Brian May extolled the virtues of the refurbished Wembley Arena saying how the £10 million face lift had improved it all and apologised for the last time they had played there which had been in the temporary tent thing. Well yes Wembley is a lot better than it used to be at least the toilets (although there are far too few for blokes and far too many for girls…:-)) and the food outlets are more numerous than of old, however if you now compare it with say O2 at Greenwich I don’t think there is much comparison. The O2 is much better with all the restaurants outside, better seats which have more leg room and are more comfortable and better laid out than the slab sided arena.
Anyway – enough of the venue… The gig was brilliant. I wouldn’t put myself in the rabid Queen fan category but I do think them a brilliant band and have always liked the diversity of their music, they seem to roll up a lot of styles whilst always maintaining the Queen sound. Even now with Paul Rodgers filling the vocal duties there is still a Queen vibe – no doubt in no small part due to Brian May’s unique style and sound.
They played a long set with no support band – well done to them. They did about two and a half hours and covered a load of the old hits and throwing in some of the new material off Cosmos Rocks which fitted in pretty seamlessly I’d say.
Some of my colleagues were dismissive of Paul Rodgers “filling Freddie’s boots”. Firstly he doesn’t need to in my opinion given his own track record with Free and Bad Company. Also he’s one of my favourite vocalists of all time and is still mighty impressive I think. However my arguments fell flat as I realised most of them hadn’t really heard of him! What the hell were they doing in the 70s? Oh! Maybe most of them weren’t born. :-(
One thought did cross my mind as Freddie appeared on the big screen - they cleverly intertwined footage from the famous 1986 Queen gig at Wembley stadium with the live band for Bohemian Rhapsody - there is one place where there is a better gig tonight and that would be wherever Freddie, Paul Kossoff and Boz Burrell are no doubt with guests like Jimi Hendrix or may even Mozart turning up as well... ;-)
Mrs F and I made a weekend of it staying in a nearby hotel which was nice apart from the fact that the X-Factor must be filmed nearby and it was full of people with “Vote for my dopey relative” t-shirts and I overheard one conversation with someone else attending the Queen concert where they were saying … “no I’m going to see someone really famous who’ll still draw a crowd when all that lot are long forgotten”. Apparently there is some controversy now about Saturdays vote on said show and even some MP talking about it in the commons. Hello Mr MP can you sort out the economy or help our over stretched armed forces fighting wars you tell me are for my personal safety in far flung countries. There’s Zimbabwe and Congo could do with some political solution as well if you can be arsed with any proper foreign policy…. Oh no sorry helping your constituent from X-Factor will no doubt win you the popular vote!!!!
I’ll get me coat…