Queen + Adam Lambert Unveil North American ‘Rhapsody’ Tour Dates: ‘These Are New Glory Days’
“These are kind of new glory days for us,” said Queen guitarist and founding member Brian May, who was literally knighted by King Charles III earlier this month. “It’s nice to think that hopefully there will be the demand for that.”
But the guitarist, along with founding drummer Roger Taylor and singer Adam Lambert, was on the other side of the Atlantic in Thursday, in New York to announce the group’s 14-show North American leg of its “Rhapsody” tour — its first since 2019 — which runs from Oct. 4 through Nov. 11.
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“Every time I get the call we’re going to do another [tour], Whoo! I get excited!,” Lambert enthused. “Our audiences are unbelievable. They keep getting younger, with multi generations at the show, which is amazing.”
The tour follows last year’s 36-date summer tour across the U.K. and Europe, which included a 10-date residency at London’s the O2 Arena and opening the Platinum Jubilee Concert at Buckingham Palace in recognition of the late Queen Elizabeth II’s 70-year reign.
Shows on the overseas “Rhapsody” tour dates featured around 25 songs plus four encore numbers, and included the hits “Killer Queen,” “Fat Bottomed Girls, “Another One Bites the Dust, “We Will Rock You / We Are the Champions” and the song with more than 2 billion Spotify streams that lent its title to a film and this tour, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Queen promises some deeper cuts on this jaunt. Lambert says, “I’m not sure exactly what we’ll pull out for this one. Look, I would be happy just to show up and do what I was told if that was how it was. But I’ve been really fortunate to work with these two gentlemen who are very collaborative, and we get to all throw ideas in and work things out. I’m really grateful for that it makes me even more invested in it.
“I’ve also been really lucky that in the past we’ve done a couple of my solo songs together. That’s been a real honor,” he continued. The one-time “American Idol” star released “High Drama,” an 11-cut covers album in February, with songs running the gamut from Kings of Leon to Noel Coward, although it’s uncertain whether any of those will make it into the Queen setlist. “We’ve got a ways to go before we start rehearsing,” Lambert said.
It’s been a decade since the group’s first live American concert, though the first time they performed was in 2009 when May and Taylor were guests on the eighth season of “Idol.” May remembers the first actual American concert in Las Vegas in 2013 for the iHeart Music Festival: “It felt so good both internally and from the [crowd] reaction that we thought, ‘My God, this is something we shouldn’t be letting go.’ I think we foresaw some kind of future, didn’t we? But not quite as big as it actually happened. It’s been colossal.”
Lambert agreed, “I don’t think I would have imagined that it would have been the gift that keeps on giving.”
The current Rhapsody tour features Queen + Adam Lambert’s regular band members, longtime keyboard player and musical director Spike Edney, bass guitarist Neil Fairclough and percussionist Tyler Warren. Founding bassist John Deacon left the band and effectively retired from music following Freddie Mercury’s 1991 death, and chose not to be present at Queen’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001.
Despite a 30-year-plus age difference between Lambert, 41, and May, 75 and Taylor, 73, the three have an easy camaraderie that’s evident both onstage and off. Lambert was only three when Queen’s iconic 1985 Live Aid performance rocked the world, but it was something he got to recreate at the Fire Fight fundraiser concert in Sydney, Australia in February 2020, a month before Covid shut down the world.
As a fan growing up, Lambert was familiar with Queen’s Live Aid footage. “But when it came time to first join the band on stage, I was like, ‘I have to know my stuff’ so I watched as much as I could. Besides Live Aid, one of my favorite things was Montreal concert where Freddie was running around in a pair of itty bitty white shorts and no shoes,” Lambert says. “I just I remember seeing that and going ‘This guy’s amazing.’ He was so free and ridiculous and just full of joy and I’ve been so inspired by that spirit. I try to approach shows with that same humor…”
“And shorts?” Taylor quipped.
“Not the shorts for me — Freddie had much better legs,” Lambert concluded.
A general on sale date for the Queen + Adam Lambert U.S. tour is March 31, and in light of exorbitant ticket prices and “dynamic pricing,” the band stated in a release that “In an effort to help minimize resale and keep ticket prices at face value for fans, the band are collaborating with the venues’ ticketing partners to restrict the ability to transfer tickets for the Rhapsody tour so that they may only be transferred between fans at the original price.”
QUEEN + ADAM LAMBERT THE RHAPSODY TOUR 2023 DATES:
Wed Oct 04 – Baltimore, MD – CFG Bank Arena
Sun Oct 08 – Toronto, ON — Scotiabank Arena
Tue Oct 10 — Detroit, MI – Little Caesars Arena
Thu Oct 12 – New York, NY – Madison Square Garden
Sun Oct 15 – Boston, MA – TD Garden
Wed Oct 18 — Philadelphia, PA – Wells Fargo Center
Mon Oct 23 — Atlanta, GA – State Farm Arena
Wed Oct 25 – Nashville, TN – Bridgestone Arena
Fri Oct 27 – St. Paul, MN – Xcel Energy Center
Mon Oct 30 — Chicago, IL – United Center
Thu Nov 02 – Dallas, TX – American Airlines Center
Sun Nov 05 — Denver, CO – Ball Arena
Wed Nov 08 – San Francisco, CA – Chase Center
Sat Nov 11 – Los Angeles, CA – BMO Stadium
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