JAM Magazine Concert Reviews

July 10, 2014
American Airlines Arena
Miami, FL USA
Review by Jill Jackson
Photos by Timm Bland

Queen

Rock Royalty Returns To Texas

Queen w/ Adam Lambert

Queen performed to a packed house at the American Airlines Center on Thursday night with the highly impressive Adam Lambert stepping into the shoes of Freddie Mercury. The AAC was flooded with lasers and strobe lights as well as a giant disco ball, which contributed to the electricity in the air. Lambert's stage presence was mesmerizing and his vocal range unbelievable, perfectly hitting every note both high and low. His flamboyant performance captured the true spirit of Freddie Mercury, which is not an easy task. This was a night that would be hard to forget.

The impressive set highlighted every era of Queen's extensive catalog, starting with 1974's Sheer Heart Attack LP with openers "Now I'm Here" and "Stone Cold Crazy" back-to-back. From there, it was hit after hit after glorious hit with the funky "Another One Bites the Dust," the mandatory sing-along of "Fat Bottomed Girls" and show highlight "Killer Queen". The band also dug deep into the vault for lesser-known gems like "In the Lap of the Gods... Revisited," "Seven Seas of Rhye" and "'39," as well as "Love Kills" from Freddie Mercury's solo output. Lambert's costume changes threatened to disrupt the continuity of the show when he was not on stage, except for when Brian May played an acoustic version of "Love of My Life" accompanied by footage of Mercury on the large screens.

Other highlights obviously included "Under Pressure," "Somebody to Love," "I Want It All" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," all leading up to Freddy Mercury's beautiful and fitting swan song, "The Show Must Go On," from Queen's final proper album, 1991's Innuendo. For most bands, there would be nowhere left to go but down after a song that grand, but most bands aren't Queen.

"Bohemian Rhapsody" closed the main set with a performance as enthusiastic as the roar that greeted it. As one of the most instantly-recognizable and well-loved songs ever recorded, everyone in the crowd was awestruck as they experienced the live spectacle of this masterpiece. It was an emotional experience for all, as "Bohemian Rhapsody" resides on that short list of songs that you remember exactlywhere you were and what you were doing when you first heard it. The song holds up remarkably well to this day, as Freddie Mercury achieved more in those six minutes than most artists do in their entire career.

The night's final encore was the other moment everyone was waiting for: the stomp-stomp-CLAP! of that familiar radio staple "We Will Rock You" followed by its brilliant partner song "We Are the Champions," the focal point of which was a brilliantly bejeweled crown that sat atop Lambert's head and sparkled as much as he did.

It was an awesome show, to say the least. You could tell everyone agreed because nobody left early to beat the traffic, everyone stayed until the lights were turned on, not wanting this night to end.


Set List:
Now I'm Here
Stone Cold Crazy
Another One Bites the Dust
Fat Bottomed Girls
In the Lap of the Gods... Revisited
Seven Seas of Rhye
Killer Queen
Somebody to Love
I Want It All
Love of My Life
'39
These Are the Days of Our Lives
Bass Solo (featuring "Body Language" bass line)
Drum Battle
Under Pressure
Love Kills (Freddie Mercury cover)
Who Wants to Live Forever
Last Horizon (Brian May mcover)
Tie Your Mother Down
Radio Ga Ga
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
The Show Must Go On
Bohemian Rhapsody
Encore:
We Will Rock You
We Are the Champions