ADAM LAMBERT: FULL-CIRCLE MOMENTS AND FIRSTS

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Tour Songs By Performer

During the official tour concerts, QUEEN+Adam Lambert performed 5,690 songs (277 of them were played from a record, including God Save The Queen, Procession, Innuendo, Flash).

Note that double performances of the same song in the same concert were not counted twice, e.g. opening verse of We Will Rock You and full song at the end of the show during the 2017 tour counted as one performance. However, We Will Rock You and We Will Rock You (Fast) during the 2012 shows were counted as two separate performances.

Here are the numbers of songs each performer had a leading role in:

  • Freddie Mercury had 636 leading performances (11.18% of all performances), including 209 duets with Brian May on Love Of My Life, and 209 duets with Adam Lambert and/or operatic sections of Bohemian Rhapsody. The rest were 105 call-and-response Ay-Oh, and 113 snippets of You Take My Breath Away.
  • Brian May had 523 leading performances (9.19% of all performances), including 209 duets with Freddie Mercury on Love Of My Life, 92 performances of '39, 207 guitar solos, 6 vocal performances of Tie Your Mother Down in 2012, 5 vocal and acoustic guitar performances of Teo Torriatte, 2 of Las Palabras De Amor1 each of Somebody To Love and You're My Best Friend.
  • Roger Taylor had 668 leading performances (11.74% of all performances), including 209 duets with Adam Lambert on Under Pressure and 25 on Doing All Right, 73 vocals on A Kind Of Magic, 66 vocals on These Are The Days Of Our Lives, 113 vocals on I'm In Love With My Car, 180 drum solos/battles with Rufus Tiger TaylorTyler Warren, and Neil Fairclough.
  • Adam Lambert had 4,199 leading performances (73.80% of all performances), including 3,821 solo vocal performances, 143 duets with Freddie Mercury on Bohemian Rhapsody, 234 duets with Roger Taylor on Under Pressure and Doing All Right, 1 duet with Lady GaGa on Another One Bites The Dust. 

 

 

QUEEN + Adam Lambert - History In Numbers

The information on this page is based on data as of End Of Year 2019.

This is currently Work In Progress!

Tour vs. Special Events Statistics

Between their first performance on the American Idol finale's stage and the end of the 2019 Rhapsody Tour, QUEEN+Adam Lambert (QAL) have performed together 209 official tour concerts, and participated 13 times in special events, for a total of 222 performance.

 

The 13 special events were:

  • The 2009 American Idol Season 8 Finale in Los Angeles,
  • The 2011 MTV European Music Awards in Belfast,
  • The 2013 iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas,
  • The 2014 iHeartRadio Theater pre-tour promo concert in Los Angeles,
  • The 2014 X-Factor UK performance before the 2015 UK tour,
  • The 2014 Helene Fischer Show on German TV,
  • The 2015 BBC NYE TV concert,
  • The 2017 Late Late Show with James Corden Front Man Duel,
  • The 2017 Jummy Kimmel Live pre-tour promo,
  • The 2019 Oscars opening,
  • The 2019 Microsoft Inspire corporate event in Las Vegas,
  • The 2019 private Birthday concert in Florence,
  • The 2019 Global Citizen concert in NY Central Park.

Since the setlists of these special events could range from a single song performance (e.g. X-Factor UK) to a whole concert (Microsoft Inspire corporate event), they have been separated from the statistics of the official tour performances to avoid skewing the song percentages below.

Most Performed Tour Songs

Counting only the 209 official tour performances from June 30, 2012 in Kyiv, Ukraine to August 23, 2019 in Charlotte, NC, the following 8 songs have been performed during every single show:

  • Bohemian Rhapsody
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  • Fat Bottomed Girls
  • Love Of My Life
  • Radio GaGa
  • Under Pressure
  • We Are The Champions
  • We Will Rock You

 

A few songs were performed at nearly every show:

  • I Want It All - 208 times, or 99.52% -  missing only from Osaka 2014 Summer Sonic festival
  • Somebody To Love - 208 times, or 99.52% -  missing only from the Tokyo 2014 Summer Sonic festival
  • Another One Bites The Dust - 207 times, or 99.04% - skipped in Assago Italy 2015, and Shanghai China 2016
  • Brian May's Guitar Solo - 207 times, or 99.04% - skipped only in Osaka and Tokyo 2014 Summer Sonic
  • God Save The Queen (Tape) - 205 times, or 98.09% - skipped for policitcal reasons in a few countries, see below.
  • Who Wants To Live Forever - 204 times, or 97.61% - missing from Tokyo 2014 Summer Sonic, Frankfurt Germany 2015 when Adam was getting sick before the missed concert in Brussels, and the Helsinki Finland, Tallinn Estonia and Norje Sweden 2016 concerts.

