Looking back, maybe it was foreshadowing that Adam Lambert sang Bohemian Rhapsody at his Season 8 American Idol audition in 2009. Whatever it was, that was the moment that I became an Adam Lambert fan. Here’s why: Of course he has a fantastic voice with incredible range, is a consummate performer, and is as adorable as could be, but it was easy to see in those early moments that he is a genuinely affable, playful, and gracious human being.
For those who are new to Blog This Mom!®, you only have to glance up at the masthead to know that, putting it mildly, I really like Adam Lambert. I have been to pretty much every local Adam Lambert performance and then some since 2009. The Queen + Adam Lambert concert, which I’ve now seen twice, will always be one of my favorites. Adam Lambert shows are especially fun because the fans are so friendly and often sparkly. Everyone chats, compares outfits, and trades Adam Lambert news. At the LA concert I met @retjenny. (My children often remark about how I talk to strangers. I’m still at it, kids!) She’s in the photo behind Jane and me. Jenny gave us Adam Lambert bracelets, and she told me about adamlambertlive, which is worth checking out if you’re an Adam fan.
The show opened with Now I’m Here, which was an upfront statement that Queen is still here in case anyone was wondering. And people were wondering. Would they sound like a Queen cover band? Could Adam Lambert fill Freddie Mercury’s shoes? Queen + Adam Lambert did more than justice to many of Queen’s standards, so to speak, such as Another One Bites the Dust, Somebody to Love, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Radio Ga Ga, I Want It All, and Bohemian Rhapsody. They encored with We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions. There were drum and guitar solos, time travels, and laser lights just to mix things up.
Perhaps what really set this concert apart for me was that it had a lot of heart, which could plainly be seen on Brian May’s sleeve. He seemed to be genuinely choked up with emotion throughout the show, particularly as he sang an acoustic version of Love of My Life with Freddie Mercury singing along in a video duet. It gave me goose bumps and I couldn’t hold back the tears. Same with Roger Taylor singing These Are the Days of Our Lives with footage of Freddie on the big screen behind him. Adam also sang a song called Love Kills that was written by Mercury but was never released on a Queen album. I am hoping they release a concert album because I want to hear it all again.
Adam Lambert did not fill Freddie Mercury’s shoes—he brought his own shoes, five pair by my count, each as fabulous as the last including bedazzled platforms and leopard-print boots (to match the suit, of course). But Adam didn’t just fill Adam’s shoes. Adam filled the entire SAP Center (San Jose) and the Forum (Los Angeles), as he worked the audience with his singing, dancing, and theatrical prowess. The costumes he chose were as fabulous as the shoes, including spike-studded leather sleeves dripping with gold fringe (angel wings!), and a sparkly suit to match a heavily bejeweled crown that he wore like the vocal royalty that he is.
Amidst belting out Killer Queen, Adam took to a velvet chaise with a fan in hand, guzzled and spat Moët et Chandon, and playfully flirted with Brian May who showed up with his guitar. Adam’s extraordinary voice and theatric flair totally work for Queen, much the way Mercury’s did, but Adam does it his way. The show must go on.