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CONCERT REVIEWS: Queen + Adam Lambert, Madison Square Garden, NYC, Night #1, August 6, 2019 (UPDATED)

Filed Under () by broddybounce on Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Posted at : Wednesday, August 07, 2019

The long-anticipated New York concerts at Madison Square Garden for Queen + Adam Lambert's The Rhapsody Tour have arrived and Night #1 has passed with great fanfare.  So far we have two excellent reviews to share ⁠— Billboard and Digital Journal ⁠— and will be updating with more as they publish.

One note on the first one below, from Billboard: the title is a bit misleading.  The piece is not about the 12 best moments throughout the entire tour thus far, e.g., one of Adam's performance choices from one city here and one of Brian's guitar licks from another city there, etc., but the 12 best moments of the New York show.  But, indeed, a superb review.  (Note: Billboard actually already reviewed one earlier show, Los Angeles, which you can find on our previous post HERE; and Digital Journal reviewed the Boston show HERE.)

UPDATE (8/7/19): Added a new review from Variety.

Queen and Adam Lambert's Rhapsody Tour:
The 12 Best Moments

credit: Mike Coppola / Getty Images

"As American Idol fans know, Lambert performed "Somebody to Love" with a group of fellow contestants during the Hollywood rounds of his season.  But hearing Lambert belt out those notes in person was particularly moving, especially with May and Taylor accompanying him."
"Lambert's voice soared in every song, but the dramatic final verses of "The Show Must Go On" were almost bone-chilling.  Not only did he nail every note (some of the highest of the entire show), but his fist thrusting and leg thumping indicated that he was literally feeling every crescendo."
"Roger and Adam's harmonies on "Under Pressure" ... it was a reminder of just how perfect of a fit Lambert is with the group." 
 "All of Lambert's outfits were next-level dazzling, from a shimmery gold suit to a bejeweled biker fest with long diamond fringe.  His getup for the encore was arguably the best, though, as it was a very Adam Lambert take on Mercury's iconic crown-and-cloak king ensemble."
 "...(Brian) May...called Lambert "our new brother"..."

Since the reviewer mentioned "The Show Must Go On," here is a video of that performance from last night (and be sure to look at the comments on the actual YouTube page!):

(Admin Note: in addition to Adam and Roger's harmonies on "Under Pressure" as mentioned in one quote above, the reviewer should have also included "Doing All Right," another example of absolutely stunning harmonies between Adam and Roger and Brian ... as a matter of fact, I think they are ready to make their first Brian-Roger-Adam album, don't you?)


Digital Journal:
Review: Adam Lambert and Queen spectacular 
at Madison Square Garden

credit: Bojan Hohnjec
"The audience sat as he serenaded them to a controlled and crystalline performance of 'In the Lap of the Gods... Revisited' and he immediately got them back on their feet again for a rousing rendition of 'Somebody to Love,' featuring Lambert's magnanimous vocal range..."
"Overall, Adam Lambert and Queen delivered a masterful live performance at Madison Square Garden ... Lambert could have upstaged Queen, but he didn't.  He treated all of their classic hits with the respect that they deserved and he paid a fitting homage to Roger Taylor and Brian May. ...  It was the perfect rock music celebration and Lambert was an outstanding frontman and song stylist that was able to introduce Queen's catalog to a younger and wider audience. ... Thus far...Queen and Adam Lambert put on the best live concert of 2019."



Queen + Adam Lambert at Madison Square Garden:
The 5 Best Moments

credit: ABC
"Since Lambert joined forces with Queen cofounders May and drummer Roger Taylor eight years ago, the group has enjoyed a big resurgence..."
"... early anthems like 'Seven Seas of Rhye' and 'Keep Yourself Alive' (gave) Lambert a chance to showcase his impressive range."
"...Show (Must Go) On … Lambert was note-perfect, bringing dramatics with a physical interpretation of the piece, with his vocals soaring through the arena. While the song is performed early in the set, it would make a perfect closer…"



Dee R Gee said...

Divine words.

Dee R Gee said...

Adam never performed STL with his group on Idol. This reviewer was mistaken. Maybe he was confusing that song with Some Kind of Wonderful, which was performed on Idol.

