Queen + Adam Lambert at Manchester Arena, UK – 21st January 2015

Posted by Bianca on Wednesday Jan 21, 2015 Under Rock

Gig Review by Nic Jones with Gig Photos by Jay Broadhurst

Queen + Adam Lambert

Live Aid, 1985, Queen take to the Wembley stage. Freddie Mercury plays the opening chords of Bohemian Rhapsody on the piano and begins a 20 minute set which is universally recognised as one of the most phenomenal live performances of all time. I was two years old when that took place. Thirty years later, I’ve just left the Manchester Arena having spent  the past two hours in absolute awe; dancing along to some of the same rock anthems as performed by Mercury that day, courtesy of Queen’s latest tour featuring Adam Lambert as their accompanying vocalist.

Queen + Adam Lambert

Queen + Adam Lambert

This latest tour marks the continuation of a thriving relationship the original Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor have built with Lambert, who rose to fame originally on American Idol. If the Manchester Arena’s completely full house attendance is anything to go by it’s also quite a lucrative partnership. No expense is spared, with a superstar stage setup with a giant video screen, strobe and laser lighting engulfing the set-up, resulting in a spectacular platform for the evenings proceedings.

Queen + Adam LambertQueen + Adam Lambert
Queen + Adam LambertQueen + Adam Lambert

Lambert takes the place as the lead vocalist with incredible respect for the legendary Freddie Mercury. He shares some traits with the late singer; a technically accomplished vocal performance, exuberance for live performing and flamboyant style, but he is by no means a clone. Lambert infuses his own personality into the performance whilst treading very carefully to deliver what the fans want to see. But then nothing less should be expected from a seasoned performer like him. With two critically acclaimed and commercially successful albums to his name and a reputation for putting on an impressive live act (his performance of Mad World on American Idol remains as one of the best moments on any TV talent show), he delivers slick professionalism, all the while making it look effortless, pouring in raw emotion and keeping the audience enthralled with his every move.  “I wouldn’t know what the fuck I was doing if it weren’t for Freddie!” he proclaims to the crowd at one point, taking the opportunity to show his own admiration and dedication to delivering for the hard-core Queen fans.

Queen + Adam Lambert

Queen + Adam Lambert

With as many hits as Queen have had, picking a highlight really comes down to personal preference. There are some obviously great moments with ‘Somebody To Love’, ‘I Want To Break Free’,  ‘These Are The Days Of Our Lives’, ‘Under Pressure’, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and ‘We Will Rock You’ all lingering in the mind long after the show has finished. The night though belongs to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (as if there was any doubt). It’s played almost as a duet, with Lambert kicking it off and then cutting to video screen footage of Mercury from the original music video performing the second verse and interchanging between the two there on throughout. The result is overwhelming, powerful and truly unique. The final song ‘We Are The Champions’ provides the perfect soundtrack for an Arena full of fans all on their feet showing appreciation for the talent on display.

Queen + Adam Lambert

What I personally like about Queen is their ability to adapt. For me, it’s one of the keys to their long-lasting success (that and an incomparable back catalogue of music; as May himself said this evening “A good song never dies”). May and Taylor have found new ways to keep the band alive. Touring with Lambert has given them the chance to breathe some fresh life and versatility into their legacy. Everyone working on this tour has found a way to pay the perfect tribute to Freddie Mercury and the glory days of Queen, meaning fans around the world can continue to enjoy their music performed live and new generations get the chance to immerse themselves in the music of one of the best rock bands in music history.

Queen + Adam Lambert

Set List: One Vision / Stone Cold Crazy / Another One Bites the Dust / Fat Bottomed Girls / In the Lap of the Gods… Revisited / Seven Seas of Rhye / Killer Queen / I Want to Break Free / Don’t Stop Me Now / Somebody to Love / Love of My Life / ’39 / These Are the Days of Our Lives / Under Pressure / Save Me / Who Wants to Live Forever / Last Horizon / Tie Your Mother Down / I Want It All / Radio Ga Ga / Crazy Little Thing Called Love / Bohemian Rhapsody

Encore: We Will Rock You / We Are the Champions

See the full photo set here.

10 Responses to “Queen + Adam Lambert at Manchester Arena, UK – 21st January 2015”

  1. Marilyn Cole Says:

    Love your review! I’m an old Queen fan and a Glambert and am truly enjoying the partnership as the tour makes its way around the world. I was lucky to see them together nine times so far! Wish I could afford to fly over from Canada for this current part of the tour.

  2. LIVE: Queen + Adam Lambert (Manchester, UK) 1/21/15 | adamlambertlive Says:

    […] Reviews/Articles/Interviews: Evening News – Queen + Adam Lambert @ Manchester Arena From Gig Junkies – Queen+Adam Lambert at Manchester Arena, UK […]

  3. Rand Says:

    This is a fabulous review. I wish I could see every show. I must say I felt the joy of the live performance in your words.

  4. Ovationimpact Says:

    Enjoyed your article, so on point and original vs repeating media self created story lines of a loud few.
    Thanks, long live Queen and thank you Adam Lambert for giving your brilliant vocals.

  5. KateLS Says:

    What a lovely article! I was at Wembley in ’85 for Live Aid and it was absolutely magnificent. Freddie commanded the stage, his voice soaring over the heads of concert goers. He pulled us in and made us feel every note that came out of his mouth. He was the ultimate showman. I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a Queen fan.
    Then in 2006, I saw a young man in Wicked, he was part of the ensemble. I fell in love with his voice. A couple of years later, there he is as a contestant on Idol. I don’t watch that much tv, nor do I watch “reality or talent shows”, but I tuned in that season and voted for the young man named Adam Lambert. I am so proud & glad that these two favorites of mine have found their way to each other and are collaborating for these historical performances. I hope everyone in attendance to these events are dancing & singing along to these iconic hits.

  6. Ruth Says:

    Impressive write up and positive review of this iconic band and Adam Lambert. The pictures are incredible. Thanks for your effort.

  7. Nic Jones Says:

    Thanks everyone for the amazing comments. Really glad to hear you enjoyed the review.

  8. LIVE REVIEW: Queen & Adam Lambert @ Manchester Arena | NavigatorNic Says:

    […] This review first appeared on GigJunkies. […]

  9. SusanSporran Says:

    Fantastic write up, Queen + Adam Lambert is a match made in Heaven, and as Brian May has said repeatedly, Adam is a GFG (Gift from God) – he even calls him GFG sometimes now. I think there is a matchmaker up there, a certain guardian angel by the name of Freddie. It’s a Kind of Magic, that’s for sure.

  10. GALLERY: Queen – Manchester Arena | ONLY_JAY Says:

    […] Full gallery over on Flickr. Photographs featured on Gigjunkies. […]

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