"Queen" + Lambert = No Thanks!

Look, I get it - you're in a band and that lead singer dies and there goes your income and a part of you - a big part, probably - was hooked on the adulation, the adoration.

So you'll do anything to keep going. But the ongoing version/s of "Queen" - loosely based on the band Queen (I really respect the original band's bassist, John Deacon, he knew when to fold 'em, when to walk away, and in fact run...) - is a cruel joke, a grotesque.

They were quite prepared to battle on with anyone and whoever - from tribute appearances and recordings right after Freddie Mercury died where they figured Robbie Williams or Elton John or George Michael might stay on - anyone, whoever - through the embarrassing Queen + years featuring Paul Rodgers (Bad Company, Free, The Firm). And now to Adam Lambert.

So we're supposed to be excited that two of the members of Queen are touring here with a guy who came second in a TV popularity song-and-dance show.

Fill your boots if you're a fan, sure. Whatever. But don't tell me this is going to be "exciting" or "the next best thing" or as "close as it gets" or even "as good as it gets". This is big, ugly, silly pantomime stuff.

Dumb dress-up rock - as what's left of a band pays tribute to itself in crumbling fashion. Sure, Queen was all about the pomp and bombast but for all of the skills of the players in the band, as writers and instrumentalists, the show was always about Freddie.

The band was about Freddie. He was Queen for most of the fans. Even the people that tell you they love the drummer's fill and backing vocals, they love the guitarist's science-nerd persona and self-built guitar. They still arrived at the band - and stayed - because of Freddie Mercury.

I'm not much of a fan of Queen. Though I always loved the album News of the World, still do.

But I reckon this Queen/Lambert thing - and the Queen+ adventures - everything post-Freddie - is one of the biggest shams out; one of the saddest, cruellest jokes. It's the epitome of a band making a mockery of itself - because the lead singer was the star of the show and to continue on as a weak facsimile is selling whatever legend woefully short.

But then, you're just going to say I'm not a Queen fan.

I'm curious to know what Queen fans could ever get from this type of show. It's glorified karaoke. Stay home and watch your DVDs of Live Aid footage and play your Greatest Hits volumes. If you really must...

Or better yet find some new music to listen to. Queen's "legendary status" continues to baffle me. Can anyone name one decent band or artist that's been influenced in any way by Queen?

Queen/Lambert plays Auckland's Vector Arena, September 3.

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