You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Queen + Adam Lambert at Madison Square Garden: The 5 Best Moments

Midway through the opening night of Queen + Adam Lambert’s two-date stand at New York City’s Madison Square Garden on Tuesday, guitarist Brian May took a moment to get emotional.

“We have so many great memories here,” he said. “Let’s make some new ones.”

Since Lambert joined forces with Queen cofounders May and drummer Roger Taylor eight years ago, the group has enjoyed a big resurgence, boosted by last year’s biopic, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which earned four Academy Awards, including Best Actor for Rami Malek’s portrayal of the late Freddie Mercury.

Before the show even started, the band created excitement with a crown (which was decorated with iconic band images) adorning the front of the stage, with billowing smoke and music building anticipation. After about ten minutes, before the crown lifted to the top of the stage, with shadowy images of May and Lambert teasing before the explosive intro of “Now I’m Here.”

That nuanced opening set the stage for a two-hour-and-15-minute show, with early anthems like “Seven Seas of Rhye” and “Keep Yourself Alive” giving Lambert a chance to showcase his impressive range.

“Let’s address the pink elephant in the room,” Lambert said. “I’m not Freddie — and there is no replacing the rock God known as Freddie Mercury.”

Mercury’s presence was definitely felt in the room — particularly with his classic call-response moment of “Ay-oh” on the big screen-and on the tour. Here are five great moments from the show.

Lambert’s “Bicycle Race”
On the last tour, Lambert rode a tricycle adorned with a basket and bell as he sang the band’s 1978 hit “Bicycle Race.” This time, he went more bad-ass, wearing a black leather jacket adorned with spikes and straddling a motorcycle. Although he didn’t actually ride it, it did a full 360 (he even put his feet up on the handlebars) so everyone in the audience could get a good look.

The Astrophysicist Hitches a Ride
Brian May played guitar hero all night, shredding in the appropriate moments in the epic “Bohemian Rhapsody” and other songs — but the astrophysicist (he recently got his degree after postponing his studies to focus on the band in the early 1970s) hit a new peak mid-show as he played atop a fake asteroid with laser beams, planets and galaxies hurtling behind him on the screen.

Taylor Gets Some Shine
Roger Taylor earned his screen time early in the night with a drum solo, and even got a featured spot with “I’m in Love With My Car” (a running joke in “Bohemian Rhapsody”), but he shined brightest trading vocals with Lambert on “Under Pressure,” the group’s 1981 single with David Bowie. To create this moment, a separate kit was set up at the end of the stage, and the band entertained with a brief, a capella version of “Doing All Right” (the song Mercury’s character sings in a parking lot as his audition in “Bohemian Rhapsody”) and the swinging “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” with Lambert playfully emulating a snarl and slinking behind Taylor’s kit playfully with May.

May Lights Up the Garden
Repeating a moment from the 2014 tour, May sat at the end of the runway with a 12-string guitar, asking the audience to sing along and “be humans together” for “Love of My Life.” When the group performed the song back in the day, concertgoers would illuminate the arena with cigarette lighters, but the lighter has been replace by the flashlight app on cell phones, and the result creates what May called “just a little magic.” It was so bright in the Garden it was as if the houselights had come on, and when a video of Mercury appeared on the screen to the closing verse of the song — and encouraging the Garden to sing from the great beyond — there wasn’t a dry eye in the house.

The Show Goes On …
In this song from Queen’s final album with Mercury, 1991’s “Innuendo,” Lambert was note-perfect, bringing dramatics with a physical interpretation of the piece, with his vocals soaring through the arena. While the song is performed early in the set, it would make a perfect closer …


More Music

  • Harry Styles Stevie Nicks

    Harry Styles Brings Out Stevie Nicks, Reworks One Direction Classic at the Forum (Watch)

    Harry Styles strutted, sashayed and transfixed the crowd at the Forum on Friday night (Dec. 13) for his combination record release party and one-night-only superfan affair. “Fine Line,” as his album is titled and the engagement touted on the outside of the venue, featured the live debuts of nine new songs including standout stunners “Golden,” [...]

  • Pete York and Rain Phoenix

    Rain Phoenix Joins Pete Yorn for 'Relator,' Originally Sung With Scarlett Johansson (Watch)

    Ten years before “Señorita,” another famous twosome recorded a romantic duet together: Pete Yorn and Scarlett Johansson, who joined forces on “Relator.” It was the first single from an entire album of collaborations, 2009’s “Break Up,” which was inspired by the songs of Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot, but fans hardly ever got to hear [...]

  • US Capitol

    The Sneaky Long Game of ALI’s Restatement of Copyright (Guest Column)

    Last week, Senator Thom Tillis and four other members of Congress sent a letter to an organization you may never have heard of, the American Law Institute (ALI).  The letter questions the ALI’s ongoing project to publish a competing version of the Copyright Act – or, as the ALI calls it, a “Restatement” of copyright [...]

  • Tom Petty’s Daughters, Widow Settle Legal

    Tom Petty’s Daughters, Widow Settle Legal Battle Over Estate

    Tom Petty’s widow and daughters from a previous marriage have settled their bitter legal battle, according to a report in Rolling Stone. Earlier this year, Adria Petty and Annakim Violette, the late singer’s daughters with his former wife Jane, sued his second wife, Dana York, for $5 million, alleging that she had deprived them of [...]

  • Desiree Perez attends the Billboard Magazine:

    Desiree Perez Named CEO of Roc Nation

    Desiree Perez has been elevated to CEO of Roc Nation after serving as chief operating officer since 2009. Along with Jay-Z, Perez is a co-founder of Roc Nation. In her new position, Perez is tasked with overseeing all 14 Roc Nation verticals, which includes music management, publishing, sports agency among a slew of diversified businesses, [...]

  • Alexandre Desplat

    Alexandre Desplat Combines Mozart and Bowie for Greta Gerwig's 'Little Women' Score

    There have been multiple film and TV versions of “Little Women.” But composer Alexandre Desplat and writer-director Greta Gerwig had a non-traditional idea for Sony’s 2019 version: “We wanted the music to be a duet of Mozart and Bowie,” Desplat laughs. There are no rock music touches in the score, but there is a modern [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content