Translation of Roy's Madison Square Garden Concert Report (Queen + Adam Lambert)
Note: I’m not a native Japanese speaker and I don’t translate professionally. There are some phrases in Japanese that are beyond my ability to translate properly to English so some liberties had to be taken.
Source: Queen + Adam Lambertサマソニ出演記念☆QUEEN（クイーン）特設サイト by Roy
Translation by: Terra
Concert: Queen + Adam Lambert at Madison Square Garden, New York on 17 July 2014
Please DO NOT reproduce this translation on your own sites without permission.
Queen + Adam Lambert New York Madison Square Garden Concert (Published on 24 July 2014)
Roy, whom Queen fans may be familiar with, took a step ahead of Summer Sonic, to witness Queen’s New York show. Here’s the on-location report, together with loads of photos, delivered right to you!
17 July 2014 On-Location Report by Roy
The date: 17 July 2014. Having arrived in New York the day before, I ended up waking up at a strange time. As I worked through some emails and phone calls to Japan, I found morning greeting me. At 5:40 in the morning, as I peered out of the hotel’s window into the direction of Madison Square Garden, it occurred to me: “Hey aren’t those cargo vehicles?” Without thinking, I went to get a closer look. There were over ten trucks there, but it was the “QUEEN + Adam Lambert” logo emblazoned on the vehicles that got me excited. I took a photo of a truck with the wonderful Empire State Building in the background.
Already excited at the start of the morning, I decided to head out for a morning walk and check out the famous Sarabeth’s Bakery in the Chelsea district for an NY eggs Benedict breakfast. At Sarabeth’s bakery in Chelsea Market, I asked if they had eggs Benedict, only to find myself bewildered when they replied “no”. While there was seating within the store, it was primarily a bakery – and not the casual restaurant that I had imagined. Disappointed, I left the store – but at that very moment, I discovered a startlingly young photo of Freddie on the exterior wall of the store! The unexpected encounter left me impressed and surprised. It was then that I had a feeling that this was going to be a great day. Yes, I was sure of it! Because tonight, it would be the QUEEN + Adam Lambert concert at Madison Square Garden.
In the evening, I changed into my Freddie cosplay outfit and walked to Madison Square Garden. I found that many people had already gathered at the venue. First things first: I got to the merchandise stand, bought a t-shirt, a programme, a tote bag… got a little carried away and before long, ended up with only five dollars left.
In the lobby of the venue, many people asked to take photos with me. I was reunited with friends from Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, America, Canada and Singapore, as well as those who recognised me. “I saw you in London in 2012” seemed to be the most common remark.
Among the Glamberts worldwide, “Japanese Freddie Roy” appears to be a topic that surfaces during conversations, so I was also approached by people who asked me: “Are you Japanese Freddie?” “Are you Roy?” I was happy to meet many Glamberts (Adam’s fervent fans) who said “I’m so glad that I was able to meet you” as they shook my hand, hugged me, or asked if they could take a photo with me.
In no time, the doors opened and I entered the concert hall. The first thing I did was to buy a bottle of mineral water that cost a whopping $5.25 – leaving me with $0.
Inside, time flew by quickly as I took photos and chatted with friends from all over the world. Soon it was way past the official concert start time. Even then, the arena wasn’t full, probably because there were many people still outside taking their time or drinking beer. In the end, the concert started 50 minutes late!
The lights of the arena dimmed to darkness and the melody of “Procession” streamed across the room. This was very reminiscent of early QUEEN in the 70’s. A large curtain with Queen’s crest printed on it concealed the stage.
The guitar intro of “Now I’m Here” began playing, and Adam started singing, “Here I stand…”
The curtains suddenly lifted to dazzling smoke and lighting, as Adam sang the words: “I’m just a..!”
It was the start of the excitement! It was the very image of Queen’s first visit to Japan. Adam revealed himself to the crowd dressed in a leather jacket and pants in the hard gay fashion – so cool and sexy! I was drawn to the stage like it was almost no longer “QUEEN + Adam Lambert” but “Adam Lambert with Queen”. It was pleasing to see the band mature into a completely different one from London in 2012. Back then, Adam’s personality was not 100% on display – perhaps he had not yet fully grasped the material; was asked to sing in a certain way; or held back out of respect for Queen’s members.
As “Now I’m Here” ended, Adam shouted in a high tone voice, “New York City! Are you ready?” before diving into “Stone Cold Crazy”. With the sudden heightened tension in the air, the audience could not help but shriek in response to every of Adam’s sexy hip movements.
Surely, even those who had asked before: “Who is Adam?” No matter male or female, would have become his fan at this point.
There was a feeling that Adam was very much his own person – and not Freddie-like – as the audience followed him for the call-and-response section of “Another One Bites the Dust”. Had this been a Freddie imitation, Queen fans would probably not have been convinced.
For “Fat Bottomed Girls”, just like in 2012, Brian switched to a guitar with a camera attached to its head. This time, it was the rare green “Brian May Model”.
Beginning with a guitar intro, “Lap of the Gods” had everyone singing “Wo, wo, la la la”. I felt like crying a little as I thought about the image of Freddie in Live at Wembley Stadium. During the final part of the song, the giant “Q” illumination on the stage was slowly lowered forward into a sea of smoke. As the medley proceeded to “Seven Seas of Rhye”, it was exactly the image of Magic Tour ’86. “Killer Queen” followed. On the smaller stage, a gorgeous couch had been prepared. What a luxurious sight to behold: Adam singing while sprawled out on the couch. This was a performance that seemed to declare: “Here’s what’s the Queen and Adam show’s all about!”
