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Taken from Wicked Local Dennis (Aug 03, 2017)

Rocking out with Queen

by Caryn Ritchie

It really is true, we may be old but we had all the cool bands.

Last week I traveled to Mohegan Sun to see Adam Lambert and Queen. I haven’t been to a true “rock” concert in a long time. In the past few years I’ve seen Elton John, Billy Joel, Rod Stewart and James Taylor. All wonderful, but definitely more mellow than Queen. When they came on stage, as they say at Fenway, “We rose as one." Ten thousand screaming fans singing, “We will rock you.” I had expected the audience to be around my age, and though many of them were, the girls sitting to my left were 16 years old. They told me “we grew up with their music”. Funny thing so did I, only it was 47 years ago. There was diversity of every kind throughout the arena, and for two hours we were all united by our mutual love of the music of Queen.

Brian May, the lead guitarist had turned 70 a few days earlier, and Roger Taylor, the drummer was 68. They both had started the band with Freddie Mercury almost five decades ago. Their talent remains at the level that has kept them at rock god status all these years. Their energy and passion energized an already near hysteria crowd. And all of us “senior citizens” let ourselves be caught up in the experience, and transported back to our younger days. Music is an equalizer: a unifying force, and the strongest memory releaser. As we stood as one, we each were alone in our thoughts of where we were when we first heard these songs. For many of us, we celebrated important events in our lives with these songs. Keith and I danced to “A crazy little thing called love” at our son’s wedding. I danced in the streets of Philadelphia with my other son to “We are the Champions” after the Patriots beat the Eagles and he lost the bet.

Rock concerts of today have stepped it up a notch, so to speak. The high tech staging and a top-flight laser show complimented every song. Freddie Mercury even made a few appearances to sing with Brian May and Adam Lambert. It was touching and heart wrenching, and released a flood of memories about a time when AIDS was rampant and we were losing many good people way too soon. Great music does that to you: brings you so high and then brings you crashing down.

The volume of the concert didn’t bother me as much as I thought. I guess getting a bit deaf with aging is helpful in this instance. The laser light show, although beautiful, was challenging at times. I was praying it wouldn’t trigger an underlying seizure disorder. The constant frenzied, high energy level on stage was what was the most amazing. Every song, every note was given 200 percent by each performer. How do you do that night after night at age 70 and not die??? They are in a 25 city USA tour, followed by a 25 city European tour, followed by a 10 city Australia and New Zealand tour. It makes me proud of our generation. We do refuse to grow up.


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