Queen Minus Freddie Mercury? No Thank You

fred-0709.jpg
funnyjunk.com
Friends have urged me unsuccessfully to attend tonight's Queen concert with them. As the band and guest singer Adam Lambert tour, I imagine this scene unfolding for others elsewhere. Some are excited to see Brian May, a we're-not-worthy, guitar-playing legend. Others are interested in Lambert, whose voice is matched, if not surpassed, by his panache, and how he'll interpret the band's array of insanely great songs.

These are strong arguments for, which makes the argument against seem so basic. For others like me, the defense for our disinterest boils down to this: no Freddie Mercury. As honest as it is, it sounds childish. I've said it out loud and can tell you it recalls a grade-school playground debate.

"How come you don't wanna come?!" they whine.

"Because Freddie Mercury won't be there! Duh!"

In real life, I don't normally explain a personal preference in 800 words or less, but this is the blog world, a place where "no thanks, I'm good" is akin to "I'm too stupid to explain my position." So, for others whose friends and fellow music fans demand a more articulate argument against Queen + Adam Lambert (read: Queen - Freddie Mercury), here are some Psychology and Philosophy 101 notes to bolster your opposition:

REWIND: Queen's Best Deep Cuts, Album by Album


FredPancakes-0708.jpg
a.zalonis via Flickr
Coincidence?
GROUPTHINK
Wiki defines groupthink as "a psychological phenomenon that occurs within a group of people, in which the desire for harmony or conformity in the group results in an irrational or dysfunctional decision-making outcome."

The tour has been getting positive reviews. Lots of attention has been paid to Lambert, the onetime American Idol runner-up whose flamboyance is better known than his recordings. He's a much better fit than Queen's last post-Freddie front man, Paul Rodgers.

All of us who missed Queen live in their heyday really want to be able to say we saw Queen. So, we buy into the reviews and the good word of mouth and the Facebook posts that make this sound like a good idea. These reviews all say the same thing: for someone who is not Freddie Mercury, Adam Lambert is better than Paul Rodgers, or maybe anyone else in music today. They also reiterate Lambert is not Freddie Mercury.

And yes, I am aware that Rocks Off's own Selena Dieringer just listed this show as one to not miss this summer. A silly and borderline-disturbing expectation from some readers suggests since we all write under the same banner we also should all unify our respective opinions from a shared brain. This would be highly unfortunate for Selena, who is a wonderful and thoughtful writer and person. I appreciate that she is excited, but I don't share her enthusiasm (or her frontal lobe).


Story continues on the next page.

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69 comments
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willow13
willow13

I am rewriting my post as I felt the other comment just was not right and to say I respect your feelings with these answers .I really do not feel The group think cannot really apply to this as the tickets were sold / sold out in almost all venues before the tour began, so no one was buying into any reviews because the shows didn't start for months afterward. I am sorry to say but to me , when you are painting all these people you do not know with the same brush and categorize them as mindlessly falling into some kind of psychological phenomenon it is rather insulting and off the mark as you cannot know the motivations of each individual. If some people go now for the few tickets left because of these reviews, then it is the same as critics saying yes or no to movies that come out. People are simply stating their opinions on how they felt about the concert and since there are so many positives it can motivate someone sitting on the fence about it to try it out and go. I don't think Selenas article is silly as it is from her feelings therefore what is used to form her opinion just as your feelings have created this article of your feelings. All I can say to your evotism is that you never gave it a chance so you cannot really comment, only state what you are predisposed to already think and have shut the door on it. I find your taking this to the realm of essentialism very interesting. I would have to disagree. I might concede maybe older fans may feel this to a degree, as they have the original to compare it to from a live perspective if they were lucky to go back when Freddie was alive but a lot of the younger generation is enthralled to discover Queen music because of being an Adam fan and visa versa. This has definitely built some memories for younger people , for they are seeing this from a very different perspective than someone who had loved Queen for years and maybe cannot get past any kind of change and it has some nostalgic ones for older fans. It is about the music, Adam has never made it about him,and is so respectful in singing these songs but also making them his own in a subtle and reverent way. To me he embodies the spirit of what Queen was and is and that is the only way in can be performed. There is no comparison to be made as these are 2 different Queens and it is our choice to go or stay, one is not more or less than the other. None of us is the keeper of any legacy of any artist or bands music. I was lucky to be at the Vancouver show and young people had never seen a concert like this. It was raw , emotional and dangerous just like Brian said it would be. No click tracks or voice overs. It was very similar to what a rock concert was back in the days of old. People were on a feel good high and there is no greater compliment in my mind when artists can bring that out in others.

