Queen and Adam Lambert had found their groove performing together by the time the Oscar-winning biopic about the legendary rock band was released in 2018.
Bohemian Rhapsody, which starred Rami Malek in the lead role as Freddie Mercury, became a global success and introduced a new generation to Queen’s iconic hits while stirring warm nostalgia for older fans.
So being in the middle of a tour meant Queen – consisting of Brian May and Roger Taylor – were not only able to capitalise on the renewed interest by adding new dates, but had to adapt their set to appeal to younger fans mostly familiar with their music via the blockbuster movie.
Ric Lipson, Queen and Adam’s tour creation and design manager, revealed how the film’s success impacted the band’s tour and recalled to Metro.co.uk: ‘They were like, “We’re going to go out again”. We were like, “This is amazing”, it was just getting more and more successful, the film was doing amazing.
‘What was really interesting was that the kind of people watching and downloading Queen was a whole new generation because of the film.
‘So this time we were going to go out again but we were going to sell more tickets to the under 30s and under 40s than the older generation and therefore the show has to appeal to them.’
Music from some of Queen and Adam’s most popular tour shows, including Isle of Wight festival and Rock In Rio, feature on their first ever live album Queen + Adam Lambert Live Around The World, which is out now.
Ric has worked with the band for almost a decade and admitted: ‘We didn’t know it would be seven years of touring.’
The set designer continued: ‘From being a mega band in the past to coming out and proving themselves again with Adam, who’s just so talented – he’s not Freddie and he’s not trying to be Freddie – he and the band just have this amazing energy and connection, so our job as designers is to go, well, how do we capture that?
‘Our relationship with the band started to shift while still in this part creator-director role while also still respecting the fact that the ideas come from the band mostly.
‘They’re very skilled at knowing the line between being pretentious and what it needs to be to a rock show.’
Queen and Adam’s last show before the coronavirus pandemic was at the Australia Benefit Concert where they replicated the band’s iconic Live Aid performance.
In 1985, the late Freddie Mercury fronted the performance but this time it was Adam leading the charge.
Ric said of Adam’s frontman duties that night: ‘Certainly Adam was conscious of what it would take and what are the implications of doing it, but I think he’s so accomplished and comfortable with the band now that he takes on his own energy.
‘I think it was the right time to do that and it was such an important cause for Australia with the bush fires.
‘It was a lot of pressure on him because the comparisons are there.’
‘Without Adam they wouldn’t be touring and without him, they wouldn’t be doing what he’s doing,’ he added.
A Queen and Adam tour seems like the glitziest, rock n roll show around but Ric says that couldn’t be further from the truth when it comes to their backstage antics and tour rider.
‘They have really nice food, very good wine and lots of vegetable snacks with hummus. Not very rock and roll,’ Ric laughed.
He explained: ‘They’re relatively low maintenance people, they’re not like some of the other artists we deal with. But they do have their dressing rooms laid out in a certain way and they all come together in their dressing rooms before going on-stage. They have a keyboard, a nice little ritual they all do.
‘But I don’t think they’re that diva-ish about their tour rider.’
Queen + Adam Lambert Live Around The World is out now.
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Credit: Original article published here.