Queen and Adam Lambert in London July 2012

Thank you to the fans who have supplied the photos and videos that I am able to share in this blog.

It is difficult to believe that already two months have passed since Queen and Adam Lambert performed their three magical shows at London’s Hammersmith Apollo in July 2012.

For those who attended the shows, I feel positive that the memory will forever live in their hearts and minds, as it will for me.

On Wednesday 15 August 2012, Juneau & Xena invited me on their blog talk radio show to talk about my experience of having attended the Queen + Adam Lambert shows in London – thank you both very much for giving me the opportunity to share my experience and for allowing me to indulge my enthusiasm by rabbiting on as I did.

Here is the link to the radio show:

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/juneauxena/2012/08/15/juneau-xenas-salon

Below follows a rough transcript of my chat with Juneau & Xena:

I’d like to talk about my own experiences at the Queen + Adam shows I attended in London only, so forgive me if I don’t also talk about the shows in Eastern Europe as I wasn’t physically there.

A number of Glamberts came from all over the world to London especially to experience those amazing shows, which they dubbed: Queenbert. And many Queen fans also came from far and wide. But I will try to paint a picture, too, for those who were not there.

First of all I want to say that this is only the third time in my life that I had bought a General Admission ticket to a show and I was feeling apprehensive to say the least. But having been lucky enough to experience a number of Adam’s performances up close, I have become kind of addicted to his energy and knew that I had to get as close to him as I possibly could – a General Admission ticket seemed the most obvious way to achieve my goal.

In part, this new addiction came about because I was extremely fortunate that a Lambrit angel, named Joan, made it possible for me to see Adam performing at his London media showcase in February 2012. And even though I had seen him perform live a few times before then, that experience will forever be seared into my brain, because it took place in such an intimate venue – I stood only five feet away from him – that it felt as though it was a private show just for me, and I am positive that even the most hardened media person there, would have felt the same way. 

Adam was incredible that evening. His energy was beyond words, it was a master class in singing and performance, and it was an experience I will treasure for the rest of my days. I failed utterly in my endeavours not to sound like a complete fan-girl in the Sound Bath programme about that adventure, as I am sure those of you who have listened to it, can testify.

Other opportunities to see Adam in London earlier this year presented itself and I was able to attend them all. He performed at The Royal Albert Hall, on the Graham Norton television show and at Heaven – and I can tell you, he was amazing that night too, and I was in Heaven. A new friend, named Neil, dragged me up on the stage and we danced in the exact spot where a few moments later, Adam danced and sang – it was great to look out and see his audience eagerly awaiting him.

Unexpectedly an opportunity also presented itself for me to meet him briefly outside Capital Radio where I was able to gift him a CD with two original songs, inspired by him, which I had created in collaboration with Dr Philippa Semper and Prof Elizabeth Dockrell-Tyler. But who knows if he has time to listen to such things? It is perhaps enough that he might be happy to know he inspires his fans to create all sorts of things, including classical art songs.

I knew of course that his performances with Queen would be something different and very special, and as if we needed confirmation, the videos from the Eastern European shows, that wonderful Glamberts who attended those shows posted on YouTube, proved it beyond a shadow of a doubt.

I have been a huge Queen fan for thousands of years, but sadly never had the opportunity to see them perform live, and I adore Brian, whom I have met before, and Roger too, and wanted to be close enough to see their facial expressions also.

And boy, was I lucky! I won two early entry tickets for the first show and bought a seated ticket for the second show from Tina, a wonderful Lambrit. And due to work commitments suddenly being cancelled, and being gifted a General Admission ticket at the last minute by the fantastic London Glambert, @jeanjenie, together with another early entry ticket for the third night presented me by two Canadian Glamberts I had met in Canada last year, my Queen and Adam Lambert experience could not have been bettered.

The lovely Lambrit, Lucy, accepted my second early entry ticket for the first show, and so on the morning of the 11th, we duly arrived at Hammersmith Apollo to be greeted by the sight of loads of fans having queued and slept there overnight. The area in front of the venue presented a colourful plastic sea of sheets to guard against the cold, wet pavements, umbrellas of all sizes and colours, and believe it or not, even a tent or two. The weather was awful – raining one moment, blowing gales the next. I felt really sorry for them, especially as the early entry queue was closer to the building, so at least we were out of the rain that came pouring down periodically throughout the day.

There were other Glamberts in our queue too, but the majority of queuees were dedicated Queen fans and we could hear them talking about Adam and voicing their doubts about what he would be like as a singer with Queen. Some of the guys were drinking beer and as the alcohol took effect, they started becoming more verbal as to whether a mere pop singer like Adam, could do justice to the music. They apparently did not think he could even hold a candle to Paul Rodgers, and on and on they went…

I have to say that I never worry for Adam – he is a consummate professional with an entrenched foundation in stage craft, an unshakable vocal technique, superior performance skills, and the biggest, most tangible stage presence I have ever experienced, not to mention the most beautiful voice I have ever heard. He has the ability to win over any audience by mesmerizing them, making them feel safe and by charming them out of real time and into Adam time, which is always over way too soon. And he can be quite fierce and fiery when he wants to be, so I am positive he can defend himself perfectly when he needs to. But by that stage, I was beginning to feel a twinge of alarm on Adam’s behalf.

Lucy and I wanted to say something, but did not dare as alcohol and debate do not usually make for good playmates.

But suddenly, however, a great opportunity presented itself when one of the guys – the one most verbally scornful of Adam, as it happens – walked past bearing a big Freddie and Montserrat Caballe poster. I stopped him and said that I liked the poster, which he subsequently gifted me. He pointed out that Freddie sang with an opera singer because he was that good. I replied that Adam had sung opera arias himself, and that I do, too. His face was a picture. “Really?” he said, “Sing something then!”