All I can say is, music is ubiquitous and should live on for the enjoyment, emotional connections for all. Music whether classical still being played for generations or rock, blues, should be able to live on and touch peoples lives in ways that mean something to them and have the chance to reach new vistas and form more connections with the changing world .Music is a balm to the soul and should live on eternally as I believe we all have its vibrations in all of us. It certainly is all around us in nature and we humans have been able to take it steps further in expressing it by voice and instrutments invented to give a voice to it with these soundsAlso , to quote Adam," it's not that deep,." it 's music and music is universal. Thank you letting me post my take on this.

all the best

Naomi Izquierdo-Martinez
Naomi Izquierdo-Martinez

The show was magical and unforgettable! I had a great time and the band, including Adam, sounded amazing!

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cynthiacollections57

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Lisa Williams Broomas
Lisa Williams Broomas

to each his own, but you missed a good show. Just because a band has a different lead singer, doesn't mean they don't put on a good show or can't get the job done - - recall Black Sabbath, AC/DC, Journey - all sound just fine with different singers. You should have went last night, it was AWESOME.

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bestspellcaster

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coachjacki
coachjacki

Bahahaha What a big whiney ass sooky-lala dummy-spitting baby. Are you sure you've got the stones to be a fan of rock music? LMAO I'm sorry but come on now. You can't expect anyone to take you seriously when you spend 2 pages explaining why you're sitting at home with your fingers in your ears and holding your breath till you turn blue in the face because it's not Freddie up there singing with the band. Of course you're entitled to your opinion but you're not really expressing an opinion - you're just sulking in the worst possible way. And insulting a perfectly nice guy while you're at it. Funny tho, similar things were once said about Freddie..... Sorry, I'll let you go back to watching Murder She Wrote or the Wiggles or whatever you were doing when I so rudely interrupted. *rolls eyes*

planetpluto
planetpluto

P.S.  As long as you're staying home, recommend you spend the time listening to Lambert's album, "Trespassing" - get the version with the extras - "Runnin'" will knock your socks off.

planetpluto
planetpluto

Oh, for pete's sake, lighten up - go, have a drink, and enjoy.  The music's great and the Band and Adam are so much fun.

Packs1up
Packs1up

"whose flamboyance is better known than his recordings"

Why am I not surprised you say that???

If Adam Lambert isn't better known for his charismatic showmanship and his voice by now, it's because people like you can't get past his flamboyance.

Leave Adam alone.

shannonsabel
shannonsabel

All of this is just long-winded double speak for "I don't want to hear or learn anything that might make me question my prejudices." Coming from someone who admits he's never seen Queen live, with or without Freddie, I find your piece utterly ridiculous. If you have never had the experience, how can you possibly claim that the Queen + Adam Lambert experience will be second-best? Adam, who by the way, was well known for his spectacular voice long before anything else, is the real deal in concert-- no lip synching, no autotune, just that voice that when heard live gives chills to just about everybody within earshot. From you, "No thanks, I'm good," would have been more than enough.

