Reprinted from yesterday's editions.
While it rained steadily outside, inside Queen reigned unsteadily over the Capital Centre in a solo concert that, in addition to beginning 45 minutes late, was more glitter than gold. The concert Tuesday night ranged from the musically humdrum to the theatrically manic.
Enthroned beneath a silver and black crown, 20 by 54 feet by 46 feet, their music too often became an irrelevancy. Their manic energy seemed forced; their flamboyance lacked finesse.
Suffering from mild laryngitis, Freddie Mercury's voice had difficulty holding its own, especially in the harder rock songs, where he tended to be trampled over by John Deacon's bass guitar and Roger Taylor's drums.
Queen did not do justice to their own material, which on record can be captivating - hard rock with artistic subtlety and softer rock with sharp artistic edges. But there were moments. "Bohemian Rhapsody" was strong enough to support the general gimcrackery and "Keep Yourself Alive," which followed, came alive.
Perhaps the most successful moments were provided by "We Will Rock You," a hypnotic, primitive song that framed the concert and that promised all measure of Dionysian abandon. At the concert's dramatic beginning, the crown rose off the stage to reveal Queen as "We Will Rock You" throbbed the arena.
While this critic perceived their crown to be slipping at certain moments, their sovereignty with the audience remained unquestionable.