Queen + Paul Rodgers
Bercy - Paris
24th September 2008
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A review written from memory
By Andy Sparks

A few months ago I decided I was only going to attend this concert from the Queen + Paul Rodgers tour so I could also spend a few days in the great city of Paris and make it a more memento visit while seeing two of my idols on stage. The build up for me was slow and I never really got excited till it was time to leave for the gig which was held at the grass covered Bercy just on the outskirts of the City. On my arrival at 5.30pm I noticed a few friends at the front patiently waiting to enter Porte 27 and made my way to what seemed a long queue but it wasn’t too bad really and we were soon inside after an hour and twenty minute wait.

Finally inside we made our way down to the front and I choose a space just in front of Brian’s mike and close to the catwalk as most of the areas around the end of catwalk were filling up quickly, I am not sure if this was the best option at the time but I stuck with it and had great views and I wasn’t too far away from the stage, though a lot of activity during the show incorporated this walkway they call stage B. Directly above us was the impressive lighting rigs spreading out over the stage with a backdrop of the very impressive screen. The whole stage area had these huge black curtains that draped and wrapped themselves around a very exquisite setting and at this point I was getting very excited and couldn’t wait for the show to start.

The time was fast approaching for the boys to come on stage and while looking around I see many many fans in the audience getting very excited for Brian, Roger & Paul to appear on stage and I was one of them. The background music kept going on forever and the time for the gig to start passed and by this time the whistling the clapping and chanting began as everyone waited in anticipation for the gig to begin. Finally, nearly half an hour late the lights dimmed and we had an impressive show on the big screen which gave us a very cool graphics of meteors & thunderbolts that really got you ready for the show to arrive in its entirety.

The guys arrived on stage to a rapturous applause and started the gig with a new song from the cosmos Rocks album ‘surf’s up’ ‘school’s out’, this is a song I wasn’t keen on from the album but it sounded much better live though I am not sure it was the right song to start with as I noticed many of the crowd didn’t know this. The next few songs really had us rocking as tie your mother down, fat bottomed girls, another one bites the dust & I want it all really had the whole place rocking, jumping clapping and singing, it was awesome to see and be part of. The guys had arrived to give us what we had been waiting for and it was pure adrenalin. Next we had the ever popular I want to break free then another song from the album ‘C-lebrity’ which once again was great to see played live. Paul grabbed the guitar and then played to us Seagull with some great vocals.

A moment next I always love, the ever impressive Brian May had the stool and guitar at the ready and spoke some very nice words regarding Freddie, this song Love of my life always unites Queen fans as one, the language barrier is broken here as everyone knows the words and I sung every word while having Freddie at the foremost in my thoughts and one of a few emotional moments during the gig for me.

Brian continued at the front of stage B, chatting and really making us laugh and smiling as he got a bass drum and tambourine at the ready and called out Roger to help him out with the song ’39, and after a few choruses introduced us to Jamie, Spike and Danny to help out too, it was not what I was expecting and was just brilliant to watch and another moment during the show I just loved singing and being part of. Still with a big smile on my face Roger stayed on the stage with Danny and played Under Pressure and Another one bites the dust riffs on the double bass then continued his drum solo as one by one other pieces of his drum kit were added till he was in full flow giving an exceptional display. With Roger still at the front of the catwalk on the drum kit he went straight into I’m in love with my car with Brian on the main stage playing guitar right in front of us…Roger looking very tired now continued with say it’s not true, then Brian joined in and finally Paul, this song works really well live and another moment I loved.

Brian then introduced Paul Rodgers to the stage to perform some of his own hits which included bad company and feel like making love and once again good vocals. The feel like making love performance by everyone was just brilliant.

The show continued with Brian and his guitar solo and something I was especially waiting for, Bijou was played with a closed eye appearing on the screen and Freddie’s vocals softly playing and when the eye opened we then had Freddie on the screen I had a big lump in my throat and a tear emerged from my eye, it was an emotional moment for me and I have no doubt there where many fans there who felt the same. The emotion continued as Brian then went to play last horizon as it was just a lovely tune to follow and it is one of my favourites. Brian really pulled this off to perfection….remarkable and so well thought out.

The audience after that beautiful performance by Brian were then back in rocking mode with everyone dancing to crazy little thing called love, then another great song…the show must go on which again was just brilliant as was radio ga ga in which I think the whole venue joined in, it must have been a great sight from the stage as everyone clapped in unison to a Queen classic. As in the 2005 tour we had bohemian Rhapsody next with once again Freddie starting us off with Brian and Roger playing on the darkened stage, it was just so awesome and emotional to watch, then Paul came on and the lighting went mental and the whole place rocked, it was amazing.

The band went off after this and with everyone chanting more more, they return and started playing the new song from the album cosmos rockin’, which once again I don’t think many knew but it sounded better live than on the album and is certainly a great live track. This was followed by the usual encore songs of all right now, we will rock you and we are the champions and the whole place just erupted with noise and passion. To finish off the gig god save the queen was played and even though most of the audience were French it felt like everyone was singing it..and I felt proud, very proud.

My initial opinion of this concert was it was just a fantastic performance with Paul Rodgers putting in so much effort and I think he is better than when I went to see them in 2005. Roger and Brian were just amazing, they were brilliant and I am glad I attended this gig as I wasn’t sure at first if these guys could beat the shows of 05 but they have proved me wrong and they have got better. This new band Queen + Paul Rodgers will rock you, they will make you laugh, make you happy and they will make you emotional. Just BRILLIANT!!

The Cosmos has arrived and it is certainly Rockin.

All text copyright © Andy Sparks

Set List

Intro (Cosmos rocks)
01 Surf´s Up … School´s Out!
02 Tie your mother down
03 Fat bottomed girls
04 Another one bites the dust
05 I want it all
06 I want to break free
07 C-lebrity
08 Seagull (Paul solo)
09 Love of my life (Brian solo)
10 '39
11 Roger electric Bass Solo incl Under Pressure/Another One Bites The Dust
12 Drum Solo
13 I'm in love with my car
14 Say it's not true
15 Bad company
16 Feel Like Making Love
17 Guitar solo
18 Bijou
19 Last horizon
20 Crazy little thing called love
21 The show must go on
22 Radio gaga
23 Bohemian rhapsody

24 Cosmos rockin'
25 All right now
26 We will rock you
27 We are the champions
28 God save the queen