Now, normally I would NEVER do this – my voice was not warmed-up, I had talked all night at the Adamtopia party the previous night and had had about four hours sleep, but I could see that they might stop judging Adam before they had even heard him sing if perhaps I could convince them that he is to be taken seriously as a singer. So I took a deep breath and sang the first few bars of Puccini’s O Mio Babbino Caro, supposedly the most well-known opera tune in the world, so figured the Queen fan might recognize it even if he was not necessarily familiar with opera – I am well aware that opera is not everyone’s cup-of-tea, so to speak.

Then something extraordinary happened: As I was singing, I saw the guy’s eyes getting bigger and bigger, and I could see goosebumps creeping up all over his arms and up his neck – something I had never seen before. Then he started crying! This big, tattooed, fierce-looking guy! His wife cried too as did some other Queen fans around us. And a hush fell over the big queue, which I had not expected, and then burst into applause when I stopped singing. The guy hugged me and cried tears in my neck and all over my shirt, saying things like: “Thank you, that was beautiful. I can’t believe it. I’ve never experienced anything like it and just here, right in front of me!” And so on. I guess most people do not ever experience operatic voices singing right next to them, so it might be overwhelming to hear, I suppose.

But his transformation from belligerence to adoring fan-boy was so complete and surprising, I almost forgave him for the naughty things he had said about Adam!

Then I told him that if he thought I was good, he was in for the experience of a life-time because Adam is roughly 1000% better than me. I could see he was not sure whether I was joking or not, but at least for the rest of the day, no more mean comments about Adam came from him or his mates.

It is hard to choose my favourite  from the three shows – most likely because I stood right by the stage for the first and also for the last one, both stood out, but that first show will live inside my mind forever – it was breathtaking and Adam was a mystical rock god being.

Inside the venue the atmosphere was almost tangible with anticipation but from where I stood, the audience seemed split into two – the Queen fans and the Glamberts – each group of fans focussed on seeing their own idols. The pre-show music made me long for the pre-show music during Adam’s Glam Nation tour, but soon enough, the well-known tones of Queen’s ‘Flash’ – the intro to the show – unleashed a deafening roar of excitement from the waiting audience. And I have to admit, the drama of that music was perfect for heightening further the expectation and setting the scene for what was to come.

Next we could see the unmistakable figure of Adam behind the curtain and the Glamberts went wild. An unforgettable, poignantly historic moment for all of us.

As always, seeing Adam up close is a remarkable thing, but even more so when he is performing, because he always seems so much taller and somehow bigger in every way than expected, and like a piece of living art he is so extraordinarily beautiful, he takes your breath away, even before you experience his extraordinary voice.

To the Queen fans who had perhaps never seen him before, that first show would already have been amazing, as his voice enchanted us through the well-known songs like Seven Seas of Rhye, We Will Rock You, Fat Bottom Girls, Don’t Stop Me Now, and his moving duet with Roger in Under Pressure. But for the Glamberts who know him, he would have seemed perhaps a little restrained – I can only imagine he must have had a slight concern as to how the Queen fans would receive him – as a performer myself, I know that would have been foremost in my thoughts.

I Want It All, Somebody To Love and Adam’s astonishing version of Who Wants To Live Forever followed, killing us all with his interpretation and that voice!

Here is an amazing video of Adam singing Who Wants To Live Forever, edited by Pumpkin Priest, using seven different fan video shots taken on the last night:

We are already familiar with the beauty and power of Adam’s voice and his astonishing ability to nuance phrases in unexpected ways that further touch his audience to their core – seemingly individually – but what he did with Who Wants To Live Forever, was beyond anything I had ever experienced. He pulled my soul right out of my body and I do not mind telling you that I sobbed like a baby during the song.

The way in which Adam sang this song, transcends the commonsense interpretation of the lyrics and music, because it seemed – to me at least – as though he was singing about this reality and one beyond it simultaneously, taking the song to a place I’ve never experienced before. And I know I am not alone in this experience, because Brian alluded to it also in an interview, saying he was quite overwhelmed during rehearsals because he had never experienced anything like Adam singing this song.

This may be the perfect opportunity to say something about the long phrase he sang using only one breath, as I have received a number of questions about it. I feel sometimes people forget that Adam is actually a trained singer and that singing long phrases is something trained singers, in particular, do all the time – listen to any opera aria, oratorio or art song and you will hear it – so I am not sure it was a particularly long breath for Adam especially, but it was unusual in the sense that very few other pop/rock singers may be able to do it. What it proves, however, is that despite him going off and experimenting with more specifically pop sounding techniques as he does on his second album, Trespassing for example, he has not discarded his vocal technique at all – it is still there, intact, and he can call upon it whenever he feels like it. 

He may have been showing off a little – and who can blame him with a vocal instrument and technique like that – but there is no doubt that by joining the phrase together like that, he enhanced the art of the song superbly. And as I have said previously, this song reminds so much of the structure of an operatic aria, so what he did was entirely appropriate.

I will talk more about this song and how Adam sang it in an upcoming Sound Bath programme about Adam’s voice.

By the way, the big tattoed guy who cried in my neck stood roughly opposite me and when I looked up, he too was crying and mouthing OMG to me!

Another thing to mention about this song is that because of the aria-like structure, it does what all good arias do: kills the singer so that when the last note – invariable the highest note in the aria – comes around, often preceded by quite a high tessitura, the singer is too exhausted to sing it properly, but on the last night, Adam more than nailed that high D!

In fact, it is something I have noticed he seems to like doing: usually when it is the last night of a performance and he has not got to sing for a little while, he lets rip and boy, did he do that during the last show – on all levels!

Another element Adam used in this song, we also saw him using when he sang Soaked – being very still and silent before delivering the final tender phrase – doing that heightens the drama of those songs wonderfully and Queen, being no strangers to drama themselves, were clearly more than happy to go along with Adam, because you can hear them waiting for him to start singing again before joining in at the end.

