QUEEN LIVE AT THE RAINBOW ‘74 (Blu-ray)
Having been somewhat of a fan of Queen since I first heard their hit “Another One Bites The Dust”, I’ve enjoyed some of their more radio friendly songs, and gained even more respect for them with the release of “Innuendo” album, which would be their last due to the passing of Freddy Mercury. On an interesting note, my love for Queen was rekindled furthermore after finding out that my father and uncle went to high school with Freddy Mercury, in India. After hearing this enticing story, I got even more curious about Freddy Mercury’s unique style of singing and onstage performance, and with this my awareness peaked for the greatest rock & roll/rock opera band in the world ever.
I was very fortunate to have the chance to check out “Queen Live At The Rainbow ‘74” Blu-ray for a review, and I was completely floored. This show at the Rainbow theater was shot in front of a sold out, Queen-hungry crowd, in London, on their 1974 Sheer Heart Attack Tour. What I found impressive about Queen was their ability to connect with their fans and give them a very theatrical-like show. The energy from this crowd was so intense, Freddy and company were not just delighted with the reaction but seemed to be on a spiritual high, from their rock solid performance.
Here are some of the classic cuts from the 14 songs featured here: “Now I’m Here”, “Ogre Battle”, “Father To Son” (one of my many favorites), “Flick Of The Wrist”, “Killer Queen”, “The March Of The Black Queen”, “Son And Daughter”, the chart topping hit “Keep Yourself Alive” and the hard hitting, almost heavy metal-like “Stone Cold Crazy” made this one hell of a viewing experience. I felt like I was there, a part of the audience, wow! Their musicianship was nothing short of spectacular and Freddy’s vocals and onstage performance cannot be beat to this day. In all honesty, I’ve yet to see a rock band that can match Queen’s on stage personality and top-notch performance. In addition, to the superb singing and vocals found here, guitarist Brian May, bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor make Queen a complete package, as their talents made Queen what it was when they started and what it will be for years to come.
This Blu-ray disc also comes with a bonus audio CD of the same concert footage plus you’ll be treated to 10 minutes of rare footage from their March 1974 Queen II Tour, and show at The Rainbow. There is also a booklet within this package, which has still shots of the band during this performance, all very nicely presented. Keep in mind; some footage featured in the bonus segment is missing a good portion of the band’s performance, so these dozen or so minutes are a real treat.
Oh, and the cover of Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock” was just total splendor, done so well that it captured the energy and fire of the original really well. Queen made “Jailhouse Rock” sound even better, but in their-own way, while still keeping the integrity of the original version intact.
Whether fans labeled Queen Rock Opera or just Rock, they defined rock & roll and took it to newer heights with their innovative songwriting skills and willingness to tread new territory.
As far as I am concerned, there will never be a band so grand, skilled, talented and as humble as Queen. Highly recommended for Queen fans as well as listeners into well- written and executed rock music. Check it out.
[Eagle Vision] Sarjoo Devani