Forums > Queen + Adam Lambert > My friend's recap of the Aruba concert

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Michael Allred user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 10 Oct 05, 19:33 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

A very good friend of mine went to Aruba for the Queen+ Paul Rodgers show. I asked him some questions (which are included in the post obviously) and here are his answers (posted with his permission.)

So they're still letting fans take pix?

Fuck YES! It seemed like EVERYBODY had a camera, digital camera, camcorder, you name it. Lots of press photographers there. A couple of TV stations too I think. The band didn’t object to the cameras and security (which was ample) didn’t offer to stop anyone. The Mrs. took pics thus allowing me to rock out. I hope they turn out ok. What a gal! And I actually got interviewed by Venezuelan radio while standing in line (!) The reporter was young, 20s, wearing a Freddie t-shirt and obviously a fan. He asked me where I was from and what my name was, and then what I thought of the tour and about Paul being in the band. I answered very honestly, which was that everybody misses Freddie and wishes he were around, but that he’s been gone for almost 15 years now, and that its really a privilege to have a guy with a voice like Rodgers come into the band, bring his energy and talent and catalog, and help two great musicians like Brian and Roger bring their own catalogue back to live performance. The guy clicked off his recorder, thanked me for my “great response” and said he agreed with everything I had said. Which was nice. Whether that ever ends up on the radio, I’ll never know.

First things first, set list, any different from what they've done so far?

Some significant changes, but not quite what you’d expect and not ones that will not do much for the hardcore Nazi fans. Personally, though, I think it made the set stronger going into the US, and I have to assume that’s the reason they took on a small gig like the Aruba Music Festival – to have a ‘test’ date prior to the US shows. Anyhoo, here’s the changes –



Gone from the standard set:
I Want to Break Free
'39
A Kind of Magic
Wishing Well

Added to the set:
Bad Company
Rock & Roll Fantasy



So this was the set:
REACHING OUT
TIE YOUR MOTHER DOWN
FAT BOTTOM GIRLS
ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST
CRAZY LITTLE THING CALLED LOVE

BAD COMPANY
SAY ITS NOT TRUE
LOVE OF MY LIFE
HAMMER TO FALL
FEEL LIKE MAKIN’ LOVE
DRUM SOLO
I’M IN LOVE WITH MY CAR
GUITAR SOLO
LAST HORIZON
THESE ARE THE DAYS OF OUR LIVES
RADIO GA GA
CAN’T GET ENOUGH
ROCK AND ROLL FANTASY
I WANT IT ALL
BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY
THE SHOW MUST GO ON
ALL RIGHT NOW
WE WILL ROCK YOU
WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS

And it was a very strong set. AKOM was always a little wishy washy to me, and IWTBF kind of killed the momentum between TYMD and FBG, so it was a good omission, both in the flow of the set and for the US dates. I did hate to see ’39 go. We literally begged for it. But the additions of Bad Company and Rock & Roll Fantasy were great. The band hit them hard and they sounded absolutely superb. And both big US radio hits, so that makes for a beefier US set. I was sorry to see 3 Queen tracks go, but the set was sooooooo good.

Any goof ups made?

Just one that I noticed. Brian had a little feedback on his guitar when he began Love of My Life. He got the first line out and there was some feedback. He gave someone backstage a dirty look, apologized to the crowd, started again and it went without a hitch. The crowd didn’t pay it any mind. Everything else seemed flawless to me. The humidity was unreal though. It must have been 100% humidity so I don’t know what havoc might have been played on the instruments but they sounded perfect to me.

What was the arena like? Big?

The whole population of the island is only 100,000 people, so it’s a small venue – about 5000 capacity. Again leading me to believe they saw it as a warm up gig for the US dates. And I had no complaints about the size of the venue. To be able to see the band in such a small venue was a rare opportunity. And they played just as if they were playing to a stadium. Full

Michael Allred user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 10 Oct 05, 19:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

How'd the band sound live?

