Adam Lambert No Freddie Mercury, But Next Best Thing

By: Kimberly Ripley - July 12, 2014

Adam Lambert, in his new role as front man for Queen, rocked Houston on Wednesday night, during one of the band’s few southern stops on its summer tour. Sources say it didn’t take long for the crowd to warm up to Lambert, whose vocal abilities sold them–if not before–then definitely during his rendition of ‘Somebody to Love.’

Since Freddie Mercury’s passing back in 1991, finding a viable replacement with the vocal talent and similar over-the-top style to fill his larger-than-life shoes has been a difficult task for the band. Adam Lambert likely represents the end to that task. His glitz and glam via multiple costume changes compared to those of Cher–as well as his penchant for leopard print, leather, and fringe–kept the crowd singing along, cheering, and remembering Mercury, who died of HIV/AIDS. Film clips of Mercury’s performances from the 1980s peppered Wednesday’s performance, with Adam Lambert even ceding the vocals of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to his late, great predecessor. It was plain to see that Lambert had achieved the very delicate balance of leading with his vocals while still honoring Freddie Mercury–and with some of the band’s original fans in the audience–that was no small feat.

Adam Lambert reportedly had more of a ‘practiced showmanship’ style than that of Freddie Mercury, who always kept his feet very firmly planted in the rock genre, but that was probably needed to prevent fans from thinking they were at a tribute show instead of enjoying a revitalized version of the classic rock band.

The night after his Houston performance, Adam Lambert was rocking the crowd in Dallas.

If any Queen fans held off their opinions of Adam Lambert until the encore, then they were sold the minute the young singer returned to the stage. His renditions of ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are the Champions’ left little to no doubt in their minds that he is good–even good enough to do Freddie Mercury proud.

Adam Lambert is no Freddie Mercury. Mercury is irreplaceable in the rock world. But as a singer who can lead Queen into future sold out performances–it sounds like Lambert might just be the next best thing.

Image via Instagram

About the Author

Kimberly RipleyKimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.

View all posts by Kimberly Ripley
  • http://www.facebook.com/cam.pety Camille

    and Freddie is no Adam Lambert…Brian May and Roger Taylor adore Adam and LOVE performing with him, as do WE!!

    • Tim

      You say “and Freddie is no Adam Lambert” as if Lambert’s in the same league as Freddie Mercury. If Lambert is in your opinion, then name a song that Lambert’s written in his first 5 years that’s anywhere near on the level of Bohemian Rhapsody, or if that’s a bit unfair, then – Somebody to Love or We Are The Champions or Killer Queen (that’s without naming the rest). Mercury’s widely considered the greatest rock singer and front-man of all time. Lambert is nowhere near in the same league.

      • http://www.therealmusicdivas.com/ The Real Music Divas

        Agree 100% with u, Tim

  • Susan

    Camille..Two thumbs up! Why oh why do reviewers think it is necessary to say this time & again? :(

  • Mallory2696

    Thousand are thrilled with this collaboration per ticket sales and sold out shows.

    • Trudy

      The fans have spoken. That’s all that counts.

  • Zenber1

    It is a concert worth every dime of what it costs, and that is a lot these days! A great rock n’ roll tour for old and young. Can’t believe how amazing Adam Lambert is taking the front for an iconic band like Queen.

  • Trudy

    Anyone willing to speculate as to whether the tour will hit South America or South Africa?

  • Jason

    And Freddie is no Adam Lambert.

    • imrah

      No he is ADAM LAMBER..NO ONE CAN BE TWO DIFFERENT PEOPLE. .CAN THEY?

    • imrah

      Agree..Adam is Adam.

    • Tim

      Which is a good thing! Lambert’s nowhere near in the same league.

  • 808glam

    Still in awe after seeing the 3 LA/Vegas shows live. Thank you for featuring one of the highlights… LOVE KILLS! Hoping they will add a stop in Hawaii so I can go to another show…

  • Jane

    Strange review – I think it’s pieced together from other reviews. But one comment the writer borrowed from another reviewer seems to miss the point. The point was not that Adam had a “practised showmanship” while Freddie was more in the rock genre. The point was that the reviewer felt Adam, like Freddie, had a fascinating unpredictability on stage but audiences were never quite sure if Freddie would go over the edge while Adam seemed more in control. Quite a different meaning really. Anyway – nice review in general. And as others have said. Freddie was no Adam Lambert either. Adam, like Freddie is an astounding artist in his own right.