Talking about Queen being happy – it was wonderful to see the joy on that stage and the camaraderie and respect shared between Adam and the members of Queen. I spoke to a number of Queen fans who said that they had never seen Brian or Roger look that happy before. And is it any wonder? We were in the presence of greatness, weren’t we? And I guess Queen and Adam must have felt that way too. (An excellent case perhaps for proving the whole being greater than the sum of its parts?)

Roger’s voice was also still wonderful and it was pure joy and very moving listening to him singing the songs I have loved for so long.

Here Roger sings These Are The Days Of Our Lives on 11 July 2012, uploaded to YouTube by a1999f:

And I became very tearful once again during Brian’s amazing rendition of Love Of My Life, which he performed right in front of me as I stood by the side of the little catwalk that extended out into the audience, especially since that was the only time he did it – during the next two shows he stayed on the stage for that song. It was a particularly magical experience as Brian started to play the music and sang the first few bars before the entire audience sang with him and then a huge projection of Freddie on the back wall of the stage, completed the song.

This is Brian singing Love Of My Life on the first night, 11 July 2012, uploaded to YouTube by hippiutube:

I adored Adam’s costume changes as much as I am sure he did! It was particularly clear that he was deeply in love with the red jacket he wore during Dragon Attack – such a fab song!

Here is Dragon Attack on the last night, 14 July 2012, uploaded to YouTube by riddle601b:

Very cleverly, Adam also chose the song I Want To Break Free to literally break free from the stage on the last two nights, when he most likely felt more accepted and comfortable with the Queen fans. He jumped off the little catwalk and ran his hand along the audiences’ outstretched hands as he made his way back towards the far end of the stage. But the first time he did it, he must have misjudged the distance from the raised catwalk to the floor and split open his leather trousers, then hilariously spent the rest of the song creating a showcase for the split trousers – indicating that he was breaking free even from his trousers. It did not stop him from doing it again during the last show, though, to the unbridled joy of the audience, but this time the trousers were intact and stairs had been provided for him with stage hands helping him to get down and up on stage again.

This video of the song and the split-trouser-episode was uploaded to YouTube by riddle601b:

By the third night, when Adam did it again, the Queen fans behind me nearly climbed over me to get to Adam – they were as completely taken with him as the Glamberts are, it seemed. They pressed in towards the stage so much, in any case, that several people around us fainted and had to be carried out.

Adam’s enjoyment of singing Another One Bites The Dust, Radio Gaga and Crazy Little Thing Called Love was almost tangible. And just like a classical singer darting from style to style during a recital, Adam switched gears for each song, including the operatic rock song, The Show Must Go On, which seems as though it had been crafted specifically for his voice.

This is his rendition of The Show Must Go On from 14 July, uploaded to YouTube by riddle601b

All around me I heard the astonishment in the voices of Queen fans as they talked about how remarkable it was that Adam could sing the songs so convincingly even though he had had no part in creating them. It made my toes curl from joy, because it is yet another testament to the classically trained singer and accomplished musician and artist that Adam is.

I have spoken about this in one of my own programmes, but I would like to reiterate again, that the way in which Adam sings The Show Must Go On, is remarkable not only because the song fits his voice like a glove, but because here especially, we experience very clearly how perfectly Adam tunes verbalised consonants and how he sings phrases through the music – all may seem subtle, but it makes a huge difference to the end product and elevates the song into a realm of professionalism, not so easily achievable perhaps by other singers. The song seems so poignantly appropriate to him specifically also.

I find the way in which he sings the following lyrics particularly heartbreaking:

The show must go on, yeah!
Inside my heart is breaking
My make-up may be flaking
But my smile still stays on

And in this song, it seemed to me as though Adam’s voice and Brian’s guitar swirled around each other in a particularly perfect and effective emotive duet – pure magic!

Of course, a show featuring Queen and Adam could not be, without the inclusion of Bohemian Rhapsody – a full circle moment for Adam who sang it at his first audition for American Idol, at which time Adam was apparently brought to Roger’s attention. So this song was most likely the significant factor in subsequent partnerships between Queen and Adam, and the foundation for the existence of these shows. 

Again, Freddie appeared hugely projected to sing the song, and ended with phrases being alternated between him and Adam. Usually by this stage the noise from the audience was deafening, but if we are able to focus only on Adam’s and Freddie’s voices, we will be able to hear a remarkable thing: Adam seemed to be able to tune his voice to Freddie’s so that at first we are not sure who is singing which line, Freddie or Adam – a very subtle but clever element and the fusion of two remarkable singers and performers.

I know Adam is not the new Queen front-man but it felt to me like a kind of blessing and handing over from Freddie to Adam as the last phrase was sung by Adam – it was another very emotional moment!

This is Bohemian Rhapsody from 14 July, uploaded to YouTube by

A fantastic end to the best shows I have seen so far!

Of course the audience would not let them go, so they had to come back to sing three more songs: Tie Your Mother Down, We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions. These songs are such rock anthems, that the entire audience was singing along, jumping up and down and an outpouring of such energy as I have never ever experienced, not even during the Glam Nation Tours, nearly lifted the roof off the Apollo. No wonder then that after the shows, people were walking out, looking dazed with silly grins on their faces. It was such a euphoric experience.

I just have to add too that it was wonderful when I had my seated experience on the second night, because I could hear the audience singing along more clearly and it was such an incredible wall of vocal sound – what a magical thing, the human vocal instrument. 

Adam’s execution of the songs was very dramatic and he interpreted Queen’s music flawlessly. But what struck me powerfully, was how he adapted his performance to their brand of drama, which included pyrotechnics and flames coming out of the stage, which you could feel even up in the balcony, and which added to the already sweltering environment.  But this is where Adam’s experience on the musical theatre stage and his acting skills came into their own – I really cannot think of any other singer with the voice and abilities to do what Adam did, and that is the reason that these shows were such a brilliant partnership. No wonder then that Brian thanked Adam each night, and deliberately pointed out that without him, the shows would not have been possible.

