Queen’s 50-week YouTube series “Queen The Greatest Live” has been running since January 2023, and as episode 50 quickly approaches, episode 49 is taking a moment to celebrate Freddie Mercury. Titled Tribute To Freddie, this episode of “The Greatest Live” highlights the ways in which Queen’s modern setlist honors the group’s late great frontman.
The episode opens with a clip of a Queen + Adam Lambert show from 2020, as the band treat the Fire Fight Australia benefit concert to a recreation of their legendary setlist at 1985’s Live Aid. On the big screen, we see a recording of Freddie working the crowd with his famous ‘Ay-Oh’ call and response, and the live audience engaging enthusiastically. “For the past thirty years, every time Queen take to the stage” the narration opens, “there could be no doubt that the spirit of Freddie Mercury is ever-present.” It continues by acknowledging “the strength of this feeling for Freddie has been encapsulated in the more recent shows with a timely reminder of his unique ability to conduct a crowd, no matter its size.”
The episode then moves on to show another clip from a 2022 concert, in which Brian May takes to the b-stage at London’s O2 Arena to recreate an acoustic duet of the band’s classic “Love Of My Life,” featuring Freddie performing on the screen behind him. As Brian plays the acoustic guitar to accompany Freddie’s vocals, the crowd passionately sings along and cheers as Freddie takes his bow in the archival clip. May holds his fist to the sky and shouts his late bandmate’s name as the crowd joins in on the celebration of his life.
Last year, Brian May spoke to Total Guitar about the band’s decision to continue performing. “There are people who feel like we shouldn’t even be going on stage without Freddie. But I think that would have been very sad, and it’s not what Freddie would have wanted either. He would have wanted us to continue developing. And of course, because we are continuing and developing, it keeps that legacy alive.”