Freddie Mercury’s on-stage charisma was almost of mythical proportions. November 24th will be the 26th anniversary of his death. Nevertheless Queen still performs, nowadays with Adam Lambert as lead singer. It seemed impossible to find and rank the 10 best live performances of Queen in only one list. But here we are. Enjoy!
#10 Let Me Entertain You @ Tokyo, 1979
Queen live at Nippon Budokan in Tokyo, Japan in 1979 during the Live Killers Tour. This video is from a Japanese TV broadcast that did a 33 minute broadcast of this show.
#9 Keep Yourself Alive @ Live At The Rainbow, 1974
‘Keep Yourself Alive’ introduced the world to Queen way back in 1973. This performance was five years later, when Queen had gone on to become one of the biggest bands in the world. Even with all the money and fame they had accumulated at this point, they were still playing like they had something to prove.
#8 Under Pressure @ Budapest, 1986
‘Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest’ is a concert film of Queen’s performance in Budapest on 27 July 1986. It was part of the final tour with original lead singer Freddie Mercury. Queen was one of the few bands from Western Europe to perform in the Eastern Bloc during the Cold War.
#7 Don’t Stop Me Now @ Rock in Rio Lisbon, 2016
This is more or less the most typical Queen song, or at least the explanation of Freddie Mercury’s world view. In this 2016 performance Adam Lambert certainly does it justice.
#6 Dragon Attack @ Milton Keynes Bowl, 1982
‘Queen on Fire – Live at the Bowl’ was recorded live at the Milton Keynes Bowl, on 5 June 1982 during the Hot Space Tour.During the show, lead guitarist Brian May had a few minor problems with his homemade Red Special guitar. During both the fast version of ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘Dragon Attack’, two of the strings broke and he had to change to his Birch Red Special backup.
#5 We Will Rock You @ Live in Montreal, 1981
This was recorded in Montreal, Quebec at the Montreal Forum on 24 November and 25 November 1981. Allmusic described Queen’s performance as being “deliberately theatrical and often majestic”.
#4 Somebody to Love @ Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, 1992
There were 72,000 people witnessing ‘The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness’ on Easter Monday in 1992. This benefit concert was held inWembley Stadium in London and also broadcasted live on television and radio to 76 countries around the world, with an audience of up to one billion.He said it was the most difficult song he had ever sung in his life, but boy did George Michael do it justice.
#3 Radio GaGa @ Live Aid, 1985
In 2005, in a British Channel Four survey among musicians, Queen’s Concert on Live Aid was voted the best concert of all time.Live Aid was the greatest live concert ever staged and a day that no one who saw it will ever forget. Apart from the audiences at the transatlantic events (72,000 at Wembley Stadium in London; 99,000 at the John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia), it was estimated that another two billion people in 60 countries watched it on television. There was one thing that everybody agreed on: Queen’s mind-blowing 20-minute set stole the show.
#2 Bohemian Rhapsody @ Hammersmith Odeon, 1975
You’ll probably recognize this live footage. The promotional video (nowadays we call it simply a music video) was made to promote their new single ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ on the BBC music series ‘Top of the Pops’. According to rock historian Paul Fowles, the song is “widely credited as the first global hit single for which an accompanying video was central to the marketing strategy”.
#1 Love of My Life @ Live at Wembley, 1986
Introduced during the News of the World Tour in 1977, ‘Love of My Life’ was such a fan favorite that Mercury frequently stopped singing and allowed the audience to take over. If this doesn’t give you goosebumps, what does?