Watch Adam Lambert Discuss His First Full Show With Queen
Adam Lambert can be seen deconstructing his first full-length performance with Queen in a clip taken from the new documentary The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story.
The ABC presentation airs tonight and follows Lambert’s history with the band over the 10 years since Brian May and Roger Taylor made what was thought to be a one-off appearance with the singer as he competed in the 2009 season of American Idol.
The clip – which you can watch below – starts with an interview with Freddie Mercury as he’s asked about the pressure of performing in front of large crowds. “The bigger the better … in everything!” he replies: The narrative then moves to Lambert’s appearance in front of 300,000 people in Kiev, Ukraine, in 2012.
“I had a lot of help,” Lambert says, acknowledging the support of longtime Queen collaborator Spike Edney. “Spike, who’s on keys, I kept looking at over and over again, like, ‘Am I supposed to come in here? How long is the guitar solo? Is it my turn?’” “Because of his musical training, he was quite happy to take cues," Edney adds. "He used to just check in with me.”
“What I love most about being a vocalist is the adrenaline – the thrill of something that can possibly go wrong," Lambert continues. "I like the danger in that.”
“For Adam to start with an audience that big takes nerve,” says radio presenter Paul Gambaccini.” Some people would be embarrassed to go to Kiev and sing in front of 300,000 people they’ve never known; but a performer like Adam could use it as an opportunity. Just as Freddie had always used these big crowds to just push that envelope: ‘Let’s see how many people we can get to respond at once.’”
“Adam Lambert had to do in his first show with Queen what it took Queen and Freddie Mercury 10 years to do," journalist Lyndsey Parker notes. "He was used to having to win people over. … He’d already been selling himself for years. He knew how to do it.”
Queen + Adam Lambert will tour North America from July 10 until Aug. 23; the road trip follows the success of the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody. Lambert returned to American Idol last night to mentor contestants through the performance of Queen music.