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article imageReview: Adam Lambert and Queen spectacular at Madison Square Garden Special

By Markos Papadatos     Aug 7, 2019 in Music
New York - On August 6, Grammy-nominated pop star Adam Lambert and classic rock group Queen brought their "Rhapsody" Tour to Madison Square Garden in New York City. They played for a sold-out audience.
This marked their first of two consecutive shows at the "World's Most Famous Arena."
Queen and Adam Lambert began their set with "Now I'm Here," where Lambert gave a shout-out to Madison Square Garden, they continued with "Seven Seas of Rhye" and the upbeat "Keep Yourself Alive." Roger Taylor wore his black sunglasses, while Lambert wore a gold suit.
The infectious "Hammer to Fall" featured Roger Taylor on backing vocals, and it garnered a raucous response. Lambert had the audience clapping along to "Killer Queen," which he began sitting on the piano and fanning himself with a red fan.
Lambert subsequently addressed the Madison Square Garden audience. He shared that he has been performing with Queen for eight years now and he underscored that he is "not Freddie Mercury," nor is he "replacing the rock God." Instead, he professed his love for Freddie Mercury and described himself as a "fan" just like the rest of the audience members.
"It is such a fucking honor. Let's give a big thank you to the true rock and roll legends on stage tonight: Roger Taylor and Brian May," Lambert said. "New York, please promise me that we will celebrate Freddie Mercury and Queen tonight together," he said.
Lambert showed some attitude on "Don't Stop Me Now," which had neat 3-D scenes displaying on the giant televised screen. The audience sat as he serenaded them to a controlled and crystalline performance of "In the Lap of the Gods... Revisited" and he immediately got them back on their feet again for a rousing rendition of "Somebody to Love," featuring Lambert's magnanimous vocal range, as fuchsia lights dimmed from the stage.
"You know the words. Sing with us?" Lambert said, inviting the fans to join him on "Somebody to Love." They immediately broke into "The Show Must Go On," which had a haunting beginning, and Brian May joined him on the background vocals, which was sheer bliss.
Roger Taylor allowed his rich, raspy vocals to shine on "I'm in Love With My Car," as a monochromatic video played on the video-boards, coupled by his exquisite drum solo.
After an outfit change (wearing leather), Lambert appeared on stage in a motorcycle, where he performed "Bicycle Race," which was quite the spectacle. It was followed by the spitfire and unapologetic "Another One Bites the Dust" and during "Machines (Or Back To Humans)," green lights graced the Madison Square Garden stage.
Lambert also incorporated "I Want It All" as a crowd singalong, which featured an impressive guitar solo by Brian May.
During the acoustic segment of the show, Brian May greeted the Big Apple audience. "Good evening, people of New York," he said, prior to noting that he was overcome with a flood of emotions and good memories at this hallowed venue. "Thanks for this memory," he said.
"Are you in the mood for singing," May asked, and delivered a soothing and resonant version of "Love of My Life," as he accompanied himself solo on acoustic guitar. Towards the end of the song, with the help of modern technology, the late Freddie Mercury appeared on the video-board, which made this song even more authentic compelling.
Some of the fans lit up their phones, but he encouraged everybody to light up the venue with their cell phones, in an effort to make the evening "more magical," and the audience obeyed his wish. He earned a standing ovation for this delicate performance that ought to be enjoyed for its beauty and simplicity.
"Are you still with us?" he asked, and the answer was a resounding "yes." He was able to take his fans on a trip down memory lane to 1975 with "'39." He joked that probably only three people know this tune, yet he showcased his strong storytelling ability and made it relevant to all.
Roger Taylor joined Brian May on "Doing All Right," as did Lambert later on in the song, and all three delivered a true harmony masterclass. "Ladies and gentlemen, Adam Lambert," Brian May said, complimenting their frontman.
May brought out his Red Special guitar for "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," while "Under Pressure" was a highlight performance in every way, shape, and form. Simply fantastic. Following the warm reception, they introduced the remaining band members, which included Neil Fairclough on bass, Tyler Warren on percussion, and Spike Edney on keyboards.
Brian May's ability on guitar was unparalleled as he performed a guitar solo of "New World Symphony," coupled by an intergalactic 3-D backdrop that was incredible. They went on to nail the vivacious "Tie Your Mother Down," while "Fat Bottomed Girls" was upbeat and fun. They closed with "Radio Ga Ga" and Queen's signature song "Bohemian Rhapsody," which earned them another lengthy standing ovation.
Their encore included such powerhouse Queen classics as "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions," where they left their fans yearning for more.
The Verdict
Overall, Adam Lambert and Queen delivered a masterful live performance at Madison Square Garden in the heart of New York City. Lambert could have upstaged Queen, but he didn't. He treated all of their classic hits with the respect that they deserved and he paid a fitting homage to Roger Taylor and Brian May. He did Queen justice and honored them as the iconic vocalists, songwriters, and musicians that they are.
Lambert and Queen were able to take their fans on a musical journey with them. It was the perfect rock music celebration and Lambert was an outstanding frontman and song stylist that was able to introduce Queen's catalog to a younger and wider audience.
The "Rhapsody" Tour is a must for all fans of music, and their show at the "World's Most Famous Arena" garnered five out of five stars. Thus far, the Queen and Adam Lambert put on the best live concert of 2019. Congratulations.
More about Adam lambert, Queen, Rhapsody, Tour, New york
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