A performer like Freddie Mercury has never existed before and will never do so again. He possessed that special something that makes a performance a professional rather than a near-mythical figure. And he was purposefully grandiose; he had worked hard to develop this bigger theatrical character. We look back at the Greatest Queen Performances You’ll Ever Watch:
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” Live Aid 1985
A list of Queen’s most famous live performances would only include the group’s 1985 Live Aid concert. In front of 72,000 fans and an estimated total of 1.9 billion viewers—at the moment, the greatest TV audience ever—Mercury probably gave his best performance of his life. Mercury ran and danced across the stage while Queen played songs like “Radio Ga Ga” and “We Are The Champions” with almost electric enthusiasm. By the time he started playing the piano chords for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the crowd had already been enamored with Queen and its zany frontman.
“I Want To Break Free,” Wembley Stadium 1986
After its 1984 debut, “I Want To Break Free” by Queen bassist John Deacon was played at practically every live concert. And in 1986, Mercury sang the soaring song for one of the finest performances of the song while pranceing around on a platform the size of several homes.
“We Will Rock You,” Rock in Rio 1985
In early January 1985, Queen headlined two nights of the first Rock in Rio music event in Brazil, performing to an estimated 300,000 spectators each night. Despite the overwhelming number of individuals present, Mercury managed to have incredibly intimate connections with each and every one of them. In a particularly memorable scene, Mercury emerges while wearing the Brazilian and Union Jack flags before breaking into a rousing performance of “We Will Rock You.”
“A Kind of Magic,” Wembley Stadium 1986
When Queen performed, glamour always surrounded them. But the moment Mercury put on his recognizable yellow military-style jacket and started snapping his fingers to the beat of “A Kind of Magic,” the crowd felt as though they were in another world. It was that excellent. Don’t take our word for it; see it for yourself.
“Ay-Oh,” Live Aid 1985
For a little while, we’ll revisit Queen’s legendary Live Aid concert to discuss the effects of the “Ay-Oh” phenomena. As the skilled performer we’ve characterized him to be, Mercury understood that while playing in huge stadiums, he needed to find a method to engage his audience more personally. So, in order to engage every fan present, he used a call-and-response strategy. Watch Mercury engage his audience with a sequence of “Ay-Ohs” in the video below.