Adam performed the song in a similar way in the remaining five concerts in 2012.
When the first QAL North American tour started, the sliding "Why?" was sadly missing.
- The tour opened in Chicago on June 19, 2014. Here is the "Why?" from that first performance.
- The tour closed with a second Toronto show on July 28, 2014. The high sliding "Why?" was still missing, replaced by "Love-Love-Love".
2014 North American Tour
2015 European / UK Tour
Nothing changed in the following year's European tour.
- It opened in Newcastle on January 13, 2015.
- On February 7, 2015 in Frankfurt, Adam performed while sick. It is hard to tell though.
- The Brussels concert was then cancelled, so far the only cancelled QAL concert in history.
- On February 10, 2015, Adam returned to the stage in Milan.
- The tour closed in Sheffield on February 27, 2015.
2015 South American Tour
2016 Summer Festival Tour
Not much to report about the stadium tour in 2016.
- The European leg of the tour opened with Rock In Rio in Lisbon on May 20, 2016.
- It closed in Padua on June 25, 2016.
- The Middle East leg of the tour consisted of only the Tel Aviv show on September 12, 2016.
- There were also performances at the Singapore Formula One Grand Prix, as well as Taipei, Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Bangkok.
2017 North American Tour
2017 European / UK Tour
During this tour, things finally started changing!
- It opened in Prague on November 1, 2017, and the Under Pressure performance was the same as in the previous 3 years.
- As late as the Amsterdam show on November 13, 2017, the Under Pressure performance remained unchanged.
- Then in Kaunas on November 17, 2017, for the first time since July 14, 2012, Adam went for it again!
- However the following show on November 19, 2017 in Helsinki, the "Why?" was back to the old safer form.
- It stayed the same in Stockholm on November 20, 2017, and in Copenhagen on November 22, 2017.
- The high "Why?" slide came back in Dublin on November 25, 2017.
- The next day in Belfast, Adam did not feel secure enough to slide and sustained the C5 instead.
- Two days later, on Novermber 28, 2017 in Liverpool, Adam was back in form and kept sliding to E5 during all following shows like Birmingham #1, Newcastle, Glasgow, Nottingham, and Leeds.
- The last show of the tour was Birmingham #2 on December 16, 2017, and it ended on a high note, too!
2018 Australia / New Zealand Tour
This was the first leg of a QAL tour to consistently deliver a high "Why?" in the Under Pressure performance since 2012.
2018 European / UK Tour
The 2018 European leg of the tour continued with high-sliding E5, at least in most cases.
- The 2018 European tour started in Lisbon on June 7, 2018, and the "Why?" was quite off-key, hitting only D#5, semi-tone below the E5. This is one of the very few occasions where Adam did not hit a note in any song!
- Things got much better in Madrid on June 8, 2018.
- The tour ended in Dublin on July 8, 2018.
2018 Las Vegas Residency
The 2018 Las Vegas Residency "The Crown Jewels" consisted of 10 shows, all of them with a high note.
- The Las Vegas shows started on September 1, 2018, but we could not locate a recording of Under Pressure.
- Here is the second show on September 2, 2018. Adam split the "Why?" into two parts without a slide, but hit the E5.
- The last show on September 22, 2018 sounded much better.
2019 North American Rhapsody Tour
During The Rhapsody Tour, the high-sliding "Why?" in Under Pressure became one of the highlights of the show, together with the nearly perfect "The Show Must Go On" performances.
- The tour started in Vancouver on July 10, 2019.
- The Philadelphia performance on August 3, 2019 had a longer slide, with lots of control.
- Here are the MSG #1 and MSG #2 performances on August 6 and 7, 2019. The close ups show more of the singing technique.
- The tour ended on August 23, 2019 in Charlotte NC.
Who Else Does This Kind Of Stuff?
- The band Train performs a fairly faithful live cover of Under Pressure. However, attempting to hit the original A5 in falsetto ends up flat at G#5, and it seems to involve two singers.
- In 1981, the heavy metal band Manowar recorded the song "Dark Avenger" which, besides featuring a beautiful narration by Orson Welles, also has singer Eric Adams slide up to A5 over more than 10 seconds. At the time he was 29 years old, and of course this was a studio recording. 35 years later and live, he does it much faster, but still goes for it.
The History Of The "Why?" - QAL Under Pressure
Over the course of the QUEEN + Adam Lambert collaboration, the performance of the QUEEN and David Bowie song "Under Pressure" as a duet between Roger Taylor and Adam Lambert has been a highlight of the show.
One particular musical phrase fascinated the fans during the early QAL concerts in 2012, then disappeared from the live performances for several years, and then returned gradually to become such a fan favorite that some would seek it out first thing after each show to marvel at the technical aspects and spine-tingling effect on the audience.
In the original studio recording, that phrase comes in around 2 minutes 16 seconds into the song and consist of a "Why?" sliding up to an A5.
- Here is the original studio recording by Freddie Mercury.
- Here are the isolated vocals by Freddie Mercury.
In the live QAL performances, the top note is usually "just" E5, but it is sung in full voice.
In the live performances of the song by QUEEN with Freddie Mercury that phrase was omitted. It was not even attempted by Roger Taylor who would normally handle the higher notes.
Below is the first live performance of the song at the Montreal Forum on November 24, 1981 - see 2:24 for just the "Why?".
At the first QUEEN+Adam Lambert concert in Kiev on June 30, 2012, Adam went for the high note just as the camera was panning over the audience. This performance became a fan favorite due to its sheer "balls of steel" quality, as the band was performing a full concert for the first time, and in front of at least 250,000 people. Jump to 2:14 - it was sustained for about 11 seconds, but compared to the 2019 performances, it is not as clean.