Queen + Adam Lambert thrill fans at The Forum
By Naughty Mickie
When it was announced that classic
rock band Queen would be touring with Adam Lambert sitting
in for deceased lead singer Freddie Mercury, fans greeted
the news with a mix of excitement and apprehension.
Lambert might have been feeling the same way back stage,
but strutted into his spot under the lights at The Forum
in Inglewood, California July 3 with confidence.
The band’s lineup included original
members guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor,
regular keyboardist Spike Edney, plus Neil Fairclough on
bass and Taylor’s son Rufus Taylor also handling
There was no opening act- just two
hours of solid Queen songs beginning with “Now I’m Here.”
Lambert took the tune on, as he did all that followed,
with vocal prowess, channeling just a tad of Mercury while
still making each song very much his own.
For “Killer Queen,” Lambert strode
down the catwalk mid-audience to laze in a Victorian
chair. He flirted and teased his way through the song,
taking pause only for a long drink out of a Moet Chandon
bottle. Lambert thanked the crowd and acknowledged the
honor of performing with Queen for the first of many times
during the night.
“Somebody To Love” followed with
Lambert doing it justice and getting the audience to sing
along until the big pause when everyone - including
guitarist May, by the look on his face - waited to see if
he would hit “the note.” Lambert not only hit it, he moved
the song into a pop/soul crescendo that would have made
One of the most moving moments of
the night was when May took the spot on the catwalk stage
with his acoustic guitar for a solo rendetion of “Love of
My Life.” The song was written by Mercury, so it was only
fitting for him to take over the vocals via vintage video
Drummer Roger Taylor also had his
solo song time singing “These are the Days of Our Lives”
accompanied by a video montage of Queen in their heyday.
Recalling Queen’s arena days,
Taylor and May both had instrumental solos as well. Taylor
did a rousing drum duet with his son, while May’s guitar
went from mere space sounds and theramin grooves to
harmonic jazz notes and hard rock. The crowd, which had
mostly sat down during this section, responded to May with
a standing ovation.
In between the instrumental solos,
Lambert continued to prove himself, almost channeling
Mercury with the perfection of his notes during “Under
Pressure.” After this tune, May joined him on the catwalk
“I have to ask, I think it’s his
hometown, what do you think of the new boy?” May said.
The audience went wild.
“Bohemian Rhapsody” ended the
band’s show with Lambert sharing the vocal work with
Mercury on video. Fittingly, Mercury had the last words,
“Any way the wind blows.”
Queen + Lambert left the audience
wanting and soon clapping the beat to “We Will Rock You.”
They came back on stage - Lambert, who had been changing
costumes all night was now in a leopard print suit and
glittering crown - and launched into the song, ending
finally with “We Are the Champions.”
Even in their 60s, May and Taylor
still have the chops and the showmanship that made them
famous. There will never be another Mercury, but Lambert
paid him tribute while still successfully shining in his
own way. All in all, the crowd was more than satisfied
with this historic perfomance.