 

In other words, had we categorized the Japan Summer Sonic concerts as special events and not as part of the 2014 Asia tour, then I Want It All, Somebody To Love, and Brian May's Guitar Solo would have scored 100%, too.

 

The total number of songs performed during official tour shows is 61, including 6 instrumental sections, 4 Adam Lambert covers (Ghost Town, Two Fux, Lucy, Whataya Want From Me), 2 call-and-response sections, and 1 Elvis cover. Some of them used video and audio recordings of Freddie Mercury (You Take My Breath Away, Ay-Oh), Brian May (Procession, God Save The Queen), or an orchestra (Innuendo).

Tour Songs By Primary Author

It is known that in the later years of its existence, the group QUEEN credited all its members for all compositions. However, even from that period there are clear historical records of the main driving force behind each song. Based on that, here is the make up of the tours by composer:

  • Freddie Mercury - 18 compositions, including the call-and-response Ay-Oh.
  • Brian May - 21 compositions.
  • Roger Taylor - 6 compositions, including the drum solo
  • John Deacon - 4 compositions.

 

This means that the two remaining active members of QUEEN were responsible for 27 of the 49 QUEEN songs performed at the QUEEN + Adam Lambert tour shows - that is slightly more than half.

The Evolution Of The Bohemian Rhapsody Performance

As mentioned earlier, Freddie's Magnum Opus Bohemian Rhapsody has been an integral part of every single tour concert. For the first 5 years of touring, starting with the Kyiv, Ukraine performance through the 2014, 2015 and 2016 tours of North America, Asia x2, Australia and New Zealand, Europe x2, and South America, the general structure of the song remained the same:

  • Adam would sing the first verse,
  • Freddie would appear on the giant screen to sing the second verse,
  • the music video operatic section would be shown with the band off-stage,
  • the band would return for the rock section with Adam on vocals,
  • Freddie and Adam would trade lines in the last verse, with Freddie having the last word with "Anywhere the wind blows".

This structure was used for a total of 96 performance.

 

This changed somewhat on June 23, 2017 in Glendale, AZ with the start of the second North American tour. Adam took over the first half of the song, performing both verses before the operatic section. He had performed the second verse at the X-Factor UK finale duet with Saara Aalto, and retained the same unique upward melodic line for the "never been born at all" phrase in most of the QAL performances. Also, the "Is This A Real Life..." intro was added and played from a recording.

 

This new configuration survived for 29 performances - the whole second North American tour, plus the first three shows of the European leg of the 2017 tour. Then, in the fourth European show in Lodz, Poland on November 06, 2017, it abruptly changed to remove the remaining Freddie lines except for the music video's operatic section. It even caught some music journalists by surprise - an article previewing the upcoming Vienna, Austria show scheduled for November 08, 2017 explicitly mentioned Freddie's appearance in the song; in the post-concert article the same publication lamented the lack of Freddie (and of the Blue Danube Waltz rumored as part of Brian's solo).

 

This new performance structure was used in the remaining 23 shows of the 2017 European tour, the 10 Australia/New Zealand 2018 shows, the 16 European shows in 2018, the 10 Vegas Residency shows in 2018, and 25 North American shows in 2019 for a total of 84 performances so far.

The Evolution Of The "Why?"

Another song that has been performed at every single tour show is Under Pressure.

See the dedicated page to follow its evolution through the years starting with the spine-tingling Kyiv concert performance.

God Save The Queen

The instrumental recording closed all but 4 shows:

  • Estadio GEBA in Buenos Aires, Argentina on September 25, 2015,
  • AsiaWorld Arena in Hong Kong on September 28, 2016,
  • 3Arena in Dublin, Ireland on November 25, 2017,
  • The SSE Arena in Belfast, Northern Ireland on November 26, 2017.

 

In the case of Argentina, this was most probably due to the historical animosity due to the Falkland war from 1982. The following night on September 26 in Cordoba did include God Save The Queen. The difference might have been the official radio broadcast from Estadio GEBA which was available not only throughout the country, but was even streamed worldwide.

