This isn’t a review. There’s no way I could write anything remotely objective. These are my thoughts on being something I’ve never had the pleasure of being before– a fan.
If you take a magnifying glass to the image above and look right above the little “M” in “Music,” you’ll see a tiny black dot.
That’s me. Or rather, my black hair. And I’m screaming my throat out in a sea of bobbing heads and falling confetti.
Front row center, baby! Yesss!
And yes, I did travel from Hawaii to Toronto for this concert. I’d do it again in a heartbeat. I was THIS CLOSE to Adam Lambert and Brian May.
And no. No, I do not consider myself crazy, or “dangerously obsessed,” as one of my friends said. (I THINK he was joking…)
But I am a fan and as such, I admit to a certain degree of obsession (After all, the word “fan” probably is short for “fanatic”).
But here’s the thing. That obsession breeds passion. Passion leads to exhilaration. That exhilaration sparks camaraderie among like-minded, equally enthusiastic people and hey, it’s all so much fun!
Best of all? There is the sheer, unfettered, heart-thumping, eardrum-shattering JOY of standing amid a giant throng of 16-thousand swaying, rocking, fist-pumping, singing, screaming fans– losing yourself in the music you love performed by artists you adore.
What a thrill. What a high.
What a night.
This wasn’t a concert as much as a musical thrill ride. Queen’s catalog is so rich, vast and varied it careens breathlessly (but never randomly)– from thrash metal (Stone Cold Crazy); to stompin’, clappin’ sing-at-the-top-of-your-lungs rock-n-roll (Fat Bottomed Girls, Tie Your Mother Down).
There is the tripped out, blissed out, glissando sliding, singing guitar of Queen legend Brian May (let’s face it, he IS a guitar god).
And then, of course, there’s Adam Lambert.
May and Queen drummer Roger Taylor describe his voice as “one in a million.” Who’s going to argue with a couple of rock icons?
Who else (besides Freddie) has the power, the theatrical sensibilities– not to mention the chutzpah– to outright own everything from rocker stompers to power ballads to the deliciously dishy camp of Killer Queen?
After two decades as a journalist observing from the sidelines, watching others lose their shit over sports teams, actors, musicians, TV shows and even video games, I finally get to do it myself. And now I understand what being a fan is all about.
I know what you’re about to say and no– I haven’t gone over the deep end. Much.
And I know it’s not the same kind of love you feel for your spouse or your child or your closest friends. Wouldn’t it be silly to equate fan love with romantic or familial love? I’m not silly. I’m a fan.
And I repeat– It. Is. Love.
It’s love of an ideal. We are attracted to beautiful, exciting, wonderful things. Things that make us feel good. Things that stir our emotions and draw on our great capacity for loyalty.
Whether it’s an artist, a book, an athlete, a team, a movie, a band– it’s something or someone you admire, respect, exult in, revel in, want to be around, wish the best for, care about deeply.
You give them the gift of your devotion. They give back the gifts of their talent and their equally passionate desire to make you happy.
It’s give and take, desire and emotion. It’s passion and participation.
Big MAHALO to TALCVids for the excellent videos. If you have some time, check out their other vids from the concert. I recommend “Love of my Life,” Brian May’s love song to Freddie Mercury.
Queen + Adam Lambert have completed their North American tour and are headed to Japan, Australia and New Zealand.
1. Now I’m Here
2. Stone Cold Crazy
3. Another One Bites The Dust
4. Fat Bottomed Girls
5. Lap Of The Gods
6. Seven Seas Of Rhye
7. Killer Queen
8. Somebody To Love
9. I Want It All
10. Love Of My Life
11. ’39 Brian
12. Days Of Our Lives Roger
13. Under Pressure
14. Dragon Attack
15. Who Wants To Live Forever
16. Guitar Solo
17. Tie Your Mother Down
18. Radio Ga Ga
19. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
20. The Show Must Go On
21. Bo Rhap
22. We Will Rock You
23. We Are The Champions
Toronto Monday 28th July