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Review: Queen & Adam Lambert - Melbourne 19th February 2020.

Queen + Adam Lambert

The Rhapsody Tour

AAMI Park, Melbourne, 19 February 2020 

I’m just old enough to remember when Freddie Mercury was Queen’s frontman, but not nearly old enough to have ever had the privilege of seeing him perform with them live. I have, however, had the very great pleasure of seeing Adam Lambert + Queen in one of their previous shows.

Afterwards, I was baffled when friends who are older than me, and who did have the experience of seeing Mercury on stage complained weakly “it’s not the same. It’s not Queen without Freddie.”

Well, obviously not. And here’s the thing- it’s not trying to be.

It’s possible they’re the wrong demographic for Adam Lambert, and they don’t understand that he has his own successful career and fan base separate to his work with Brian May and Roger Taylor. They possibly don’t appreciate his own particular brand of sensuality and camp pop-rock vibe. They see an imitator in a fabulous metallic purple jacket and bedazzled pants and they don’t get it. And that’s a shame because Lambert is his own artist and a strong performer, May and Taylor have seen something in him that they appreciate, and we get to see Queen live on.

May and Taylor are rock stars in their own right, consummate performers who understand the power of the music they started creating back in the 70’s, and they also understand that it is, and always will be worth sharing around the world. In bringing Lambert in to perform with them, May and Taylor aren’t trying to recreate a pale Freddie, they are gifting us with a proper rock concert.

They create a strong musical foundation and let Lambert shine with them. Lambert struts the stage during hits like Killer Queen and Radio Gaga, but it’s Lambert the young music idol, not a Mercury impersonator. He adds a cheeky, sexually modern twist to his performance of Crazy Little Thing Called Love. During Don't Stop me Now and Fat Bottom Girls, they whip the crowd into a singalong frenzy. Their all-time favourite hit Bohemian Rhapsody, is a subtle emotional tribute to times past- and in those moments we are all Freddie, and we’re all members of Queen.

May’s guitar playing is strong and joyful as always, with particular familiar riffs bringing tears to my eyes. At one point he appears to float on an asteroid against a starry background- his playing is out of this world because the man clearly loves his job. He's front and centre for an acoustic performance of Love of My Life, and it's truly a lovely gift to the audience. Roger Taylor can still beat the hell out of his kit, combining playing with singing on several numbers with incredible energy and focus, it was an impressive sight to behold.

The team wanted to stage a rock concert event, and the whole thing looks and feels huge and gorgeous. Queen and Adam Lambert fill the stadium with sound. Lambert has a powerful, expressive voice that stays strong on the high notes, and he riffs with the band and the audience enough to make it fun but not an ego trip. The band's sound is rounded out by a talented team of musicians, adding bass guitar,  keyboards and additional drum & percussion. Framed by splendid animated digital sequences playing on the stage facade, the visuals take the audience on adventure through opulent theatres, cityscapes, and lantern-filled skies.

Queen + Adam Lambert is its own unique animal, a worthy stadium event. There’s no use trying to pit it against concerts past, to an all-ages crowd. There is an essence of tribute to the one-and-only Freddie Mercury at its heart, but that simply underpins a huge, delightful concert that was an exciting spectacle in its own right.

 

Check out the POPrepublic.tv photo galleries from the Brisbane Show.

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Get a Taylor Swift education!

OMFG! Has to be the defining statement of the Sydney stadium show on the Reputation Tour from Taylor Swift.

Held at the still VERY functional ANZ Stadium (why are they want'ing to rebuild it???) We rocked up early to the event to take in the full FESTIVAL style environment that was around the venue... hundreds of food vendors, drinks stands, massive merchandise stores and tens of thousands of fans dressed up in their Friday best, donning costumes blazoned with song lyrics and motivational quotes from the singer.

The fans were the highlight of this pre-show must do. Especially seeing everyone SLAY the outfit departments and giving props to others how took up the challenge.

There were lots of signs from troupes of fans who have flown from all over the world to see Taylor in Sydney - we clocked fans from Ireland, France, America, and South Africa.

We didn't really know if we were sitting in the nosebleed section or in the carpark - but we didn't care - this pre-show visual fan fest was well worth the trip out to Homebush on its own.

After grabbing our bags of merchandise - we decided to head back and pop it in the car so we didn't have to carry it around the massive stadium the whole night - and thank f**k we did! (more on that later!)

Getting back to the stadium, we entered to find that our amazing friends at Live Nation and #TaylorNation had given us kick ass seats... gobsmacking in fact. Front n' center! I was Instagramming from the moment we got inside (see @poprepublic on insta!)