I tend to agree with Brian and how lucky we all are that this amazing music can once again live in the world.

I still cannot believe I was lucky enough to be there on all three nights and I am crossing body parts that they do more of these shows in the future.

I wanted also to gain the perspective of a couple of fans and the fabulous Donna, a British fan of both Queen and Adam, agreed to tell me her experience of the shows:

Audio running time: 14:54

Not everyone feels comfortable being recorded, however, and another wonderful Queen fan, Gary Smith, whom I met at Hammersmith Apollo on the second night, preferred instead to let me print his interview: 

Angelina: How long have you been a Queen fan?

Gary: I have been a fan since 1975 really when a lot of people first heard A Night At The Opera. I joined the queen fan club in 1976 and have been a member now for 36 years. In this time, queen have cost me a small fortune, but they have been worth every penny for the big part of my life they have become, and the joy and pleasure such a unique and gifted band has given to me.

Angelina: Have you ever seen Queen live?

Gary: I was fortunate enough to have seen Queen live 9 times with Freddie, the first time being at Southampton Gaumont in 1976, then Wembley arena 3 times, 4 times on the crazy tour and their final gig at Knebworth. I also went to Freddie’s tribute gig at Wembley, then saw Queen + Paul Rodgers at Wembley pavilion and the 02 arena where I managed to get the set list from Brian & Roger’s side stage black tent! And lastly of course, the 1st & 3rd night of the recent Hammersmith Apollo gigs.

It has to be said that I have through the Queen fan club, managed to get some magnificent seats for many of these gigs.

I have also been to many of Brian & Rogers solo gigs and night two of the gigs at the marquee in London in 1993 I believe, when both Brian & Roger played.

Angelina: Have you ever met any of Queen’s members?

Gary: I have met Roger once and shook his hand. This was in the Marquee café after the Marquee club gig in 1993.

Roger came walking past us with Debbie Leng, but we never approached him until later when he and Debbie walked past us to leave – then I thought that’s it – I’m not going to miss this opportunity and we briefly spoke with him and Debbie shook his hand and wished him a happy Christmas. Before leaving, he did a signing session at a table for the people they had let in from outside, so I got in the queue and also got him to sign the set list I had also managed to get from the gig. He was quite bemused he was signing it already!

I also have a pair of Rogers drum sticks, and he once send us a signed picture from the slightly mad sessions to my home address to thank us for a birthday card we had sent him. Can you imagine that? Receiving mail in your post from Roger Taylor!

Angelina: What did you think of Paul Rodgers performing with Queen?

Gary: I thought Paul Rodgers did a very good and credible job singing for Queen – it worked!

However, I wasn’t so keen on the Free songs diluting the show or the Cosmos album which for me only had one Queen song on it, C-elebrity.

Angelina: Which of the Queen and Adam Lambert shows did you attend?

Gary: I attended the first night upstairs and on the last night stood right at the front Brian May’s side having been one of 100 to be let in early via the queen fan club. Being so close to the gig was amazing as was the energy and joy between the audience and stage. The light show was incredible as was the clever use of the video screens and the superb integration of Freddie into the show – I felt after, that it was the best gig I had ever been to!

Angelina: Had you heard of Adam Lambert before he sang with Queen?

Gary: Only that he was to be Queen’s next singer and I’d heard he had come second on American pop idol and had also sung with Kiss.

As for filling Freddie’s shoes, I personally thought he was superb all round. His vocals were powerful with much range, and his command of the stage and audience was excellent – he wasn’t phased by anything. He has the looks of Elvis (in fact he also looks not to dissimilar to Freddie in many ways) and had great stage wear.

He really looked comfortable and you could see he felt part of Queen and you could see Brian & Roger loved him being part of Queen.

What also struck me is that he also has a unique quality that Freddie had which to my mind is one where whilst performing the level of passion and consciousness is on a different level. It’s as though they are on a different plain to us, and something I’ve rarely seen in any performer, but Adam has “it” as well!

I don’t know if it’s something he does to focus, but 4-5 times throughout the show, Adam looked directly at me in the eye whilst singing for about 10 seconds, maybe he picks someone out to do this for some reason?

Long may he be Queen’s singer and also to record with them would be very exciting too.

Angelina: As you have been a Queen fan for so long, you must have some amazing stories to share with us?

Gary: I recently meet a friend of my sisters who used to live next door to John Deacon in the Leicester area when she was a teenager before Queen had hit the big time and she said she remembers how they would all turn up and rehearse there! She could hear them through her bedroom wall! and on other occasions she would be in the house with them and said Freddie’s voice used to fill the room.

Angelina: Did you ever meet Freddie?

Gary: No, but I met Peter Freestone, Freddie’s personal assistant, at his hotel in Torquay once where he had a bar there with much Queen memorabilia – a very nice and friendly man who once said “ I would do anything for you, Freddie”

And when in Ibiza on holiday in the late nineties, we visited Hotel Pikes where Freddie used to stay and had his 40th birthday party – there were pictures of Freddie in reception, bare topped playing tennis and Freddie’s room was called the Bungalow.

We spoke to the owner there who spoke very fondly about Freddie and said that he once took Freddie out on his speed boat to Formentera, I believe, one afternoon and that Freddie really enjoyed it including piloting the boat!

Freddie’s real name was Farrokh Bulsara. Over the years there have been countless mis-spellings of his first name due to unclear handwriting on his birth certificate – but if anyone should know the correct spelling it’s Freddies mum Jer who wrote a preface in a Queen book spelling it as Farrokh – so that’s good enough for me.

I am the proud registered owner of the website domain name www.farrokhbulsara.co.uk

By the way, did you know that if you count every track listing from the first Queen album through to A Night At The Opera that the song 39 is also the 39th track! Was this planned or coincidence?

