Queen's Brian May Says Adam Lambert Teaches Him and Roger Taylor 'How to Stay Young' Ahead of New Tour

The rockers will embark on The Rhapsody Tour, their first North American tour since 2019, in October

Bojan Hohnjec/Miracle Productions LLP
Bojan Hohnjec/Miracle Productions LLP

Don't stop them now — especially not when they're having such a good time!

Queen rockers Brian May and Roger Taylor are hitting the road once more with Adam Lambert for what will be their first North American tour in four years, and the legends tell PEOPLE that taking the stage together is just as much of a thrill as it's always been.

"We get these two-and-a-half hours to connect with people," says May, 75. "So we'll give them everything we got, but it's fun. And if it wasn't fun, I don't think we could do it. It's a shared experience."

The trio announced The Rhapsody Tour on Friday, which will see them kick things off in Baltimore in October and wrap in Los Angeles in November after 14 shows.

Each performance will feature 150 minutes of hits that span their decades-long career, including classics like "We Will Rock You," "Don't Stop Me Now," "Radio Ga Ga" and "Somebody to Love," plus deep cuts and old-school favorites.

Bojan Hohnjec/Miracle Productions LLP
Bojan Hohnjec/Miracle Productions LLP

May jokes that the lengthy setlist requires "a bit of fitness" physically, but that he relies upon adrenaline to power through, as well as the "chemistry" fizzling between him, Taylor and Lambert, who joined the fold in an official capacity in 2011.

"The audience is definitely the battery, for me," says Lambert, 41. "To see these wonderful people that are singing along with you and having the time of their lives and it charges you. It gives you a lot of fuel to get out there and push and keep giving them more and more. It's sort of addicting."

While Taylor, 73, says he enjoys listening to Lambert's extensive vocal warm-ups, he quips that he's content to do so while tending to his own pre-show routine: an Irish whiskey and a Diet Coke.

Though Queen + Adam Lambert toured the UK and Europe last year together, this is their first North American tour since 2019. In the years since, all three have kept busy; May released special editions of two solo projects, while Taylor put out his first solo album in eight years. Lambert, meanwhile, released his covers album High Drama last month.

Related:Adam Lambert on Facing Homophobia, Mental Health Struggles Since American Idol: 'I've Proven a Lot to Myself'

Ric Lipson/Stufish
Ric Lipson/Stufish

While each musician has his own special interests, May says that their union was something of a fateful one, especially considering the fact that he and Taylor assumed Queen would end with the tragic loss of frontman Freddie Mercury in 1991.

"The amazing thing is we didn't look for Adam. I often think, 'My God, how did this happen?' He is kind of a gift from God," he marvels. "Roger and I, after we lost Freddie, said 'OK, this is the end of it.' We knew consciously, 'No, we're not going to this anymore.'"

The rocker — who was recently knighted at Buckingham Palace by King Charles — says that after a brief, "wonderful" stint with Bad Company's Paul Rodgers, things came "to a natural end" with the band, and he and Taylor resigned themselves to accepting that they'd never play the massive arena stages they once played. Then, of course, came Lambert, whom they first met when he was a contestant on American Idol in 2009.

Related:King Charles Knights Queen! See Brian May Receive His Honor at Buckingham Palace

Bojan Hohnjec/Miracle Productions LLP
Bojan Hohnjec/Miracle Productions LLP

"He just appeared," says May. "The voice is extraordinary. There is no other voice in the universe like his voice. Plus he has all the other stuff, I mean, look at the guy. He's born to wear diamonds."

He continues: "He doesn't try to be Freddie, which is wonderful. He always pays tribute to Freddie, which we love. We all do. Freddie's with us, but Adam interprets, he finds new ways to go and we are very much a team now. We discuss everything, we build, we rebuild and it's fun."

Lambert agrees, calling his partnership with May and Taylor a "team effort," and acknowledging that Mercury "laid the groundwork" for all that they've accomplished together.

"He's the originator. He can't be replaced, but it gives me so much freedom to just exist in a playful, kind of silly place," he says. "Freddie had a great sense of humor, from what I hear and what I've seen, and he was sort of limitless."

That humor is still evident in his surviving bandmates, and never more so than when they're asked what they've learned from the others.

May jokes that Lambert has taught them "how to stay young," while the "What Do You Want from Me" singer quips that he's given May and Taylor knowledge of "eye shadow and platform boots."

"It's just great having somebody with the vocal ability that Adam has," says Taylor. "We have such confidence and trust in that wonderful voice out in the front."

As for what's next for the group, May is quick to shut down any suggestion that retirement is even a possibility.

"No," he says simply. "It's just a privilege to be able to do this at the top level that we are. How wonderful. How could you possibly ask for more? I think we're very happy doing it. I'm probably going to do it 'til I drop."

Tickets for The Rhapsody Tour go on sale March 31 at 10 a.m. local time at LiveNation.com.

See below for tour 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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