Okay! Now that I've regained the ability to think beyond, "OMG THAT TOTALLY HAPPENED!!!!"...
I met my counterpart Audrey at the bus terminal in South Station. I'm really glad I (strongly) suggested that she aim for getting in around 2:30 in case of delays, because that happens all the time. I guess New York City traffic was to blame for her getting in a bit after 3:00, which does but doesn't surprise me. I was so sure Boston would be the clusterfuck it always is.
Thankfully there was still time to get back to my place, drop off her things, and take a breath before heading to North Station. We were meeting Allison (who was wearing the shirt she got from their 1982 Boston concert), Amanda, and their friend Sarah for an early dinner at Boston Beer Works. Before we got there, Audrey and I noticed one of the tour trucks, and we both screamed and began taking pictures. And then other people started stopping for pictures as well. Audrey and I are trend setters! Once at the restaurant, and after intros were done, we got down to business and talked about Queen (duh) and how it seems now that their collaboration with Paul Rodgers has since become something they just don't want to acknowledge if they can help it - like a super embarrassing prom picture. Considering The Cosmos Rocks didn't do as great as we'd all hoped it would, and Live In Ukraine was... well, total shit, it's not too surprising that that would be their reaction.
We would also occasionally bond with passers-by rocking some sweet Queen and Freddie shirts. Turns out the shirt you see me in all the time is really popular!
The doors were opening at 6:30, and Boston Beer Works was within super easy walking distance to TD Garden, so we maybe got there at about 6:45-6:50(?). I swear you could feel the anticipation all the way from the restaurant, so of course it was massively amplified just outside the stadium! We saw Queen fans of various ages walking by and posing in front of one of the promo signs. So of course Audrey and I had to do that as well, because I don't think it would have occurred to me otherwise.
I'd never gone to North Station except for commuting purposes before this, so the construction going on was not making getting to the stadium any less confusing. This also gave my brain time to fill me with dread. "I bet those tickets you got on Stubhub are fake! Some asshole must have fabricated them! TD Garden's layout for stadium concerts says section B only has seven rows, and the tickets say 'row 24'! Etc, etc."
Anxiety disorders suck.
Anyway, There was supposed to be a parting of the ways. Allison's, Amanda's, and Sarah's seats were in the balcony, while Audrey and I had the floor. THANKFULLY the tickets I scored were legit, and we were directed to our seats. And because of the construction, Allison, Amanda, and Sarah got to be moved to the floor as well! They were one row and a number of seats down from us! We were planning on having them move next to us if our row didn't fill up. But it did. Oh well.
The concert was delayed for 45 minutes for reasons I don't know, so this gave Audrey and I time to take it all in and get more pictures (you can see them in my previous post). We even helped a few people who were failing to get decent selfies, because yay human kindness!
Gradually, the ending instrumental from Made In Heaven faded in to let the crowd know that 15 minutes or so from now, shit was going to get real. The time for fucking around was over! At random points, as the stadium continued to fill with people, and as we saw the movement of the crew behind the curtain, we'd all cheer! They do deserve praise for the work they put in, you know! The energy was building just enough to be exciting, but not abruptly so, so it was easy to just ride and enjoy it. And every minute that ticked by was one getting me that much closer to my dream! Finally! The concert started at 8:15! I heard the bass drum and proceeded to lose my shit that they were using Procession as their taped intro! BECAUSE HOW PERFECT IS THAT?! This was also the first instance I screamed too loud and too hard.
Setlists have been posted on Twitter and Facebook since the start of the tour, but I only ever glanced at them because I wanted to be surprised. While the curtain was still up, Procession transitioned to Now I'm Here. It wasn't until Adam started singing that there was zero doubt in my mind about anything anymore. I was really worried based on other performances I'd seen on video where Adam sounded great, but didn't have his footing. But throughout the tour, people kept saying that the concerts were amazing, and as the curtain fell, and hands went up, I knew he had gotten it together.
I honestly think that Adam Lambert has developed into the perfect fit for Queen frontman. He wasn't trying at all to be like Freddie. Like Paul Rodgers, he brought only himself to the table, and there were points where he was right along with the rest of us, staring admiringly, enjoying the show, and getting excited about the most amazing band in the universe. I think it makes a difference, too, that he's a Queen fan that's not a rock veteran. Like me, his introduction to Queen was watching Wayne's World in 1992. There was absolutely no point in the show where he seemed not to think it was a huge deal what he was doing. And he also happened to be massively engaging, armed with a voice that didn't falter. Much like his prettiness, it defies logic.
Seriously. Pictures and videos really don't capture how gorgeous he is. Like, if Captain Jack Harkness from Doctor Who/Torchwood had a lovechild with Freddie, that lovechild would look like Adam Lambert!
Anyway! There was a hitch for me during Love Of My Life. There was a guy behind me who had been spouting some Queen trivia to his concertmate off and on, and with my processing difficulties, he was just loud enough at this point that I literally could not hear anything else. I turned around and told him to shut up, but I couldn't get into what was happening. Love Of My Life is supposed to be this amazing and intimate moment we share with Brian and Freddie, and - just like when watching concert videos - I was on the outside looking in (except I couldn't hear a lot of it!). I honestly feel like I let Brian and Freddie down, and I will probably never forgive that guy.
He started up again during Last Horizon, telling his concertmate, "I think this was on The Miracle..." It took everything I had not to tell him how wrong he was. Because seriously?????!!!!!
But the rest of the show continued to be amazing. The times Freddie came on the screen was nothing like watching the DVDs at home. Obviously, it was video, but it was sort of like getting to see him on stage, too. I can't explain it properly.
The band was pressed for time, so they couldn't perform The Show Must Go On. It would have been awesome if there was time, but Audrey and I - at least - didn't feel like the set was lacking during the show.
Despite their living on the North Shore, Amanda and Allison gave Audrey and I a ride back to my apartment. It was nice to keep the momentum going while not having to deal with public transportation. We sang along to Play The Game and Princes Of The Universe :-)
I plugged my camera into my desktop computer to import the pictures I took. I was sure I took maybe 100 at most, so imagine my surprise that it was 505! I glanced at them to get a general idea of what was good enough to be posted online while Audrey looked through my Queen stuff. It was really nice getting to appreciate those things with her in person (which obviously means I should have Queen fans over more often)!
Audrey and I ordered a pizza and popped in disc 2 of Greatest Video Hits 2 to watch the One Vision documentary, followed by going on Youtube via my Roku box to watch VH1 Legends. This was special to us because it was the first thing the both of us had to look forward to as die-hard Queen fans. We finally crashed around 2am!
Before taking the bus back to New York, I brought Audrey to a hole-in-the-wall record shop near Harvard Square. The only Queen stuff we could find were two copies of A Night At The Opera on vinyl for $20 each, which I think is too expensive. But I did find a copy of Greatest Hits III on CD for $4. I'm slowly coming to terms with most likely never getting my stuff that's still at my father's house, so I'm rebuilding those parts of my collection where I can. I also got a CD copy of The Velvet Underground & Nico, and the soundtrack to the film, Magnolia, because Aimee Mann is awesome.
Audrey managed to get a good haul of stuff on vinyl - including some records she got for her sister. Then we walked to Harvard Square to see if we could get her a copy of July's Rolling Stone for the awesome Queen article. Apparently Out Of Town News no longer carries Rolling Stone, but they now have Classic Rock. Dammit.
I'm glad that this was able to happen! To say the least! I would do this again and again in a heartbeat! This wouldn't be possible if Stubhub didn't exist. Some guy named Steven Radchenko originally bought the tickets I got, so thanks Steven!