July 26, 2017 09:48PM
By Jim Pasinski,
Special to the Record-Journal
One of rock music’s most prestigious and legendary bands made a return visit Sunday night to the Mohegan Sun arena. The band is Queen and two of its original members continue to add to the band’s ever growing legacy. Guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor assembled an amazing cast of band members, but the iconic spot of front man, who was led by the incomparable Freddie Mercury, was filled by iconic pop singer Adam Lambert.
Since Queen decided to continue (after the death of Freddie Mercury) over a decade ago, they have had only a couple of different front men fill that roll. First was Paul Rodgers (Bad Company), which became a success of combining the music of the two bands, but the members of Queen wanted to showcase the music of their extensive catalog exclusively. So after a couple of years, Adam Lambert found his way into the hearts of Queen fans after his performances of “The Show Must Go On” and “We Are The Champions.”
It has been three years since Queen made an appearance in Connecticut and fans were eager to relive all those classic songs that became soundtracks to our lives. After 30 minutes of ambient music oozing from the speakers, a ten-foot-tall video screen, which stood in front of the stage, lifted to welcome Queen and Adam Lambert to the stage, pounding out the rhythm of “We Will Rock You.”
Adam, Brian and Roger were all business during the band’s heavier rock tracks “Hammer To Fall” and “Stone Cold Crazy,” before getting all the ladies up on their feet dancing to “Fat Bottom Girls.” Adam Lambert arose from center stage on a giant robotic head (similar to Queen’s “News Of The World” album) in the first of over a half a dozen outfit changes to perform the classic “Killer Queen” and his new solo single “Two Fux.”
Guitarist/singer Brian May would utilize the catwalk (shaped like the neck of a guitar) to perform a solo, acoustic version of the Queen ballad “Love Of My Life.” The song would end with an appearance of Freddie Mercury on the giant video screen singing harmony with May. Adam and Taylor would soon re-join May at the end of the catwalk to a mini-stage setup to perform crowd favorites “Somebody To Love” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” After a drum battle between Taylor and percussionist Tyler Warren, Adam Lambert and Roger Taylor would duet on “Under Pressure” as a tribute to their dear friend David Bowie.
The stage lit up like a Christmas tree, courtesy of a disco ball, for “I Want To Break Free,” before lasers and Lambert’s vocals delivered a memorable version of “Who Wants To Live Forever.” Brian May was elevated above the stage to perform his space-like guitar solo, leading into the keyboard induced “Radio Ga Ga” and the set closer “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Queen + Adam Lambert returned to the stage for a thunderous encore, beginning with the stomping rhythm of “We Will Rock You” and the inspirational “We Are The Champions.” As confetti shot out over the audience during the song’s final notes, all of the members took center stage for a final bow as “God Save The Queen” played throughout the arena. With the perfect recipe in place to continue the legacy of the band, Queen + Adam Lambert seem like a match made in rock ‘n’ roll heaven.