So happy that the reviews have been so good! Those MSG shows are a real tour de force! Can't wait till my show on Friday!

creamtangerine said...

Dee R. you are so luck to go to the Queen, Adam Lambert concert. I want to know all the details, what it is like seeing Adam in person. Do you have a seat that is close. Are you going to be filming? I would be so excited.

MiReLa said...

10 NEW PHOTOS Adam spotted downtown Manhattan today, on his way to perform with Queen

Sunflower said...

Fantastic reviews! So happy for them! 2 more days for my show.

Angeladam said...

What can we say but OMG Adam you totally rocked !!!!

Sunflower said...

Btw, going through twitterland I saw that Rami Malek and Lucy Boyton (Mary Austin in Bo Rhap) was in the audience last night. Also Javi' s brother named Carlos was also visiting and at the show also. Just some fun facts.

Sue Smith said...

No one knows how happy these reviews
Make me. These are the correct honest reviews not the ones with an agenda.I totally agree these are just Divine words about Adam and the band. So richly deserved by all. Finally Adam getting the praise he has deserved and does deserve.

broddybounce said...

Yes, all great stuff indeed!!!

Oh! Dee and Sunflower going to the same show...?!?

Sue Smith said...

Every one enjoy your show. Yes please tell us all about your experiance.Dee R Gee and Sunflower. Some of you In the UK ect. Are getting to see the play mobile earlier than america. That movie is gradually releasing from early august on. Unless they changed it. That was the PM movie.

broddybounce said...

So, guys ... glitzylady found a review of the concert on USA TODAY that is just pure vitriol! It is by a younger journalist there who thinks she understands Queen, but doesn't. She is listed as "Digital Editor" but also is on their site as an arts or entertainment writer. She walked in a complete cynic and then proceeded to essentially trash the whole Q+AL concept. This is WAY WORSE than the San Jose one -- and this is the US's only national newspaper! This person's editor should never have allowed this to be published.

After much discussion with glitzylady, we decided that we would NOT include it in this post, or its own post, as an official item (unless Brian makes hay of it like he did with that San Jose critic). The review is completely unfair, biased, and unwarranted. And, right now, we have a lot of JOY in this group right now for all the wonderful press that Q+AL -- and Adam specifically -- is getting from all the other papers and entertainment websites across the country and we do not want to pull our entire readership DOWN with this. AND, we do not want to give the piece any more publicity as a main item in a post -- which, I'm sure, is partially what she was attempting to do -- sort of grab headlines like the San Jose jerk was trying to do.


We did feel it was a good idea to not completely ignore this and to instead put it here in the comments section for those of us 24/7 readers who have the passion to comment often and make their opinion known -- and, we felt, who might be inspired to give this "critic" a piece of our mind.

So, first, here is the link to the actual "review"...

So, if you want to make a comment, just scroll down past the photo of Prince and you'll see all the social media options, one of which is "Comment" -- that's if you're using the regular USA TODAY site on your desktop or laptop. However, if you're looking at it on your smartphone, it's a little harder: after the Prince photo, you'll see the social media options, but instead of a "Comment" button, you'll see on the next line "Share your thoughts" -- that's where the comments section is for the digital version.

There is also this writer's Twitter account: @maeve_mcdermott There are already a lot of comments and 95% of it is pushback -- although one or two agree with her. You can make your point on here, if you like.

I decided to go a different route, however, and write directly to USA TODAY's Editor-in-Chief, Nicole Carroll. I initially was going to write to the newspaper's "Life" section editor, who is probably the one who assigned the story to this writer, but it was a bit confusing from the Staff page as to who that is, because half the people have an "editor" title, so I just decided to send it to the top person-in-charge, and especially because she does have a Twitter account.

Nicole Carroll: @nicole_carroll

I was definitely more diplomatic with her (had I wrote a comment beneath the article or tweet to the writer herself, I might be a little more pointed and unpleasant -- and I still might do that anyway). But here is what I tweeted to the EIC:

Editor-in-Chief @nicole_carroll
: Have you read Ms. McDermott's piece below? With all due respect, I don't understand how someone who writes in this fashion can be assigned to critique anything. This is USA TODAY, not some local independent arts rag. This should be pulled.

