City: London, UK
Venue: Rainbow Theatre
Date: November 20, 1974

Setlist:
Procession, Now I'm Here, Ogre Battle, Father To Son, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, In The Lap Of The Gods, Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Son And Daughter, Keep Yourself Alive, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Stone Cold Crazy, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Big Spender, Modern Times Rock 'n' Roll, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen


                                               

This article from the November 3 Melody Maker confirms that the second night at the Rainbow Theatre was not initially planned but later added (thanks to Ferdy for the scan). The first night sold out in two days.

Although the audio of the official VHS release is from both nights at the Rainbow, the footage is apparently only from this, the second night. Roger Taylor poured beer onto his floor tom to give an interesting visual effect whenever he hit it, especially visible during his solo spot in Keep Yourself Alive.

"Have you all got your black fingernails?" asks Freddie after the second song. "Who's got the white ones?" He is referencing the white and black theme from the Queen II album artwork, now fully realized in their stage outfits.

"What a lovely load of darlings. My dearies. Right now we'd like to do... I'll tell you what, a delicate little number for all you delicate people who turned up tonight." Suddenly he raises his voice: "By the way, how's the front balcony? How are you doing?" He then introduces White Queen.

Freddie, after Seven Seas Of Rhye: "Do you like my claws? They're real diamonds. It's a present from the devil himself. You don't believe me. They don't believe me! Right, now we'd like to do some rock 'n' roll, a la Queen." At this point on the VHS the audio cuts to the first night and Freddie introduces Stone Cold Crazy.

Rosemary Horide, who had previously reviewed Queen very positively numerous times, had a review of the two shows published in the November 30 issue of Disc. She stated that the first night could have been a disaster as the soundboard blew up on the afternoon of the show, and that on the second night the sound cut out during Liar, leaving Roger Taylor with no option but to do a "virtuoso drum display" whilst things were being fixed. Furthermore, she is wrong in stating that Queen would do four nights in London the next time around - it'd actually be six. Thanks to Jane Palm-Gold for the initial information and to Musicland Munich for the scan.

This may well explain why only part of Liar is seen on the VHS release. "Anybody who'd like to pose with us is cordially invited onto the stage," says Freddie as Roger does his impromptu drum solo. This footage didn't stay under guard forever, though, as it was seen on the extras of the UK blu-ray release of the "Days Of Our Lives" documentary in 2011. The power actually went out twice, and John Deacon, an electrician by trade, is clearly frustrated the second time.

This story about the power going out during Liar had been previously attributed to the Rainbow Theatre show in March, but this should now clear things up. Queen encountered plenty of technical problems like this in the early years, so it's of little surprise that they later assembled world-class crews to take on tour with them.

Furthermore, the band were aggravated by the film crew, whom they felt were impeding their progress of connecting with the audience. Roger Taylor shows his frustration at the end of the show by smashing his drum kit, even going out of his way to knock over his boom stands. This is seen on the video.

The pictures seen above were snapped by a crew member, Richard Paul-Jones, 1974. His pics are almost certainly from both nights, taken from all around the stage. Pic 9 is a great shot of Brian handing his ukulele banjo back to the crew member after his brief solo spot in Bring Back That Leroy Brown.

A young Gary Numan attended one of these shows, and recalls:

"I stood outside the stage door and tried to get an autograph and they actually invited everybody in all the people hanging around by the stage door and they invited them in into the dressing room and signed everything for everybody and I never forgot about that. It was a fantastic lesson in how to look after your fans. So to this day, I sign everything and I go outside and I talk to people and meet people and it all came from that. It was a lesson in how to look after the people who've given you the life you have. I've been to gigs at the Rainbow many, many times and there were so many bands who'd come out of their dressing rooms and the people would be pushed back by their security, throw themselves into a car and they'd leg it and wouldn't talk to anyone and be the big star. Queen? Not that at all. They actually welcomed you in and I thought that was fantastic."


Recording length: 1 minute, incomplete
Video/Audio quality: A+ / A+
Source: Pro video
Lineage: "Days Of Our Lives" UK blu-ray release

     
Track listing:
Liar [cut]


A snippet of the power failure was seen in the extras of the UK blu-ray of the "Days Of Our Lives" documentary.




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