Review: Queen and Adam Lambert at Perth Arena

QUEEN and Adam Lambert kicked off their Australian tour with a sensational sold-out show at Perth Arena last night.

Original guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and Lambert opened the first tour of the country by the legendary British rock band since 1985 with Now I’m Here — the start of a two-hour, hit-filled extravaganza.

Dressed head-to-toe in leather, gold and studs, Lambert confidently danced his way through Stone Cold Crazy, Another One Bites The Dust and Fat Bottomed Girls, while May made use of his guitar-cam, showing off his fast finger work and giving the audience a unique perspective on Taylor’s drumming.

Adam Lambert. Photo: Jackson Flindell.

Adam Lambert. Photo: Jackson Flindell.


You would be forgiven for a certain level of scepticism when it comes to an American Idol runner-up stepping into the shoes of Freddie Mercury, the revered, one-of-a-kind frontman, who died in 1991 from an AIDS-related illness.

But Lambert is a flamboyant, born-performer with astonishing vocal range and an infectious energy that commands attention — and, perhaps most importantly, he never tries to imitate Mercury.

From the notes he hits to the way he struts and thrusts around on stage, Lambert puts his own spin on the performance — no doubt only too aware of the level of risk and judgment involved in daring to share a stage with Queen.

Adam Lambert. Photo: Jackson Flindell

Adam Lambert. Photo: Jackson Flindell


He’s bursting with a fresh energy and surprisingly funny, playing with the theatricality of it all and the chemistry on stage was subsequently palpable.

“We all love Freddie so much and I’m proud to be up here singing these songs with these gentlemen,” Lambert said at one point during the show.

Draped across a regal-looking chair, Lambert hammed it up for Killer Queen before spitting a mouthful of champagne on the audience.

Chatting to the crowd in what he dubbed his “Oprah Moment” in the lead-up to Somebody to Love he joked that some were not entertained by “this self-help bulls**t”.

“The men in the audience are like ‘f**k off, get on with it’,” he laughed, feigning an Aussie accent.

Queen with Adam Lambert. Photo: Jackson Flindell.

Queen with Adam Lambert. Photo: Jackson Flindell.


I Want It All, was followed by May’s chance to shine in the spotlight. Grabbing an acoustic guitar and taking a seat on the stage’s catwalk he addressed “the beautiful people of Perth, Western Australia”.

“If you feel like joining in, let’s do this for Freddie, OK?”, May said before a tender rendition of Love of My Life, during which Mercury appeared, singing with May, on the giant screen in the background.

May wiped tears from his face before lightening the mood by bringing out a “selfie stick” to immortalise the moment with the crowd.

“I’ll be tweeting that,” he laughed.

Brian May. Photo: Jackson Flindell

Brian May. Photo: Jackson Flindell


The entire band, sans Lambert, joined May on the catwalk for an acoustic performance of ’39 before Taylor took to vocals on a beautiful rendition of These Are The Days of Our Lives, which featured moving old clips of Mercury and the band on the big screen.

Taylor and his son Rufus, who plays drums in the backing band, then engaged in an thrashing and thunderous drum-battle before Lambert returned to stage to share vocal duties with Taylor for Under Pressure, followed by Dragon Attack and Who Wants To Live Forever.

“I have to have a word with you — What do you think of the new guy?,” May asked the crowd who answered with an almighty scream and applause.

Queen with Adam Lambert. Photo: Jackson Flindell

Queen with Adam Lambert. Photo: Jackson Flindell


May certainly proved he still had it with an epic guitar solo lasting more than 10 minutes before Tie Your Mother Down, I Want To Break Free, Radio Ga Ga, which featured a shout out to Lady Gaga for her performance in Perth on Wednesday.

It was thrilling to watch how much May and Taylor still enjoyed live performance as they grinned and laughed constantly throughout the show.

Queen with Adam Lambert. Photo: Jackson Flindell

Queen with Adam Lambert. Photo: Jackson Flindell


Crazy Little Thing Called Love was a vocal highlight for Lambert, which was followed by the fitting finale of Bohemian Rhapsody, featuring close-up clips of Mercury singing interspersed between Lambert’s vocals.

Queen and Lambert, who was decked out in a leopard print suit and glamorous crown, returned to the stage for a rocking encore of We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions, during which confetti cannons covered the crowd in gold.

Sure, it’s not Queen as you knew it with Mercury, but it doesn’t pretend to be.

It is, however, a spectacular evening of rock ‘n’ roll, enormous talent and a heck of a lot of fun.


Queen with Adam Lambert. Photo: Jackson Flindell.

Queen with Adam Lambert. Photo: Jackson Flindell.

Queen and Adam Lambert next play two shows in Sydney before heading to Melbourne and Brisbane.


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4 thoughts on “Review: Queen and Adam Lambert at Perth Arena

  1. That concert was one of the best nights of my life. You can’t prepare yourself before experiencing the sound of the Red Special guitar being played live in a room at that volume.. it was Earth moving. Brian May is a true legend. No one could ever approach what he does on stage. He blew my mind, no two ways about it. The whole show was so totally unbelievable. Everyone was going nuts. We stood up in the floor seating from the first strum of the guitar till the last strum. I think the tier seating people would have stood and danced too if they were allowed to. What a life changing experience.. I’m in total awe.. I felt like it was the first time I ever heard music being played. It was that awesome. go see them play if you can, you won’t be sorry. Adam was fanbloodytastic. he is a good fellow. with a great heart.

    1. Helen, what a great description of what sounds like an INCREDIBLE night!!

      We are all going to the show on Friday in Melbourne and absolutely can’t wait!! I for one have been waiting for this for 29 years!!!

  2. Great pictures! Adam Lambert is so gorgeous and so talented that you just can’t take your eyes off him on stage. I saw concert in Detroit with my “Queen-Freddie purist” brother, who was hesitant about Adam and wouldn’t go if I hadn’t treated. He pulled his phone out after Adam’s first few notes, started videoing, posted on Facebook and couldn’t stop talking about it for days, bragging to his friends that it was best concert he’d ever seen! (I knew it would be.) Thank you.

    1. Wow!! As a musician myself, I can watch videos of Adam and see that he’s simply incredible but I can understand also that seeing this incredible performer live would be another kettle of fish altogether!! Can’t wait to see Queen + AL this Friday in Melbourne!!!

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