 

Hong Kong was under British control for 99 years until 1997, when it was passed back to China. This is quite possibly the reason to reconcider including the national anthem of the United Kingdom in the concert there.

 

See this controversy as an example of a possible reason for not playing the recording in the Republic of Ireland. But it is not clear why it was not included in Belfast, as it is often used as the national anthem of Northern Ireland, for example at sporting events. Also, it seems to have been used to close the Dublin, Ireland show a year later on July 08, 2018, without any incidents.

 

 

Most Performed Songs At Any Events

Looking at all performances of QUEEN+Adam Lambert since 2009, here are the songs that were performed the most, including both tour shows and special events:

  • We Are The Champions - 219 times, or 98.65%
  • Crazy Little Thing Called Love - 217 times, or 97.75%
  • We Will Rock You - 217 times, or 97.75%. This is ignoring double performances within the same concert.
  • Somebody To Love - 215 times, or 96.85%. One performance had Brian May on vocals (July 12, 2012 in London)
  • Another One Bites The Dust - 214 times, or 96.39%
  • Bohemian Rhapsody - 214 times, or 96.39%
  • Fat Bottomed Girls - 214 times, or 96.39%
  • I Want It All - 214 times, or 96.39%
  • Under Pressure - 214 times, or 96.39%
  • Radio GaGa - 213 times, or 95.95%
  • Love Of My Life - 212 times, or 95.49%
  • Who Wants To Live Forever - 209 times, or 94.14%
  • Brian May's Guitar Solo - 207 times, or 93.24%
  • God Save The Queen (Tape) - 207 times, or 93.24%

 

Adam Lambert Songs Covered By QUEEN+Adam Lambert

Since the South America tour in 2015, QAL has performed 4 songs originally recorded by Adam Lambert:

  • Ghost Town was performed only 6 times in South America in 2015.
  • Two Fux was introduced at the Jimmi Kimmel Live pre-tour concert and was performed 26 more times during the North American tour of 2016.
  • Whataya Want From Me showed up at the second European tour concert in Munich, Germany on November 02, 2017, and was played 12 times until the Dublin, Ireland show on November 25, 2017 when the tour moved over to the UK. Presumably the song was not well-known there, while it was a big hit on the continent. It reappeared on the set list during the 2018 Australia and New Zealand leg of the tour with 10 additional performances for a total of 22.
  • Lucy was played 14 times during the European tour of 2018. It disappeared from the setlist for the last two concerts -in Glasgow, Scotland and Dublin, Ireland.

Least Performed Songs

A few songs were performed only occasionally, usually due to special circumstances:

  • You're My Best Friend - performed time by Brian May on acoustic guitar at the 3rd Hammersmith Apollo show in London, England on July 14, 2012.
  • Life Is Real (Song For Lennon) - performed time by guest vocalist Zemfira at the second-ever QAL concert in Moscow, Russia on July 03, 2012.
  • Las Palabras De Amor - performed 2 times by Brian May at the Argentina shows in Buenos Aires and Cordoba on September 25 and 27, 2015.
  • The Hero - performed times, starting with Rock In Rio 2016 in Lisbon, Portugal - the first performance of the song since November 03, 1982. Two days later it opened the concert in Barcelona, Spain, and then disappeared for most of the European tour of 2016 until it reemerged as the opener in Bucharest, Romania, Sofia, Bulgaria, and Piazzola sul Brenta, Italy shows.
  • Teo Torriatte - performed 5 times with Brian May on vocals and acoustic guitar during Japan shows - 2 in 2014, and 3 in 2016.
  • I Was Born To Love You - performed 6 times, starting with the August 14, 2014 concert in Seoul, South Korea, and followed by all Japan shows in 2014 and 2016.
  • Spread Your Wings - performed 8 times. The song appeared on the initial setlist of the 2017 North American tour which started in Glendale, AZ on June 23, 2017. It was skipped during the first night at the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles, CA on June 26, 2017, then was played for 6 more concerts until it was finally was dropped from the setlist in Omaha, NE on July 06, 2017.

Most Popular Tour Locations

Since 2012, QUEEN+Adam Lambert have toured around the world several times, visiting and re-visiting North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand, and hopping to South America just once so far. The following is an overview of the most popular geographical regions of these tours:

 

Continents:
  • North America saw the most concerts - 85 in total from USA and Canada.