Thank you, Gary, for sharing with us your great stories about Queen and Freddie.

And as a special treat, I was very fortunate that the lovely Roy, or ‘Japanese Freddie,’ as he is known both here and in Japan, agreed to talk to me via Skype. This is what he had to say:

Audio running time: 3:16

But as our Skype connection on the day was unfortunately not very clear, I have been able to use only a small part of our chat and because of the sound quality making what he says a little difficult to hear, here is the transcript of his interview:

Angelina: Thanks for talking to me – I really appreciate it. I just wanted to ask you a few questions about when you came to England – did you come just to see Queen?

Roy: Yes, I came to London to all three concerts and I enjoyed it – it was a good experience.

I saw your question you’d messaged me – “how long have you been a Queen fan?” Thirty years, from 1982 – I was just 12 years old – so a Queen fan for thirty years.

Angelina: Have you seen Queen before?

Roy: I have never seen the real Queen or Freddie Mercury, but I went to Queen plus Paul Rogers, twenty six concerts, and Brian May and Roger Tayler’s solo concerts, but I’ve never seen Freddie Mercury.

Angelina: You love Freddie?

Roy: Yes, of course!

Angelina: I saw your picture in the newspaper.

Roy: Oh yes, the newspaper, yes I got it.

Angelina: What did you think of Adam Lambert?

Roy: Adam Lambert – yes, I liked it because his voice is so good. Adam is a different singer. I think Adam Lambert is outstanding.

Freddie Mercury could write great songs, his performances were great and his voice was good, and Adam Lambert’s voice is good – I like it.

I have been to an Adam Lambert solo concert in 2010 in Japan and this month he came to Japan and had mini gigs – I went, in Tokyo.

Angelina: And did you like it?

Roy: Yes, I liked it – it was a different show. Queen plus Adam Lambert is all Queen songs, but Adam Lambert’s mini concert is Adam’s songs – four songs from his second album. I like his second album.

Angelina: Paul Rodgers or Adam?

Roy: Of course Adam. Paul Rodgers is not so bad, but he is a Rock Blues singer. I think Adam is a better Queen singer.

Angelina: Why?

Roy: Queen plus Paul Rodgers concert is Queen songs and Paul Roger’s songs, but Queen plus Adam Lambert is all Queen songs.

Angelina: Did you know about Adam before he sang with Queen?

Roy: Yes, I know of him from American Idol auditions. First he sang Bohemian Rhapsody. So many Queen fans knew of him. He was singing a cappella…such a beautiful voice. So many Queen fans are: “Oh, he sang Bohemian Rhapsody – I like Adam Lambert!” (laugh)…like that! And then Brian May and Roger Taylor with Adam Lambert and another person – I don’t know the name – performed We Are The Champions. I think Adam is a good singer. I like this project. I think now Adam is bigger and has big pressure but he made it.

Angelina: Thank you!

Thank you very much to Donna, Gary and Roy for sharing their thoughts and experiences with us and for helping to make this blog more interesting and exciting!

The Sound Bath programmes are recorded ’live’ – meaning not in a studio. Therefore, you will experience some ambient noises and ‘echoey’ quality to the recordings. Please be so kind as to ignore those and instead, enjoy the content of the programme. Please also remember that it is illegal to download music from here. It’s better to support the artists by buying their music in stores or on Amazon or iTunes. That way we ensure that they’ll be able to continue to make music for us in the future.

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About soundbath

I loved singing from a very young age and first performed in public when just seven years old. As a child, living as we did, on a farm in the middle of the Kalahari Desert - the place of my birth - we had no television and my mother played records by Mario Lanza, Guiseppe Di Stephano, Beniamino Gigli, Franco Corelli, Jussi Bjorling, Enrico Caruso and other well-known Italian opera tenors, day in and day out. I adored this music and their beautiful voices, and was convinced I would be a tenor when I grew up. But the small matter of being born a girl, shattered that dream! I trained as a soprano instead, and have been fortunate enough to sing all over the world, enjoying some wonderful moments along the way, including being invited to Buckingham Palace by Queen Elizabeth II in recognition of my contribution to the music, economy and culture of the UK.
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42 Responses to Queen and Adam Lambert in London July 2012

  1. needacoke says:

    OMG Angelina! It’s going to take me the rest of the day to savor all of this. Great job!

    • soundbath says:

      Aw thanks so much for popping by and for liking it, for tweeting it and for reblogging it – what a wonderful thing to do!

      I re-lived it all again whilst writing out the transcript from the radio show and now I’m so longing for them to perform more of these magical shows – fingers crossed!

  2. Thank you so much! I wasn’t lucky enough to see him live during the Queen and Adam Lambert shows, but it’s always lovely to envision what it must have been like for those who were! I’m going to be savoring your experience and those of others once more!

    • soundbath says:

      Thanks so much for stopping by and leaving such a lovely comment – I really appreciate it. I really do hope more of these shows will happen around the world – it was truly magical! Enjoy reliving it all! 🙂

  3. Parigi88 says:

    Can’t wait to luxuriate in this post. Thank you!

  4. Hi, great review!
    I’m riddle601b on YouTube and thanks for linking my videos in your wonderful article. Such an honor. But one thing I would have to say… that “I Want to Break Free” video is mine which originally I filmed and uploaded and then someone stole from me. I claimed this person about it but she didn’t respond.
    Hope you will fix it. You can watch the whole show at my playlist – http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL1509584430725C13

    Love

    • soundbath says:

      Hi Yoshimi!

      How lovely to hear from you! I’m so happy that you were there to film these wonderful videos so that everyone can now share in the amazing experience that was Queen & Adam! And I’m thrilled that you liked my blog!

      I’m so very sorry to hear of your bad experience with the other person – I have now fixed the blog and inserted your original video of I Want To Break Free, but I hope you don’t mind, I’ve had to remove it from your message above – too many videos on here making the page too slow! 🙂 I have gone to view and like it now too, though.

