Queen and Adam Lambert Route Tour You Must See
By now, I would have thought people were done talking about it. After all, the issue has been settled. Objections are moot.
Besides, it’s happened before. So it’s not like it’s anything new.
I’m of course talking about the upcoming tour involving Queen and Adam Lambert. The legendary arena rock band has tapped the American Idol contestant to be their lead vocalist.
Adam Lambert first sang with Queen—which is now guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor—back in 2009 during an episode of American Idol. They also performed at the MTV European Music Awards and the IHeartRadio Music Festival as well as a short series of concerts in Europe.
This year, Queen and Adam Lambert are touring North America. Their odyssey begins June 19 in Chicago at the United Center and ends 18 dates later in Washington D.C. on July 20.
Highlights of their adventure include Los Angeles on July 3, Houston on July 9, and Madison Square Garden on July 17. Queen and Lambert have two shows planned for Las Vegas on July 5 and July 6.
Their tour, which has seven dates plotted in Canada, is raising the question that’s as old as the 12-bar blues. When does a band stop being a band?
There are many Queen fans (and non-Queen fans for that matter) who are not happy with the Adam Lambert selection. They have called Lambert a teenybopper, an American Idol singer (derogatorily) and lame (some people just aren’t very creative).
These music fans believe Queen died when Freddie Mercury did in 1991. Anything without Mercury is tantamount to a tribute band.
Never mind that we went through all this before. Paul Rodgers, lead singer of Free and Bad Company, sang for Queen from 2004 to 2009. Queen has also used the crooning services of Elton John, Luciano Pavarotti, and Zucchero in the 1990s.
Asking “is this Queen or not” is the wrong question. Neither Rodgers nor Lambert joined/is joining Queen. They just toured/are touring with the band. That’s why it was “Queen + Paul Rodgers” and soon to be “Queen + Adam Lambert.”
Also, remember that Lambert was picked by May and Taylor not the other way around. The British musicians are huge fans of Lambert and felt he had the “something” needed to sing the dynamic songs in their repertoire. As one fan put it, Adam Lambert is no Freddie Mercury but he’s the next best thing. I totally agree.
Taylor called Lambert a “diva.” Then he defined “diva” as an “extraordinary, outrageously theatrical, brilliant performer.” When May first heard Lambert sing he thought “Wow, what a voice.”
The question rock fans and supporters should be asking is: “Should I to attend a Queen + Adam Lambert concert?”
The answer is yes.
Queen is one of the bestselling rock bands of all-time. They’re not on the Elvis-Beatles-Michael Jackson level of units sold but they’re definitely on the next tier down.
May and Taylor are 66 and 64 respectively but they can still get it done on stage. Also, they are not launching a nostalgia tour. Both new and old fans will get a kick out of their upcoming jaunt.
“This is the closest that you’ll ever get to see Queen as it was in our golden days, but it’s not a reproduction. It’s not an imitation. We’re here live and real and we have a great singer. They’ll be a lot of newness about this. I think that’s very exciting. It’ll be loud and dangerous and all the things that people used to look for in us.” – Brian May
Beyond seeing two legends of rock (May and Taylor), and hearing their great catalog of music, you’ll also be treated to a wonderful performer and singer in Adam Lambert. Put your American Idol prejudices aside. Lambert is a tremendous talent and a world class artist.
Beyond the iconic music and the dynamic performances, there’s an urgency to this tour. Judging from comments May and Taylor made to Rolling Stone magazine, this may be the last time Queen tours North America. Along those same lines, Lambert insinuated that his partnership with Queen has an expiration date.
“I think the thing that’s special about this is that it is a limited thing. It’s this special engagement. It’s not like, "Now we’re off to the grind." It’s a once-in-a-lifetime tour.” – Adam Lambert
So, if you want to see Queen (in any sense of the term), and/or Queen with Adam Lambert, you better do it now. There doesn’t appear to be a later.
There will be those who say this isn’t Queen and their concerts are not worthy of their money. To those I ask would you go to the show if it wasn’t billed as “Queen + Adam Lambert” but billed as “May, Taylor & Lambert” or “Leen” (a portmanteau of Lambert and Queen)?
I know why the parties involved are billing it at “Queen + Adam Lambert.” They want to sell concert tickets, but let’s be serious. Most people who object to this tour would probably have no problem if May, Taylor, and Lambert performed under a different name.
To those people, I have to ask why all the animosity over a name on the marquee?
Then there are some cynics who would even besmirch my contrived “Leen.” For them, not only did Queen die with Mercury but if you didn’t see them at their peak, the News of the World Tour in late 1977, then you didn’t really see them at all. Anything but “Queen in 1977” is a waste of time.
Ah, rock snobs, you’ve got to love them.
These are the same people who say you didn’t see the Rolling Stones in concert unless you saw them during their 1972 North American tour or you didn’t really see U2 in concert unless you saw them in the 1980s. Journey isn’t really “Journey” without Steve Perry and Weezer isn’t Weezer without Matt Sharp.
If you tell one of these bombastic critics that you saw Queen and Adam Lambert last night they won’t ask you how you enjoyed the show. They’ll obnoxiously respond, “Well, I saw them in ’77 when they actually meant something. Thanks for playing.”
Tours are scrutinized far too much and marquees are way over parsed. Rock is meant to be fun. Some fans need to stop worrying about whether or not they’re seeing an historic concert, experiencing an epic tour, or witnessing a band at its zenith. They just need to relax and enjoy.
Less talk. More rock.
A rock concert is an occasion to hear live music; get away with wearing black t-shirts, jeans, and vinyl sneakers; and having an overpriced beer. Let’s stop concerning ourselves over where every artist falls in the annals of rock history or who is and who isn’t in their prime. What’s important is having the chance to get your air guitar on and singing-a-long to some classic rock songs.
That’s why you should see Queen and Adam Lambert in concert. They check a lot of boxes.
By David B.