When the song ended, Adam took a mouthful of what resembled champagne and began spitting at the audience like an archer fish. The Glamberts, in particular, squealed and rejoiced at this scene.
Adam chatted on the topic of feeling lonely at times, and “Somebody to Love” began. Freddie wasn’t the only person faced with the pressures of being a singer and front man – perhaps Adam too. Adam’s vocals were especially great during the break section of the song. This version had a new arrangement that could help one’s spirits soar at the end.
In “I Want It All”, Brian appeared to make a mistake at the onset of the guitar solo, and proceeded to improvise on it. From there, the balance between QUEEN and Adam came in place.
Adam left the stage during “Love of My Life”, leaving Brian alone on the mini stage to perform with his acoustic guitar. Brian first started off singing alone. And while the song did not go into the big chorus, the audience proceeded to sing along. At the end, the image of Freddie was projected onto the big screen and his voice brought warmth to the arena.
After that, Brian said that he wanted to introduce “the crew of the spaceship”, and called Roger (drums), Rufus (Roger’s son on percussion), Neil (bass) and Spike (keyboards) to the mini stage to perform “39”, where the friendly atmosphere continued.
The intro of “These Are the Days of Our Lives” began, and Roger sang. Projected onto the big screen from the beginning to the end of the song was rare footage of Freddie and John, as well as nostalgic footage of Queen’s first visit to Japan, which brought tears to my eyes.
Hearing the lyrics, “Those days are all gone now but one thing is true: When I look and I find I still love you”; accompanied by the footage of Freddie; with Brian and Roger showcasing the splendour of Queen’s present and future – there was no reason not to cry.
During his bass solo, Neil incorporated a couple of phrases from various Queen numbers to entertain the audience. Subsequently, Roger sat at the mini stage where his drums were set up, while his son Rufus sat at the main stage, to perform a father/son drum battle.
Keeping to the same mini stage arrangement, “Under Pressure” began. It was a duet between Roger and Adam. In 2012, Roger stood and sang this song, but this time, he sang while he played drums. As I figured: Roger still cuts a better figure working on his drums.
Then, still on the mini stage, Adam began singing Freddie’s solo song “Love Kills”. I do not know the circumstances behind the decision to sing this song, but I can imagine that it was perhaps Adam who said he wanted to sing it. This is one of those songs that showcases the magnificence of Adam’s singing abilities. You will be even more impressed by Adam’s singing ability on "Who Wants to Live Forever." I feel that Adam is most suited to this beautiful song. I will be happy if I get to hear this at Summer Sonic.
It turns out that in the United States, many people leave their seats during Brian’s guitar solo. Here, many left to buy a beer or to take a bathroom break. This isn’t really a thing in Europe or Japan… Well, given that Brian’s hair is already turning white from trying hard, let’s give him a bit more attention, shall we?
Rufus played drums for “Tie Your Mother Down” while Roger played percussion. In 2012, Brian handled singing duties, but this time around, Adam sang lead. After the song ended, Adam started his own brand of call-and-response. Already beginning with a high key, Adam took the audience to an even higher key for an extended call-and-response. Unless you were a lady or young person, you’d not be able to sing those notes – but you’d still want to follow him anyway.
There are no Queen fans who will not be familiar with the synchronised clap routine of “Radio Ga Ga”. I hope that Queen fans will teach Adam fans this routine so that everyone will be able to execute it even in Japan.
For “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, Brian performed on a new semi-acoustic “Brian Model”. In 2012, there was an occasion where Adam was not able to correctly communicate the ending cue to the other members, leaving Spike with no choice but to shout the cue to end the song. However this time, Adam – just like Freddie – was able to get Queen’s performance style down pat by shouting “All right!” after the looping of the final phrase to end the song.
One could fall in love with Adam’s singing again and again in “The Show Must Go On”. It’s truly wonderful to hear this song being sung.
In “Bohemian Rhapsody”, Adam sang in the beginning. This was then followed by Freddie who sang from the video screen. It’s a splendid collaboration. It’s amazing to see this famous song being passed down – transcending eras and generations – and sung even now. It’s so surreal that it all started from the television program, American Idol, in which Adam sang an a capella “Bohemian Rhapsody” for his audition, that eventually led to the realisation of this QUEEN + Adam Lambert collaboration. I am so pleased.
An enveloping sense of unity reverberated across the arena for the obligatory encores of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions”, and left one briefly dazed.
Yellow confetti rained on arena during “God Save the Queen” and the curtains closed the stage.
I cannot wait, thinking that this experience will be possible not just overseas, but also in Japan. I will be participating again next month in Summer Sonic on August 16 in Osaka and August 17 in Chiba. Queen fans and Adam fans, let’s unite and liven things up when that day comes!
And, let’s be thankful that we have this wonderful opportunity to watch the guys in action soon in Summer Sonic in Japan!
- Empire State Building and truck
- Photo of Freddie at Sarabeth's Bakery
- Loads of merchandise
- Friends from Germany
- Before the Concert
- Adam in great spirits
- Brian and Adam on the big screen
- Brian holding a guitar with a camera attached to it
- The lowering of the "Q" illumination
- Adam sitting on the couch
- Adam drinking champagne
- Archer-fish Adam
- Drum set on the mini stage
- Roger and Adam
- Guitar-solo Brian
- Shot of the trio in "Love Kills"
- God Save the Queen
- Extra: At the pub with New York Queen fans till late