Yesterday we travelled along the M6 towards Birmingham, where Queen and Adam Lambert were due to play a concert that evening as part of their Rhapsody tour. We don’t often go to Birmingham (can’t think why) and so were not too familiar with the area. However, Sam had done his homework and announced that there was a 20 minute walk along the canal path from our hotel room straight to the venue. I refrained from commenting that I didn’t fancy an unlit walk back along a lonely towpath at midnight with the sign ‘mug me’ taped to my forehead, as it would have made Sam even more determined to do it.

So… with some trepidation we followed his map out of the hotel room and just as he had said, the canal path was only a short distance away. However, much to my relief the old docks had been Yuppiefied just as they had been in London and Liverpool, and the area was teeming with restaurants and bars. It seemed like the whole of Birmingham strolled along that canal path. Strangely enough there was no fence separating us from the water, and anybody coming out of the bars a little the worse for wear could well fall into the murky depths below:

Sam rather too near the edge of the canal path…

Exactly 20 minutes later we came to the venue, the Utilita Arena …

There were long queues to get in, as everybody had to undergo the type of security checks you see at airports. I suppose that was a good thing, as I had no desire to get blown up now that I had managed to evade getting mugged along the towpath…

The arena holds nearly 16,000 people, and by the time Queen came on stage there wasn’t an empty seat. To while away the time before the band appeared we all started doing Mexican waves …

The band were 15 minutes later than scheduled, but nobody cared once they exploded onto the stage with ‘Innuendo’. They played many of their hits accompanied by an awesome laser light show and fireworks – at one point Brian even had fireworks coming out of the end of his guitar! Freddie appeared in realistic hologram form for a couple of songs (although he didn’t have any feet) before turning away and disappearing into the ether. About halfway through Brian had a solo spot for what was obviously a space/planet theme. He was obviously lifted up on some sort of moving walkway but actually looked as though he was floating in space and standing on a piece of moonrock.

Here’s a few pictures that aren’t too bad, considering we were some distance away. Adam wore very glittery numbers (he had about 5 changes of clothes), at one point appearing in what looked like a sparkly dress. He also had a shimmering suit and top hat, and then a glitzy kilt. Roger had a big white beard, Brian still looked like Brian, and John Deacon had been replaced by Neil Fairclough. The show was absolutely stunning, and I’m so glad I had the chance to see them.

It took us longer to walk back along the towpath due to the number of people that had come out of the arena, but we didn’t care. All in all it had been a very successful and rather pleasant evening.