As older pop fans it was great to have seating near a mosh pit - but those seats weren't required for most of the night cos we were up dancing - taking in the incredible views and having one of the best concert experiences ever! (and that's saying something - after all, we have been around for 20 years doing this stuff!)

Opening act - The Broods - were such a surprise - not cos we thought they were bad - but because they were KICK ASS!

Where have they been???

This New Zealand band is a fresh take on what I could say is a mash-up between Australia's FRENTE (remember them?) and Transvision Vamp! Is NZ worried we are going to claim them for our own again??? nah - we LOVE all things NZ at the mo - you guys are doing so much better than we are politically! 

We won't Russell Crowe you! hehehe :) but love the sounds... well done!

The lead singer had an instant presence and the whole band was flawless. The songs were hot and we wanted to get the album right away - only to be told by lead singer Georgia Nott that it will be released in 2019... but we have to give a shout out to Caleb Nott who brought the muso sexy to the stage. #hubbahubba

The kiwi duo and band mates delivered a kick-ass set that made us want to stay in our seats and not go and get a hotdog or chips... that's a real task at a stadium... so #welldone!

Can't wait for the new album!

Second up was the funky and mammoth stage presence that is CHARLIE XCX... the first thing we have to say is that Charlie is a bitch to find on social media (!) when you are standing in the stadium trying to tag her in posts and saying how AMAZING she is!!! This gal is the consummate performer... she is like the A-list graduate from Young Talent Time (aussies will get that reference) and she NAILED every performance.

There were songs in her set that she delivered that we didn't event know were her's... (insert Gwen Stefani reference here) - she was a powerhouse.. a kick ass lady who loves her BOYS BOYS BOYS - as we all do!

It was a pre storm revelation... even knowing that this night was like a sleep over and girls night out rolled into one... thank god we were the gay friends invited cos we had fierce pajamas. ($5  pop - thanks ANZ Stadium!)

You could have cut the air with a knife when the voice over came on to announce there would be a delay on the show due to the storm coming overhead... and don't worry - it was a 38-degree day!

So hot

Lots of people staying undercover under the fierce Aussie sun until show time - but to no avail. Sunburn or getting drenched - those were our two options - we took both! lol

We went to line up in the merchandise line - the ONLY place to get ponchos (at $5 a pop!!!) but we made out own fun with a funny Irish lad and a couple of girls who all wanted ponchos... whilst the 14 uncles with their nieces and nephews tried on every size and variant of t-shirt in the stand - whilst 30-40 years olds behind them wanted to kill them... but we made it fun... so much fun, in fact, it was a great part of the evening - it made the crappy chips from the concessions stand (at $6.50 a punch, not to mention the 600ml coke at 6.50 ) a distant memory -- come on ANZ Stadium... faster lines and cheaper food!

We missed the opening thanks to the voiceover and standing in line for $5 ponchos. Running back to our seats was well worth it...

We got the full pop-tactic Taylor in Stadium view... this girl knows how to deliver a slick product... she has come through the Sydney "gods" baptism of Rain - ala Madonna "Girlie Show" and has claimed her righteous place on the stage of ICONS.

This show was not only a killer set of Tay-tay classics and an introduction to the fandom that she deserves... she really looks after her fans - from the wristbands and lights that light up the stadium... she made it personal and ticked all the boxes.

She has earned the status of global icon.

She is now in the arena of must-see acts!!!!! You have to sell everything to get a good seat to see Tay offer up a show like this! But it is well worth it.

There was a moment we thought the crew would bail - but they didn't - they lived out their fantasies in a huge 70,000 PACKED arena (don't believe what the gutter trash media says - Daily Terror!!!) It was PACKED... we only found TWO other media folks in our massive area on the list - so it was a packed house!!!

They shortened the heels, jumped in puddles from the rain and gave up to the storm and brought out bigger snakes, activated all the flying moments and B & C stage pop-ups that were just fantastic... It was a massive show - and 90% of it was under a massive lightning storm.

Even under wet foot - the crowd which was at capacity and the crew pulled off one of the most produced and well thought out shows of the last decade... she has truly cemented herself amongst the icons of pop like Janet and Madonna. Taylor totally delivered. the screens were incredible and totally blew my mind.

Taylor and her crew - from the ground staff to that awesome on stage cast were just phenomenal... let's just hope next time she starts her world tour in Australia (In Sydney to be precise) and we can then shout it to the world!!!

#REPUTATIONWOLDTOUR #TAYLORSWIFT @CHARLIEXCX @THEBROODS

10/5

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