It was prescient that Queen picked a phoenix for their logo all those years ago? their unique ability to adapt and recharge continues to make their music as popular with new audiences as with their original fans. Again and... more » again they and their audience rise as one, caught up in the emotion of their anthems ? We Are The Champions, Fat Bottomed Girls, Killer Queen, Tie Your Mother Down, Stone Cold Crazy, Who Wants To Live Forever, Under Pressure and on and on?. Now you can re-capture that experience on DVD in full surround sound with the complete ultimate Queen + Paul Rodgers concert. This year Queen have pulled off the impossible ? taking in rock legend Paul Rodgers as singer and selling out across Europe and in America, gaining the best reviews they have had in their entire career. This DVD features hits from both the Queen and Paul Rodgers catalogues and also new, never before available performances. Selections Include:
"I might never have even looked at this video if not for my older daughter, who wasn't even born when Queen was at their height. She watched some of my old videos that I recorded in the '80s and was fascinated (as are others of her generation, it seems) by some of Queen's videos and each of the band members. So when Queen+Paul Rodgers came to the Jersey Meadowlands just this last Sunday I took her to her first Rock Concert! It wasn't something I was anxious to do. I watched Queen's rise and was frankly bummed out when Freddie died of AIDS. As talented as the other band members are, what would Queen be without Freddie?
Well, I figured this might be her last chance to see what was left of Queen live so we went. Was I ever surprised. To answer the most obvious question, Paul Rodgers is not Freddie Mercury, but to his credit, he IS a major talent and he doesn't try to be a substitute Freddie. His performance recalls how the master did it, but doesn't overdo it.
In fairness this should have been called "Half of Queen and Paul Rodgers," but the production (the Concert I saw AND this DVD) is masterfully conceived and arranged. It is a fine touch that they don't try to give us a sentimental retrospective but a lively performance strengthened by long time backup performers. Brian and Roger sing lead on several songs and give us a good dose of what they do best on drum and guitar. Paul Rodgers performs some of his '60s hits, including "All Right Now" which was fabulous with Queen as the band backing it up.
Of special note was the performance of "Hammer to Fall." If you ever doubted what the song was really about (no, it's not nuclear war) the way Brian May (who wrote it) performs the first half, as a slow ballad on acoustic guitar, brings the message home in a very affecting manner. Then Paul Rodgers comes in as lead, and the band breaks into the power of the hard rock version we are more familiar with. A powerful performance.
So, if you buy this as nostalgia, so be it. But a lot of the audience was too young to be nostalgic about Queen; they were there for the music, the performance, the energy. This is not Memory Lane; it is the work of a band that is full of life and talent. The production values of the live performance are well reflected in this video. A must MUST-have for Queen fans ... and those who will be."
Queen + Paul Rodgers = Extraordinary
A. Kulcsar | Ypsilanti, MI United States | 05/07/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I missed the tour as it rolled through Michigan, and I lament the fact that I could not see this incredible show. As another mentioned here, Paul did not attempt to serve as a stand-in for Freddie. He made the songs his own and performed admirably. No simple feat by any means...to take songs like "The Show Must Go On" and "We Are the Champions" and make them your own songs...but he did it.
It really was hard for me not to shed some tears to see Freddie on the screen performing the first Act of "Bohemian Rhapsody," to hear Roger Taylor lead the crowd in a fantastic version of "Radio Ga Ga," or to hear Brian May perform a marvelous solo on "Love of My Life." All of the artists sound amazing...it was particularly cool for me to see Roger take center stage and sing like he always wanted to. If for no other song, this DVD is worth hearing "I Want It All" performed live.
This was not a Queen concert with some Bad Company covers, nor was this a Paul Rodgers concert covering Queen songs. It was the show that it was billed to be and it lived up to my very high expectations: Paul Rodgers fronting Queen doing some of their best songs.
Not sure what some of the reviewers were missing...this DVD is presented both in stereo and in DTS 5.1. The picture is gorgeous in 16:9 letterbox format. The live sound was mixed almost perfectly with a scant few spots where it was difficult to hear vocals. The mix is well above average for a live video.
Purists will be upset, to be sure...but if you take it for what it is, this is great music."
James Allen | East Coast | 12/17/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"One of the reviewers here posted that this DVD is hard to watch because the editing is choppy and there are frequent cuts. This poster had me worried that I would also find it hard to watch, but in fact, the editing is superb. Look carefully at it and you will see that it always focuses on whatever the most interesting and important thing is that's going on. For example, when there's a little drum fill we briefly see Roger Taylor doing that fill, then on to whatever is next. The editing enhances the music brilliantly. This concert is full of touching moments that brought an ear-to-ear smile to my face. One of the best was when Brian was playing the guitar accompaniment for Love of My Life to the audience's singing. The whole time he had that I-can't-believe-I'm-accompanying-12000-people-on-the-guitar-to-a-song-I-recorded-in-a-band-30-years-ago-and-that-they-all-have-the-lyrics-memorized look on his face. I don't think that these beautiful moments would have been noticeable if the editing weren't top notch. This DVD, though it's the same concert, is far superior to the CD version. The CD sounds nice, but the visuals of the DVD version are unforgettable. The best thing is being there, but as I said, this recording of the show brings out moments that aren't noticeable when you're sitting 100 rows away from the action."
Vandelay Industries | Augusta, GA USA | 10/22/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to admit, when I first listened to the Return Of The Champions CDs, my initial reaction was bordering on disappointment. After hearing the opening two numbers "Tie Your Mother Down" & "I Want To Break Free", my impression was "not bad, but...(insert any number of reasons, many involving the late Freddie Mercury)".
A few songs later, I warmed up to it a bit more...I started realizing it was less a concert trying to pass itself off as Queen, and more an all-star lineup celebrating the legacy of one of rock's greatest bands. It was after this realization I decided that purchasing the DVD would be a no-brainer.
After watching it, I can say it looks superb for the most part, and it does a nice job re-creating the vibe of the performance. Both the band & the fans look like they're happy as hell to be there, and as a result it adds a positive charge to the songs. The lights are captured in all their glory, and it makes for some great eye candy. Last but not least, both Paul Rodgers & Brian May seems to have discovered the fountain of youth, 'cuz they still look & move around like they're in their 30's.
Add in a DTS surround mix, and you have a DVD that any self-respecting Queen (or Paul Rodgers) fan should have in their collection. Nah, it's not the "definitive" Queen, but it'll definitely satisfy the jones....
Thomas M. Kozak | cleveland | 04/08/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I heard bad things about this. Hell, I thought bad things about this. Then I heard they were coming to Cleveland, I told my 11 year old daughter, and she flipped out. ""QUEEN!!!" But I said just the guitar player and drummer with another singer (she has no idea who Paul Rodgers is).
Then one day I decided, I would like to see the DVD because I love the music of Queen, I think Roger Taylor has got to be one of the greatest drummers in rock and, of course Brian May 101, 102 and 103, should be required courses for any guitar player who wants to even touch the instrument.
I'll tell you what. I miss John Deacon, but, Paul, Brian, and Roger treat the music and Freddie's legacy with such love and respect that I found myself in tears. And I don't think it was a calculated performance on their part. It looks real and true and loving.
This DVD could resurrect the concert industry.
Of course, the fact you need to take out a home equity loan to see a concert should maybe be addressed at some point.
And this is the power of these DVD's. Why pay twelve bucks to park for a concert where you paid $60 per person for two people when you could watch this DVD which sounds great and looks great for about $20?
I do miss the live element though. And I wish I would have seen this one and taken my daughter to it."