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... 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."

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's 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.

For many years Harold May hadn't supported his son's decision to leave his Ph.D behind to be a rock musician, and this night would be the catalyst to his change of heart. It was the first Queen concert Brian's parents attended outside the UK, and Brian had them flown in on the Concorde, which was a very new thing in 1977 [Harold was a technical civil servant and actually designed the blind landing equipment on the Concorde, yet wouldn't have ordinarily been able to afford to take a trip on it]. Brian later stated, "I put them up at the Ritz [Plaza Hotel] and told them to use room service." He recalled the show itself to be "an incredible buzz.

Brian opened up immensely during a 1999 interview with Mojo magazine: "[My dad] saw us play Madison Square Garden and understood the force and the fulfillment there was for me. He said, 'I'm so envious because I shut that part of me out of my life. You've achieved more in your life than I ever will.' It was a terrible moment. I felt very sad and thought about it for a long time. So I went back and had another conversation with him, explaining that his life had enabled me to do what I was doing. It wasn't long before he died, so it was important to straighten that stuff out. I only realise now how much pain I caused my dad." In the Days Of Our Lives documentary aired in 2011 on BBC Two, Brian was in tears when speaking about the subject.

After receiving numerous honourary degrees, Brian May eventually did properly complete his Ph.D, in 2007.

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."

A review of the show appeared in the February 7th New York Times. Here is another (very positive) review.

This 1977 Rolling Stone article (1, 2) 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 first picture seen above was taken by Bob Gruen. The second and third sets were taken by Richard E Aaron and David Tan respectively.

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: 92 minutes (2 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > Master Cassette > Standalone CDR (1)
(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.

All previous versions of this recording, to my knowledge, 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 tape was eaten up beyond repair at some point during the 80s.

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


A Super 8 film exists from this show.




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