What 'cha all think?

broddybounce said...

And I just added a new review from VARIETY -- and the writer is the polar opposite of the USA TODAY one: Michelle Amabile Angermiller! As you know, she is one of our best allies in the media, a true Adam fan (the other would be Shirley Halperin, of course), so it was great to get a piece from her. Although it is in more of a bullet point format, like Billboard did, which can be a bit limiting, rather than a full-on review which Michelle would have absolutely slayed at, it's still very good.

glitzylady said...

Just jumping in to say a very big THANK YOU!!!! To my good friend @Broddybounce for posting all of these reviews, videos etc.. etc.. I've been having computer problems with my trusty Mac laptop and haven't been able to post much if at all.. Also a lot going on in my personal life that has been taking up quite a bit of my time so it's wonderful that Broddy has been doing such a great job! And thanks to @Admin Fan aka Mia for doing her part as well.

As I mentioned, Broddybounce and I have become good friends since meeting here on the blog several years ago and have since met up a couple of times at concerts, one in CA and the recent QAL concert in Vancouver BC.. We chat back and forth and keep each other posted about reviews, etc.. And discuss, as he mentioned in his comment above, our favorite guy Adam and of course Queen and other topics..

The USA Today review he posted the link for above was shocking to me and we did discuss at length if we should even post it here and if so, in what format. It seemed inappropriate to give it it's own thread or even link it with all of the fantastic reviews of the QAL Madison Square Garden (Night One) show.. Hence the link in his comment above.

I rarely post comments on reviews these days, but felt compelled to post a comment on that one.. I got rather "wordy" in my first draft but edited it down for the comment that is now present on the review..

Again, the link to the review

"Sorry, Queen: Seeing the band live couldn’t turn this hater into a believer"


My comment on the review:

"Well. Interesting "review".. Some thoughts: I find it curious and quite honestly disturbing, and definitely disappointing, that someone who admittedly dislikes Queen music, changes the station when the song "Bohemian Rhapsody" comes on (fair enough, you don't have to like it.. to each his or her own), calls Queen music "overrated" & "brainless pastiche", the current band members, original ie Dr. Brian May & Roger Taylor + the addtional band members + Adam Lambert a "cover band", that the music's original "magic" was lost at the concert, and was "soul-less".. You had some nice things to say about Adam Lambert, sort of.. but your discription of his performance as a "choir boy" Freddie Mercury, his words to the audience "borderline cynical", and his movements on stage as a "deliberate amble" sure don't ring true from what other concert goers have said, or for that matter, the majority of reviewers over the years... One of the things that he and the men of Queen have said over and over again that they don't want an Freddie impersonator. Adam has given them the renewed ability to give us the opportunity to hear the music and songs presented by 2 of the original band members. He performs the music in his own very professional way. Brian & Roger are still fantastic musicians. Adam is a dynamic on stage performer. He's not Freddie, but he does a darn good job helping to keep that music alive well into the 21'st Century."

Nanbert said...

Is this reviewer supposed to be a MUSIC EXPERT?...or just some tone-deaf dolt off the street?
I have no idea whether that reviewer actually attended the concert, or looked at a couple of videos from another one... then dashed off the review she was already predisposed to write and called it a night.

My next question is....has this reviewer EVER written a good review about anyone? Or is she one of those who think they won't be considered clever and more knowledgeable if they give kudos to anyone....who take the title "critic" at face value.

Considering all the raves QAL is getting in all their reviews so far.....has the reviewer even bothered to read any?....she is definitely "swimming upstream"! If she's just trying to attract attention to herself...she's suceeded. Absolute stupidity!

Patria said...

This reviewer is the definition of projecting one's own attributes. "They were also soulless"

Sue Smith said...