      Thank you very much for posting the link to your playlist – I can’t wait to go there and re-live it all again and again and I know everyone else would want to do so too!

      Thanks again for your wonderful contribution!
      Love,
      Angelina
      xx

  5. Therese says:

    I loved reading about how the die hard Queen fans were converted to Adam Lambert fans! It warms my heart after knowing how resistent they initially were. Now they know what we know. Adam has the ‘it’ factor with so many other amazing qualities besides. I was truly very sad that I couldn’t attend any of the Queen + Adam shows, so thank you for this wonderful article.

    • soundbath says:

      Hi Therese,

      Thank you very much for your lovely comments – yes, resistance is futile where Adam is concerned, isn’t it? 🙂

      I really hope you too get the chance to see these shows – it is my wish that as many people as possible get to see these amazing shows and the magic Queen and Adam created. But most of all, I have no words to describe how grateful I am that the marriage of this iconic music together with Adam’s astonishing voice could happen! I’m still pinching myself! 🙂

  6. cher says:

    Loved, loved, loved this article. Very well written, perfectly true and since I had the incredible pleasure of attending two of the London concerts this summer, I had to add my thoughts to this great piece. The concerts were just amazing, electrifying, stunning. I still can’t believe I witnessed these in my lifetime. Seems like a dream. Simply put…ADAM FIT QUEEN like he was born into the band. I have attended many, many concerts in several different music genres (country music my least fave 😦 ) in my life but I have to say Queen/Adam was hands down best ever!! Words cannot describe the feeling of being in there and how proud I felt that my fave singer Adam was fronting my favorite rock band of all time Queen. Very emotional comes to mind… They just have to tour worldwide. The world and especially dedicated fans here in the US need to see that concert. No one that attended the concerts can adequately describe the feeling in that theatre to others. They have to experience it themselves. And everyone deserves to see what real music is all about. Thank you again Angelina. Well done.

  7. cher says:

    I have to add that the first night I was in General Admission specifically to feel the “vibe” of the GA crowd. I had several friends with me and we had a ball and everyone around us was singing along to every word…Queen fans love to do that. That always irritates Glamberts because we love to hear the purity of Adam’s voice without surrounding noise. However, we were just happy that the Queen fans were having fun. The second night I sat upstairs near the front and the sound was definitely different. Cleaner sound upstairs and the fans downstairs were mainly the ones singing along. There were two older British couples sitting next to me who were lifelong Queen fans but both wives had seen Adam on idol and were excited to see him live. They had not
    followed his career since idol. The couples were not friends. They had just met sitting next to each other at the concert. Well let me tell you. Both ladies and their husbands were absolutely blown away by Adam’s voice. They were standing up the entire concert and were just raving about how fantastic and amazing he was and said that they had never been to a better concert in their lives. The older lady (70s) even borrowed my binoculars 3 or 4 times because she wanted to see Adam up close and told me how handsome he was and how much he reminded her of Elvis. 🙂 The only thing they said about Brian was how happy he seemed. They got a bit tearful as we all did when Brian was singing Love of My life and Freddie’s hologram was up on the wall. Then after the concert i was by the souvenir stand and the older lady and her hubby came by and told me again how fantastic Adam was and I told her to support Adam, that his Trespassing cd was being sold at the stand and she actually made her hubby buy one!! Yay! My good deed done for the fandom. I’m done postho-ing. 🙂

    • soundbath says:

      Hi Cher!

      Thanks so much for your wonderful comments and compliments to me – I really appreciate it.

      Thanks also for taking the time to share your experience at the Queenbert shows – I totally agree: there are no words adequate to describe what it really felt like to be there – a complete sensory overload! 🙂

      LOVE your telling of the two couples and their reactions and you encouraging the lady to buy Adam’s Trespassing CD – yup, his brilliance will be spread a person at a time like ripples throughout the world, I’m sure! Good for you and your good deed for the fandom! 🙂

  8. Irena says:

    What a fabulous blog, really enjoyed reading it and experiencing this from your perspective a an opera singer. It was great to watch some of the videos again as well, I was just sitting here quietly by myself on an early Monday morning with the tears running down my face……

    • soundbath says:

      Aw, I can so relate – I still get very tearful watching the videos! What a way to start the week, right?

      Thank you so much for letting me know that you liked my blog – I appreciate it enormously!

  9. hkfan says:

    Thanks for a great article, it brings back lots of wonderful memories. I was lucky enough to attend the first 2 shows at Hammersmith. The first night I was sitting up at the back of the balcony. I thought it was an amazing show, you could really get the full effect of the light show up there, the atmosphere and vocals were great. The 2nd night I was standing right in the middle of the floor a few rows back from the end of the catwalk, and it was a whole other ball game. I spent 1 1/2 hours waiting for the show to start chatting to both Glamberts and queen fans, I had travelled from Asia for the concert, the family in front of me had come from Dubai and the family next to us came from Israel……I have never been to a concert with such an amazing atmosphere, it is so hard to describe the feeling that was in the hall, the singing, cheering and outpouring of emotion from the crowd,was like nothing I’ve experienced before. And the love up on the stage between Adam, Brian and Roger was palpable, it truly was a sight to behold. i would say the majority of the Queen fans were impressed with Adam, and I hope they listen to the wishes of all the fans and take this show on the road. It was way too amazing not to be seen by more people.

    • soundbath says:

      Hi HKfan!

      So happy to hear from you – I’m assuming HK stands for Hong Kong? I lived there for nearly 8 years, so it’s always wonderful to hear from someone from there!

      Thank you for your lovely words and for sharing your Queenbert experience with us – you’re right: the atmosphere was indescribable! And like you, I really hope they listen to the fans and do more of these shows. I also hope there will be a DVD! Meanwhile, I’m so grateful for the fans who took the videos for us to relive those amazing experiences – I don’t think I’ll ever recover! 🙂

      • hkfan says:

        yep, Hong Kong, home now for 15 years, but I’m actually British. So while I usually travel back to the UK in the summer, I changed the dates this year especially for the concerts.

