Queen + Adam Lambert, Gig Review. Echo Arena, Liverpool.

Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating * * * * *

Adam Lambert at the Echo Arena, Liverpool. November 2017. Photograph by Ian D. Hall.

The entrance tickets would have been smouldering away in the pockets of the audience for months, they would have been hidden in secret draws and in the realms of closets, opened every so often just to make sure they were still there, not squirreled away by jealous borrowers or fanatical fans who had not been able to secure a ticket of their own. On a night which temptation was possible, in which the heat of the performance would have burst into raptures of flames; Queen and Adam Lambert made good on a long standing unspoken promise and came to Liverpool to raise the roof.

Images of Freddie Mercury abounded, thoughts for some of that day at Wembley in 1985 were perhaps too much to contain, the hard-nosed rock and the elegance of the song of one of Britain’s most celebrated bands were everywhere. From T shirt to the hum of a classic tune being overheard from the stalls and the concourse, the energy, in typical Queen style was more than electric, this was pulsating solar power at its very finest and one in which surely saw the band on stage, including the ever impressive Spike Edney, reach out to the sold out arena and get inside the very being of everyone who ever shook their heads to the explosive end of Bohemian Rhapsody.

The audience more than played their part in an evening when fond memories and striking reminisces were very much the order of the day. Without prompting the lights from thousands of mobile phones switched on and left a dazzling effect on the eyes which lit up the Echo Arena with the thoughts of a sky full of celestial balls hanging in the sky, the fiery imprints of worlds and suns beyond our own and in which surely peace is sought, not as a last resort but because art dictates it so.

On a night when songs such as Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Love of My Life, I’m In Love With My Car, Radio GaGa, Hammer To Fall, the brilliance of Killer Queen, Fat Bottomed Girls, Bicycle Race, a glorious version of Under Pressure, and a huge nod of appreciation to the Beatles with Brian May causing many fans hearts to flutter in a little thing called love as You’ve Got To Hide Your Love Away rang out with softly spoken but with the might of acoustic thunder during the night.

Queen may not have come to Liverpool often to perform when the late, great Freddie Mercury was exercising his vocal cords, but his legendary status lives on, the time spent at Dovecot, the ties that bind Brian May to academia in the city, the love of Roger Taylor as one of the most expressive drummers around and in Adam Lambert, cool, full of panache, the beautiful raised eyebrow of innuendo and a voice that gets deep into the soul; any time that was missed as the band became one of the biggest acts in the world, was forgiven and the two hours fully embraced.

This was no ordinary show, this was, for Liverpool’s Queen fans, a kind of magic.

Ian D. Hall