Queen Rhapsody Review

Forum Theatre, Malvern – 22nd July 2022

Reviewed by Courie Amado Juneau


Queen. The very name evokes a certain emotion, shared memories and an evangelical fanaticism! Their legend reverberates down the musical ages in the same way that Rome casts a shadow across early history. So it was with some anticipation that I awaited tonight’s show… The evening began (indeed, was bookended) with Bohemian Rhapsody; “is this the real life, is this just fantasy“ and of course it was fantasy time as we enjoyed Freddie and the gang’s music once more, in the absence of (tragically) being able to enjoy the frontman proper ever again. I know from doing karaoke just how difficult it is to attempt Freddie’s vocals. Pretty soon your vocal chords are shredded and you wonder “what was I thinking?” The singer, then, has the most difficult job of the night (arguably the most difficult job in show business). It was a fully committed performance from tonight’s singer with all the mannerisms in place as well as the outfit and Tash! “I Want To Break Free” was the possible high point and a superb way to end the first half, with drag to the fore as well as the Hoover which seemed to please the crowd so much I wondered if it was the original Hoover from the video! The guitarist was pretty much note perfect and grabbed my attention for much of the show – though that may be because I’m a guitarist. To be honest, my boat was well and truly floated before the performance even began, just by seeing THAT iconic guitar on stage. A thing of beauty, as were Mr May’s exceptional guitar work throughout their entire oeuvre. The rhythm section provided a solid foundation for the frontmen to shine whilst awaiting their own moments like the drummer taking vocal duties for “I’m In Love With My Car” or those famous bass lines (e.g. “Under Pressure”). The show was a veritable best of I, II and III. It was wonderful hearing hits from all eras covered including some great tracks from late in the band’s career such as “I Want It All”. I really enjoyed the surprise medley of piano-centric songs culminating in “Save Me”, which you don’t hear very often.

The big emotional impact live was always the acoustic version of “Love Of My Life” and tonight was no exception. I also found “Who Wants To Live Forever” and “These Are The Days Of Our Lives” (that last “I still love you”) especially moving. There was liberal use of backing tracks for the multifaceted parts of the songs not playable live by the onstage band and they were unobtrusive and intelligently employed. I found the lights were rather underemployed with patchy use throughout the evening. When used, though, they certainly added to the spectacle. If you love the music of Queen you will love this show and judging by how many of the crowd were on their feet there were a lot of Queen fans in. They promised they would rock us and they did