Queen + Adam Lambert Spice Up Atlantic City

Synopsis

This was to be show two of two for me on the Queen + Adam Lambert tour.  After the astounding performance in Philadelphia, I was not surprised to be greeted by another show that blew me away. Truly telling is the fact that my mom and sister joined my dad and I at this show, and they enjoyed it enormously, despite not being big fans at the outset.

The Show

The curtain once again dropped a few verses into the criminally underrated “Now I’m Here.”  The curtain drop was just as exciting as it was in Philadelphia, except during this show I had to contend with a particularly nasty security guard physically pushing people off of the barrier of the catwalk.  I’ve never seen a venue where people were not allowed on the catwalk – I had secured seats right at the end of it and was really looking forward to this.  Luckily this nasty security guard was not seen in my section again.  Stationed there instead was a guard who could not have been friendlier, and did a damn good job keeping everyone in line while not being rude about it.  I actually called Boardwalk Hall to tell them how nice of a guy he was.  Back to the show: Adam’s voice seemed in even better shape then it was in Philly, and that is saying something.  “Stone Cold Crazy” seemed to possess a bit more swagger the second time, with Brian May riffing with great power and Roger Taylor laying down and indomitable beat.  “Another One Bites the Dust,” however, is where I really noted an improvement in Adam’s vocals.  During the Philly show, he sang “Without you when I’m gone” and “And kicked me out on my own” in a lower octave, while in Atlantic City, he sang it in the higher octave in which Freddie intended it to be sung.  A minor thing, no doubt, but I am pretty picky when it comes to vocalists, and I was very pleased with Adam’s near perfectionism.  “Fat Bottomed Girls” was brilliant once again, with Adam’s voice blending in beautifully with those of Roger and Brian.  It truly is a testament to the skills of Roger and Brian that their voices seemed to have changed very little through the years.  They still slay those harmonies!

“In the Lap of the Gods…Revisited” and “Seven Seas of Rhye” are such great parts of the setlist; that keyboard riff at the beginning of the latter never gets old, and Adam does a great job getting the crowd singing along with “Lap of the Gods.”  “Killer Queen” was quite the spectacle; the crowd really got a kick out of Adam strewn across a velvet, plush couch.  I could really see during this song how great of a time that Adam and Brian have playing together.  They really interact like they have been playing together for decades.  “Somebody to Love” and “I Want it All” were as killer as ever, with the sing-a-long during the latter always a great time.

Next up was the fitting tribute to Freddie Mercury that has happened during the middle of each show of the tour.  Brian May took to a chair at the end of the catwalk and broke into the beautiful “Love of My Life.”  This is another criminally underrated song that Brian May sang wonderfully.  Having Freddie come up on the screen to sing the final verse was quite a great touch as well.  The folky “’39” was next, with Brian, Roger, and the whole rhythm section coming down to the end of the catwalk for a fun performance that they definitely seemed to be enjoying themselves.  Sung by Roger, “These Are the Days of Our Lives” was another great touch, though Roger’s voice, in my opinion, is not as good as Brian’s.

After a fun drum battle, Adam retook the stage to rousing applause.  I enjoyed the slower tribute very much, but many in the audience, unfortunately, did not know the songs and were rather docile throughout it.  “Under Pressure” was amazing, with Adam and Roger doing a great job channeling Freddie and David Bowie.  That bass riff is certainly one of the most iconic in modern music.  While I expected “Love Kills” to be up next, Adam announced that they were changing up the setlist simply because the felt like it and unexpectedly broke into “Dragon Attack,” a very pleasant surprise.  Brian May’s riffing during this number coupled with Roger’s beat was a thrill.  Adam spit out those vocals unbelievably.  This was an amazing addition to the show.  Next up was arguably my favorite moment of the show, “Who Wants to Live Forever.”  That disco ball and the lighting during this number really add an untold brilliance to the song.  And the vocal performance is from another world.  I once again felt Brian May’s solo was a buzzkill; nearly every single member of the audience sat down during it.  He has certainly earned the right to play a long guitar solo, but the paying audience has earned the right to be bored by it.

After the long guitar solo, the mood was lifted instantly with the powerful “Tie Your Mother Down” which led seamlessly to the hit “Radio Gaga.” Everyone in the audience was clapping along as if it were their jobs.  It really was a sight to behold.  “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” was up next, another fun sing-a-long.  I was really hoping for “The Show Must Go On” next, as it is my favorite Queen song, but I was not rewarded.  What is really strange is that on the copy of the setlist that I was able to procure, it had “The Show Must Go On” listed, albeit with a bunch of question marks (see photo gallery).  I wonder what made them not play it?  “Bohemian Rhapsody” was a thrill; Adam and Freddie trading off verses was simply brilliant.  It was certainly the most fitting tribute of the night.  It really is amazing to think that “Bohemian Rhapsody” is the song that started it all for Adam; he tried out on American Idol singing that song!

The predictable, but nonetheless fantastic, encore of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions” had Adam coming out in a leopard print suit and sparkling crown.  The crowd must have sung every word to these songs.  Coming together onstage for a collective bow at the end of the show, I was amazed at how youthful Brian and Roger still look, even though Brian’s hair is long past its prime.  This certainly was not a tour to miss, and anyone that made it certainly was treated to quite the spectacle.

Conclusion

I truly hope that Queen + Adam Lambert decide to tour again.  I am sure this sentiment is shared by many!  Lots of friends were at this show, and it was great to be able to discuss it with everyone at the end!