Amazing. Really. Vocally, Brian, Roger and Paul were all spot on perfect. No flubs, no catches in their voice, nothing like that. They sounded as good live as they have on live recordings I’ve heard from the tour, which leads me to believe they “fix” very little in the studio, because they don’t have to. Paul’s voice is stunning and he works his voice like an instrument. Brian’s voice was strong and his backing vocals added much to the sound. Roger was gravelly and wonderful, hit some terrific high notes, and also contributed some sweet backing vocals as well. And musically, flawless, passionate, very energetic and all three clearly having a great time. Lots of back and forth looks between Brian and Paul, Brian and Roger, and Paul, Brian and Roger. They are truly as band now, working off of each other and with each other. And to their credit, Danny, Spike and Jamie were great and added a lot to the show, both musically and vocally. And how men in their 50s can play for two hours, with that much passion and energy, and in that kind of heat and humidity, I will never know. I was impressed by their stamina. At the end of the show, I was physically exhausted and literally soaking wet with perspiration, and I am 25 years younger than any of those guys.

Anything stand out as far as performance goes?

Wow, where to start. Reaching Out is a terrific opener. Paul’s voice is awesome and you very much feel he is reaching out to the audience, welcoming you to the show and hoping the audience will embrace him as well. Tie Your Mother Down was just classic, as good as you would ever expect, lots of energy and the band obviously enjoying, with Brian striking his standard rock star poses. Fat Bottomed Girls is a great follow-up, a real romp and Paul has fun with it, and the harmony vocals are killer. Another One Bites the Dust was much improved over the other performances I had heard. Spike stood aside and let Paul play the keyboards on Bad Company, which sounded fantastic and went over very well. Brian seemed to really enjoy playing that solo. Roger wasn’t too terribly warm prior to Say Its Not True, but he was in great voice and was backed by Jamie on acoustic guitar and Danny on bass, so it was nice that they got a little catwalk time. Brian acknowledged that there were a lot of people from North and South America there, with the Venezuelans I was in the midst of giving a resounding affirmative response. He seemed unsure as to whether or not the crowd would sing along with Love of My Life, but as soon as he started playing, we started singing and he seemed genuinely pleased. Getting to participate in that was, for me, really something else, and the people surrounding me were definite hardcore fans, and we all kind of looked at each other and knew we were kind of feeling the same sense of fulfillment. It was a really lovely moment. Hammer to Fall was great, and Feel Like Makin’ Love went down very well, with the crowd really getting into the backing vocal parts. Roger was absolutely a machine during the whole night, the drum solo was brief but the crowd definitely got into it. The crowd was very supportive of Roger and really went nuts during his moments to shine, really showing their appreciation. And so the crowd exploded during I’m in Love with My Car. How Roger could sing with such power and drum and in that heat and humidity …. Well, like I said, the man is just a machine.

The guitar solo was a lot of fun, with Brian playing it pretty close to what you’d expect but I think he did quite a bit more of the Chinese Torture style stuff, which people really responded to. Last Horizon was nice and mellow and the projection stuff worked well, especially with the atmosphere being so humid and a little foggy, with a big crescent moon overhead. Brian and Jamie have some nice interaction on this one. Roger was right on the money, vocally and with the lyrics, on These Are the Days of Our Lives, which was so

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Posted: 10 Oct 05, 19:34 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

