Queen + Adam Lambert
Live Around The World
It’s fair to say no one needs this live album by half of Queen and all of Adam Lambert. But there are probably a few psycho-fans that WANT it. So here it is. I enjoyed a Queen + Adam Lambert concert way more than I thought possible– and this, of course, was 4.5 years ago back at the very start of 2020. So I’m obviously way more open to the idea of accepting this now, but also I had that itch scratched, so I doubt I’ll be playing this very often at all.
But I’ll allow it.
Lambert is full energy and high camp which is what Queen’s music requires and probably what its fans demand and certainly what they deserve. Those silly Paul Rodgers years are over and even people still upset that John Deacon is not involved and/or disappointed that Brian May and Roger Taylor want this to be a thing so desperately have had long enough to get over it – and besides nothing much matters anymore besides drawing a breath and packing a mask and taking a photographer with you if you attend a church. We are (almost forever it seems) in 2020.
This live album is one of those scattershot things where it’s bits and pieces from across different shows and around the world – the title tells us that, but it’s not even just the one tour. It’s from as far back as 2014/15 and then up to January of this year. The Wellington show I attended is not represented here but many of the songs are from the Sydney gig of the same tour. And so it’s a road-tight version of the band playing well-tested, much-loved audience-participation anthems.
Because this is a machine and it’s about monetising and merchandising they have cleverly made this a composite of not just several shows but a few different tours meaning there are idiots out there that will want this just because the version of Queen they saw tearing it up didn’t actually play a song called Tear It Up but here it is from London’s 02 Arena in 2018. Or, you know, even though the song Now I’m Here is neither here nor there this version is from when they were over there in Tokyo in 2014.
I was genuinely blown away by the versions of Somebody to Love and Radio Ga Ga and Under Pressure, not because I didn’t already quite like them, but because they were so magically audience-participatory, and the pageantry of a Big Stadium Show should melt even the stoniest of cynical old hearts. It did for me. But that was with the visuals, with my 8 year old Queen-obsessive buddy-son beside me, at his very first (and maybe last?) big gig too. Hearing it here again and in some cases for the first time (differing versions) is okay. But it holds no magic sway.
This exists. And there is some demand for it. And I’m no longer mad about either of those things.
And we can blame 2020 lasting half a decade for that as much as anything.
You can support Off The Tracks via PressPatron