Queen and Adam Lambert @ Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario 10-8-23

Queen and Adam Lambert @ Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, Ontario 10-8-23

One of the Kings of the arena circuit of the 1970’s was the band, Queen. The Rock and Roll Hall of Famers built something that very few bands could match. Those were dynamic riffs, bombastic anthems and an extraordinary front man leading the way. This carried all the way up until the untimely passing of their vocalist Freddy Mercury in November of 1991. The band then dissipated. The remaining members all did different things. Guitarist Brian May focused on a solo career. Drummer Roger Taylor did some producing, released some solo material and worked with other artists. Bassist John Deacon decided to go into retirement. In 2004, the band reunited with iconic vocalist Paul Rodgers but that didn’t do as well because the styles of Rodgers and Queen were so different. The only way that Queen can have a successful second go around was to find a flamboyant front man with a powerful voice to match their predecessor in Mercury. With the success of his appearance on the 2009 season of American Idol, Adam Lambert made his mark on the musical world. He had the personality and vocal chops that would do Mercury justice. He joined Queen in 2011 and shortly after, been touring the world ever since.  Another boost to the Queen legacy was the movie “Bohemian Rhapsody” which was released in 2018 and became the highest grossing musical biographical movie of all time. The reason why I mentioning this is to give you some sort of historical on the band and the enormous popularity that the band enjoys yet again. Queen are currently out on the “Rhapsody Tour.” This is the 3rd show of the tour and the show at Scotiabank Arena was sold out.

The band opened with Machines (Or ‘Back to Humans’) off 1984’s ‘The Works.’ Lambert was dressed in a machine-like outfit. This led right into a short version of “Radio Ga Ga.” They would continue these two songs later in the set. May showed his agility as he worked the thrust at the very start of the show and continued to do so throughout the set. Another staple in the Queen set was up next in “Hammer to Fall.” Most of the songs the band played were well know classics or hits. The band did some sparse songs in “39” and “Is This the World We Created…?” For the latter, it was just May on acoustic with Lambert joining him at the edge of the thrust as some red confetti fell on them during the track.

Taylor did a solo spotlight where he went to the edge of the thrust and had a mini kit set up for him. As he walked from the back to the front, a younger version of himself played a solo on the screen and it showed him going off. Taylor quipped, “ah… to be young again” as he then did his solo. Lambert and Taylor sang co leads for “Under Pressure.” The highlight for Lambert was “Who wants to Live Forever” as he was truly the focal point.  If there was any doubt (which there shouldn’t be at this point) this song he shined vocally and proved to everyone know in attendance that he truly belongs where he is. Another one of the highlights of the show was when May did his guitar solo. He went on a platform that went very high above the stage. The screen in front the platform lift mimicked an asteroid. Planets dropped from above and it gave it all a such a cool universal effect. The video for the classic Bohemian Rhapsody was shown on the video screens and interjected on parts of the song.  No matter how long they been doing this, it never gets old. They closed the set with We Will Rock You” and “We are the Campions” with the reprise of “Machines (Or ‘Back to Humans’)” /”Radio Ga Ga” tossed in the middle. A very colorful Lambert did multiple wardrobe changes throughout the set. At one point, even wore some platform shoes that KISS would have been proud of. May even joined in on the fun for the beginning of “Bohemian Rhapsody” and put on similar outfit that Lambert wore for “Machines (Or ‘Back to Humans’).”

It was a terrific night of classic hits played by some amazing musicians. The backdrops and themes went along with the music so perfectly. Even though Lambert deserves all the accolades that are thrown his way, make no mistake, the forefront of this band will always be Taylor and May. Each deserves their own praise for keeping the Queen magic alive for younger generations to see.




Machines (Or ‘Back to Humans’) /Radio Ga Ga

Hammer to Fall

Stone Cold Crazy

Another One Bits the Dust

I’m in Love With my Car

Bicycle Race

Fat Bottomed Girls

I Want It All

A Kind of Magic

Killer Queen

Don’t Stop Me Now

Somebody to Love

Love of my Life


Drum solo

Under Pressure

Tie Your Mother Down

Crazy Little Thing Called Love

I Want to Break Free

Who Wants to Live Forever

Guitar solo

Is This the World We Created…?

The Show Must Go On

Bohemian Rhapsody




We Will Rock You

Radio Ga Ga

We Are the Champions

We would like to thank Ashley Bello from Livenation for the credentials to review the show.