Malory
Malory

Yep, I agree with Gattina. Don't understand all this whining by Queen Purists. You have your right to not go to any Queen and Adam Lambert Concert. Understand once and for all?   We who want to hear Queen's music performed live with a very "capable" singer will go to the concerts. Actually they are sold out all over. Is it that you are afraid you might enjoy yourself and that would be disrespectful to Freddie? Heck, Freddie must be laughing about all this hubbub I am sure. If you have ever seen him in interviews, he says that he doesn't care about his legacy. He has lived a great life. Just don't make me boring after I am gone. Obviously he wants his music enjoyed by new generations, not locked in a tomb with his ashes. God bless him, he had more sense than many of his fans. Lambert is a great singer, has charisma, stage presence and enough respect for Freddie that he walks that fine line very well. Brian and Roger have had other singers before, they chose Adam as the best fit for what they want to do with their music. Fans (last time I checked) don't have the leeway legally or emotionally to dictate to artists what to do with their careers. Brian and Roger don't need the money--they love to perform. Why should they not? And they have not called themselves just "Queen" this go around. They are Queen and Adam Lambert--that is the concert I will attend next week. Can't wait to see thousands singing along to great music and enjoying themselves. Meanwhile, to all of you who think Freddie would be upset with you for going, think again.

rdorr1
rdorr1

Leave the man alone if he doesn't want to see the show. He's entitled to his opinion.

Gattina
Gattina

"For others like me, the defense for our disinterest boils down to this: no Freddie Mercury. As honest as it is, it sounds childish. I've said it out loud and can tell you it recalls a grade-school playground debate."


You hit the nail right on the head. Why you aren't embarrassed is beyond me, especially if you're older than 10.


"All of us who missed Queen live in their heyday really want to be able to say we saw Queen." 


Guess what? It'll never happen. Quit your whining, and either see the show or just shut up. Your "view" doesn't have a leg to stand on, as you readily admit, even tho you don't realize it. The good news is that your not going to the show gave someone who wants to go a chance at your ticket. Thank you!


BTW, I did see Queen live. They were awesome. I also saw them last week with Adam. Again, they were awesome. 


carol.cahoon
carol.cahoon

Thanks for not taking a seat away from an enthusiastic fan who actually wants to be there. Whether you approve of the new lineup or not these musicians are putting on a hell of a show and the audiences are loving it. Even skeptics are walking away acknowledging that Lambert kills it every time. Also, Brian May and Roger Taylor are as epic as they ever were in their heyday. I'm sure they miss their former bandmates too but they are proud of the legacy of music they created together and still have a passion for performing it live. Stay home and enjoy your 8 tracks.

Patricia Pereira
Patricia Pereira

Yep! Freddie passed before I was concert-going age so I missed out. Obviously I'd rather see him fronting in all his glory, but since I can't this is as close as I'll get. The band still kicks ass, lambert is an amazing singer, and I'm still expecting a pretty entertaining show! Can't wait!!

noskerdycat
noskerdycat

Ya know what Jesse, I don't have historical emotional ties to Queen (despite being the proper age to be a Queen purist) - but I didn't let that stop me from enjoying a musical experience with someone I DO have an emotional tie to: Adam Lambert and his immense talent.

I feel Queen's catalog is an excellent showcase for Adams voice and have learned much more about Queen and their history in anticipation of this tour. It never entered my mind to be mournful, resentful or close minded because I would not be hearing Adam's music at a Queen+ concert - to the contrary, I am elated that I get to hear Adam sing great and time honored songs and iconic anthems.

You see, that's what puzzles me is ... why some Queen fans feel that the music of Queen should be doomed to be heard only as recordings that precede Mercury's death. I feel it is pure joy to hear this music performed live, TODAY and YES... every ounce of it performed with emotion and beauty that comes from the interaction of all on stage, not to mention the audience.

Jesse, I get the feeling that you have your 'happy' place in your memories of your Queen ideals and for some reason you possibly want to avoid any chance of feeling guilty that a concert experience of live Queen+ music in the 21st C would bring you an almost equal level of happiness.
Enjoy your happy place in the past.. and I will enjoy mine as I look forward to again basking in the amazing positive vibrations created by powerful musical talents and the VERY happy audience members.


frcollins
frcollins

Queen legends and one in the making. Come back after you have seen the show. My favorite Brian May quote, Im so mesmerized by what Adam is doing I forget to play.

shadylady1031
shadylady1031

Jessie: This isn't rocket science it is just music. If you have closed  your mind completely about Adam that is your loss because you are undoubtedly missing the best concert in decades. I've seen the two Vegas shows which left me wanting more. Best concert experience of my life.

esthermacha
esthermacha

Jesse, I just got back from 2 shows in Vegas. Brian May's 12 minute guitar solo is worth the price of a ticket.

tlee2830
tlee2830

Jesse, you do know that Brian and Roger CHOSE Adam, right? So, to not accept Adam as temporary frontman of Queen, you are doubting Brian and Roger's decision? So, after Freddie died Queen should have just gone away, retire? Adam is perfect fit, the members of Queen adore him, Brian said Freddie would approve. Stop disrespecting Queen and Freddie's memory.

