Despite the freezing cold conditions of a January night, crowds descended on the Arena for what was sure to be the greatest show on earth! From the lengthy queues, it was clear to see that after a career spanning 45 years the fan base remained loyal however had somewhat expanded into the younger generation.A 19 year old standing in a queue to see Queen provoked expressions of uncertainty amongst many, most assuming I was only there for Adam Lambert, as I was “too young” to be a queen fan, but nevertheless a Queen fan I am.
Rapturous cheers and screams filled the auditorium shortly before 8:30pm as they took to the stage tin spectacular fashion giving Geordie’s everywhere a lesson in rock ‘n’ roll. While the opening chords to classic hit One Vision blasted from May’s guitar, Adam Lambert braced the stage like a true rock god. Lambert looked incredible in a leather studded jacket, leather gloves and sparkly vest with vocals that raised the roof and delighted the many fans.
The hits kept coming and his shades came off while belting out I Want It All and Another One Bites The Dust to the roaring Newcastle crowd. Fat Bottomed Girls got the audience dancing and singing from early on in the standing zone where the atmosphere was electric. Brian May took to centre stage for two short numbers that wowed and mesmerised the crowd in equal measures, while showing off his on vocal talent.
Lambert returned in a tassel ensemble lounging on a sofa in a true diverish fashion for what can only be described as a sasstastic and sexy rendition of the classic Killer Queen before playing homage to the north east crowd sipping champagne from the bottle remarking “this is how we do it up here isn’t it”. He then went on to dedicate the classic queen hit Don’t Stop Me Now to the party capital .
As he disappeared for his 3rd costume change, the legendary Brian May sat centre staged reminiscing about the bands visits to the City Hall. May went on to play homage to Newcastle inviting the crowd to join in on a rendition of Lindisfarne’s Fog On The Tyne.
Accompanied by a small acoustic guitar he then went on to sing Love Of My Life again mesmerising the crowd who just had to sing along before a hologram of the late Freddie Mercury delighted fans by finishing off the song. Roger Taylor stepped up to the mic to take lead vocals on It’s A Kind Of Magic also amazing fans with his vocal talents before a drum battle with his son.
This was swiftly followed by Queen’s biggest hit of all time and everybody’s favourite, Bohemian Rhapsody. The performance saw Lambert duet with an on screen hologram of the late Freddie Mercury, hitting every single note like a true perfectionist and clips of the original 80’s music video being used, making the performance truly spectacular and truly unique. It was without doubt the highlight of the night-a song that everyone sang along to from start to finish. The arrangement of this song especially with the added surprise of the hologram sent shivers down my spine and is a moment in time I will never forget.
And for the finale? well only one song could be suitable to round off a gig of this stature. which was of course We Are the Champions. The number say Adam Lambert return to the stage one final time in royal attire with a diamond sparkly crown to belt out the Queen sing-a-long classic as buckets of gold confetti fell from the roof covering the crowd- a brilliant end to an amazing night.
But what of the man who has ultimately stepped into Mercury’s shoes to front the biggest rock band of all time?
He is a mesmerising showman with an outstanding vocal range and sad who the crowd showed deep appreciation for through screams from start to finish. The best thing? he never once tried to be Freddie or even replace Freddie- after all there will only ever be one Freddie Mercury- but he delivered every song with style Mercury would have been extremely proud of.
The crowd enjoyed a fantastic show with a spectacular set-list of Queen classics, three huge screens, runway into the crowd, holograms and a hell of a sassy voice from Lambert pitched in perfect harmony with the rocking chords of Brian May’s guitar and every beat of Roger Taylor’s Drums.
Its safe to say the North East music scene for 2015 has been kicked off in true rock ‘n’ roll style and it cortically was a night I will remember for a long time to come.
Long Live The Music, Love Live Queen.