Rock Eyez

Queen + Paul Rodgers
DCU Center
Worcester, MA


Queen + Paul Rodgers

DCU Center, Worcester, MA
March 10th, 2006

For full disclosure, I’ve always loved Queen. They were a staple of my 70’s childhood psyche. Along with Kiss, AC/DC and Led Zeppelin, they forged my musical tastes, which influenced a lifetime. I know I wasn’t the only 7-year-old to wile away a summer afternoon spinning “News Of The World” over and over.

Unfortunately, I never did see them live. The last chance was with “Hot Space” in 1982. I was 12, and the dance/funk vibe left me a little puzzled. I had already moved on to heavier fare. Ah, missed opportunities… a few years later, I found myself drifting headlong back into Queen, but Freddie’s health was already affecting their touring regimen, and the closest I could come was Brian’s solo shows in 1993.

Fast forward to the present: John Deacon has retired, the two remaining members, Roger Taylor and Brian May, team up with the most unlikely choice in singers, that of Paul Rodgers (Free / Bad Company). I was mildly curious to check out the show, and possibly hear some left-field Brian/Roger tracks, but wondered how would this marriage work?

Surprisingly well! I’ve always been a big fan of Paul Rodgers anyway, and the beautiful thing is, he never tries to sing like Freddie. It’s clear by the way, the show is billed, that Freddie cannot be replaced, nor would anyone try. The show comes off more as a celebration of the Queen legacy. It’s obvious that they carefully selected the best material appropriate to compliment Paul’s soulful blues based swagger. Due respect is paid to Freddie without dwelling on it; very classy.

The show contained plenty obligatory hits (“Another One Bites The Dust”, “We Will Rock You”) but quite a few obscure fan favorites as well (“I’m In Love with My Car”, “Get Down Make Love”). We were even treated to a great new song from Paul; “Take Love” (picture The Firm with that magic Brian guitar tone on the leads.) Hopefully a studio version will see the light of day soon.

May’s guitar work was brilliant throughout, giving a breath of fresh air to those great Paul Rodgers anthems that classic rock radio killed for me long ago (“Can’t Get Enough”, “All Right Now”). Paul was the seasoned rock star delivering all that should be expected of him, without ever losing his own identity or mimicking Freddie’s flamboyant mannerisms.

Highlights for me were “Hammer to Fall,” with Brian starting it as a ballad, until Paul and the full band finally kicked in on the second verse. It was very dramatic and added an additional punch to the oh-so pertinent message. This worked wonderfully following Brian’s solo acoustic sing along, “Love of My Life.” He truly showed why he is still one of the greats.

Roger Taylor was next in the spotlight coming out from behind the kit to turn in a reflective "These Are the Days of Our Lives" over piped-in beats. It was quite touching, and all while appropriate images flashed on the overhead screens. The song found Brian and Roger reconnecting with the memory of their former singer and their former selves with true sincerity and warmth. Definitely, the emotional highlight of the evening.

The night eventually crescendoed with Queen's crowning triumph, "Bohemian Rhapsody." As the image of the late, great Freddie Mercury appeared on screen, the band followed his lead, playing along to the interactive footage before dropping out on the operatic middle part, the way Queen has always done live. The band eventually returned for the big finale, with Paul and Freddie trading off lines as the majestic and touching tribute came to a close.

Anyone cynically dismissing Queen + Paul Rodgers as a tribute act would be missing the point. Instead, it was a wonderful celebration of the regal catalog these artists represent. They will always be a spiritual treasure to millions and should never be hidden away because of the tragic loss of their leader.

(Photos by Jennifer Bartram-Schmitt)

Band Lineup:

  • Brian May - guitar, vocals
  • Paul Rodgers - lead vocals
  • Roger Taylor - drums, vocals


  • Spike Edney - keyboards
  • Danny Miranda - bass
  • Jamie Moses - guitar

Track Listing:

  1. Intro: It's A Beautiful Day /Lose Yourself
  2. Reachin' Out
  3. Tie Your Mother Down
  4. Fat Bottomed Girls
  5. I Want To Break Free
  6. Take Love
  7. Crazy Little Thing Called Love
  8. Love Of My Life
  9. Hammer To Fall
  10. Feel Like Makin' Love
  11. Let There Be Drums
  12. I'm In Love With My Car
  13. Guitar solo
  14. Last Horizon
  15. Bad Company
  16. Get Down Make Love
  17. Can't Get Enough
  18. Another One Bites The Dust
  19. Dragon Attack
  20. These Are The Days Of Our Lives
  21. Radio Ga Ga
  22. The Show Must Go On
  23. Bohemian Rhapsody
  24. We Will Rock You
  25. All Right Now
  26. We Are The Champions
  27. God Save The Queen


Official Queen + Paul Rodgers website:

Brian May
Brian May
Brian May
Brian May & Paul Rodgers
Brian May & Paul Rodgers
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