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Paul Mark user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 24 Oct 05, 08:40 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This one is from Variety:

Queen + Paul Rodgers

(Hollywood Bowl; 17,383 seats; $200 top)

Presented by Hewitt/Silva.

Band: Brian May, Roger Taylor, Paul Rodgers, Jamie Moses, Danny Miranda, Spike Edney. Reviewed Oct. 22, 2005.

By STEVEN MIRKIN

It's easy to forget that the recipe for a great band is a delicate thing. Like a soufflé, even the slightest adjustment can make the dish fall flat. While the Queen+Paul Rodgers show at Hollywood Bowl (the second of only two U.S. dates) wasn't exactly inedible, it brought to mind Fran Lebowitz's advice to budding chefs: "If you are the very first to have thought of adding fresh lime juice to scalloped potatoes, try to understand that there must be a reason for this."
Brian May and Roger Taylor (Queen's remaining original members) should have realized that there must be a reason why, in the 14 years since singer Freddie Mercury's death, nobody was clamoring for Rodgers to replace Mercury. It's not that he's a bad singer (to be honest, he's better than Mercury), but he's the wrong singer. Rodgers' gruff swagger -- so memorable fronting Free and Bad Company -- is a boilermaker to Mercury's flamboyant champagne fizz; yes, they're both alcohol, but rarely are they ordered at the same bar.

He certainly makes a game attempt, and the setlist has been chosen wisely, with an eye toward Rodgers' bluesy heft. It closely mirrors "Return of the Champions" (Hollywood Records), including fan favorites "Tie Your Mother Down," "Another One Bites the Dust" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," but avoiding campier material such as "Killer Queen."

His duet with a taped Mercury on "Bohemian Rhapsody" makes it clear that Rodgers lacks the winking self-knowledge to pull off Queen's deeply silly pomposity.

The balance is no better when the musicians try their hand at Rodgers' hits. "Bad Company" and "Rock and Roll Fantasy" have never lacked for bombast, but on record, drummer Simon Kirke kept them light on their feet. Queen never met a song they couldn't add an extra layer of pomp to; their versions drag. Slash sat in for "Can't Get Enough" and only made the sound thicker and louder.

While the show is billed as "Queen+Paul Rodgers," about a third of the two-hour show subtracts Rodgers from the equation, as he gives way to solo showcases by May and Taylor. The latter takes a Gene Krupa-style drum solo that leads into "I'm in Love With My Car" and comes out from behind the drum kit for a tender "These Are the Days of Our Lives." He's got such an attractively grainy voice you have to wonder why Queen doesn't consider going the Genesis route and turn him into their lead singer. May is attractively low-key on a folky "Hammer to Fall" and a tousled "39," but his extended guitar solos serve as a reminder that the excesses of '70s rock have not all aged equally well.

There's obviously an appetite for this music, but if anyone really wants to hear Queen songs sung by somebody other than Freddie Mercury, there's always "We Will Rock You."

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Posted: 24 Oct 05, 08:45 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

This one is from calenderlive.com and it is a lot more positve:

By Richard Cromelin, Times Staff Writer


Queen was the most chameleonic of '70s rock bands, changing its musical colors to fit any number of musical styles and usually coming up with something uniquely Queenly.

So it's appropriate that the English band's return to active duty after two decades rests on one more adaptation, and a major one at that. Guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor have enlisted veteran singer Paul Rodgers to join them on tour and perform the songs that are so strongly identified with their charismatic, unique and irreplaceable singer Freddie Mercury, who died of AIDS complications in 1991.


In a bit of rhetorical tightrope-walking, the participants are billing the act as Queen + Paul Rodgers and saying that the singer is not "replacing" Mercury. That sounds good on paper, but it doesn't mean much on stage, where Rodgers and company inevitably must face down listeners' deep attachment to the former frontman.

At the Hollywood Bowl on Saturday, in the second of only two planned U.S. concerts, the recombinant Queen took on the challenge and wrestled it into submission, overcoming a certain awkwardness — it was a little like introducing your new husband to your ex's family — with the principals' emotional engagement and the durability of Queen's best songs.

Wisely, the band also made the Mercury spirit part of the program Saturday, dedicating songs to him, projecting film footage of him and even incorporating his recorded image and voice into its performance of "Bohemian Rhapsody."

But they weren't promising a full resurrection of the Queen experience, and nobody should have been expecting more than a chance to hear those old favorites aired out by the players who created them. (Queen bassist John Deacon is staying retired, and May, Taylor and Rodgers were supported by three additional musicians.)

Rodgers, known mainly for his early-'70s bands Free and Bad Company and long regarded as one of British rock's best pure singers, has a vocal range and steely timbre that allow him to slide easily into those songs' arrangements,

But as game and engaged as he was, nobody can possibly embody and enlarge Queen's themes of striving against the odds and achieving fulfillment the way Mercury did, with his larger-than-life mix of an outsider's vulnerability and demigod's defiance.

It was that quality that made Queen more than just a clever hit machine. For many fans it was a meaningful, inspirational presence, and while the concert-closing anthems "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" packed all the grandeur anyone could want, there was always that nagging knowledge that everything was a little less magical than it once was.

On its own terms, Saturday's set unfolded with entertaining efficiency, showcasing Queen's bracing eclecticism as it moved from the driving rock of "Tie Your Mother Down" and "Another One Bites the Dust" to the rockabilly of "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and the Bowie-like '80s synth-rock of "Radio Ga Ga." May's guitar-hero solo counted on some affection for vintage-rock excesses, but Queen's audacity and bravado always made its bombast bearable, and so it remains.