EtrnlGlamNation
EtrnlGlamNation

I'd previously never seen Queen in concert, but I've been a fan since I was a teen. To actually watch Brian May perform his amazing and iconic guitar riffs and hear Roger Taylor's well-known, well-loved beats in person as I did in Chicago was an absolute thrill. The fact that I am also a huge Adam Lambert fan made the experience a complete joy.


Do yourself a favor, unclench.


vpuntney
vpuntney

Well Jesse, I suppose any piece of entertainment's significance can be as shallow or as deep as you care to make it. I don't necessarily see the need of hauling Plato and a platypus into this... Bottom line: if you feel a knee-jerk reaction to this particular offering, then do stay home and enjoy recordings of the original band. It seems a shame to judge without having seen though. This is ENTERTAINMENT, and for venues-full of concertgoers, it seems to have well met and exceeded expectation for quality, spectacle, musical content/ intent and virtuosity - not to mention emotional impact.


I was beginning graduate school at age 20 when "BoRhap" hit U.S. airwaves in '75 and was as much of a Queen fan as my limited time allowed. Now, I admire Adam Lambert, Brian May, Roger Taylor and the rest of the crew who have made this tour a reality and the event of the summer - maybe of a lifetime, for many. Is the music and are the personnel of the original cultural milieu of the times? Of course not. It will never be "the same". Life = change and that's ok with me.

Pattygale
Pattygale

I had an emotional tie to my fiancé, special songs, special memories, etc, but when he was killed in an accident at age 26, I took 2 years and moved on. I now have an incredible husband and 2 fabulous, if trying, teenagers. Change is one of the few constants in life and those who can't or won't adapt cheat themselves out of so much. Is Adam Freddie? No. Just as my husband isn't my first love. Does that mean I should have wallowed in self righteous misery? No. You have every right to your opinion and your actions, just don't think you're making some noble gesture. My thoughts, Freddie would shake his head and laugh. By the way, I'm old and DID see Freddie live, so I feel qualified to give my view.

freddieB
freddieB

@coachjacki  it's called an opinion. Seems like you should watch The Wiggles, it might teach you how to spell. How about you read some other articles written by Jesse before you try to discredit his absolute love of music and try to discourage his freedom to express his feelings and opinions. The problem with the internet is dimwitted fools who blurt responses from the wrong hole.

Cubic
Cubic

If he posts his opinion, then you can blame others for responding with their opinions too.

jesse281
jesse281

@noskerdycat well-written and right on the money, aint-no-skerdycat. i do have that happy place and thank you for recognizing it's my prerogative to preserve it. i never discouraged anyone from seeing today's version of Queen and am happy people like you have a tie to the music now, not in spite of but because of Adam. Well said, thoughtful - love it. Thanks for reading and sharing -- js

lolpsychic
lolpsychic

John Deacon retired years ago but still gives his input and approval for everything Queen does.

jesse281
jesse281

@esthermacha I wish I could "Like" this post twice, but since I cannot, this reply will have to do. :)


jesse281
jesse281

@Pattygale P.G., you're qualified to share your view whether you're "old" (I'm 50) or not. And thank goodness you did because it's poignant and well-reasoned. Even though I still choose not to go - and never tried to discourage anyone else from it either - it's thrilling to see so many people so passionate about music. Your post transcended even that, so thanks for reading and chiming in.  - js

freddieB
freddieB

@coachjacki just to mention, I saw QUEEN+ tonight, and was blown away, I had chills when Adam would perfectly match octaves with Freddie, but, like Jesse, I had my major doubts.

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