I think his chops are every bit as good as they've ever been. I've thought about this same question, his technical ability throughout the years and if it's waned a bit. Having watched a lot of 2011 videos of him playing live, he sounds every bit as good as he's ever been IMO. His technical ability seems in tact.
The Real Wizard wrote:
...are in fine shape.
Check out this clip from 2011, One Vision with Melanie C.
He nails the tapping solo.
So, to whoever said otherwise ... yeah.
What on earth are you on about? He doesn't even attempt any tapping here. And further, he doesn't even get the left-hand lick right!
Sorry, but that is about as far away from 'nailing the tapping solo' as you can get.
And, as someone else said, the following wofeul attempt at improvisation was Brian's usual utterly uninspired and horrible series of high string bends that he employs whenever he can't think of anything else to do, which seems to be about 90% of the time these days.
And the clip is more than two years old, and therefore isn't really evidence of the condition that Bri's chops are in now. What it is, is evidence that Bri's live playing was as sloppy and insipid two years ago as it is now, and as it has been for about 15 years.
Brian is OK now and back to top form.
Maybe it was his knee pain or something, but his last year's performance at I Heart was one of the best ever. He nailed it!
The acoustic tour with Kerry also seems to be doing wonders to his playing, since once you master the acoustic guitar, the electric becomes easier to play.
I'm expecting a Top Brian May for 2014. All he needs is to be inspired, and this year he has lot's of things to be happy about in music.
All I can take from this video (rather, all that I took from it at the time) was that this is my hero playing in a shit club with Mel fucking C. She's not fit to be taking money at the door, let alone be on a stage with someone from Queen.
What the fuck has the world come to? I get it, I'm the fuddy duddy and need to just learn to relax - but seriously I think the old guy's gone a bit cuckoo.