Rodgers also got his moments, singing hits from the Bad Company and Free songbooks (Guns N' Roses' and Velvet Revolver's Slash joined May for some high-note dueling on "Can't Get Enough"), and Taylor stepped away from the drums for one of the show's emotional high points, singing the new ballad "Say It's Not True," written for Nelson Mandela's campaign against AIDS.

In its first round, Queen's return to the stage benefits from fans' curiosity and their hunger to hear the music from the source again, as well as from an urge to pay sentimental homage to the musicians.

Once that's out of everybody's system, whe

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Posted: 24 Oct 05, 10:01 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Interesting stuff. I'd call these reviewers very knowledgeable and balanced, unlike some of the slag jobs I've read. Their points are well made and discussed, haven't seen the show, but I agree wholeheartedly about the delivery of Queen material from Paul Rodgers. Wonderful voice, but it's not his cup of tea material wise. I think Freddie Mercury was the greatest singer ever, but couldn't see him singing the Van Halen or Iron Miaden catalogues, some things just don't fit.


You know, good times are now.
Mr. Mercury 1975 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 24 Oct 05, 14:27 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The second review was pretty fair.

However.............

I don't get all of the We Will Rock You musical bashing. I've seen the show a couple of times in London and it's BRILLIANT!!! It's fun, campy, never takes itself too seriously, and is everything that Queen ever was!!! The original cast recording is easily one of the most played playlists on my mp3 player....




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Posted: 24 Oct 05, 20:23 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That first reviewer so far is the only person I've heard of who apparently didn't like it very much.

Today while driving to work in LA they were talking about the show on the classic rock station 95.5 (I think that's the number? I just moved here), and one of the DJs on there said it was the best concert he'd ever seen.

I guess he talked to Paul's wife backstage, and she said Paul kept telling Queen to put more of their songs in, and Queen kept telling him the same thing so they seemed to be getting along great.


"I have no time for Time magazine. Or Rolling Stone." Jethro Tull
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Posted: 24 Oct 05, 21:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Forget the bloody critics -- the fans know the real truth. You know some of them never saw a Queen concert, so how can they pass judgement on Q + PR?


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Posted: 25 Oct 05, 01:58 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Paul Mark wrote:

This one is from Variety:

Queen + Paul Rodgers

(Hollywood Bowl; 17,383 seats; $200 top)

Presented by Hewitt/Silva.

Band: Brian May, Roger Taylor, Paul Rodgers, Jamie Moses, Danny Miranda, Spike Edney. Reviewed Oct. 22, 2005.

By STEVEN MIRKIN

It's easy to forget that the recipe for a great band is a delicate thing. Like a soufflé, even the slightest adjustment can make the dish fall flat. While the Queen+Paul Rodgers show at Hollywood Bowl (the second of only two U.S. dates) wasn't exactly inedible, it brought to mind Fran Lebowitz's advice to budding chefs: "If you are the very first to have thought of adding fresh lime juice to scalloped potatoes, try to understand that there must be a reason for this."
Brian May and Roger Taylor (Queen's remaining original members) should have realized that there must be a reason why, in the 14 years since singer Freddie Mercury's death, nobody was clamoring for Rodgers to replace Mercury. It's not that he's a bad singer (to be honest, he's better than Mercury), but he's the wrong singer. Rodgers' gruff swagger -- so memorable fronting Free and Bad Company -- is a boilermaker to Mercury's flamboyant champagne fizz; yes, they're both alcohol, but rarely are they ordered at the same bar.

He certainly makes a game attempt, and the setlist has been chosen wisely, with an eye toward Rodgers' bluesy heft. It closely mirrors "Return of the Champions" (Hollywood Records), including fan favorites "Tie Your Mother Down," "Another One Bites the Dust" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love," but avoiding campier material such as "Killer Queen."

His duet with a taped Mercury on "Bohemian Rhapsody" makes it clear that Rodgers lacks the winking self-knowledge to pull off Queen's deeply silly pomposity.

The balance is no better when the musicians try their hand at Rodgers' hits. "Bad Company" and "Rock and Roll Fantasy" have never lacked for bombast, but on record, drummer Simon Kirke kept them light on their feet. Queen never met a song they couldn't add an extra layer of pomp to; their versions drag. Slash sat in for "Can't Get Enough" and only made the sound thicker and louder.

While the show is billed as "Queen+Paul Rodgers," about a third of the two-hour show subtracts Rodgers from the equation, as he gives way to solo showcases by May and Taylor. The latter takes a Gene Krupa-style drum solo that leads into "I'm in Love With My Car" and comes out from behind the drum kit for a tender "These Are the Days of Our Lives." He's got such an attractively grainy voice you have to wonder why Queen doesn't consider going the Genesis route and turn him into their lead singer. May is attractively low-key on a folky "Hammer to Fall" and a tousled "39," but his extended guitar solos serve as a reminder that the excesses of '70s rock have not all aged equally well.

There's obviously an appetite for this music, but if anyone really wants to hear Queen songs sung by somebody other than Freddie Mercury, there's always "We Will Rock You."


Bitchy.


Blow it out your ass.
Ray D O'Gaga user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 25 Oct 05, 01:59 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

psteeler wrote:

It's fun, campy, never takes itself too seriously, and is everything that Queen ever was!!!


That's exactly right.


Blow it out your ass.