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18 thoughts on “Queen + Adam Lambert Spice Up Atlantic City

  1. Great review – BTW I’m sure Brian said that The Show Must Go On was left out because of a curfew on the venue & their show being too long. I guess the ??? was that if they were somehow able to fit it in on the night they would have. I understand what you are saying about the Dr Brian May solo, but personally love it. What I like about Queen is their diversity – I don’t need to be rocking the whole time as long as the music is good and he is such an incredible musician that I don’t even notice the time passing while he’s playing. (and as someone else said somewhere, with such a long show those who need to go to the bathroom can duck out then if they don’t want to listen to the solo bits)

    • Thanks for reading and commenting! Time constraints definitely seem like a perfect explanation for the lack of “The Show Must Go On,” as the band was firing on all cylinders and seemed as if they could continue playing all night! I understand what you are saying about the solo and am glad you enjoyed it, but to me, I just find the show in general less enjoyable when most of the audience is bored – ya know? Something about audience excitement just adds so much to the show for me.

  2. You have pretty much summed up my opinion, as I was also at the Philly and AC shows. Philly with the husband and 2 daughter and son, AC just me and my daughter, who was happy that I was able to get 6th row tickets that the box office released after the Philly show.

    I would love for Adam Lambert and Queen to pair up again, after he finishes and tours for his 3rd album. They work perfectly together, sound perfectly together and look like they are having a great time of it onstage together. I would also love to see Brian, Roger and Adam write new Queen material together and release a new Queen album.

    One other note, unless Adam Lambert prefers singing Bohemian Rhapsody as a duet as his own personal tribute/bonding with Freddie, which he may, I would love to see Adam get to sing the whole song himself, middle video part excluded of course.

    • I agree with you would love to hear Adam sing BR as a solo I’ve heard some others say the same. Would also love to either see more shows added to this tour and or a world tour including SoAm, SAfrica, Europe, Israel & Singapore these countries are very big fans of Adam and Queen.

      • Thanks for reading and commenting! I would love to see Queen + Adam Lambert extend the tour to other countries – everyone deserves the chance to see such a historic pairing!

    • Thanks for reading and commenting! I am glad you enjoyed the shows and got such great seats – and show are always more enjoyable when you can be with the family! Hearing an album with Brian, Roger, and Adam would be phenomenal, and it would certainly make millions of people very happy. I also would like to hear Adam sing all of BR, however, I feel that it would be hard not to allow Freddie the honor during what make be considered his most famous song. It also looked like Adam was quite inspired by the performance. It was just great for me to see the man that Adam idolized up there singing with him, be it on a screen or not.

  3. I love your review. I felt the exact same way. I really miss The Show Must go On. He sang it at both the shows I attended. I watch the videos for all the shows. But I also love Dragon Attack and Love Kills. I don’t know why they dropped that. Probably because it’s too slow ballads in a row. I’m not at a Timberlake or Katy Perry concert where we need to be screaming like crazy people unable to hear the vocals (they can’t sing as well). I want to stand up most of the time, but then I like to sit or stand without dancing to hear the unbelievable song “Who Wants to Live Forever.” I loved sitting down for Brian May’s solo. I can’t believe the venue has a curfew. I find that hard to believe, but oh well.

    Adam could sing nursery rhymes and I’d be all in. He is the best live vocalist of all time IMO. Love him and love Queen. Thanks.

    • Thanks so much for reading and commenting – the kind words are much appreciated! And yes I definitely missed “The Show Must Go On,” what a song! “Who Want to Live Forever” is definitely a song to just be amazed and enjoy, the vocals are simply “otherworldly.” Venue curfews do seem kind of strange, particularly in a town like Atlantic City, but maybe they have to make sure people are out, so they can spend money in the casinos! 🙂 Adam’s vocals truly are in the top tier of live vocalists, especially since most of the others in the top tier are aging and cannot hit the notes they once could. His voice is like a breath of fresh air.

  4. Enjoyed your review and felt the same about the show. I saw two shows in Vegas and when they were over I actually got depressed knowing I wouldn’t be able to see any more on this tour. It was like a spiritual experience for me in so many ways. From first moment the curtain dropped and Adam was singing I AM HERE I was barely able to speak so mesmerized with his voice which btw is “otherworldly” no one can compare to him singing these iconic songs. His vocal acrobatics were unbelievable. It was like a gymnastics tournament as his voice was up and down and took you on an emotional journey during every song. I just hope for the sake of the people who haven’t seen this show that they decided to add more shows or start a new tour after a much needed break in September. Thanks for this great review.

    • Thanks for reading and commenting – appreciate all the kind words! I totally understand how you are feeling; I looked forward to these two shows for so long and loved them so much, and now they are done. I strongly hope as well that they tour again, not just for my own enjoyment but also for the enjoyment of those unable to make it this time around. I have certainly raved about the show! I love the metaphor of comparing Adam’s vocals to gymnastics – it is quite fitting. What an amazing vocalist, and I cannot think of anyone better to fill the huge shoes of Freddie Mercury!

  5. Great review and having seen both shows I agree. But the curfew issue is incorrect. Curfews are usually 11PM and sometimes are even contracted out by the performer/promoter if they want to go to 11:30 where they agree on an “overtime” charge. This show was done before the Philly closing time. The fact that they had question marks by it shows they were unsure of playing it from the start for whatever reason. Great show either way, but looked forward to hearing it again.

  6. Thanks for reading and commenting! Another good point as to why TSMGO was dropped. If I recall, the AC show ended at 10:30, which does seem really early for a curfew (I have been to shows there at Boardwalk Hall that ended much later). I suppose only the band will know why the song was not played! Definitely great show regardless though!

  7. Thanks for the great review Matt. I just found this on Adam Official today, tucked away in the tour forum. I was also at AC–2nd row center! I think it was my favorite of all that I’ve been to–the crowd was just insane!

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