Lunatic's Serenade

Queen at The Joint, Las Vegas 7/6/14

Tonight my family and I enjoyed an evening with one the great rock n' roll icons. Their music has been in several movie soundtracks including Flash Gordon (1980), Highlander (1986) and Wayne's World (1992). Their songs have been covered by the likes of Testament and Metallica and have been influences of many of today’s metal bands. I'm talking about Queen; the godfathers of opera meet hard rock.

Although the great Freddie Mercury has been gone, the show must go on. Brian May (guitars) and Roger Taylor (drums) are carrying on the tradition Keyboard junkie Spike Edney, bassist Neil Fairclough, Roger's son Rufus Taylor on percussion and American Idol runner up Adam Lambert on vocals. You might be saying "What!!? Adam Lambert??!! Yeah! Adam Lambert!! I have heard lots of people do Queen songs and no one, NO one sings 'em like Adam. The boys liked him, so they got him and Adam does the job. Crazy costumes and platform shoes he shines through and gets those Freddie notes and nails them!

Opening with "Now I'm Here", everyone is on their feet singing along. No rest yet as they go right into "Stone cold Crazy" (the one Metallica covered). Brian and Roger sure play like they haven't aged a bit. A fan favorite of coarse is "Fat Bottom Girls" that got all the chicks movin' and shakin'. Brian extended the solo at the end. That gave time for a costume change for Adam. For "Killer Queen", he came out in a black outfit with gold tassels hanging from the sleeves. KQ is one of my favorites and Adam didn't let me down.

"Somebody to Love" was one of the funniest songs of the night with a gospel type ending. Made you wanna jump around like those Baptist preachers from the South. Then to keep the party goin' full swing, they played "I want it All” - another sing along song. Then again, if you weren't singing you had to be dead.

To change things up, every one left the stage and Brian May, on an acoustic guitar sat and played "Love of my life". He said, "If you all sing along, magic will happen" and it did. For the last two lines they had Freddie on the big screen from an old performance, singing those last few lines. It was magical and I totally lost it. To continue the acoustic jam, the band came out and they played a killer rendition of "'39". Back on the electrics, Roger Taylor took the mic to sing "These are the days of our Lives". With every shot of old home movies of the band from Freddie's day; it was hard not to get emotional.

"Their songs have been covered by the likes of Testament and Metallica..."

A short but tasty bass solo by Neil leads into a father and son jam with Roger and Rufus. Adam makes his return to the stage to a duet with Roger Taylor on the song "Under Pressure", "Love Kills" and "Who wants to live Forever" end the trio of mellowness. Brian takes the stage again for his guitar solo on his Red Special. This was not your ordinary, flashy, "look what I can do" solo. It was soulful, bluesy and psychedelic. Kinda like Echoes from Pink Floyd.

To drop some heavy rock on you they end with "Tie your Mother Down", "Radio Gaga" and "Crazy Little thing called Love". Spike (on the keys) went off on some honkey-tonk solo at the end. A powerful version of "The show must go On" got me thinking about why they are still keeping the songs alive and fresh for the new generation. The last song was "Bohemian Rhapsody". The breakdown had the back-track from the record while the video played on the screen... then they all came back slam the last part of the song. Man, what a song!

The encore was "We will Rock You" and "We are the Champions". They shot out gold confetti all over the place and the ovation lasted well over two minutes. Brian and Roger were the last to leave the stage and you can tell how honored and humbled they were to see that people still wanna see them despite that Freddie isn't here. Long live the Queen!

Tim Duran, HMS

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