And then it was right into I Want It All, which rocked rocked rocked. The harmony vocals from everybody sounded tremendous, Paul totally sold the vibe of the song, he and Brian sparred in that little duet bit in the bridge to great effect, and then Brian ripped into that solo and the audience was again right in the moment. And Roger was absolutely right on the money on that song. Those guys are obviously such pros and so good. Seeing it live, the Freddie-on-tape bits of Bohemian Rhapsody came off as very reverential and respectful, and the crowd sang along, seemingly glad to have Freddie there in whatever capacity. Very classic, arms swaying, singing along, the whole thing. The opera middle was fun for everybody and they had a nice assortment of clips of Freddie and the band through the years on the screen. And then the rock section, which literally had everybody (me included) hopping up and down and screaming our heads off. It worked very well and people seemed to genuinely appreciate the blatant invocation of Freddie and his contribution to the band. Paul takes The Show Must Go On to a whole new level and Brian’s solos burned the place up. I can’t imagine that song being performed any better. All Right Now was playful, loose and energetic, and let us loosen up and sing along in the lead-up to the end of the show. Brian so obviously loves playing this song and performing it with Paul. And that brought us to the inevitable closers, We Will Rock You, which was every bit the fist-pumper and hand-clapper I expected. By that point, everybody was just wiped out physically and emotionally, so We Are the Champions felt kind of like a release for the audience. Passionately performed by everybody, and especially Paul, and we all sang along, people with their arms around each other, hands waving in the air, people holding hands. I mean, it was really everything you would ever expect a Queen show to be.

If there were any downsides to the show, they were minor. The removal of ’39 was a letdown and we were literally at Brian’s feet, chanting for it, but it didn’t happen. Its my favorite song, period, so I would have dearly loved to have heard it sung and performed by its author. Sadly that wasn’t to be. And there was one fat kid right up front, maybe 15 years old, who held up a magazine and an ink pen for someone to autograph it through at least half the show, and it obviously irritated Brian several times. Which is ridiculous, that he would get perturbed over something so minor when so many people were so obviously having the time of their lives, but that’s Brian – missing the forest for the trees. And some people could reasonably be disappointed that there were less Queen songs in the set that in Europe, but the changes they made really made the set into a locomotive. I always felt the European set had a couple of spots where it kind of just ground to a halt, but with the set they played last night, it just went bang-bang-bang-bang from strength to strength. It rocks in the right places, it mellows out in the right places. It flows. It’s a terrific set.

And the island was just gorgeous. Literally a tropical paradise. Small, easy to get around, the people were incredibly nice and helpful, plenty of amenities. We stayed in one of the many great high-rise hotels, nice big room, four restaurants inside, two pools, gorgeous beach and the bluest water I have ever seen. Tons of restaurants in the city and several casinos if that’s your thing. And it really felt very American. They had US television, they took US dollars as readily as they took their own money, everyone spoke English, they had Dunkin’ Donuts and Wendy’s and Little Caesar’s and on and on, and you really just felt like you were in a tourist resort in the US, instead of being 2000 miles away and 15 miles off the coast of South America. In that respect, it was almost surreal.

If I've forgotten anything, feel free to be as descriptive as you like, I'm totally open to heari

Hank H. user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 11 Oct 05, 04:12 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What is a hardcore Nazi fan?


"I'm a great believer in actually NOT giving people what they want"

Brian May, 11 March 05
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Posted: 11 Oct 05, 07:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hank H. wrote:

What is a hardcore Nazi fan?


BPP


Flick of the wrist
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Posted: 11 Oct 05, 08:44 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

good to hear there were lots of cameras and camcorders in the audience!

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Posted: 11 Oct 05, 08:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

haha... take a look at this picture.. Not like the German security...It's the audience on the first row at the beginning of the show

http://gallery.durrans.com/d/2866-2/IMG_4188.JPG

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Posted: 11 Oct 05, 08:54 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

here's the link to some other pictures...

http://gallery.durrans.com/v/holidays/aruba-2005/music-festival/

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Posted: 11 Oct 05, 09:36 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

WOW he was really near!
Hes sooooo lucky, he must of enjoyed himself really well then. :)


"I'm a greedy bitch" - Freddie Mercury

REST IN PEACE FREDDIE MERCURY!!
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Posted: 11 Oct 05, 12:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Michael, that is a FABULOUS post. Thank you very very much. I'm really looking forward to seeing Queen + PR in LA.

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Posted: 11 Oct 05, 12:19 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Thanks for the review and pix links everyone.