  • Europe (excluding UK) had 56.

  • UK had 32, so Europe and UK combined would come to 88 pre-Brexit.

  • Australia and New Zealand hosted 14 and 4, respectively, for a total of 18.

  • Asia hosted 11, plus the Middle East (Israel) had 1 more for a total of 12.

  • South America saw 6 concerts - 3 in Brazil, 2 in Argentina, and 1 in Chile.

 
Countries:
  • Naturally, the United States lead the countries stats with 71 concerts from 3 tours, not counting the special events. The State with the most concerts was Nevada with 13, followed by California with 8 and Texas with 6.
  • The United Kingdom had 32 tour concerts.
  • Canada and Australia hosted 14 concerts each.
  • Germany had 11 concerts from three tours - 2015, 2017, and 2018.
  • Japan had 5 concerts in 2 different cities - Tokyo and Osaka.
  • New Zealand, Poland, Italy, and Denmark scored 4 concers each. 
  • Austria, BrazilSpain, and The Netherlands got 3 each.
  • Belgium, Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Portugal, and Switzerland each hosted 2.

 

Cities:
  • Las Vegas, NV has hosted 13 concerts so far - 2 in 2014, 1 in 2017, and 10 in 2018.
  • London, England follows with 12 concerts - 3 in 2012, 3 in 2015, 3 in 2017, and 4 in 2018. It is expected to move to first place after the 2020 tour.
  • New York, NY, Tokyo, Japan, Toronto, Canada, Auckland, New ZealandSydney, Australia and Melbourne, Australia had 4 concerts each.
  • Vancouver, CanadaSan Jose, CA, Inglewood, CAUncasville, CTChicago, ILPhiladelphia, PA, Houston, TX, Dallas, TX, Birmingham, England, Cologne, Germany all hosted 3 concerts each.

 

Venues:

  • Park Theater, Park MGM, Las Vegas, NV hosted the 10 concerts of the Crown Jewels residency.
  • The O2 Arena, London England hosted 6 concerts, 2 each in 2015, 2017 and 2018.
  • The following venues hosted 4 concerts each:
    • Air Canada Centre, now Scotiabank Arena in Toronto, ON, Canada.
    • Allphones Arena, now Qudos Bank Arena in Sydney, Australia.
    • Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne, Australia.
  • Several venues hosted 3 concerts each:
    • Hammersmith Apollo in London, England
    • The SSE Arena in London, England
    • Barclaycard Arena, now Arena Birmingham in Birmingham, England
    • Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan
    • SAP Center in San Jose, CA, USA
    • The Forum in Inglewood, CA, USA
    • Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT, USA
    • United Center in Chicago, IL, USA
    • Madison Square Garden in New York, NY, USA
    • Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA, USA
    • Toyota Center in Houston, TX, USA
    • American Airlines Center in Dallas, TX, USA
    • Rogers Arena in Vancouver, BC, Canada

Tour Concert Pacing

When planning a tour, the timing of the concerts depends on a multitude of factors, including travel time between locations, venue availability, and the physical limits of the (super)human body - singing three concerts on three consecutive days could be dangerous to the vocal cords.

 

The following section looks at the spacing between concerts during the various QAL tours. When calculating averages, the lowest possible value would be 1.0, meaning back-to-back shows without a breather. 2.0 would mean one free day between shows, etc.

