Queen in St. Paul, Minnesota, USA on 14.09.1980 (written by John Hixon)

Anticipation was quite high for Queen's first appearance in Minnesota. They had been rumored to play or even tentatively scheduled to play in the state before, but never had. For those of us who had been listening to the band since at least ANATO this was a dream come true, and about time! (in those days when you were in high school, traveling to see a show was not quite in your consciousness or within your ability). Me and my friends got there over an hour early and, even though our seats were toward the top of the lower level, we snuck down to the stage to look at the instruments and those amazing light rigs Queen used. I can't even explain the antipication we felt at that moment. And then we found something on the floor that made the evening a little extra fun, but I digress. The band finally came on and was in very good form, tight with really good timing overall, perhaps aware that this was a kind of audition in a place they had never been. Freddie did a great job of knowing where he was - he could count on SOME singing but the US rock crowds really didn't do a lot of that (and hated dance music or a man doing anything remotely effeminite), and so for example LOML was more pure performance by Fred and Brian, and Freddie's wardrobe was conservative for him (he got away with a red tie). Queen's timing was great all night, although the concert was marred by some occasional feedback. All in all, the huge anticipation was paid back by the band - the crowd was pretty fenzied througout, Queen rocked it up well and transitioned in and out of the slower stuff perfectly. Check out the available 8mm footage (and you will see that both Freddie and John wore red pants that night). I remember being very impressed by Get Down, Make Love both sonically and visually, loved hearing a couple of my favorites (Save Me and Death On Two Legs) and since I had not yet listened to Jazz, heard Mustapha for the first time that night live. And took a bunch of pictures of I have since lost (long story). My only wish is that they would have ventured up north to us more often in their early days - this conert ended up beinbg the only Queen show I ever saw. But it was excellent.


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