Queen + Adam Lambert

Queen and Adam Lambert’s “The Rhapsody Tour” hit San Francisco’s Chase Center for the first of two night of classics. No opener, just a packed house in front of a massive stage and as the scheduled 8 pm set time came and went, the jittery crowd reacted to every guitar and drum sound emanating from behind the curved LED screen as the crew readied the band.

Finally the screen raised at 8:25 revealing the band. Adam Lambert, in a silver cape and high platform boots that would make Gene Simmons envious, busted right into “Machines.” The legendary Brian May took a more subdued approach with Adidas sneakers and black pants, but in a twist of irony probably had more wardrobe changes than Lambert as he repeatedly changed shirts between songs.

While Lambert’s voice was flawless the entire night, the difference from Freddie Mercury’s power was obvious (“Tie Your Mother Down”). But it was clear as the performance went on that this was in no way intended to be Queen karaoke, but rather a tribute to both the man and the musical legacy that Mercury left behind. What that meant was a tasteful integration of Freddie into the program including an appearance for a duet with May at the end of “Love of My Life” which was absolutely spine tingling.

Of no surprise was a production that was over the top. The long thrust into the seated floor made for an intimate setting when May, Lambert and drummer Roger Taylor performed a mini set. In an interesting twist, there were balconies at the rear of the stage where VIPs could watch the whole performance up close and personal.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” wrapped the main set with a return of Freddie and a 1975-era Queen to ensure that the harmonies were nailed. What could have been seen as a cop out actually came across as the intended tribute. The 2+ hour set wrapped with the triple-threat of “We Will Rock You,” “Radio Ga Ga,” and “We are the Champions” leaving the San Francisco crowd appreciative but likely doing a mental tick through the band’s discography to identify the obvious misses like “Stone Cold Crazy.”


  • Machines (Or ‘Back to Humans’) / Radio Ga Ga
  • Hammer to Fall
  • Another One Bites the Dust
  • I’m in Love With My Car
  • Bicycle Race
  • Fat Bottomed Girls
  • I Want It All
  • A Kind of Magic
  • Killer Queen
  • Don’t Stop Me Now
  • Somebody to Love
  • Love of My Life
  • ’39
  • Drum Solo
  • Under Pressure
  • Tie Your Mother Down
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  • I Want to Break Free
  • Who Wants to Live Forever
  • Guitar Solo
  • Is This the World We Created…?
  • The Show Must Go On
  • Bohemian Rhapsody


  • We Will Rock You
  • Radio Ga Ga
  • We Are the Champions

© 2023 Alan Snodgrass | www.digitaldiversion.net. Please do not use without express permission. Array