Well I read some of that review yesterday. Couldn't read all of it, it was just plain stupid. Who wants to read that utter trash. She came to the concert the video or whatever the hell she did predisposed to hate it. Because she already hated Queen. I skipped around on it. I read at the end her hate was confirmed do to something Adam did to Under Pressure. Under Pressure is brilliant one of my favorites.
I looked around for a comment section I did not see it. I see where you said it was here. Believe me I would have given it to her on all cylinders. I'll try and bring it up later. I suspect the one or 2 nasty comments are from you know who's fans so predictable. I did not say any thing on this site about it I didn't want to upset any person here. But I did figure it would come to light.
This really should be protested directly to the one Broddy did. If anyone can put up a link I'll do it.
This was such totally unfair trash after all the great reviews. You dont have to love Queen or QAL but to come in predisposed to hate something and give it little to no chance you definitely should not be writting on a national news column. I suspect it was mainly done for hits. Believe me this hag will get them. The papers probably happy about it. I can assure you they wont print the comments that are so unhappy about it. Maybe the couple of hateful ones. Anyone that can say what was said about Under Pressure. I dont know what concert she was at, she said it about Adam. Like I said I just skipped around read just bits the title told me what trash it was going to be.
I think there is much jealousy out there do to the insane popularity QAL, Queen is experiencing like Sharon Osbourns rant who is supposed to be a friend of Adam's. Her rant mostly downing Brian and Rodger and how Freddie told them what to do and they only did what Freddie said and with Adam they are finally getting the attention they always wanted on and on.
If you are writting reviews for a national paper especially, you should be impartial no matter what you personally feel. This was so unprofessional and petty and had no place in a professional column.sorry but I'm a just a bit mad not angry down right mad. I dont have a subscription to that paper if I did I would cancel it. I think if any QAL fans do they should cancel it and tell them why. The only way to get to people, papers like that is hit them in their pocket books.

Sunflower said...

Well I never!!! After reading today here on that USA Today review, I had to google this because if I don't comment on a thread and there's a link to anything prior to my comment I can't connect to it, neither from my tablet or smart phone. Ok I read it in its entirety and seems in the middle of it a paragraph of positive notes, but that's it. If you ask me this woman is a Freddie Fanatic! A typical troll who's hell bent that no one absolutely no one can replace Freddie! I was appalled that she was expecting to see sweat and more movements and falsettos from Adam! What the hell??? Yes also where broddy and glitzylady pointed out that this WITCH with capital B, calls this a tribute band, Where Is Her Mentality? She wasn't thrilled with Adams speech about "let us celebrate Queen together", she didn't like how Adam used the word Celebrate? Really? This WITCH with capital B is misinterpreting Adams use of the word "Celebration" hence that's where she came up with the idiotic idea that Queen is a tribute band. Also that the music lost its magic and the songs soulless, on the contrary it's filled with so much heart and emotion, and we all know about Adams passionate delivery of any song! To say Queen music is overrated for their generation, no I think these guys are geniuses and were ahead of their time. There's proof people all over the world/globe/universe love Queen and are embracing them again and along the way gaining new and young alike fans, (Bo Rhap movie have played a part) but people are filling up Venues right? I decided to tweet this Witch with capital B and gave her my two cents, now will she get my tweet, I can't say but at least I aired out my frustration! I'll let you guys know if I get a response. I did tell her to stop comparing Adam to Freddie, Adam does as much sweating and movements etc., that Brian and Roger didn't want an impersonator. What planet is she from?

Sunflower said...

Was thinking she used her position as a writer to trash Queen and Adam to put it out there. KARMA will be looking for her.

Sue Smith said...

