‘I was just trying to breathe’: Adam Lambert on his most memorable set with Queen

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Much has been made of Adam Lambert’s triumphal stateside debut in September with Queen. But that wasn’t close to the biggest, most pressure-filled date during his collaborative stint with Brian May and Roger Taylor.

That came in June 2012, when Queen — having only just begun to tour with the American Idol finalist — performed before a quarter million in Ukraine.

“It was for this benefit thing,” Lambert tells Ryan Seacreast. “We split the bill with Elton John. It was, like, no pressure! 250,000 people, and we’d had only about 10 days of rehearsals. I didn’t even know what emotions I was feeling. I was just trying to breathe. I was so nervous.”

From there, Lambert has continued appearing with Queen through a series of other dates in Europe, and then earlier this year at Las Vegas’ iHeart festival. He’s taking over for Freddie Mercury; the band’s original frontman passed in the early 1990s after a bout with AIDS. That likely only added to the sense of expectation.

“I think about half way through the show, I started to be able to relax a little bit,” Lambert says. “So, coming back and doing this iHeart show was really cool, because we had done a handful of shows in the block, and we had had a couple of days of rehearsal. It was really good to get back in that room with these guys. Roger Taylor and Brian May, they’re legends — and they’re the nicest guys. We had a great time.”

Lambert has gone on to work on television’s “Glee,” while both May and Taylor are involved with efforts separate from Queen. There’s still no word on what, if any, future collaborations are in store.

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