Review Roundup: Queen and Adam Lambert at Madison Square Garden
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May 19, 2015
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The group received glowing reviews for their performance together at the iHeartRadio Music Festivalin Las Vegas last September, triggering a conversation between Adam, Roger and Brian to take the show on the road. Since that time, the rocking musicians have toured throughout the U.S. and the world.
The threesome first shared the stage during American Idol in May 2009 for a performance of "We Are The Champions." They teamed up again in 2011 at the MTV European Music Awards in Belfast, Ireland for an electrifying eight-minute finale of "The Show Must Go On," "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions" and in the summer of 2012, Lambert performed a series of shows with Queen across Europe as well as dates in Russia, Ukraine and Poland. They also performed three sold-out gigs at London's Hammersmith Apollo.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Jon Pareles, The New York Times: Queen's songs and original band members -- Mr. May and the drummer Roger Taylor - dominate this tour, sometimes too much. Mr. Lambert -- singing to replace Queen's leader, Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991 -- is a modest accessory, on and off the stage, as he changes into various costumes of leather, lace, studs, animal-skin patterns and shiny fringe...On paper, Mr. Lambert is ideal for Queen...He's no longer the goth-styled, crotch-grabbing character he was while touring for his solo albums. Now he's deferential, boyish and trying to update Queen...with a touch of American R&B in his voice and with hip-hop stage patter. Neither is a winning strategy. His voice loses fullness as it ascends, his R&B melismata are whiny, and his patter is embarrassing.
Glenn Gamboa, Newsday: ...after the halfway point, Lambert started to grow into the role. He handled "Under Pressure" gloriously, with drummer Roger Taylor taking on David Bowie's vocals nicely. He followed with a poignant version of "Who Wants to Live Forever" that showed he could interpret a song differently from Mercury with his powerful voice. The way he went toe-to-toe vocally with a video of Mercury during "Bohemian Rhapsody," though, showed that Queen had made a good choice in signing him up. Can Lambert really replace Mercury, who died of HIV-related complications in 1991? Of course not. But he may be able to help take the band in a new direction.
Kevin Couglin, New York Daily News: ...former American Idol finalist Adam Lambert channels the spirit of Queen's late frontman Freddie Mercury in almost every detail. Strutting the curvaceous stage like a black leather-clad peacock with a slight pompadour, Lambert launched into the set opener, "Now I'm Here" with ferocity and vigor. At times, Lambert's presence appeared to rejuvenate and energize May's and Taylor's performance throughout the 2 hour 15-minute, 23-song set. On songs such as "Stone Cold Crazy", "Seven Seas of Rhye", and "Killer Queen", Lambert displayed Mercury-esque flamboyancy and showmanship; stretching out on a sofa at one point.