The lights go down, the crowd is hushed and goosebumps run up your arms as an echoey “Is this the real life…? Is this just fantasy…?” pierces the silence in the room.
It’s a Thursday night – about this time last week – and Mercury are performing their set, starting with Queen’s classic “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
With a Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon and Spike Edney, the night was filled with Queen’s amazing classics, as you can see in the videos I’ve added in this post below.
Joseph Lee Jackson is absolutely amazing as Freddie. His voice, his performance as he led the stage and his improvs with the crowd to get us singing back to him made it feel like we were really in the room with the presence of Freddie himself.
Let’s not leave out the band either: Glen Scrimshaw as guitarist Brian May, Pat Coleman as drummer Roger Taylor, Mike Scrimshaw as bassist John Deacon and Lee Harvey as Spike Edney on keys.
I made a point in each song to take it in turns watching each member perform. Each one a great, talented part of the group. I’d watch Glen play his guitars, perfectly playing Brian’s solos and playing “Love of My Life” beautifully. Pat’s energy never faltered, hitting each beat and cymbal with Roger’s expertise. Mike rocked the bass, “Under Pressure” and “Another One Bites The Dust” being my absolute favourites (I do love a good bass). Lee on the keyboard made it look easy, his hands finding the keys instinctively and effortlessly with the classics (so basically every single song).
At one point in the show I remember thinking ‘Close your eyes, make sure you’re not just being pulled in by the experience and look of it all’. I closed my eyes, hearing Joseph sing Who Wants To Live Forever. Only as soon as they were shut, I felt like I was listening to one of Queen’s live recordings – it was surreal. That’s when I knew that these guys on stage were like the next best thing to the real deal.
All the hits were covered; from Radio GaGa, Don’t Stop Me Now, Somebody to Love, Killer Queen, Fat Bottomed Girls, A Kind Of Magic, Bicycle Race, The Show Must Go On, Hammer to Fall, and Break Free with a cheeky black wig and hoover involved.
The hall was absolutely packed and a night that started with us all in our seats evolved into clapping, waving arms and eventually a sea of people stood swaying and singing – no, cheering – “We Are The Champions” like nothing I’d ever seen.
Mercury let us in on a little fact – they’ve been touring as a band for 20 years now. That’s a hell of a long time. But after watching their show, it’s a well deserved and easy-to-understand feat.
My family and I briefly met Joseph after the show as he walked down to the stall where their tshirts were being sold. We congratulated him on his 20 years and I told him he was brilliant. We had a quick picture together, an excited crowd quickly gathering. We thanked him for visiting our city and as we walked away to let him speak with the others that were around he said, “Maybe we’ll see you again!”
Leaving the hall and us trading compliments between each other about the show, I know that Mercury will be welcome back to our city anytime.
If you want to see if and when Mercury are in your city, go to their site here. I’d recommend anyone and everyone to see them.
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