Image credit: Time
In 2011, the deafening vacuum that Freddie Mercury left behind was filled by the talented Adam Lambert, much to the chagrin of some “hardcore fans.” A lot of people were skeptical about whether or not the Grammy-nominated American Idol alum could bring the Mercurial heat. This year, Lambert set all worries aside when he promptly rocked the Oscars stage with the band’s original members.
Lacking a presenter to host the Oscars this year, fans and nominees alike were left in the dark in terms of what to expect during the opening number. Thankfully, the producers wisely looked to the iconic band to provide the starting entertainment. This new-fangled Queen opened the show with We Will Rock You, which gave us a rare chance to see the likes of Glenn Close, Javier Bardem, and Lady Gaga rocking and punching the air to the same beat in one massive, star-filled room. This was followed by We Are the Champions, which succeeded in setting the tone for what turned out to be a truly epic Academy Awards ceremony. Complete with live clips from Queen’s biggest gigs in the past, set to the soul-shaking lead guitar of the legendary Brian May, the new Queen lineup provided a performance that heralded a new beginning for everyone’s favorite 80s rock outfit.
And if that didn’t do the trick, the four Oscars – the top haul of the night – that the movie Bohemian Rhapsody took home, certainly conveyed the message clear as day. Queen are back in a big way. In fact, a recent interview with Brian May published on Metalhead Zone revealed how even the people behind the Oscars were inspired by Queen’s electric performance. After the show, May reported that he was approached by the show’s head of local production, who exclaimed “I’ve been doing the Oscars for 40 years, and that was the best opening we ever had!” This singular and relatively short performance will no doubt continue to inspire similarly epic opening numbers in future awards shows.
As most Queen fans are aware of, the band is no stranger to making history. Our own review of 1986’s Live In Budapest - Hungarian Rhapsody – considered by many to be one of the definitive live Queen concerts – reveals the extent to which the band redefined big stadium performances.
The band’s most famous performance though was at the 1985 Live Aid concert. That concert was the brainchild of Bob Geldof and it cemented Queen’s fame. The idea for the charitable concert sprang from the previous year’s Band Aid, which was also devised by Geldof and comprised of the most prolific British and Irish recording artists of the 80s singing a Christmas song. Lottoland explains how Band Aid’s 1984 Christmas single Do They Know It’s Christmas Time changed how people thought about giving to charity. Queen weren’t part of that single, but they more than made up for their absence at Live Aid, helping raise $127 million overall.
If watching the production team behind Bohemian Rhapsody rake in the Oscars is not enough to satiate your Queen craving, Vulture suggests catching the band’s upcoming documentary – The Show Must Go On: The Queen + Adam Lambert Story. Whether you like it or not, Adam Lambert has stepped into Freddie Mercury’s earthshaking shoes as Queen’s new frontman, and the legendary band is not about to let anyone get in the way of their new lineup.