Sunday, January 22, 2023

Queen launch second season of weekly video series The Greatest

Queen are launching season two of their weekly video streaming series, “Queen: The Greatest”, with a look at the band’s rehearsal secrets.

Following its initial run that began in the spring of 2021, the second twelve-month, 50-video schedule will bring fans more rare archive live footage, contemporary performances, and behind-the-scenes interviews from across Queen's five decades.

From Live Aid to Rock In Rio, Queen's fabled concerts have always been the climax of months of painstaking preparation. As Brian May and Roger Taylor explain in Episode 1, the rehearsal and soundcheck process is a vital part of the nightly magic that happens on the stage, not only helping Queen sculpt their famously epic sound but also tighten tricky musical gearshifts and even dust off songs that have rarely appeared on the setlist. "And if it works out well in soundcheck," notes Brian, "you put it in the next night."

Interspersed with the new interviews, Episode 1 also offers behind-the-scenes footage from Queen tours past and present. In modern times, we see Roger put his kit through its paces and frontman Adam Lambert testing the stadium acoustics. But this latest video dives deep into the vaults, too, bringing us “News Of The World”-era soundcheck footage with Freddie Mercury singing "Tie Your Mother Down" to rows of empty seats while Brian wrangles his pedalboard.

"Rehearsing before tour is always a bit of a surprise because you don't know how much you're going to remember, and you don't know if it's still going to feel the same,” explains Brian. “But it's surprising how stuff does flow back into you, into your veins, once you start kicking stuff around. We'll try a lot of stuff out, and then very often we'll go, 'Oh, well, we did this last time. Well, maybe we'll do that,' and you put a rough set together very quickly. It's about a lot of things. It's also about looking at the sound and making sure that everything's in place out front for the for the people out front. It's about looking at the monitor system, making sure that we can be heard between each other like I can hear Rog, he can hear me, etc., etc."

"Normally, we play a song through and see if it works, if we think it's going to work live, and they don't always work live,”
adds Roger. “Some of them just, they're not suited really for an exciting or involving, engaging performance, a live performance. So we probably, there's quite a few songs we've never played live that have been on albums and probably for good reason."

From their earliest shows playing to several hundred at London's famed Marquee Club in 1973 to more recent concerts performed to over 70,000 in Sydney, Australia, the one constant in Queen's performing history has been the band's commitment to what they consider the most crucial aspect of a successful performance: the rehearsals.

See also:

Queen guitarist Brian May knighted by King Charles III
Queen smash Bohemian Rhapsody tops 2 billion Spotify streams
Queen stream The Miracle Collector’s Edition box set
Queen debut I Want It All lyric video
Search Queen at hennemusic