        Oh Cool! Great to meet another expat! 🙂 I don’t blame you for changing the dates for the concerts – I would have done the same. If you want, let me know next time you’re in London – we can perhaps meet and chat about Adam 🙂 Angelina

  10. mahailia says:

    Brava, Angelina!
    Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. I am reveling in every word. I listened to your talk on J&X, but it is so much better to get to read your amazing account, and salivating on each little bit, you have a fabulous way of describing these concerts and the majic that Adam was able to bring to the Queen songs, so wish I could have been there!
    Absolutely love your story of converting Queen fans in the queue with your beautiful voice, that must have been quite an amazing experience.
    I just want to share my favorite picture from the concert, but I can’t figure out how to post it. You know the one that Adam tweeted, with one of my all time fave peeps hanging on the edge of the stage.

    Brava, Brava!!!!!!

    • soundbath says:

      Hi Mahailia,

      How wonderful to hear from you and thanks so much for your lovely comments and compliments – I appreciate it so much!

      Hahaha! You’re so funny! I don’t think the piccie I’ve used in the blog is the one that Adam tweeted, but I’ll email them both to you – so cool that I’m in both, right? Something I’ll always have from those historic shows – I’m the luckiest person in the world! 🙂

      • mahailia says:

        Yes, I believe we have already established that you ARE the luckiest ***** in the world!
        Love love love your programme!
        You Rock!

        Hahaha! Thanx Hun! Sent the piccies Angelina xx

  11. stardust says:

    I enjoyed this so much! Thank you for all the great programs you have done. Really loved the interviews! So brave of you to sing in the QAL line. That story was great!!!

  12. soundbath says:

    Hi Stardust!

    Thanks so much for popping by and for your lovely comments – I’m so happy that you like my programmes and blogs. I love creating them, especially when I get to talk about Adam’s voice, artistry and performance skills – he’s such a master and I admire him and his work enormously.

    Re: singing in the line, thinking back on it, I don’t know what possessed me – only the thought of wanting to help Adam could ever make me do something like that! 🙂

  13. irish1139 says:

    You have me blubbering like a baby. I love you because you love Adam so much. He is such an inspiration to me, and I am a huge, huge fan. I love not only his voice but his character. He is an amazing man. Thank you for this article. I don’t know what else to say. You have touched me deeply.

    • soundbath says:

      Hi irish1139,

      Thank you very much for letting me know that you liked my blog – it means so much.

      I can totally relate: Adam is a wonderful being and a huge inspiration to me also, not only on a personal level, but also artistically – I’m so grateful he is in the world and that I came to know him a little as a fan. I was lucky enough to meet him a few times – time with him is always too short – there is so much I want to tell him, so much I’d like to talk to him about his voice, but usually I always only end up saying ‘thank you, Adam,’ which sadly never seems enough…

  14. Miachihu says:

    Thank you, Angelina! It was wonderful to read your blog and remember the amazing three nights I had in London! I was lucky enough to attend all three concerts, had seats at the balcony on each night, and from there you could see the reactions of the whole audience, both at the GA and upstairs. It was just simply amazing to see how person by person the whole audience was captivated by Adam’s presence, and each night after the middle of the concert, at the latest, even the people on the balcony were all standing! Such a wonderful experience! And his singing… well, I don’t need to tell you how wonderful he was! 🙂

    I actually had a chance to meet you in London on Tuesday night before the concerts (but I’m sure you don’t remember me from the group of people you met that night 😀 ) and I would have wanted to thank you for writing these blogs and for the recordings, but time just flew by and I missed the opportunity. I have studied music a bit (I used to play piano) so to me it’s especially interesting to read and listen your comments as a professional musician about Adam’s singing. They give a whole new dimension to his songs. So, thank you!

  15. soundbath says:

    Hi Miachihu,

    How lovely to hear from you! Yes, you’re right: I met so many people on that Tuesday night that you’ll have to forgive me if – without a piccie – I don’t remember the name! It was a wonderful night and I felt so welcome and at home with all the ‘strangers!’ 🙂

    Thank you so much for your kind words and for letting me know that you enjoy my programmes and blogs – I appreciate it more than you’ll ever know!

    And thank you also enormously for adding your Queenbert experience here – I hope that everyone who read the blog will also continue to read the comments and see all the wonderful experiences you’ve shared from those amazing shows. Yes, I know exactly what you mean: on the second night when I sat in the balcony, I too saw how people were being mesmerized by Adam and how the entire balcony got to its feet. I was also very lucky to share my row with Sauli and Tommy and Danielle that night! 🙂

  16. Marilyn Cole says:

    Hi Angelina: I just adored reading your comments about Adam and Queen. It brought back so many memories of the 3 concerts I attended – the first and last at the front of the stage and the second in the seated section (although I couldn’t see the catwalk from where I sat). As you mentioned, it is a different experience being in the balcony. I really enjoyed chatting with you in the line-up on the third night when you joined Vera, Hellen and myself, and excitedly discussing the show afterwards. It’s really too bad that you had to leave to catch your train home. I so enjoyed listening to your expert opinion, and also so thrilled that you appreciate Adam. Hopefully you will make it back to Canada (we also met briefly at the Quebec show last year). Yes, Queen and Adam definitely must tour in North America, and now that it is final that Adam will not be a judge on American Idol (personally I don’t think it would have been a good idea anyway), perhaps we will see the Queenbert tour as a reality. I keep waiting to hear news of a video of the six concerts. Do you have any news if this is going to happen? And I do hope that I have an opportunity to see you perform in person one day. Best regards

    • soundbath says:

      Hi Marilyn,

      How lovely to hear from you! Thank you very much for your lovely comments, for saying that you enjoyed reading my blog and for sharing your Queenbert experience with us also.

