Saturday, August 17, 2013

Day Two Hundred and Twenty-nine - Queen: Rock Montreal, "Why can't we give love one more chance?"

For a lot of people, The Beatles were the end all, be all of Rock. They came pretty much at its advent and explored and deepened the genre as time passed and the scene shifted.

For me, though... it was Queen.

That's not to slight any other acts, The Beatles included, along with Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, and so on... but while we all mourned for John when he was assassinated, most of my feels resonated and released the day I heard that we lost Freddie Mercury to AIDS.

Seeing he, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon in Rock Montreal and Live Aid has to be one of the greatest concert experiences one can ever have... even if it's limited to the confines of one's television and whatever stereo system you have in your home.

The set is tremendous, featuring pretty much every single, anthem, and ballad that Queen is famous for and more: from Somebody To Love to Under Pressure to Bohemian Rhapsody to We Are The Champions.

My particular favorite of the night was finally hearing Get Down Make Love live. I'm a huge fan of the Nine Inch Nails cover and to hear Freddie belt it out is amazing, but the same can be said for pretty much the entirety of the concert because everyone has such wonderful talent and stupendous stage presence.

While, yes, most of the focus is on Freddie and his wonderful voice, there are several songs that feature solos purely of one instrument. Roger Taylor has his Drum and Timpani solo, but also holds the majority of I'm In Love With My Car, and Brian May does a hypnotic call and response with himself via a loop delay that is a guitarist's wet dream.

There are a few things missing, unfortunately. While the billing on Netflix is for both Rock Montreal and Live Aid, it seems as though the entirety of the Live Aid footage is missing, along with Flash and The Hero. A bit of false advertising, I think to have it billed as both Montreal and Live Aid in the picture (though, the hover bar and Queue listing both have it simply as Rock Montreal), but such is life.

Minor problems aside, I think this is an amazing concert, missing songs or no. Seeing Freddie strutting about on stage again, almost twenty-five years after his death and well over thirty since it was recorded, both breaks my heart and brings me tears of joy.

Even the moments that could be betrayals, such as when the entire band retreats offstage for the entirety of the operatic section of Bohemian Rhapsody (due to the fact that there's no way the harmonies could be done live) via tape, they bring you back from the brink by reappearing with flashes of light and thunder to finish it strong... a dramatic musical rescue.

If you have even a passing familiarity with Queen and their works, I definitely recommend Rock Montreal. It has pretty much all the hits and features the band in their prime... and is really no worse for the missing songs and the absence of Bowie for Under Pressure.

Watch it, love it, mourn, and rejoice with the music of Freddie Mercury and Queen.

Until tomorrow, Potatoes~

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