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"Wherever You Are, Be Totally There"

Eckhart Tolle

One of The Best Concerts Ever at Live Aid: Queen's Unforgettable Performance at Wembley Stadium

In the annals of rock history, certain performances stand out not just as concerts but as defining cultural moments. One such performance is Queen's legendary set at Live Aid on July 13, 1985. Taking place at Wembley Stadium, this concert is often hailed as the greatest live performance in rock history, transcending the bounds of music to become a symbol of unity and humanitarianism. Let's revisit that iconic day and explore why Queen's performance at Live Aid is considered the best concert ever.

The Context: Live Aid

Live Aid was more than just a concert; it was a global event aimed at raising funds for the famine in Ethiopia. Organized by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure, Live Aid brought together some of the biggest names in music across two venues—Wembley Stadium in London and John F. Kennedy Stadium in Philadelphia. The event was broadcast to an estimated 1.9 billion people across 150 nations, making it one of the largest-scale satellite link-ups and television broadcasts of all time.

Setting the Stage

Queen took the stage at Wembley Stadium at 6:41 PM BST, amidst an already electrifying atmosphere. The band had been on a brief hiatus, and there was some uncertainty about how their performance would be received. But from the moment Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon stepped onto the stage, it was clear that something extraordinary was about to happen.

The Performance

Queen’s set was a masterclass in showmanship, musicality, and audience engagement. They had just 20 minutes, but they made every second count. The setlist was a perfect blend of their biggest hits, crafted to maximize audience interaction and showcase the band's unparalleled live energy.

The Setlist

1. **Bohemian Rhapsody**

2. **Radio Ga Ga**

3. **Hammer to Fall**

4. **Crazy Little Thing Called Love**

5. **We Will Rock You**

6. **We Are the Champions**

The performance opened with "Bohemian Rhapsody," a bold choice that immediately captivated the audience. Freddie Mercury’s piano intro gave way to the full band’s entrance, and from that moment on, the crowd was in the palm of their hands.

The Highlights

*Radio Ga Ga" was a standout moment. The synchronized clapping of the entire audience during the chorus created a powerful visual and auditory spectacle, a testament to Queen's ability to connect with their fans on a massive scale.

Freddie Mercury’s interaction with the crowd was legendary. During the performance of "Hammer to Fall," he led a call-and-response with the audience, showcasing his unparalleled charisma and vocal prowess. His ability to engage with such a large crowd and make it feel intimate is one of the reasons why this performance is so revered.

The set closed with "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions," two anthems that encapsulated the spirit of Live Aid. These songs, already staples of Queen's live shows, took on a new significance in the context of the event, uniting the audience in a powerful moment of shared emotion and purpose.

Queen: The Legacy

Queen’s performance at Live Aid has been described as the greatest live performance in the history of rock music. It wasn’t just the music; it was the context, the cause, and the sheer energy that Queen brought to the stage. Their ability to command the attention of the audience and deliver a flawless, electrifying set in just 20 minutes is a testament to their status as one of the greatest live bands of all time.

The performance was immortalized in the film "Bohemian Rhapsody," bringing this legendary moment to a new generation of fans. It remains a benchmark for live performances, a moment when music transcended entertainment to become a unifying force for good.

Queen’s performance at Live Aid was more than just a concert; it was a defining moment in music history. In just 20 minutes, they captivated the world, delivering a performance that remains unmatched in its energy, passion, and impact. For those who witnessed it, either in person or via broadcast, it was a moment of pure magic. For the rest of us, it remains an enduring symbol of the power of music to inspire and unite.


Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?

Caught in a landslide, no escape from reality

Open your eyes, look up to the skies and see

I'm just a poor boy, I need no sympathy

Because I'm easy come, easy go, little high, little low

Any way the wind blows doesn't really matter to me, to me

Mama, just killed a man

Put a gun against his head, pulled my trigger, now he's dead

Mama, life had just begun

But now I've gone and thrown it all away

Mama, ooh, didn't mean to make you cry

If I'm not back again this time tomorrow

Carry on, carry on as if nothing really matters

Too late, my time has come

Sends shivers down my spine, body's aching all the time

Goodbye, everybody, I've got to go

Gotta leave you all behind and face the truth

Mama, ooh (any way the wind blows)

I don't wanna die

I sometimes wish I'd never been born at all

I see a little silhouetto of a man

Scaramouche, Scaramouche, will you do the Fandango?

Thunderbolt and lightning, very, very frightening me

(Galileo) Galileo, (Galileo) Galileo, Galileo Figaro, magnifico

But I'm just a poor boy, nobody loves me

He's just a poor boy from a poor family

Spare him his life from this monstrosity

Easy come, easy go, will you let me go

No, we will not let you go (let him go)

We will not let you go (let him go)

We will not let you go (let me go)

Will not let you go (let me go)

Never, never, never, never let me go

No, no, no, no, no, no, no

Oh, mamma mia, mamma mia

Mamma mia, let me go

Beelzebub has a devil put aside for me, for me, for me

So you think you can stone me and spit in my eye?

So you think you can love me and leave me to die?

Oh, baby, can't do this to me, baby

Just gotta get out, just gotta get right outta here


Ooh, yeah, ooh, yeah

Nothing really matters, anyone can see

Nothing really matters...

Nothing really matters to me

Source: Musixmatch

Songwriters: Freddie Mercury

Bohemian Rhapsody lyrics © Queen Music Ltd

On that summer day in 1985, Queen didn’t just play a set; they created a legend. And in doing so, they ensured that their performance at Live Aid would be remembered as the best concert ever.



Deb xx

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