I have been waiting for 6 months for this concert. Since the end of September, when he was notified, or indeed from the first day I’ve bought a ticket. If somebody said to me 20 years ago that I will go to the concert of Queen in 2015, I would probably thought he was crazy. Just the way I look like now to many. And so I’m going to Prague alone. Thankfully there I will meet other fans, which I’ve discovered on Twitter. I am looking forward to them too. I’m just sleepy because I went to bed late and got up early again – there should have been Queen live on TV. But in the end they haven’t – nobody knows why.
I am looking around along the way. I have never seen any commercial – on TV, on radio, no poster, no billboard. Nothing at all. I found out that nobody have seen any. According to one of my relatives is one somewhere next to highway from Prague to Pilsen. It looks more like fata morgana. There are not in Prague, not in front of arena – even in the arena itself! My higher boss was last week at a concert in the same hall, and even she does not know about them. Nevertheless, the concert is sold out. Things, that sell themselves, do not need advertising. But if there had been any, maybe it could have been two concerts.
When we want to make a photo before the sign of Queen, we must go to stand in front of the truck with the logo. A lot of foreigners is doing the same thing. I am taking photo of two Italians from Milan working in Berlin. They have been at the Berlin concert. According to some photos on internet Adam was on city tour yesterday, surely around the Old Town Square and Pařížská Street – the most expensive street in Prague ending near the old Jewish cemetery and Synagogue. And he was at the Salvador Dali’s exhibition too.
We are going through those security frames and check and after entrance we are going to our own sections. I am looking at the official merchandising. I am hearing the voices behind me: “Queen plus Adam Lambert. So… I don´t need to have that Lambert on it…” I don´t see Adam’ s CD. I am buying the programme. Next words behind me: “It´s too expensive. You´ll buy it and in ten days it will be a hole in it…” Yes, men. They are right – they usually don´t care too much for their cloths. I am dressed in the blue t-shirt with Queenbert logo and the hoodie from the same collection. Just the Adam’s true fans know what I am wearing. In the WC queue is standing a young girl (about 17) behind me with her mum and behind her is a group of middle ages woman about fifty. The girl is turning to them: “Are you Queen’s fans or Adam’s fans?” They seem to be confused. “Perhaps the Queen’s fans.” I bet they are at such concert for the very first time. And the girl continues: “I am Adam Lambert’s fan. I am just starting with the Queen.” I must laugh. I am turning to them: “That doesn´t matter. In the end all the people will be both.”
I can see here a lot of people they are at such concert apparently for the first time. There are not so much people who could see Queen with Freddie here. The young because of their age and the older because of the time of communism when was impossible to go abroad. Even if the person had a passport (that wasn´t usual) it was needed the permission to go abroad and another permission to get the foreign currency. That is hard to express to someone who didn´t live in. Those people who were in Budapest in 1985 had to have connections or huge amount of luck. The older still remember the time when to stand up from seat or go to dance near the stage was prohibited. I think that even today they won´t be going crazy – just because of their age. I hope they will be clapping and singing along. There is always beautiful singing along in here – we just have the music in our genes. The band was here with Paul Rodgers but they had advertising then. I think that the people going today who have founded that concert is taking place here are just curious if the singer is as good as they are writing in the promo of O2 Arena Prague.
— Drakulka (@DrakulkaCZ) 17. Únor 2015
I am sitting in my seat and looking around. I am not as far as I have thought but too far for some good photo or video. It is shame but I have tried. Behind me is sitting a couple probably from Sweden (according to the language they are speaking). When they see my t-shirt they are smiling – they know. On the left from them are 4 diehard Queen fans about 50 in leather jackets with long hair and beards. Two rows lower in front of them are sitting 4 teenage girls. One row lower than me is sitting a couple about 60. On my left is a mum with her (I think 14 years old) son and she can´t be older than me. They are both looking like they have come just for the reason not to make a gap in son’s education. On my right is a young pregnant woman with her partner. At 19:55 my phone is announcing that the data and internet is not available anymore. They have blocked that as always. No streaming today. It seems that the partner of the pregnant women knows Queen very well. At moment when the intro starts I heard him saying: “On vinyl it has 5 minutes and on CD 20. I suppose they are playing the long version.” I know he is right so I am sitting and watching what it makes to the people. On the opposite side I can see my friends with the Czech-Slovak fan club poster. They have better seats then me. The show is finally starting. There is possible to see the musician going on stage behind the curtain. And the Brian´s guitar is starting to play with his whole silhouette on the curtain. It´s goes up and… Arena is roaring with excitement. I am trying to make a video but the automatic zooming on the phone camera is confused by the lightshow. Paradoxically it goes better every time the full lights are on and after that it goes worse again. So what – I still will have some videos! Perhaps in the second song I hear the old man at the row below saying: “I don’t like it this way too much…” I am grinding my teeth not to send him listen to some brass music. But it is the last I hear from him. The sound is a little bit too much, guitar is ringing in my ears and I am trying to catch where Adam is moving on the stage. The video in big Q has a tenth of second delay, it is possible to see it in photos and I can see it in reality too. It almost looks like Adam is lip synching. I understand both. The sound at the sound check in the empty arena is different now when is full. The same is with the picture – in the old days where the wires were needed was the slogan: It takes a time to roll it into those wires. The soundman changes the sound and I am getting used to the video delay. When I found out that I have been trapped by this big Q and the pictures the director is sending there I am trying to break free to look at what is happening on the stage. Just in time to see Adam turning hips on the edge of the stage. Damn, those first rows have a great view! Record the concert and follow everything is hard. So I am choosing just some things. The more – my hands are in the view of that pregnant woman and I am tactfully and gently notified by her man. Everyone around me is sitting. I am starting to be embarrassed to be sitting at the rock concert. I understand that the diehard rockers in the row behind me (each one could have about 130kg) could have the problem to get up their own body. The old man sitting below is understandable too. And the pregnant lady beside me is glad to be sitting too. I realize that we must seem to be cold because there is no possible to see sparkling eyes and smiles and grinning from the stage. People who know the videos like me know where to look at. I am watching Adam´s erotic creation on stage and at one moment I am talking to myself: Oh god, slow down! This show ought to be marked with the * sign (18+). I think that a lot of men here are jealous because of the competition.
