Very unlikely that the quality of the show had much to do with nerves. They played live Aid the year before infront of a non partizan audience and the whole world on TV and delivered brilliantly.
I was at wembley in '86 - about 20 metres from the stage. they seemed pretty chilled to me.
Great! It's wonderful to have this kind of input. Thanks a lot. Needless to say that my jealousy and envy for the fact that you have been there hurt me: I wish I had been to any of their gigs with Freddie! Only once. But I can't complain too much, because I got to see the guys here last year and it was so beautiful and great, it was magical. Brian is such a wonderful, tender and dedicated human being apart from an exceptional musician. Great, great!
Well, I don't think that Queen's performance at Wembley is bad - no, by no means. It's overall a great gig. Musically and technically-wise, it's vastly superior to any Who live release - any. It's enough to say that while Freddie had an absolutely powerful voice and fine tuning, Roger Daltrey could hardly stay in tune and had a very cracking, weak voice - even their most celebrated release, the one in Leeds, is unbearable, apart from some songs, such as their cover of Summertime Blues, cause Pete Townshend does deliver there, including the vocals. Keith is not playing very well there and, by his standards, and he was quite a good drummer, it was a kind of off-night. Roger is doing fine at Wembley - in fact, Roger's drumming during the 80's with Queen is nothing short of brilliant at times, and this is one of the reasons why they sound so good, for instance, in Live Aid.
I absolutely agree with you about Live Aid. It's hard to exaggerate the sheer brilliance of that performance. It's not overated by any means: that was simply a blistering performance, and the guys were playful throughout and really got the audience going, the nerves didn't get the best out of them, it's true.
There are downsides to Wembley 86, no doubt, I think especially Brian could have done better in some key songs, like One Vision, but Freddie is great, joyful, sounding good, powerful and with a very fine tuning. They deliver a beautiful rendition of Under Pressure there, Freddie and Roger's vocals are great, and Freddie adds such a dramatic spin to the verses that it makes it really a special moment in the concert - and I'm not, let's say, a fan of Queen live performances of Under Pressure, but there Freddie really took the song to its dramatic potential.
In terms of showmanship, well, it's such a great gig. It's beautiful, fun, it's been watched over time by hundred thousand people from all over the world, to the point of making Wembley '86 a kind of trademark for Queen: it's like a logo, so successfull it was in promoting the band over time. It became a logo, a symbol of the band.
See, there's much to discuss about these things. Of course one can always make the point for another live performance, because there as great live albums as one could wish. But by no means I think it's unfair, absurd or out of place to place Wembley among the very best - "better" here meaning technical proficiency, showmanship, the sound and visual effects, and its popularity not only as sound, but also as image, which is important, and how it was spread all over the world and helped make Queen one of the most popular bands ever.
And Live Aid, yes, is just brilliant, I agree.
It's always good to see this, isn't it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MfYcKNqQoJo
Roger drumming is just ridiculous and Freddie's vocals...well. Isn't 2:22- 2:39...cute? :))) It's so brilliant: the tuning, the choice and color of the notes, the power to deliver and sustain it, the poignant melodic take on the verses, the charisma...it's so damn beautiful.