At the time of writing this, I’m sat in my bed here in Sydney, in the middle of the night, breathing heavy. For a bunch of different private reasons I’m feeling a lot of anxiety, and need to put my mind into something for a while. So, thus, I’m writing this. It’s long overdue but I just haven’t been able to deal with it all for a while. I’m still not healed from the raw wound that is this tour ending, but I’m slowly getting a little bit closer to healing today. But now, enough rambling and let’s get to the goodies!
Having made the trip to London on New Year’s Eve, I felt slightly more at peace getting to the airport mid-January to wait for my flight to Stansted. This time around I wasn’t flying in on the same day as the gig and thus was far more relaxed over the actual trip – no need to run this time. While standing in line waiting to board, a guy actually came up to me, having noticed my Queen+Adam Lambert shirt and asked if I was going to London to see them. It resulted in a 20min chat about Queen, rock gigs in general, Adam and his new music (and it warmed my heart greatly hearing a Queen fan say that he was excited about Adam’s new material, no matter if it was rock or not). Although we had to part ways when we finally actually got to board, almost 40 minutes late, it had set the mood. This was going to be good.
Arriving in London a few hours later, I did some breakfast shopping for the upcoming queue days, went by the O2 to check out the walk from the tube to the arena in preparations (which turned out to be pretty silly, seeing as it’s literally 2min and the one big, clear road from the tube station exit, but whatever) and freaked out about the huge billboard outside the station on twitter, before proceeding to take the wrong tube line and getting lost for about an hour in possibly the most boring part of London possible – the construction harbor area. Oops. Slightly pissed and grumpy I finally got to my hotel, checked in, and breathed out. I was in London. It was going to happen, I was going to see Queen and Adam again. Big smile on my face, I made plans to meet up with a dear friend of mine and fellow Glambert a few hours later.
Now, besides NYE, I haven’t really met many Glamberts in real life, and especially not people I’ve talked to a lot. So seeing Sophie was wonderful and a very happy experience. Her kid is a sweetheart too. We later met up with the lovely SlipOutofSight on twitter and her adorable hubby and had a late dinner together, chatting away and joking. When I finally fell into bed that night, it was well past 1am and I had my alarm set at 4am.
And I woke up at 5.26am to the most bone chilling panic ever. How the fuck do you oversleep on a gig day!?
Forgoing all plans of makeup and hair I grabbed everything I needed to go, and was out the door in 10min. The tube was empty so early on a Saturday morning, as was the tube station at the O2. The walk up to the arena entrance had my stomach up by my ears somewhere. It was a huge arena, surely my oversleeping would get me a horrible spot in queue.
Well, have a little faith they say sometimes. 4th in queue.
Now, I’m not going to go into detail about queuing, because 1. It’s pretty boring to hear second hand stories, 2. It’s not like you actually DO something, there’s just a shit ton of talking and freezing together, and 3. It’s all a happy blur in my memory. But what I can say is that the O2 security were absolutely amazing at keeping everyone happy and well organized, we were free to go and come as we pleased through the guarded gate to the queuing section to go to toilet, get food and coffee and similar. They were friendly, chatty, professional and well informed. Having experienced a few gigs in my life, and having experienced a few gigs later on at the tour, I can honestly say that I’ve never encountered such amazing security staff before in my life. A+ to you, O2.
I’d also like to give a quick shout out to every wonderful person in that queue. Laura, a Queenie I would come to see as a good friend and gig companion over the two days. Catherine and Danielle, two lovely Queenies and enthusiastic Roger-lovers, Tom and Rory for entertaining the entire queue, Heather and Leah for, although we didn’t talk much the first day, becoming good friends as well, as well as Albert, Thilo, Gavin, Mel, Linda, Nico, Chris and Chris, Dan and Dan, Jacqui, Giancarlo, Nadine, Jaime, Roy, Ian, my fellow Swedes, all the Finnberts and everyone I’ve to my big embarrassment forgotten to name. If you’re not included, I’m sorry. Just now that I all appreciate you, you all made the whole thing fantastic.
Let in, always nerv-wracking. Having the chaos of NYE fresh in my mind, I wasn’t feeling very optimistic. But, much to my amazement, we went inside in perfect order, no running, with adrenaline pumping through all of our hearts I’m sure. As soon as my hands gripped the railing, I breathed out and looked up. There it was. The curtain. The stage.
I was right where I was supposed to be. In the midst of all the excitement and adrenaline and freaking out, it felt, cheesy enough, like coming home.
Next followed the 2 hour wait until the show started. I got to wave to some of my friends, got to watch the arena fill up and talk a little bit to the security guard and people right by the stage as well as the people in the crowd around me, which just happened to be some of the people that I’d been queuing with all day and that would later turn out to become a few of the best people I’ve met through these gigs. All Queen fans, as it happens. Not that it mattered to us. Love is love, and we were all there to see people that we love. Both Laura and Tom sweetly mentioned that they think Adam is pretty damn cool, and we teased Rory about not knowing what he was in for. As if any of us were.
And then somehow, the show finally started. The lights went down, the heavy intro beats started, Freddie’s voice for a short second, and then that big silhouette of Brian up there before the curtain ripped away, and Adam fucking Lambert was right there in front of me again. A few seconds, and then he stepped up towards the crowd right in front of us and that wall of sound that is Adam live hit me like a ton of bricks in the face. I’d heard him on NYE, of course, but that performance was in a small venue and made to sound good for TV, too. This was all about rock and roll, and just like it’s supposed to be, there was no way in hell, or heaven for that matter, to prepare for it.
As always, the actual gig is a huge blur afterwards. I’ve pinpointed down a few little moments though, that are special and dear to my heart.
Exhibit A, Save Me
Time: 2.20 – 2.21
Line: “Save Me” (I’d love to, Adam)
WILD (What Is Lambert Doing): Walking down the stairs, singing, while looking me in the eye for a split second. Gah.
Exhibit B, We Are The Champions
Now I haven’t been able to find a good video of it, but at the end of the concert, during God Save The Queen, I mouthed “I love you!” to Adam and he cought it and gave me one of his megawatt smiles in return. It may seem simple, but I will forever treasure this little moment in my heart, because Adam got to actually see/hear me say that I love him, and that means a lot to me. However I did want to stick another video in here, so here’s some awesomeness for all of you.
I also have a fond memory of Brian smiling at me at one point in Killer Queen because I was dancing away and singing my heart out, but of course everyone’s cameras were pointed at Adam, so I can’t find a good video of that anyway. I’m not too sad about it though, KQ is all about our Diva!
This was also the first gig where I got to see Dave. Now, he might not have done too much this first gig except be the awesome head of security for the band that he is and give me a setlist, but don’t mistrust. He will come back with more detail in later recaps, just be patient. Also worth noting for this gig is that Adam never came down in Radio GaGa. I was slightly (very) disappointed at this, but tried not to think too much about it at the time. Again though, this is something that I will touch more upon in the next recap.
Never the less, the gig was AMAZING, I’d officially somehow lived through a full length QAL gig from the front row, and I was dying out in the big arena entrance afterwards. Hugging a bunch of amazing, fantastic Glamberts that knows who they are and making plans for the next day. I’ve never experienced two gigs back to back like that, and especially not having to queue like that, but when I finally got back to my hotel at 1.30am after a chat with my lovely friend Sophie again, my pulse was still racing at well above 170 beats a minute. I wouldn’t even get two hours of sleep before getting up again, not that I was complaining or anything. I would get to do it all over again, only even better.
As my first big personal hero, Billie Joe Armstrong, once said – the second night is always better than the first.