During In the Lap of the God is stage almost vanishing in smoke, Killer Queen is famous from the internet already. During the Somebody to Love is Adam just making fun. I can see even from my place how he puts the hand up to make all the fringes cross his face and he is just chewing for a second the one that slipped in his mouth. Such a clown! I love it. Because of the volume of the music I cannot hear if people are singing or not. It comes the moment to prove it – Brian with his acoustic guitar to sing Love of my Life. He is starting with the words “Dobrý večer” (Good evening) but the diction seems to be more Russian. Ok, every try is worthy. The words “Jak se máte?” (How are you?) are correct. Brian don´t need to sing – I hear strong almost pitch perfect sing-along. I am singing too and I am glad that I am not recording this because of that. It seems that Brian hears the sing-along too and he can appreciate it. It seems to be too emotional for him. Yes – this stays the same – Bohemians and Moravians are singing. I think he knows us, he is in Prague relatively often and he is using the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra too. Here we go – Roger is on stage and I am listening to his strong and steady voice. Yes, he is not as perfect as Adam’s yet still beautiful. In the eyes of many critics he will be unlucky because of the comparison – with the one of the bests. I am recording even the bass solo and the drumming battle (I am a little bit drummer myself). I think that the people in arena are able to appreciate that. And after that in the middle of the Under Pressure my phone is telling me that the SD card is full. What?! I am looking at it unbelievably. So this is called stupidity not to check how much space is there! I am looking for furiously what I can delete. There are videos I know I have in my table PC at home – Reece Mastin and 30 Seconds to Mars. I wanted to record Save Me but I have not the first line. The voice is flying through the hall and everybody is listening. Adam is standing under the ray of lights like supernatural ghost. I didn´t estimate it – in the middle of the song Who Wants to Live Forever is the same situation again. Oh no! I am deleting more videos and quickly recording the end of the song. Just one more piece – more piece with that voice! During Brian’ s solo I am deleting things on my SD card. I must seem like someone who is finding the solo boring. But I am eagerly searching something to delete without losing valuable data. That is 32GB SD card but full of photos for a year and a half back. I am listening – when I raise my head I am overwhelmed by the laser net across the arena. Wow, seeing all the changes during the songs and this I must thing that to program this have to be worse than to program Křižík’ s Fountain in Prague. I don´t see anybody to going out and back for the lavatory or so as it has been talked abroad. People seem to be more watching and listening. Somebody fervently – somebody not. I am waiting for some Czech sign as it has been made in Wienna – Vltava by Bedřich Smetana or so – but no sign of that. Adam is back and the arena is slowly waking up from the lethargy and dreaming. It takes a time to start it again – that´s what the critics are right. It looks different when you’re just listening to the stream. That’ s maybe why we sound a little bit shy for the first time when Adam is trying to communicate with the people. But after that we are ready and it is possible to hear us. He is trying to play around and we are trying to follow him. But when he goes low he is finding are weakness. I can’t sing so low. He wanted to men use their balls – and I really don´t have where to take them. In the moment he goes one octave higher I am able to sing again. Nevertheless the band seems to be enjoying that. So at the moment the sing-along is ending instead of the improvisation before the I want it all I can hear the very first riff of the song Whole Lotta Love by Led Zeppelin. WTF is this doing here on the Queen gig? Will Adam sing that? He knows it very well. No, that’s just Brian’s joke – he tried it. Adam burns into giggling and the people are laughing too. And the show goes on. The couple behind me is dancing, singing and taking photos of each other. When I look back I can see the people standing and dancing on the stairs to avoid of standing in other peoples view. If I am not sitting in the middle of section I should be there too. During the Radio Ga Ga I can see the traditional forest of hands. Adam is going down to the people below and some blond girl has a problem to breath in his nearness. All the people can see that in the big Q. Damn, not even this song I have full. I deal with that I will delete some more video and won´t be recording any new. Just to have space for some picture. After that comes the Bohemian Rhapsody. The word Bohemian comes from the Bohemians (Czech people) – not the only word we got to the world. Just for that reason this song has been always special here despite the lyrics. But now it means that the concert is nearly over. I take a picture of Freddie on screen. Not to have this one should have been considered as a sin. The arena is making noise. We are waiting for encore. Sure I know we have to give Adam and Brian some time to change their cloths. They are quicker than I have thought. The first one is Roger and the band comes after – of course. Adam has the most time. He is coming in the suit with the crown and I don´t hear no signs of protests or so. I am losing all my regards and I am standing up to can dance. Thanks god the couple behind me is dancing long time, they won´t complain. We are singing We are the champions and the golden confetti flying in the air. I am too far to catch some and now I know that the security won´t let me in another section to have some. In the moment I am starting to fear that we are not able appreciate the concert sufficiently, I can see all the people getting up to give them the standing ovation. Our mentality must seem to them to be similar with the Asians. But yes – we are able to go nuts but it needs a little bit younger audience. The old generation is a little bit used to the old habits. I hope they understand that and I am going out to the corridor.