      It was great meeting you again in the queue in London too. I’m crossing everything that they tour the show – I’d definitely go again! 🙂 No news yet, as far as I know, of a DVD, but saw a tweet the other day about a Kiev DVD – might have been a fan-made one though? Will let you know if I hear anything.
      xx

  17. BigJ52 says:

    This has been the best review of Queen and Adam that I’ve seen. You nailed the descriptions of his amazing performances in terms we could all understand. I was there for 3 concerts and saw Roy every night there as well. I actually took pics of him with 3 guys with their cameras outside the Apollo that last night. I was at the back for the first show, in the middle at the railing for the second show and upstairs with good seats for the third show. To my delight I spotted Tommy, Neil, Sauli, Leila and Eiber in the back row of the front section of the balcony at the third concert. My fangirl experience was complete. Sauli was beautifully dressed and looked gorgeous. Tommy was so cute. That night I thought was the best. I made new friends over the 3 nights. It was an unforgettable experience. Adam’s voice was sensational and as always he looked like he loved being onstage with Roger and Brian. I got lots of good pics and so did my daughter. Thanks for the great memories. This brought tears to my eyes. How amazing that you were singing outside. I was in front of 3 guys, all Queen fans who were talking about Adam not very favourably and I told them that they would be surprised how good he was and not to rubbish him around me. I’m not usually this forceful but hey, it’s Adam. I’m going to see him in Melbourne, Australia on 13th October. Can’t wait. Sorry this is so long. Once I get going about Adam I can’t stop.

    • soundbath says:

      Hi BigJ52,

      Thanks so much for your amazing words – ‘the best review!’ – I can’t tell you how much it means!

      I’d LOVE to see your piccies of Roy and the shows – please let me know where? And thanks for sharing your Queenbert experience with us here as well – it’s so wonderful to read about others’ enjoyment, too, right?

      I’m sure your experience in October will be another Adamtastic one! 🙂

      • BigJ52 says:

        I have pics and a report on my Livejournal but the pics of Roy were for 3 guys outside the theatre with their camera. Do you have an LJ account?

  18. BigJ52 says:

    And I forgot to say a huge thank you to Yoshimi for the vids of the show. Adding them to my collection. They are so clear and the sound is so good.

  19. canadaluvsadam says:

    Hi Angelina
    Once again I am in awe of how you get right to the heart and soul of Adam
    Your words has moved me to tears stirring so much emotion…I felt as if I were part of the audience
    I wish more than anything I would have been able to attend the concerts
    I did see Queen + Paul Rogers just as many have said it was like attending 2 concerts
    They had fun together on stage however the chemistry was not there as it is with Adam
    What Brian, Roger and Adam share is a special kind of magic…Seeing the way they interact with one another along with the respect for each is what chemistry is all about
    When Adam sang Who Wants To Live Forever one could not help bit be frozen in that moment
    It felt as if Freddie were sitting upon Adam’s shoulder allowing Adam to work his magic his way
    I too felt that when Adan sang Bohemian Rhapsody he seemed to have become one with Freddie…When I was watching the video’s of Bohemian Rhapsody I closed my eyes and quite honestly I couldn’t tell where Freddie began and Adam ended…It’s as if Freddie stepped into Adam’s body and together the two became one…Full circle moment indeed

    Thank-You Angelina for another amazing blog and Interview
    You always have a way of transporting us right into the moment

    • soundbath says:

      Hi canadaluvsadam,

      Thank you ever so much for taking the time to let me know your thoughts and feelings about my work – it means the world and I’m thrilled that you liked it.

      And thank you for sharing your Queen experiences with us too. Never having seen them perform live before, I’m always interested to hear what it was like to see them with other singers.

      I LOVE how you say: “It felt as if Freddie were sitting upon Adam’s shoulder allowing Adam to work his magic his way…” It really did feel like that! It was magic in every sense of the word and it is my fervent wish that everyone in the world may experience it, too!

  20. @catnipnhoney says:

    thank you for sharing your story. You were so lucky because you could see & hear this “miracle” 3 times. Me and my friend (we’re both huge Glamberts) were in Wroclaw. The show was so great there too (of course a little different than the London shows) but it was just like a “dream come true”. And hopefully they’ll carry on this “project” and there’ll be a world tour. I want to see Queenbert live again so badly 🙂

    • soundbath says:

      Hi catnipnhoney! What a lovely name!

      Thanks for popping on here to let me know you liked my blog and I love how you describe the shows as ‘miracles.’ They certainly were!

      Like you, I too want to see Queenbert again and I’m crossing everything that we will! 🙂

  21. heidik57 says:

    Awww, this was such a great review. I saw all three shows and I will never forget them. It was great being in London and seeing Adam with the top rock band of all time was beyond belief. I especially loved the joy on stage, Brian, Roger, and Adam were all so happy. It was also great to meet international Glamberts and great Queen fans. If they come to US I will be there. Just hoping this is beginnning of beautiful relationship

    • soundbath says:

      Hi heidik57,

      Thank you for liking my blog.

      Yes, I agree: the joy on stage most definitely translated into the audience, didn’t it? I too hope that this is just the beginning!

  22. Thanks so much for this incredible review! Since I was not able to attend these fabulous concerts it is wonderful to hear a first hand report of how it all went down. For a follower of Adam since the American Idol competition, it is so very gratifying to know that Adam has gone on to perform on the global stage and receive his just recognition of being the fine artist that he is. And to hear comments from those who were originally dead set against Adam who became actual fans is the height of satisfaction!

    • soundbath says:

      Hi RoRo,

      Thank you so much for letting me know that you enjoyed my blog. I wanted to be able to tell it so that everyone who had not been there, would be able to ‘see’ it too, so I’m more than thrilled if it even delivered a fraction of that aim!
      xx

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