    • Tim

      Adam’s more in the cabaret genre.

  • imrah

    Like the article. Thank you for your kind words…title not so much, all I can say is..Adam is THE best thing..best singer/performer at present…he is not a NEXT to anything. .he stands alone tall and beautiful. .the crowd & stage is his Queen members love & adore him..respect him for his talent. if it wasn’t for Adam, they wouldn’t be touring. .would they? They had a choice to pick anyone & tour but they didn’t since last time they toured.

  • lovetheusa1776

    This is 2014 – Lambert’s not the next-best-thing to anyone.

    Odd review – not bad – but seems patched together. But heart in the right place – so, thank you, KR.

  • Kathleen Stoughton-Trahan

    I wish people would quit with the no Freddie crap. He is not trying to be Freddie. He is Adam and there is also no one like him. I suppose 20 yrs from now they will be saying the same thing about him.

    • Tim

      I doubt it. Name one song that Lambert’s written the last 5 years that’s on the same level as Bohemian Rhapsody, let alone all the other tunes that Mercury came up with in his first five years – Killer Queen, Somebody to Love, We Are the Champions etc… or Freddie’s performances and singing. Lambert’s not in the same league.

  • disqus_JNr8cF1G9n

    The thing is……Freddie Mercury was no Adam Lambert either… They both have their own special qualities.. ……..Wouldn’t change one thing about Adam.. nothing.
    When he stands on that Stage………Nobody shines more than he does..
    NOBODY….. … and ADAM is not ” the next best thing”…..He IS THE BEST THING

    • Tim

      Freddie was no Lambert because Freddie was out of Lambert’s league.

      • Martineau11

        We get it.. you’ve said this over and over again on like 10 different comments.

        • Tim

          We? You’re a sktizo?

      • Albaricoque

        You keep saying that. Why you feel the need to say that stupidity again and again is beyond me.

        I’ve been a fan of Queen since I was a kid. I love and miss Freddie, so much. And I think there will never be someone else like him. Yet, Adam Lambert won me over since the first video I saw of him singing with Queen in the 2012 European tour. Since then, I’ve been following his career.

        Lambert is definitely not out of Freddie’s league. He’s one of the best voices, one of the most charismatic performers with one of the biggest showmanship skills I’ve ever seen. You can say you don’t like him, but don’t diminish him because he doesn’t deserve that. Freddie would have loved him, just like Brian and Roger love him.

        I’m lucky enough to have seen them in The Forum last 3rd of July. It was one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen, and Adam was amazing, humble and very respectful towards Freddie’s legacy.

        You don’t want to enjoy it because you want to keep living in the past? Up to you. Me? I’m having a blast.

        • Tim

          I keep saying what? What exactly is it that I’ve said that is “stupid”… “again” too?

          Have I not got the right to say as I please without you attempting to be the thought police? Are you unable to attack the argument instead of the messenger?

          I’ve not said I don’t like Lambert, I’ve stated that he’s not in Freddie’s league, which he isn’t. Vocally (predominantly his range, nor tone), nor as a performer (Freddie is widely considered the greatest front man, as well as greatest rock singer, of all time), or a song-writer. What has Lambert written that compares to Bohemian Rhapsody, Somebody to Love, Killer Queen etc within his first five years? Then you’ve got Freddie’s sense of humour, which was a large part of Queen. So no, Lambert isn’t anywhere near the same league. That doesn’t mean however, that I do not like Lambert.

          I’ve seen Lambert front (50% of) Queen too. I enjoyed the show, but again, I wouldn’t delude myself into thinking that this is anything like Queen when Freddie was around. It’s not. They’re more of a tribute show these days.

          As for your last paragraph, I’ve already said I enjoyed it. And as for “living in the past”, you’re aware that Lambert is singing songs by Freddie from 30/40 years ago, as well as having Freddie on the screen behind him during the concert? Isn’t that “living in the past” by your standards? Songs by Freddie and the rest of the guys that anyone is able to *currently* listen to as we have Queen recordings? (Which sound far better than a lesser singer attempting to do them).
          At least try to be consistent in your logic if you’re to put forward an argument that holds up.

          I’m glad you’re having a blast, typing on the internet. It’s fun isn’t it? :-)

    • http://www.therealmusicdivas.com/ The Real Music Divas

      I cant believe u are really comparing Adam to Freddy Mercury!!!!

  • Babyboy Glambert

    I love rock star Adam Lambert, he is the best with band Queen :)