First there was no sound, then there was no picture, but once the kinks were worked out, it was off to “A Night At The Opera,” or rather, “A Night In Bohemia” for the ShowPlace ICON at Roosevelt Collection. Clearly, Queen was in the house as the latest installment in the Fathom Events concert series, though before dipping back into the vaults to see the very first filmed version of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” fans were given a brief back story in a previously unseen documentary.
In addition to “Bohemian Rhapsody” in its developmental infancy, the “A Night At The Odeon” segment showed a band on the brink of superstardom, conquering a somewhat small venue with its onslaught of melodic bombast, in spite of almost laughably primitive production.
In honor of the anthem’s 40th anniversary, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor gave brand new interviews, which alongside archival comments by bassist John Deacon and the late great front man Freddie Mercury, painted a picture of a group throwing commercial caution to the wind and diving into the deep end of grandiose. The results are what the foursome collectively considered to be a career-defining song, or rather, three different demos mashed into one massive wall of sound united by unreal harmonies sung exclusively by the foursome.
But prior to it taking off, Queen also shared how their record label almost refused to release the full version given its extreme length and over the top arrangements, though thanks to members’ insistence, the rest is well beyond simply “Wayne’s World” history. Ironically, the song was just rising up the charts by the time a Christmas Eve concert was broadcast on the BBC in 1975, and it was fascinating to see this future showstopper merely framing a medley during the front half of an hour long set list.
In addition to “Bohemian Rhapsody” in its developmental infancy, the “A Night At The Odeon” segment showed a band on the brink of superstardom, conquering a somewhat small venue with its onslaught of melodic bombast, in spite of almost laughably primitive production. Lack of a steady spotlight aside, Mercury and his cohorts sounded raring to go on early career chestnuts “Killer Queen,” “Keep Yourself Alive” and “In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited,” while demonstrating a grand sense of showmanship that would one day graduate to Wembley Stadium and the entire world.
For additional information on Queen, visit QueenOnline.com.
Upcoming Fathom Events concert screenings include “This Is Winter Jam” (chronicling the world’s largest Christian music tour) on Apr. 19. For additional details, visit FathomEvents.com.