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When it comes to Adam Lambert‘s multitude of diehard fans, sharing is caring, which is reason enough for one such Glambert to upload to YouTube all two hours of Queen’s Ukraine show on June 30, featuring the American Idol season 8 runner-up as frontman.
No stranger to the music of Queen, having sung a medley of the iconic band’s hits with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor at the MTV Europe Awards in 2011, Lambert truly shined on this stage — much like the late Queen singer Freddie Mercury did with his rousing performances.
Clad in a spiked black leather jacket and exploding with the spirit of arena rock, Lambert kicked off a triumphant evening (the show was part of a joint concert with Elton John to benefit the Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation) with a command: “This is rock ‘n’ roll, I want to see some ass!”
Confident and assuredly in control, Lambert led the crowd through an exhilarating version of the group’s “Fat Bottomed Girls,” sharing an undeniable chemistry with May and leading the raucous Kiev crowd through a majestic two-hour extravaganza that included an action-packed set list of Queen hits and deep cuts.
Lambert hit his stride early in the show, trading vocals with Taylor on “Under Pressure.” He then effortlessly segued from big rock anthems including “I Want It All” to poignant renderings of introspectively aching pieces, like his soaring interpretation of “Who Wants to Live Forever?” Lambert’s voice and impassioned delivery brought just the right tone of longing and introspection to the lyrics, and his connection to the song and his audience grew even stronger with each verse.
To his credit, Lambert chose not to re-create or even mimic Mercury. His performance was purely his own, with a reverent nod to the man who created such timeless tunes. Even better, Lambert hit all the Mercury glory notes — “Somebody to Love,” in particular, sounded sublime — while retaining the necessary showmanship needed to properly perform what can easily be classified as a night at the rock opera. His “Bohemian Rhapsody” was a stunning display of what a musical theater background can do when given the opportunity to interpret a song fully. He leaned on his Wicked days and even channeling Elvis Presley with the requisite sneers on “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” and by the time the band wrapped with “We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions,” the crowd was brandishing their glow sticks in unity and solidarity.
The tour continues Tuesday at the Olympic Arena in Moscow, with stops also scheduled for Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw, Poland, on July 7 and three dates at London’s Hammersmith Apollo on July 11, 12 and 14.
In other Lambert news, an army of Glamberts re-created the title track of his latest album, Trespassing, in a carefully orchestrated flash mob on one of the most popular streets in Moscow: Arbat Street. The dancers came from a fan group that’s 24,000 strong and includes Glamberts from Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine.
Watch the spirited tribute below:
Seven Seas of Rhye
Keep Yourself Alive
We Will Rock You (fast)
Fat Bottomed Girls
Don’t Stop Me Now
I Want It All
Who Wants to Live Forever?
A Kind of Magic
These Are Days of Our Lives
Love of My Life
I Want to Break Free
Another One Bites the Dust
Radio Ga Ga
Somebody to Love
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
The Show Must Go On
Tie Your Mother Down
We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions
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