Queen + Adam Lambert, Avicii Arena, Stockholm, 20 July 2022

8/10

“Now I’m here”, “Hammer to fall”, “Somebody to love”… And that’s just the beginning. As you might guess, Queen & Adam Lambert’s “Rhapsody Tour” is a journey through time and space, packed with some of the most exquisite musical numbers in classic rock history. Classic rock? Yes and no. Queen has always been very versatile, and tonight is no exception. There’s pop (“Killer queen”), funk (“Another one bites the dust”), rockabilly (“Crazy little thing called love”), folk (“’39”), power ballads (“Who wants to live forever”), heavy metal (“I want it all”) – all blended with childlike ease. The band is tight and energetic, Roger Taylor almost the powerful drummer of yesteryear, Brian May the archetype guitar hero. Both also being fantastic lead singers. My heart leaps when they handle lead vocals; Brian for “Love of my life” and “’39”, Roger for “I’m in love with my car” and “These are the days of our lives”. Still – lead vocalist Adam Lambert does a tremendous job in handling and honouring all those vocals which Freddie Mercury once sang. He’s every bit as strong-voiced and flamboyant as the legendary Mercury, still never trying to copy him. In fact, Lambert proclaims himself just as big a fan of Freddie’s as the rest of us.
Anything bad? Well, Lambert does a bit of superfluous wailing during “Who wants to live forever”. And us hardcore fans wouldn’t have minded a few deep cuts. Why not a “Breakthru” or a “Dead on time”? The answer to the band’s choices is obvious, though. Less well-known songs such as “I’m in love with my car” or “In the lap of the gods…revisited” gain polite applause, whereas hyper-hits “Don’t stop me now” or “Radio ga ga” are being met with roars of joy. When Roger and Brian receive the night’s very last round of applause, a shiver goes through my body. I think of how the younger versions of these timid gentlemen formed the group Smile in 1968 and nurtured dreams of rock stardom. Could they ever have imagined that they would fill arenas around the world, more than half a century later?
Do I sound like a fan-boy? Well, I guess I am one of those. But with such an over-the-top lights and animations show and such passionate musicianship it’s difficult not to get emotional.
One final note: whereas the majority of the crowd is middle-aged, a significant part is young. Queens music truly unites generations.
Photos: Magnus Roudén

Queen + Adam Lambert, Avicii Arena, Stockholm, 20 July 2022

July 22, 2022

Still - lead vocalist Adam Lambert does a tremendous job in handling and honouring all those vocals which Freddie Mercury once sang. He's every bit as strong-voiced and flamboyant as the legendary Mercury, still never trying to copy him.

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