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The season eight runner-up took the stage at the third annual iHeartRadio Festival with headliners Queen just before midnight, performing a 35-minute set from Las Vegas’ MGM Grand Arena. Also on the bill for the two-day concert: Justin Timberlake, Katy Perry, Paul McCartney, Drake and Miley Cyrus, among others.
Decked all in black and donning a pair of stylish, silvery platform shoes (presumably Louboutins, judging from their cherry red soles), Lambert sported a mustache that would have made the late Freddie Mercury proud. With the perfect mix of rock attitude mixed with style, theatricality, sex appeal and impressive vocal gymnastics, he took the band’s music to new heights in front of a worldwide audience.
How good was it? Right before a closing duet of the classically campy anthem, “Fat Bottomed Girls,” fun. leader Nate Ruess (pictured below with Queen’s Brian May) described Lambert as “the best singer I know.”
Lambert proved that statement to the fullest during the band’s medley-heavy set. Strutting to Roger Taylor‘s thunderous back beat and clearly enjoying his time in the spotlight, Lambert graciously traded licks with Ruess, who sang three songs as Queen’s special guest. At one point, Ruess grabbed onto fun. guitarist Jack Antonoff as if to pinch himself.
Lambert was a commanding presence throughout, belting such arena anthems as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions” with his signature wail and sick range, and was equally captivating as he dialed it down for the pensive, “Who Wants To Live Forever?” That ballad, in particular, elicited a rousing applause from the diverse audience of music fans young and old.
Not to be outdone, the 31-year old ramped up the energy for such rollicking classics as “Another One Bites The Dust” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” seemingly channeling the spirits of both Mercury and Elvis Presley. The glam-rocker later traded air guitar with Brian May as he went for the kill on “Dragon Attack.”
Watch the entire performance here.
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