I heard the news in December '05, Queen would be touring the USA in early 2006. WOW WAS I EXCITED! I had never seen Queen live before. I got into them a little in 1984, 2 years after their last US tour, and fully into them in 1989. I had gotten my daughter, Tessa into them in 2000 when she was 2 years old. So when I told her about the upcoming concert, she was very excited too! I asked and begged for tickets for Christmas and my birthday (March 10th) and was given them on my birthday. Probably the best present I have ever been given by anyone for any occasion.
The day of the show was hell, waiting, waiting, waiting, would the time EVER COME???!!! Finally it was 2pm and time to leave work (early of course, the trip from Rochester to Buffalo is 90 minutes). I picked up my daughter from school (she practically knocked me over when she got to the office) We drove home to eat supper and change into our matching Queen shirts. Then after a few pictures, we were off! On the drive there I played some Queen songs she hadnt learned yet and a few of the Bad Company songs wed be hearing. Surprisingly she liked the song Bad Company best. When we got there it was 630pm. We immediately bought our souvenirs and brought them to the car so we didnt have to worry about them at all. They opened the doors at 7pm and we sat listening to Jimi Hendrix and Creedence Clearwater Revival songs as we grew impatient. At 8pm between songs of CCRs, the music failed to continue with another song. Then We Will Rock You from the musical played (My daughter was confused by this, she asked me if it was Freddie singing or Paul) then a bluegrass version of Fat Bottomed Girls (which was strange but pretty good). Then the lights dimmed and the remix of Its a Beautiful Day began, Im getting goose bumps just thinking about it! When Eminem started she got more confused but when Brian riffed along with the song I knew the time was here. Paul came out and sang Reaching Out and I told her to watch the black curtain because it would fall down when Roger started drumming, this she found pretty cool when it happened. When Brian came out and started the riff to Tie Your Mother Down I got tears in my eyes. Here in the same building was Queen, my all time favorite band and I was finally seeing them LIVE. Yeah, I know, Freddie wasnt there, If he was it was the only way the concert could have been better!
When Brian yelled Good Evening Buffalo! I got chills. Then he noodled about a bit (a little sounded like the intro solo in Headlong) and then they sang Fat Bottomed Girls. The first 2 songs are ones my daughter absolutely loves. See, when she was 2 I taught her Queen after she took an interest. I was in the car, We Are The Champions was on the radio, and I was singing along. By the end she was singing too!!! I figured I would teach her songs with easy Choruses. (Ones with only 2-4 sentences at most, better if it repeated the one or two lines and that was it) Quick to follow was We Will Rock You & Another One Bites The Dust. I should point out, to keep her interest I had little motions we did. For Example. During Hey Im Gonna Get You Too I pretended to tickle her. In We Are The Champions during Of The World I would raise both hands in the air. I knew I had something one day on the way to school. We had watched a live show the night before. In the car when WATC was on she only put up one arm and proudly exclaimed Daddy! I did it just like Freddie on TV! Over the next few years I taught her any song with an easy Chorus lyric Put Out The Fire, If You Cant Beat Them, Fat Bottomed Girls, Bicycle Race, Tie Your Mother Down, etc. She knows about 30-40 as of now. Now that weve seen Queen we will definitely be learning some harder songs. I plan on starting at Queen 1 and moving along as time goes on. I had warned her thered be songs played she didnt know and that songs she loved (like Put Out The Fire) wouldnt be played. She got really bored for a few minutes as they did I Want To Break Free (I think the worst song of the night, no surprise it was dropped a few shows later) & Take Love, which I personally loved but she didnt know it and well, you know how kids are!
Then she perked up when she recognized Crazy Little Thing Called Love. She knew I had told her we had to yell Ready Freddie at the appropriate time. Sadly not many in my section did. However on the bootleg of the show, the area around the person taping got into it at least! Then out came Brian to do his Acoustic set. I was praying hed do 39 or even Long Away like on last years tour, but all we got was Love Of My Life at which point I cuddled up to my daughter and sang along with the crowd. On the way to the show she had heard for the first time Hammer To Fall. She isnt too into that one yet. Then came Feel Like Making Love and the surprise of the night Under Pressure. She liked it at the show and on her bootleg it is one of the more played cuts now. She really got into the next one as I did as well. Let There Be Drums was next and we both like Rogers solos. The crowd was clapping along to the main beat of the song which was neat too! Tessa was air-drumming along with Roger at one point. I got chills when the crowd was clapping along (clap clap clap. drums, clap clap clap drums) Then came Im In Love With My Car. The guitar solo was next and other than the ass who was complaining for them to just sing already I heard another asking who else was playing with Brian. I proudly turned around and said he is doing it all on his own. I always loved how he could have a base riff (usually a steady beat) and solo over it. People seemed amazed that he could get so many different sounds out of that guitar, from light to heavy to MONSTER like during Chinese Torture. Last Horizon was beautiful as always and you could literally hear the crowd take in their breath at the lights from the disco ball making the ceiling look like a star field. The piano came up from the floor and Bad Company was beginning. That one was one of the better Paul Rodgers tunes of the night. Cant Get Enough was ok I guess. Id have rather heard Ready For Love or Shooting Star.