  • 2012 European Tour: The pacing of the first four concerts was slow - the Moscow concert was 3 days after Kyiv, Wroclaw was 4 days after Moscow, the first Hammersmith night was 4 days later, then the second Hammersmith show was on the following night, and the third show was 2 nights later (thus 1 day to recover). The average of the first tour ever was thus 2.8 days.
  • 2014 North American Tour: The tour started 705 days after the first European tour. It was faster-paced, with an average of 1.695 days. There were:
    • 9 concerts that were on the next day after a previous concert.
    • 12 concerts were after 1 free day.
    • 2 concerts had a 2 days pause to breathe - from Vancouver to San Jose, and Las Vegas to Houston.
  • 2014 Asian Tour: There were only 3 concerts which started 17 days after the North American tour. Osaka was 2 days after Seoul, and Tokyo was the next day after Osaka. This means an average of 1.5 days.
  • 2014 Australian Tour: This leg of the 2014 tour started only 5 days after the Asian tour, and consisted of 8 shows with an average of 1.857 days (not counting the 5 days pause from the previous leg).
  • 2015 European Tour: This tour started 131 days after the last New Zealand show. It had an average of 1.875 days. Between the 25 shows, there were:
    • 8 concerts that took place the next night after a previous show.
    • 11 concerts were after a free day.
    • 5 concerts had a two days pause.
  • 2015 South American Tour: This tour started 201 days after the last European show, and contained only 6 concerts with an average of 2.8 days - Rock In Rio was the night after Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre and Buenos Aires were preceded by 3 free days. Before Cordoba there was 1, and before Santiago de Chile there were 2 free days.
  • 2016 European Tour: This tour started 233 days after South America and consisted of 15 shows with an average of 2.571 days between concerts. While this is not the highest average, this tour was the best-paced, as it had no two nights in a row. There were 
    • 9 shows with 1 day pause
    • 3 shows with 2 days pause
    • 1 show with 3 days pause
    • 1 show with 4 days pause
  • 2016 Middle East "Tour": There was just one date in Tel Aviv, Israel which took place 79 days after the last European show. Thus, we cannot calculate a meaningful average.
  • 2016 Asian Tour: This tour leg started 5 days after the Tel Aviv show and consisted of 8 performances with an average of 1.857 days. Notice that this number is identical to the 2014 Australian tour.
    • The 3 nights in Budokan were back-to-back, without a breather!
    • 4 concerts had 1 day to relax before them, including the first night in Budokan.
    • After the three nights in Tokyo's Nippon Budokan, there were 2 days off before Shanghai, China.
  • 2017 North American Tour: It started 266 days after the Asian tour, and consisted of 26 shows with an average of 1.72 days. There were 
    • 10 shows without a free day.
    • 13 shows with 1 day pause
    • 1 show with 2 days pause
    • 1 show with 3 days pause
  • 2017 European Tour: It started 88 days after the North American leg and consisted of 26 shows with an average of 1.8 days - quite similar in its distribution to the previous one. There were 
    • shows without a free day.
    • 13 shows with 1 day pause
    • 2 shows with 2 days pause
    • 1 show with 3 days pause
  • 2018 Australian Tour: It started 63 days after the European tour and consisted of 10 shows with an average of 1.888 days. There were 
    • shows without a free day.
    • shows with 1 day pause
    • 3 shows with 2 days pause
  • 2018 European Tour: It started 93 days after the Australian leg and consisted of 16 shows with an average of 2.066 days. There were 
    • shows without a free day.
    • 10 shows with 1 day pause
    • 1 shows with 2 days pause
    • 1 show with 4 days pause
  • 2018 Las Vegas Residency: It started 55 days after the European tour and consisted of 10 shows with an average of 2.333 days. In this case, there was no travel or venue schedule to consider, so the pacing was completely up to the band. There were 
    • shows without a free day.
    • shows with 1 day pause
    • 1 shows with 2 days pause
    • 1 show with 3 days pause
    • 1 show with 5 days pause
  • 2019 North American Tour: It started 291 days after the Vegas Residency, and consisted of 25 shows with an average of 1.833 days. There were 
    • shows without a free day.
    • 10 shows with 1 day pause
    • 5 show with 2 days pause

Killing The Queen On A Sofa, Chair, Head, Piano

The song Killer Queen was first introduced to the setlist in the 2014 North American tour and remained one of the most thatrical segments throughout the following years, albeit with significant changes in the set pieces:

  • In the 2014-2015 tours, a Chaise Longue was brought to the stage for Adam to sit and lie on while using a Moet & Chandon bottle and a giant fan as props. This form of the performance persisted for a total of 66 shows.
  • For the 2016 European tour, a throne-like giant chair was brought to the stage instead. Adam used a large cup and the champaigne bottle. This form of the performance survived for 24 performances.
  • For the 2017 North American tour, Adam appeared on top of "Frank the Giant Robot's" head, raising from below the stage (except for the Hollywood Bowl shows where it could not fit under the stage due to the venue's architectural limitations). This form of the performance stayed around the longest - 86 shows.
  • For the 2019 North American tour, the keyboard rig of Spike Edney was hidden in a fake grand piano, allowing Adam to sit on top of it. It also saw the return of the giant fan. This form of the performance has been around for 25 shows so far.