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Queen + Adam Lambert, live in London

Live Review

Venue: O2, London

Brian May, Roger Taylor and Adam Lambert pay tribute to Queen and Freddie Mercury

In a world where it's unremarkable for successful rock bands to have fifty-year careers, it's easy to forget that Queen lost Freddie Mercury less than halfway through theirs. And yet, like grieving offspring who refuse to countenance the idea of a widowed parent eventually getting re-married, a number of fans cling to the belief that the band should have called a halt to their lives back in 1991, are determined to file anything released since Mercury's death in the "cash cow" drawer, and have reacted to Adam Lambert's involvement with the kind of fury usually reserved for people who mistreat donkeys in small Spanish communities.

He's not Freddie, and there's no Queen without Freddie, they say. It's impossible to like Lambert if you saw the band first time round, they say. He's an American Idol runner-up. A pop singer. He's "too gay", suggested a reader on this website recently (you wonder if Paul Rodgers could similarly be considered "too heterosexual"). None of these things preclude Lambert from performing with Queen — or Queens Of The Stone Age, or Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, for that matter — but no-one's suggesting he gets a free ride either. Only one thing matters: does it actually work? 

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