It’s 2:24 pm
There are so many different type of film genres out there,dramas,comedies,romance,
anime,rom-coms,horror…you get the picture. Slowly but surely the cheetah and I are exploring the various film genres that are out there and today we are venturing into another new one for us here,the concert film.
I admit,I haven’t seen a ton of these movies,I did see “Stairway To Heaven” at a midnight show. I have watched a lot of musicals and even music video collections but only just a very few films of a band in concert. What is funny is that I have had “Queen: Rock Montreal” in my “too watch” piles for years,unopened and gathering dust.
Which is rather strange I admit because I absolutely love the band. I grew up in the 70s and 80s listening to Queen and every today,I can sing along to most of the songs by memory. Queen was my 3rd favorite band when I was still in my early teens….right behind Journey and Boston. Michael Hoover,the man who introduced me to all things fanboy also introduced me to rock and roll. He had a massive music collection and he would record the albums by the current rock bands and give them to friends and family. You would hear Queen playing played everywhere,in fact looking back,they were (and still are) the biggest UK band to make the biggest impact since The Beatles.
A directer named Saul Swimmer approached the band to try and get them to have a concert recorded. The band dragged their feet until Swimmer says he took Freddie Mercury to a IMAX screen at the Smithsonian and showed how huge the band would look on screen.
The band agreed to be filmed and so a two night date was booked at the 18,000 seat Montreal Forum on 24 and 25 November 1981.
But there was trouble in paradise as Swimmer wasn’t the nice guy he portrayed himself to be. Queen had a lot of issues with Swimmer leading up to the shows,during the shows and after the shows.
The film was poorly edited and mixed and it wasn’t until the band acquired the rights to the film that it was cleaned up,re-edited and remastered. In this re-release by Eagle Vision,you can see and hear Queen at their peak of fame.
While the band plays all of their biggest hits,one thing that struck me as odd was the speed of the band’s performance. A lot of their songs are much slower on the album then presented here and when you listen to the commentary by guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor,you find out why that was.
This was also the last two shows that Queen played as the original four members and watching them play organically without any help is a real treat,it’s a great showcase to see just how talented they were.
Freddie Mercury has never sounded better and I have to give Swimmer credit for waiting until the band had gotten home off tour and had rested for a while before filming this,Freddie’s voice was fantastic,rich and powerful. May,Taylor and bass player John Deacon all have bright moments in which to shine which includes an extended drum and guitar solo.
The set list is 25 songs and all their hits up to that point were included except for “Flash Gordon”. The crowd was very hot and loud as well. While the interaction between the band and the crowd isn’t really captured very well,you know the fans were excited as many times they are asked to sing along and they do. Even today,Queen fans are probably the very best in that respect.
Queen: Rock Montreal has a run time of 96 minutes. The special features include that commentary track I mentioned by Brian May and Roger Taylor and is a must see.
You can buy a copy of “Queen: Rock Montreal” from Eagle Vision by going here.
Are you a Queen fan? Share a favorite moment or song in the comment box below,we would love to hear from you.
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