Queen + Adam Lambert - Live Around the World (DVD + CD, Blu-ray + CD)

With Queen guitarist Brian May convalescing after a heart attack, the ability of the band to tour in the future may be limited, even after the touring restrictions caused by the pandemic lift. That's a good reason for fans to welcome this film as the next best thing, a good tide-me-over until the situation is more positive. In fine fettle throughout, this is the first ever live release (also available as a stand-alone CD and on vinyl) for this incarnation of the band --- May on guitar, Lambert on vocals, Roger Taylor on drums and with additional musicians on bass, guitar, keyboards and drums. As the film's title indicates, the footage presented is not from just one concert, but rather from various big shows like the Isle of Wight festival in England, Rock in Rio (Lisbon), Summer Sonic in Japan and various U.K. and North American concerts. Perhaps of special interest to many fans will be the band's show in Sydney, Australia at Fire Fight Australia, one of their last shows before the pandemic shut everything down. At that Sydney show Queen + Adam Lambert present a set that replicates Queen's set at Live Aid in 1985, including takes on "Radio Ga Ga," "We Will Rock You," "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love." Other special moments come when the band performs two of original lead singer Freddie Mercury's solo cuts, "Love Kills" and "I Was Born to Love You;" on Queen song "Love of My Life," the late star appears on the video screen. Quite the spectacle is mounted during "Fat Bottom Girls" when a group of decidedly not fat bottom girls, the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders, prance and dance throughout the song. Lambert takes a minute to rev up the crowd during "Somebody to Love," leading the song into an extra-big finish, and May is nothing short of stunning as he performs the instrumental "Last Horizon," which begins as a slide and whammy bar, crazy sound effects piece before morphing into a jazzy groove and ultimately into the glam rock that Queen are known for. Among other favorites performed are "Another One Bites the Dust," "Don't Stop Me Now" and "Under Pressure" where Taylor sings the part that was sung by David Bowie on the original. This film is a great keepsake for those who were at any of the shows, and a real treat for fans who thought they missed out.

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