Really, Queen should stop being so extraordinarily entertaining to their multi-cultural fans that shouted along on every familiar song all the way through Friday’s one-night stand at Barclays Center. The capacity audience of 15,000-plus greeted the band when they took the stage, following no opening acts, as if they had been long-lost friends.
In the course of their two-hour concert, the smart and sexually frank band leader Adam Lambert, a major figure in pop, sang along through Queen’s greatest tunes showing off that he can rasp, whether in a tenor or falsetto, any breakneck riffs.
Two members of Queen’s prime lineup, the meticulous and impassioned Brian May, on guitar, and the devilishly fast Roger Taylor, drums, showed strong gusts of emotion through their solo streaks.
As the evening flew by, the high-spirited and stylish Mr. Lambert did a seamless job providing the interminable hits “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “Under Pressure,” “Killer Queen,” “Who Wants to Live Forever?” “Radio Gaga,” “We Will Rock You,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” with a flavor and excitement of his own. And his fleet-footed, stage-is-burning dance moves were clearly designed to get the crowd into it, which it was in a boisterous fashion. From time to time it became hard to forget about Freddie Mercury with his upper-register crescendos and soulful expressions, and yet Queen illuminated its songs so well that Mr. Mercury would have savored the performance.
Dedicated to Mr. Mercury for not caring what others thought about him, Queen debuted a new number, “TwoFux.” The audience, many wearing shirts emblazoned with Mr. Mercury’s face, once again leaped to its feet and clapped in unison.
“This was a perfect concert, they played all the songs I wanted them to play” said John Mercado, 67, of Ditmas Park, who was there with his wife and teenage grandson. “The age variations were wider than what you would usually see at legendary rock concerts. It got me to not brood over the current president or subway system. The atmosphere was incredible. Freddie’s not here, but our voices are now those of Freddie. In a sense, us along with Adam are singing for him.”
The fans exited the arena letting the music impel them, many left chanting “We Are The Champions.”
What will this world come to when there’s no more strumming and stomping through the well-made tunes of the rock heirs of the Beatles? It often seems as if living in the shadow of the Beatles will outlive us all, and yet they’re ever more distant in 2017 and as time goes by it will result in the deaths of those who were around while they were around and got to really ingest their magic.
Basically, the world is getting more and more away from these crown princes of rock ‘n’ roll whether it be the Beatles or Queen. Once the All-You-Need-Is-Love spirit withers away and future generations are left with musical cynicism, in an increasingly darker and ominous world, then even the distinctive, hyper-romantic Mr. Lambert with all of his raw charisma and ballooning biceps won’t be able to rescue us.