AKOM and '39 dropped?!?!?! Pity. '39, played similarly to the old upbeat live version would have been one of the best moments. Didn't really care for the meloncholy approach, but it sure would have beat the hell out adding the lame 'Rock n Roll Fantasy'. Gawd, I always hated that track.

Oh well. Just gives us another bathroom break without missing anything.

Still......can't wait til Sunday night

joe+wife+




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Posted: 11 Oct 05, 15:06 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

jgoodm wrote:

Thanks for the review and pix links everyone.

AKOM and '39 dropped?!?!?! Pity. '39, played similarly to the old upbeat live version would have been one of the best moments. Didn't really care for the meloncholy approach, but it sure would have beat the hell out adding the lame 'Rock n Roll Fantasy'. Gawd, I always hated that track.

Oh well. Just gives us another bathroom break without missing anything.

Still......can't wait til Sunday night

joe+wife+



Its sad they dropped '39 for "rock n roll fanstasy" I love '39 and the way Brian plays it LIVE is AMAZING!


"I'm a greedy bitch" - Freddie Mercury

REST IN PEACE FREDDIE MERCURY!!
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Posted: 11 Oct 05, 17:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The audience looks to have a large number of older people there. You can tell that it was humid by the pictures of Brian and his see through shirt.

It would have been great if the crowd were able to get to the walk way like on there with no gap or security in between.

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Posted: 11 Oct 05, 23:35 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

3137prof wrote:

The audience looks to have a large number of older people there. You can tell that it was humid by the pictures of Brian and his see through shirt.


It was a very mixed crowd, age-wise. There were lots of people in their 20s. Aruba is a resort and not a cheap one by any stretch of the imagination, so not the place a bunch of teenagers are going to be able to go (if by "older people" you mean "not teenagers").

It would have been great if the crowd were able to get to the walk way like on there with no gap or security in between.


Security told us to leave a space in front of the stage so they could circulate, so everyone was respectful and did so. About 3 songs into the show, Paul told everybody not to be shy and to come on up to the stage, and there was a mad dash. People were literally leaning on the walkway for the rest of the show.


Blow it out your ass.
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Posted: 12 Oct 05, 16:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote



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Posted: 12 Oct 05, 16:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Ducksoup wrote:

haha... take a look at this picture.. Not like the German security...It's the audience on the first row at the beginning of the show

http://gallery.durrans.com/d/2866-2/IMG_4188.JPG>


I know I'm in the wrong section, but...

REQUEST: the girl on the left! :-)

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Posted: 13 Oct 05, 11:28 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Lisser wrote:



Great idea Lisser! Do bring your camcorder... !

A little tutorial for filming Q+PR concerts:

Make sure you are on the right side of the stage (so not the left) That's where Brian May will be standing most of the time.

Make sure the red light from your camcorder is not visible (put a black sticker or something over it) Otherwise you are an easy catch for the security people.

Take extra batteries witch you.

Use (if possible) an 80 minute tape to start filming. A 60 minute tape for the second half of the concert (most of the time after the guitar solo) is enough for the rest of the show. If you use only 60 minute tapes: make sure you have 3 of them. Most shows are a little longer than 2 hours.

Don't stand too close to security... If they see you: change position. But always keep filming (for the sound) And if they do catch you: change tapes: put a blank one in the camera and keep the one with the concert footage on.

Don't use the zoom function too much. It will create shaky images.

Enjoy the concert (and the filming... it's addictive..!)

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Posted: 13 Oct 05, 11:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

jeroen wrote:

Ducksoup wrote:

haha... take a look at this picture.. Not like the German security...It's the audience on the first row at the beginning of the show

http://gallery.durrans.com/d/2866-2/IMG_4188.JPG>


I know I'm in the wrong section, but...

REQUEST: the girl on the left! :-)


You get the girl... i'll take her mastertapes;-)

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Posted: 13 Oct 05, 17:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Great! So they removed four songs and added two making the short under two hour concert now even shorter! I hope that they don't hurt themselves!