City: New York, NY, USA
Venue: Madison Square Garden
Date: February 5, 1977

Setlist:
A Day At The Races overture, Tie Your Mother Down, Ogre Battle, White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Sweet Lady, Brighton Rock, '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Stone Cold Crazy, Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Big Spender, Jailhouse Rock, God Save The Queen


 

     



 
 

This is Queen's first show at MSG, and it's a fantastic one. As thin Lizzy's Scott Gorham (and surely countless others) would later state, once you had played the Garden, that's when you had finally 'made it' on this side of the Atlantic.

After Ogre Battle, Freddie speaks to the frantic audience. "Thank you. Good evening everybody! Thank you, thank you for giving us such a nice welcome. It's really nice to be back here in New York. Okay, we're gonna have some fun tonight, okay? We think you'll like it. Right now we're gonna change the mood straight away, do something a bit quieter. So take it easy. Take it easy everybody. This... this... listen to me my darlings! Let me do the talking for a change." (as a flurry of the at-the-time fashionable firecrackers go off!) "This is a song called White Queen."

Brian, before '39: "We're gonna do something a little different now. We've never done this in New York before. We weren't up to it last time; we didn't have the guts. This is something off the last album. It features the dulcet tones of Mr. Taylor. And Mr. Mercury. This is '39."

Freddie stops the show briefly after Stone Cold Crazy, as there seems to be a slight power issue. He continues: "This next song is a song that we do... every time we do a show we love to do it. Before Queen began [this phrase is curious]. It's called Liar." This version of the song is blistering.

Brian, as Freddie sits down at the piano after Liar: "Thank you for making this a night to remember. We're gonna give you something else to remember. We'd like to leave you in the lap of the gods. Thanks a lot."

Towards the end of Jailhouse Rock, Brian plays the riff from The Beatles' I Feel Fine a couple times.

"It was a pleasure doing business with you," says Freddie at the end of the show.

Elektra Records threw a party for the band after the concert.

After this successful and very important show, Queen learned that Yes (rejuvenated by Rick Wakeman's return to the band) were scheduled to play three consecutive nights at the Garden, to which Freddie, always wanting to aim higher, replied, "That's it, five nights!"

In a 2013 interview with Record Collector, Roger Taylor says this gig was "quite a big step," adding "I was quite nervous for that one. You had to step up."

Brian May recalled this show in 2017: "My recollection is that my feet seemed to be suspended about three inches above the boards of that stage, and if you listen to the recordings from the night, you can hear us racing at break-neck speed as if there's no tomorrow. It was an overwhelming noise that came back from the crowd that night, and a huge affirmation for us as a group in full flight."

A review of the show appeared in the February 7th New York Times. Here is another (very positive) review, and this one from The Aquarian (1, 2, 3) is complimentary as well - it particularly describes the scene of Brian May's solo spot with meticulous detail.

This 1977 Rolling Stone article (1, 2, 3) details this show amongst other things about the band. Along with this great Melody Maker article (1, 2) about this string of shows, these are rare pieces of excellent 1970s music journalism.

The backstage photo seen above was taken by Max Hellweg. The two concert photos were submitted by Juan Guarino (and cleaned up by Rudolf Griva).

Here are some more pro pics: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

Also, some pics at http://www.rockrollphoto.com are from this show.


Recording length: 93 minutes (2 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > Master Cassette > Standalone CDR (1) > WAV (GoldWave speed correction, right channel normalized) > FLAC
(transfer: Panasonic handheld cassette recorder > Denon cassette deck > Harman Kardon burner)
Track listing:
Ogre Battle [cut], White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Sweet Lady, Brighton Rock [cut], '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Stone Cold Crazy [cut], Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Big Spender, Jailhouse Rock [cut], God Save The Queen [cut]


This recording comes directly from the taper, Rob Schoorl, who also taped the 12-1-77, 11-17-78, 8-20-80, and 7-23-82 shows. Even though it's not the best quality (it was recorded in the nosebleeds), the recording exhibits the energy and excitement all around. There is a bit of tape flutter in Bohemian Rhapsody and Stone Cold Crazy, but it clears up after the next tape flip (Keep Yourself Alive to the end of the show).

All previous versions of this recording cut out during the drum roll of God Save The Queen, but most of it was captured on the master tape. Tie Your Mother Down and the rest of Ogre Battle were recorded, but unfortunately the master was eaten up beyond repair at some point during the 1980s. There are three other cuts, all for tape flips on the 60 minute tapes.

A second audience source exists from this show.


Recording length: 2 CDR, incomplete
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: "A Day At The Garden" (Uxbridge)
Track listing:
Ogre Battle [cut], White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Sweet Lady, Brighton Rock [cut], '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Stone Cold Crazy [cut], Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Big Spender, Jailhouse Rock [cut], God Save The Queen [cut]


 

The Japanese CDR label "Uxbridge" bootlegged the audience recording in December 2008.


Recording length: 2 CDR, incomplete
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: "MSG First Show" (Breakdown)
Track listing:
Ogre Battle [cut], White Queen, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, The Millionaire Waltz, You're My Best Friend, Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Sweet Lady, Brighton Rock [cut], '39, You Take My Breath Away, White Man, The Prophet's Song, Bohemian Rhapsody, Stone Cold Crazy [cut], Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods...Revisited, Now I'm Here, Big Spender, Jailhouse Rock [cut], God Save The Queen [cut]


 

Breakdown bootlegged it as well in May 2009.


Recording length: ?
Video/Audio quality: A-
Source: Audience
Lineage: Super 8 video master

       
Track listing:
Big Spender [cut]


A Super 8 film exists from this show. 34 seconds of footage of Big Spender was posted onto YouTube in 2021, erronenously claiming to be from the Madison gig. More footage exists, as the first screenshot is from a bit earlier in the show.

It's possible this footage is a second super 8 source from the following night in Uniondale.




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