Queen in Passaic, New Jersey, USA on 21.02.1975 (written by Jimmy)

My first Queen concert was on February 21, 1975 at the Capitol Theather in Passaic, New Jersey, USA.

First a little history about the theater. It was basically a movie theater that I guess in the old days hosted vaudeville shows. At the time Queen came to play, it was a porn theater during the day and at night they would hold concerts.

I was very excited about finally getting to see Queen. I was going with my brother and a friend and at the time I was 15 years old and my father had to drive us.

The show opened up at 8pm with Kansas, who played for an hour. Great set with great songs. Then the horror story started. Argent came out a little after 9pm, maybe closer to 9:30. They were horrible and to make matters worse, their equipment broke down and no one seemed to be able to fix it. This whole scenario had to have lasted close to 2 hours. Argent had already played for maybe close to an hour and now everyone was getting impatient and waiting for Queen to come out thinking that Argent was done because they couldn't fix the problem. Boy, were we wrong.

The crowd started to boo loudly and the management thought they were going to have a riot in the place so they dropped the movie screen and started to show Flash Gordon movies with Buster Crab from the 30's or 40's. The quieted everyone down for a while but no it was getting late.

Finally around 11pm Argent had the nerve to come back out and start playing. Everyone booed and booed but to them, they played like they were headlining the place. When they finally went off, they had the audacity to come out for encores but no one could hear them because the boos were so loud. They finally got the message.

In the meantime, we had told my father that the show should be over sometime around 11pm; which he had confirmed with the ushers. It was now way past 11 and Queen still wasn't out yet so they let my dad wait at the back of theater. He later told us that he felt dizzy from all the pot smoke that was going around in there. What a riot!

Low and behold it was now 1am, in the morning and Queen finally takes the stage. All I remember was them starting off with Now I'm Here. Freddie stood on one side of the stage which was pitch black and when he said "Here I stand", a light flashed on and off on him. Then when he said "Now I'm Here," he was on the other side of the stage and a light flashed on and off on him again till the whole band joined in and the stage lit up. I'll never forget it. It was awesome! If I remember correctly, the show was finally over around 2:30am.

As far as the theater goes, I think it was torn down some years later. The neighborhood wasn't good then either and it's worse now but the memory of my first Queen concert will always be there in the back of my mind.


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