Adam Lambert and Queen Announce Summer Tour (Video)
"He's a great diva," said drummer Roger Taylor of the "American Idol" star.
Adam Lambert and Queen have announced a 19-date North American tour, which will kick off June 19 at Chicago’s United Center and include stops at The Forum in Los Angeles and Madison Square Garden in New York City.
“I’ve never played Madison Square Garden before, so this is a big treat for me,” said Lambert at Thursday morning's Madison Square Garden press conference. “If someone had said to me, 'By the way, you are going to on the stage with them at Madison Square Garden in five years,' I would have laughed. This is so surreal.”
Queen drummer Roger Taylor said that Lambert’s “extraordinary voice” suits the theatrics that their songs require. “He’s a great diva,” he added.
Guitarist Brian May raved about energy the Grammy-nominated artist brings to the table and added that Freddie Mercury would have approved of Lambert.
“I think Freddie would have been astounded by Adam’s range and skill and he would have respected him as a fellow artist without a doubt.,” he told The Hollywood Reporter. “Freddie was a very passionate performer. He would have loved what Adam does. I wish he could see him. Hopefully he can.“
While Lambert said that it is a “treat” to pay his respects to Mercury on stage, May made it known that Lambert’s interpretations of the songs are not identical to those of the late singer.
“One of the great things about Adam is he is never an imitator. He finds his way with the songs,” he said. “That is what we want. We want our music to be alive and dangerous and still open to change…Every time we work with Adam, we do that.”
Lambert first performed with May and Taylor in 2009 while he was still a contestant on American Idol, and he was invited by the group to perform three songs at the MTV Europe Music Awards two years later.
“We were awestruck by his instrument and the way he used it,” May told The Hollywood Reporter. “When we went onstage, it felt natural."
In 2012, Lambert joined the group for a series of shows in Europe, including London, Russia and the Ukraine.
“It was a big jump in the water for Adam,” said May, who added the first show was in front of 300,000 people.
“I was so nervous,” said Lambert, who said all nerves were gone by the time he joined the band for their headlining turn at Las Vegas’s iHeartRadio festival last September.
“In Vegas I felt it gelled even more,” he said. “It was even more in the pocket. It felt grounded and just right. It was really magical in Vegas.”
May said that magic organically led to this summer’s tour, which will include a big and “daring” set design and a varied set list they haven’t yet finalized.
“We are up for anything,” he said. The big problem is we have too many hits.”
Lambert said he enjoys the funkier side of Queen, and hopes to perform “Dragon Attack” once more with the band. One thing, however, will not return: the red furry jacket which fans refer to as the “Elmo Attack Jacket.”
“Have I ever repeated myself, ever? I think the joy of live performance is you don’t recreate it. There will be new outfits," Lambert told THR.
Lambert also revealed a few details about work on his third studio album.
“I’ve been in Sweden for a month, and after this visit I am going to go back to continue working on it,” he said.
The American Idol alum is enjoying a second career as actor with his current storyline on Fox’s Glee.
“I am definitely open to it,” he said of future roles. “I guess now I can act, so I can try acting some more."
One thing the band is not discussing is the possibility of recording new music with Lambert in the studio, which all members said is “too early to say." Lambert thinks for now the tour should be enough for the fans to enjoy what he calls a “true classic rock mirage.”
“The real treat is to bring memories back to life and revel in the nostalgia,” Lambert said.
Tickets go on sale March 14, with a presale for American Express Card members on March 10.
6/19 Chicago United Center
6/21 Winnipeg MTS Centre
6/23 Saskatoon Credit Union Centre
6/24 Edmonton Rexall Place
6/28 Vancouver Pepsi Live at Rogers Arena
7/1 San Jose SAP Center
7/3 Los Angeles The Forum
7/5 Las Vegas The Joint
7/6 Las Vegas The Joint
7/9 Houston Toyota Center
7/14 Montreal Bell Centre
7/16 Philadelphia Wells Fargo Center
7/17 New York Madison Square Garden
7/19 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
7/20 Washington, DC Merriweather Post Pavilion
Watch Adam Lambert and Brian May in a clip from today's press conference: