I like Queen. There was a rumour going around that their lead vocalist was gay. It doesn`t matter at all. I like gay people – some of them even more than a lot of straight people. There was a time not too long ago when you had to hide your sexual preferences, and a lot of gay people in the music business did just that. I am glad that those times seem to be over. Be who you are and be proud. No-one should be able to tell you how to live based on their own prejudices. Live and let live.
Enjoy this concert review of one of the best bands in history!
Weather `tis nobler to hang loose…
… Or to take dry-ice and firebombs and strut your stuff
By Tony Stewart
Pic: Joe Stevens
Maybe Queen`s act is just the dry-ice run for America.
It certainly seems a little elaborate for the British stage alone, especially at the end of the set when you swear the whole stage has exploded, as the mixture of smoke and dry-ice clots your throat and waters your eyes.
Even the opening is one of those majestic affairs.
“Ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to a night at the opera.”
The hall darkens. The orchestra tunes in a tape. And on the same recording Queen`s music starts. Straight in on the first line of the fourth verse to “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
“I see a little silhouetto of a man.”
Lo! We see, turning our eyes to the left of the stage, a screen reflecting the silhouetto of Freddie Mercury. Then the tape goes into the operatic section of “Rhapsody”, cuts, and suddenly the stage is alive with colour as the band hit the rock section live.
Mercury, in tight white with his private particulars bulging, sprints up the catwalk into the audience. May, another White Queen in a flowing cape, does the same on another `walk. Then Mercury rushes back on to the stage, throwing over his arm like a fast bowler. Once, twice, thrice and then four times. On each occasion a flash bomb explodes.
What you`d call an unforgettable entrance. Supreme.
And that`s how the show continues.
Silver Fred costume-changes three times, from tight white to hugging black, to kimono, which discarded reveals silk shirt and shorts. Always with The Bulge.
May, his cape fluttering behind him like a hurried bride, staggers around on spindly legs, punishing his guitar with savage arm swoops, always keeping an eye on Freddie so they can try the movements in unison.
John Deacon, the bassist, stares blankly at the balcony, moving his ass not one iota, while pretty Roger Taylor strains and lunges his fragile body at his kit, both trying to keep time.
The act is as overt as possible, combining Freddie`s sexual stance (the bottom wriggling, crotch stroking, mouth licking poses) with the raw excitement of May`s guitar. Somehow, his solos fall into each piece as a showcase, and all the while Deacon and Taylor flog and thunder out the rhythms.
There`s a substantial amount of contrast in the set, although the persistent tempo never really varies. For instance the medley of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Killer Queen”, “Black Queen” then returning to “Rhapsody” is effective. Similarly they turn on considerable aggression and sinister undercurrent with a piece like “Flick Of The Wrist”, or they can
suddenly skip to the vaudevillian “Bad Boy Leroy Brown”.
Mercury moves from his acrobatic gyrations stage centre to play some excellent piano during a lull, and May concentrates on forming some beautifully melodic lines, aware that he could crush most skulls with a sudden burst of uncontrolled guitar excess during, say, “Brighton Rock”.
While Mercury and May control the dynamics of the show, both in a visual and musical sense, Deacon and Taylor eventually crack under the strain of maintaining the persistently high energy level. Both of them resort to using their instruments as massively amplified vibrators, which, during the softer elements of the set such as “Killer Queen”, become irritatingly unsympathetic to the mood. Neither has a distinctive enough style to be anything other than just The Rhythm Section.
Lasting almost two hours the act is one of the best I`ve seen – though Queen are, to be honest, more concerned with getting the audience off than indulging every intricacy of their very worthwhile recorded music.
Even if it is an elaborate dress rehearsal for the States, it still works.
I have personally transcribed this from the original paper. If you have a music-related web-page where this fits – please make a link to the article. With a great, big thank you to the original writer of the article from all of us music fans!
This number of New Musical Express also contains articles/interviews with these people: Gregg Allman, David Bowie, Sadista Sisters, Yvonne Fair, Little Feat, Kokomo, Average White Band, Lee Konitz, Paul Simon.
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