Reviews should be written my normal unbiased concert goers. It is so darn
Ridiculous. I've heard reviewers and regular concert goers go in saying they were skeptical of Adam fronting it and came out Adam Lambert fans one saying AL fan for life.
Adam said himself he swests like crazy.
But what a ridiculous thing to say. I've seen him wiping the sweat at different concerts more than once.
Sunflower said it all. I've already said how I feel. Its total trash.
They have gotten wonderful reviews and Adam wonderful there are always a very few you cant believe what concert they went to or if they looked at a few videos or something. However I would not know how they would even get that review trash from any of the videos that are very, very good.
The playmobil movie just read a great review put up here from abroad. The other day I read one from variety I believe it was variety. Saw it at the film festival in France rather said it was there not sure they actually saw it or vids. This was ahead of release date abroad. Saying who was in it. This was couple days ago. Criticizing LD comparing to lego movie. Saying he said it was for adults as well as kids but little kids will probably drag their parents. The attempts at humour ect. The review I read on this site was the exact opposite very good. Sure there will be other so called professional ones out there like variety. Just look at the crap reviews BR mostly got but people loved it and it made a fortune. I have a feeling play mobil although a very different type of movie will do the same. The very good review the reviewer brought her boys that were teens said they very much enjoyed the play mobil movie. Said Adam and DR were hilarious. Myself I cant wait to see the PM movie lucky ones abroad in most countries get to see it sooner. But I do think the pre Christmas date is better for America.

glitzylady said...

One more comment (from me anyway..) about the sucky review we've been discussing here.. I do want to say though that most of the reviews have been superb.. so it's probably not good to dwell on the occasional bad one, but it was SO SPECTACULARLY BAD it's hard not to comment..

I did want to bring this comment (only one of 18 so far...) from the review to our attention though, as it's kind of awesome, not only the comment but who it's from..

Jared Harris, the British actor who, among other projects, starred in the recent HBO miniseries, "Chernobyl" (which I highly recommend by the way), made this comment on the review:

"This is what has gone wrong with modern criticism. They piggy back the event, placing themselves center stage. You are supposed to reveiw the event itself, not yourself! I saw this show and LOVED it. Everyone was buzzing afterwards, except the one person who couldn't get over themselves."

I rather hope that the writer of the review feels properly chastised.. Probably not to be honest, but it definitely got some attention.. from more than just us fairly lowly fans...

Sue Smith said...

I will say one more thing USA today is kind of known for this. I remember the stupid review it gave trespassing album. Which I loved by the way. I wont say what was said some know. But it relished in bigotry from another hack writter. That was I loved trespassing not the ignorant review. I still say who ever has a subscription cancel it. Probably not many do.
QAL is putting on a wonderful concert. They are sold out to the rafters. However before the movie they were still putting out wonderful concerts sold out. Maybe they sold out a bit faster and teens are flocking to it. They already were getting younger ones do to Adam. When I went there were 12 year olds dancing in the isles.
They have not been filling up arenas and next year stadiums being a cover band they are singing their own music and Adam fronting it. It has not been wildly sucessful for over 8 years with Adam unless they had been putting on a hell of a show each time. The great reviews far out way this kind of gatbage.

Patria said...

I have trouble caring about a reviewer or anyone who basically says 'I Hate you, you get 2 1/2 hours to impress me even tho I have no intention of changing my mind.'.

Sue Smith said...

That pretty well sums up the so called non sense stupid review.

glitzylady said...

Just a couple of things: Broddybounce & I didn't bring the link with the USA Today review here to sing it's praises, that's for sure! Haha! But we felt it was noteworthy in the sense that it was one review out of a million (more or less...) that was focused on the personal feelings of the reviewer, a reviewer that honestly should not have been sent to the QAL concert in NYC due to her disinterest and dislike of Queen's music. That's okay that she doesn't like it.. But no way should she have been there in the first place, at least not as a reviewer for a big mainstream media company.

Seriously. It was so absolutely sad and honestly, ridiculous, in that her feelings about Queen as a band and their music very clearly tainted her review. For anyone who couldn't read between the lines, or was curious to know what the concert was like, it would give the false impression that the concert was mediocre and the iconic music not up to her standards..

Because to be honest, we all have our favorites i.e. bands, artists, music genres, etc.. For example, it would probably (i.e. definitely) be a rather bad choice for a publication such as USA Today (or any other one for that matter...) etc. to send me to a Rap Music concert. I appreciate those who write and perform rap, but it's just not my thing. At all, with some notable exceptions.. I would flat out turn down a job to review it because I don't have the love of it or proper background, the understanding of the genre, or with the music to offer a true and valid and informed review.

broddybounce said...

USA TODAY is a national newspaper, for sure. BUT -- it has been known for a great long time, maybe the last 10 or 15 years, as "McPaper"...! lol