Then came almost all songs Tessa knew. First, Another One Bites The Dust and then Dragon Attack which was surprisingly played like the album version and not like the old way from 1980-1984 when it was mixed with Now Im Here. We were on our feet dancing for these two! These Are The Days Of Our Lives was next and the chills were plentiful when the crowd applauded at video of John & Freddie. My sadness was kicking in as I knew we were getting to the end. Radio Ga Ga was next and Tessa and I did the clapping along with the crowd. Tessa got so excited at the next song. The Show Must Go On is one of her big favorites. She looks so serious when she sings. I have since told her that one of my favorite Queen lyrics is the lines My soul is painted like the wings on butterflies, Fairytales of yesterday will grow but never die I knew it was all over for us next because when Paul pointed to the screen it meant time for Bohemian Rhapsody. I cried and so did Tessa at the view of our hero on the screen singing his most beloved song. I even took her over to the area by one of the screens and have a picture of her standing next to Freddie. We stood by the stage for the rest of the song and I got all choked up again at the end at the duet part. When they went offstage I took her back to our seat and told her about encores and how there would be 3 more songs. When We Will Rock You started she got up on her feet. Apparently while she told me a little while before that she was tired, she apparently wasnt anymore. At the end she was surprised they did All Right Now next. But she told me this is like when they did Friends Will Be Friends between Rock You and Champions. She liked All Right Now so much that on the way home when we heard a Buffalo station playing the Return Of The Champions version, she sang along! Champions was next and we have a nice picture of us swaying our arms back and forth. Sadly it was all over. The dream of seeing Queen had been realized. Now the concert was over and sadness ensued.
On the way out I asked Tessa how she liked her first Queen concert and she told me it was the greatest concert ever. She had so much fun and her favorite part was when Freddie sang. I told her it was my favorite part too! Nothing against Paul but the nostalgia of the moment would be something I would never forget. I asked her how she liked Paul Rodgers and she told me he was a good singer and she liked it when he was on the top of the piano (During Bad Company) I have seen many concerts in my lifetime. From Iron Butterfly to Heart, From The Guess Who to Tim McGraw, and from Toby Keith to Cheap Trick. This was by far THE best show I have ever seen. I think if I went to another concert in my lifetime that it would be an automatic letdown as Queen and Paul Rodgers rocked the house!
Hopefully I will get another experience seeing Queen so I may do another one of these. May the Queen + Paul Rodgers union last for a very long time!
Afterwards my wife got a frame with 4 pictures from the show and our tickets in it and now it hangs on the wall. Tessa sits and stares at it every time she listens to her bootleg CD of the show.
We (my mom, dad, and I) arrived at the HSBC Arena in Buffalo on St. Patrick's Day after a long drive, and once they let the people in, we bought programs and such, and found our seats, throughout the pre-concert stage, they were playing a lot of old rock hits over the speakers (Hendrix and such) and about 5 minutes before the concert started, some Queen covers were played until the Beautiful Day mix was played. The energy at that point was almost sufficating. Many people who knew what this song singled were cheering while I tried to explain to my parents that the concert had officially started. Lose Yourself was played next and the lights went down and everyone went nuts. When Reaching Out started Paul appeared at the end of the catwalk near where I was standing and it was just magical. Then Brian went out on stage and started playing the chords to Tie Your Mother Down. It was amazing everyone was going nuts (and people said the crowd was quiet ;-) ) Most of everything after that was a blur. I was sick for the whole day and I would stand up and cheer...sit down and throw up :-P. Memorable moments were probably the energy at the beginning of the concert, Let There Be Drums, Bad Company definitely, Under Pressure, and the encore, just because it is. Ah, the whole concert was a memorable moment that I'll never forget. I also learned a valuable lesson about Queen concerts in general that I will utilize if I ever get to go to another one:
Brian's solo is a great time for a bathroom break. :-D
This concert is definitely the best I have ever seen, heard, and the only one I've ever experienced. I hope I get to go to another one in the future. Oh, and if anyone gets a chance to get a recording: GET IT!!!