Queen have revealed they will tour Australia for the first time in almost 30 years, with American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert taking over vocal duties from the late Freddie Mercury.
Only Brian May (guitar) and Roger Taylor (drums) remain from the band’s heyday, with former bass player John Deacon having retired in 1997 and been replaced by Neil Fairclough.
Lambert, who finished second on American Idol in 2009, has garnered strong reviews for his impressive vocal range in recent shows with the band.
“I’m completely in awe of the Queen phenomenon,” he said in a statement.
“The thought of sharing the stage for a full set in Australia is so beautifully surreal.
“I’m honoured to be able to pay my respects to Freddie’s memory; he’s a personal hero of mine, and I am deeply grateful for the chance to sing such powerful music for fans of this legendary band.
“I know this tour will be a huge milestone for me, and with the support of Brian, Roger and the rest of the band, I feel like magic will be on display.”
While purists may be unhappy with Lambert’s recruitment, guitarist May says the 32-year-old brings his own unique persona to the band.
“This happened organically with Adam,” May said.
“People are going to ask whether it’s Queen without Freddie. I don’t know. We just want to go out there one more time. Adam isn’t an imitator. We’re going into new territory.”
QUEEN TOUR DATES
PERTH: Friday 22 August – Perth Arena
SYDNEY: Tuesday 26 August – Allphones Arena
MELBOURNE: Friday 29 August – Rod Laver Arena
BRISBANE: Monday 1 September – Brisbane Entertainment Centre