Star rating ****
Nobody could ever have filled the ballet slippers of Freddie Mercury and Paul Rodgers makes no attempt to do so. He has nothing to prove to anybody and sings Queen's songs his way. And for the most part, it works beautifully.
A thunderous intro sequence gave way to a splendid opening medley of Hammer to Fall and Tie Your Mother Down, showcasing Rodgers at his best and revealing both Brian May and Roger Taylor to be in top form.
From a staging perspective, this was the Queen of old, with runways left, right and centre, and an enormous kinetic lighting rig.
Some of the quintessentially Freddie songs, such as I Want To Break Free and Another One Bites The Dust didn't quite work, although Rodgers merely had to point his microphone at the crowd and they sang them anyway.
Freddie made two singing appearances on screen, on a snippet of Bijou during May's overlong solo spot and naturally, on Bohemian Rhapsody, with the band playing along with him.
They played five tracks from the new Cosmos Rocks album, with the current single, C-lebrity and the Aids awareness anthem Say It's Not True, particularly well done. Other highlights included 39, in which May was joined by several thousand backing vocalists, and Rodger's singing Bad Company and Seagull, from his own, extensive, back catalogue.
However, the most affecting moment was May's rendition of Mercury's achingly beautiful ballad, Love of My Life. "I don't know who Fred wrote this about," he told us, "but I'm dedicating it to my Mum." So we all sang it for our Mums. May was in tears by the end of it and he was not alone.
Living Life on Life's Terms