The Coronation of Adam Lambert


Once Upon a Time in Chicago...

It became official.

Adam Lambert transitioned from Glam Nation to Queen sensation and in full strut, marched boldly into that place where all that glitters is gold.

His performance with the legendary rock band Queen during the opening night of their North American tour at Chicago's United Center left no doubt that he had what it took to hold his own among rock royalty . And he had some pretty big boots to fill.

The boots of one Freddie Mercury.

Perhaps what's most relevant, is that he abandoned any notion that he should try.

It's a task that would have made a lesser man quake in his gold lamé shoes, but for Lambert, it appeared to be a natural transition and his interest was clearly not to replace, but to honor Mercury's memory. Relaxed, fit, and having the time of his life, the singer jumped in head first, delivering solid performances of songs from the band's vast catalog, despite some opening-night technical issues which seriously messed with his ability to hear himself sing.

What he didn't do was let it mess with his head.

Instead, he did what he does best and went on with the show. Complete with metallic gold fringe, black studded leather, and legs that go on forever, the singer placed fashion second only to the music. It's the stuff that differentiates a performer from a play-former and fashion, for Lambert, is all about fun.

There have been other singers who have successfully fronted the band, most notably Paul Rodgers and George Michael. What Lambert brings to the party, however, is a more believable synchronicity with Queen's image and sound. From his poignant and evocative vocals on Who Wants to Live Forever to his campy, seductive love-in with a couch in Killer Queen (how did he manage this four-key masterpiece lying down?), Lambert rose above the rest and played right into the hearts of his loyal subjects.

While there will always be those who dismiss any front man other than Freddie Mercury, there are plenty more who are grateful that the band chose to give it another go-round and share their classics with three (yes, three) generations of fans.

The trio were also able to strike that very delicate balance between honoring Mercury's legacy, while promoting Lambert's unique talent and style. Founding members Brian May and Roger Taylor have publicly declared their faith in Lambert in numerous ways, not the least of which was featuring him in a previously unreleased song that Freddie Mercury recorded for the film Metropolis called Love Kills. It was rearranged and flawlessly delivered by Lambert in the form of a haunting ballad in contrast to the disco arrangement performed by Mercury. May and Taylor also heeded Lambert's suggestion to convert the theme color of the tour to gold as opposed to the gun metal gray traditionally associated with the band. It was a public testament to their trust in his artistry and their support of his creative vision.

In the end, it was ultimately a poignant gesture by Brian May that resonated with thousands of fans. The good doctor crowned rock's newest prince in gold, solidifying his place in their musical kingdom. Guess Mr Lambert is no longer a commoner.

Then again, was he ever?

Adam Lambert is crowned by Queen
Adam Lambert is crowned by Queen
"Killer Queen" delivered by Adam Lambert
"Killer Queen" delivered by Adam Lambert
Adam Lambert sports an Armani leather-studded jacket for opening set of Queen + Adam Lambert North American tour
Adam Lambert sports an Armani leather-studded jacket for opening set of Queen + Adam Lambert North American tour

© 2014 Jennifer Maurer

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Comments 4 comments

Canadiann 2 years ago

WOW! Fantastic review! I love your writing style!

Shannon 2 years ago

Brava! Excellently written and insightful.

IndependentMind profile image

IndependentMind 2 years ago

What a great tribute to such a brilliant performer.

I fell in love with Adam Lambert during his journey on American Idol. Although he finished in 2nd place he was still the 'star' that went on to become world famous. We all know why he had to settle for second place, but he surely had the last laugh in the end.

I don't know how familiar people are with his role in the 10 commandments, but this song always brings a tear to my eye. He is truly brilliant.

Lisa 2 years ago

Great article.. so true.. Freddie would be pleased!!

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