Queen + Adam Lambert @ The Capital FM Arena, Nottingham – Saturday 24th January 2015


Review by Lulu Davenport, photos by Sean Larkin

Freddie Mercury is irreplaceable; an understatement if ever there was one. His showmanship and charisma inspired generation after generation; a genuine icon. With this in mind I wait in the cold of the harsh winter for Queen plus American Idol star Adam Lambert with anticipation of what the show may hold. Hundreds descend upon Capital FM Arena, many having been intravenously fed classics that defined an era.  The expectations are running high, the task in hand seeming almost impossible, and intensified further still as Freddie Mercury’s 92 year old mum enters the arena to a standing ovation.

Queen + Adam Lambert
Queen + Adam Lambert

The tension builds to a huge crescendo as atmospheric instrumental music builds and lifts the audience, finally the Queen logo veil falls away to reveal Brian May’s silhouette as the opening chords of ‘One Vision’ send the crowd into a frenzy. Lambert immediately attempts to mimic Freddie’s outlandish behaviour by strutting, posing and cheekily sticking his tongue out at cameras. However, its while draped over a purple chaise-longue that he confidently shines in his own right, vocally bouncing between eccentric and theatrical in equal measure. A far cry from his ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ audition on the popular TV show, the transformation is astounding.

The spotlight throughout the night shines on all, with solos from Roger Taylor as he expertly battered the drums in a back to back beat battle with his talented son and the breathtaking guitar solo from Brian May which I can barely describe let alone go into the technical specifications of creating such a sound. He switched to an acoustic guitar and lead vocal for ’39’; a delightful, slowed down number allowing May to showcase his vocal and song writing talent. Trivialities such as age don’t even get taken into consideration, as the two pioneers bound about up the stairways on stage with admirable energy.

Queen + Adam Lambert
Queen + Adam Lambert

The set list pulls in all the show stopping hits you’d expect, and footage of Freddie makes an appearance via the stunning stage screens during ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ and ‘Love Of My Life’. The footage provided a touching tribute while clearly showing that nobody could ever fill the void he left.

Following ‘We Will Rock You’, the second encore sees anthemic crowd pleaser ‘We Are The Champions’ create a final curtain call while gold ticker tape projects out of stage cannons on to the crowd. Adam Lambert takes a moment to gaze into the audience with absolute awe, taken aback by his surroundings, I believe words would have failed him if he tried; a rare glimpse that  no matter how famous the world has made you, a sold out Nottingham Arena and Brian May demonstrating superior guitar work may be a little overwhelming. A fantastic night with Adam Lambert proving to be a star in his own right. He has embraced his role and given fans a chance to experience a show as close to Queen as possible; an absolute treat.


1. One vision
2. Stone Cold Crazy
3. Another One Bites The Dust
4. Fat Bottomed Girls
5. In The Lap Of The Gods..Revisited
6. Seven Seas Of Rhye
7. Killer Queen
8. I Want To Break Free
9. Don’t Stop Me Now
10. Somebody To Love
11. Love Of My Life
12. ’39
13. These Are The Days Of Our Lives
14. Bass solo
15. Drum battle
16. Under Pressure
17. Save Me
18. Who Wants To Live Forever?
19. Last Horizon
20. Guitar solo
21. I Want It All
22. Radio Gaga
23. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
24. Bohemian Rhapsody

25. We Will Rock You
26. We Are The Champions


See more of Sean’s photos here