrusted crown, the band finishing with an encore of We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions, as a thick wall of confetti was sprayed skyward.
The band members bowed – their audience appeased after two-and-a-half hours of rock as the British national anthem God Save the Queen played.
Long live our noble Queen.