I was driving in the car this evening, on my way to my musical destination.
I was on my way to see Queen.
Bona fide proper royalty. 😉
And they were blasting out of the car too… but the crazy little thing was, the Queen I was listening to had Freddie Mercury, and the one I’d be seeing tonight had… Adam Lambert.
It’s another one of those crazy things, when someone or something you love is not there, and something else, or somebody else, stands in.
Tonight, Adam addressed the elephant in the room early on.
He was NO Freddie. He was a fan, just like we were.
And tonight he was going to pay tribute, the way he knew how, and the way that he could.
With those formalities out of the way, the show went on in superb style.
Adam is a performer in his own right. He did an exceptional job bringing his take to Queen classics, and his vocal range is just as remarkable.
I loved some of his camp parades, and started to appreciate him in a whole other way.
He was somebody else to love.
But perhaps most touching of all? When Brian May did the guitar solo for Love Of My Life, even singing the sweet words Freddie used to…
And then 3/4s through the song, Freddie suddenly appeared on stage, on a screen next to Brian.
It completely took me aback. I fumbled for my camera, trying to record the moment, while looking past the phone to the stage before me to take in… Freddie.
It was the closest I’d ever get to him. Being in this large arena, with all these thousands of people, with Brian on guitar and Roger on drums… and Freddie as a pre-recorded video… I realised, this was as good as it’s gonna get.
It was emotional and extremely humbling.
And yet, it was still one of the best concerts I’ve ever been to, and it was missing one very important frontman.
How would it have been like, if Freddie were there? Would he have been able to hit his high notes? Would he have paraded around in his undies or some other garish costume? Would he have done his operatic solo, competing against the crowd, only to say “fuck you,” with a cheeky smile at the end when they managed to keep up?
No one knows.
But what I do know, was that despite his physical absence, his spirit was definitely there tonight.
He was all around us, just as his music grows in influence and deepens connections and traverses continents and generations.
I was thinking on the drive home, my head full of Queen and giddy from the experience… my relationship with Queen has grown like that of a friendship.
It started off as an acquaintance, grew to a friendship, merged to best friends…
And now, it’s true love.
“When I grow older
I will be there at your side
To remind you
How I still love you… (I still love you)
I still love you.”
Best birthday present EVER. Thanks sis and bro. This one was definitely worth waiting for. ❤❤❤