I must go around nearly whole the arena to find the girls from the fan club. I am going the opposite direction than the others but I am successful. We are taking photos in the arena so long that we have to go around the arena again to find some open doors to leave. Outside we are exchanging our observations – we are sparkling with impressions. I hear that the blond girl is under medical treatment. I am writing on Twitter:
At the moment I send it I can hear my phone beeping. It is retweeted and the questions are starting popping up in my phone: “Did that really happened? When? What we ought to looking for?” So I am asking quickly: “When was that?” – “Before I want it all.” – “Thanks” and I am answering the questions. We are going to trucks to take another picture of the whole group. It is said that is on internet that Adam was in a gay club yesterday. I am making laugh the others with my laconic answer: “According to that the Americans are taking Prague as European capital of LGBT community I would be very curious if he haven’t been in any.” Yes – the club was erotic and he went there for the travesty show.
After that we are splitting – I go to pension and the group goes to the ordered restaurant. If I knew that I would go with them. They will discuss the concert for hours. But I have slept just 3 hours so I am looking forward to go to sleep. In my room I am posting some pictures and videos on Instagram. Immediately I can see them flying through the net. They are from the firsts so they are appreciated. Just in the video I can see for the very first time Adam´s ballet creations in Somebody to love. The girls were nearer so they were laughing at the concert already.
I am getting up at 8 AM and the admin of fan club side is sending me the message with the link for the very first review. She just wrote: “I am sick!” I knew it will be bad – I know the critics here. I am answering: “You are masochist” and following the link. I don’t wonder to her – I have never read something so terrible in my whole life. The man has no decency but worse – it is full of arrogance and his ego. Characteristics he projects into the others. There is starting immediately stormy discussion below that. Those who were at the concert are writing that he went bonkers. They have their own objections but they really like the concert. The others are writing about that this just was the reason why they didn´t go to see it. They are grumbling about the quality of something they haven´t heard and saw. In the time of my breakfast I have a calling from my mother. She asked about my impression ready to hear it. All the people in dining room can hear my opinion of the critic. I know that every review from now can be just better. It is paradox that the least of the critic goes to Adam. Rating goes from 40 to 90%. Actually we ought to be glad for the freedom of expression. Everybody is writing what wants. One thing is running through my mind: Opinion is like an asshole – everybody has one.
Responses from the people they were there are good. Not much people here knew Adam before, his song are rarely in radio, I don´t remember the last time I saw his video on music TV. He didn´t make a concert here on his tours. I understand that market of 10.5 millions of people is too small to make a promo. But it is strange that Australia has 20 millions and the promo is made. Probably we have too small area too. But I don´t know why it surprised me – the postage from Amazon in Germany is twice as much to Czech Republic than to UK – and we are neighbours. The west is taking us 25 years after the velvet revolution just as a part of so called „Eastern Europe“despite the fact that we are in the heart of it.
When I come home I found Peter Freestone’s statement – he is one of the two personal assistants of Freddie Mercury till the time of his death. I found the information that he was Adam´s guide through Prague. He can’t have a better guide – Peter Freestone moved to Prague in 2000 for the culture and his main hobby – opera and operetta. There is not much other places with such density of theatres, museum s and another cultural attractions. He lived in Prague 3 years in the quarter Vinohrady before he moved because of the noise from trolleys somewhere near Pardubice. Adam had as his guide somebody who knows Czech mentality and can talk to him about Freddie Mercury in perfect English. So Adam will remember this visit forever. And I hope we haven’t seen and mainly hear him here for the last time. After all – he just could walk here without being stopped by the crowds of his fans.
My YouTube videos – not the best videos you´ve seen but the sound is good and sometimes… is worthy to see