City: New York, NY, USA
Venue: Madison Square Garden
Date: November 16, 1978

Setlist:
We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Somebody To Love, If You Can't Beat Them, Death On Two Legs, Killer Queen, Bicycle Race, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, You're My Best Friend, Now I'm Here, Spread Your Wings, Dreamers Ball, Love Of My Life, '39, It's Late, Brighton Rock, Fat Bottomed Girls, Keep Yourself Alive, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen



     

                   

Freddie, after the third song: "Straight away we'd like to do something from the... another song from the Jazz album. Have you got it yet? Have you got it in the record collection? You'd better!" He tries to continue, "This is a John Deacon composition." The audience aren't calming down, so he practically pleads, in typical fashion: "Let me speak, my darlings." He is then able to introduce If You Can't Beat Them.

After the song, Brian speaks to the audience, and it seems that things are being thrown on stage. "What is all this here? Is this Christmas or something? It's pretty close. Okay, we have a rude little song for you now, which is something written by Freddie some time ago for the A Night At The Opera album." With much enthusiasm, he shouts, "It's called Death On Two Legs." Freddie plays a piano intro that sounds a bit like Cold As Ice by Foreigner.

The instrumental section of Dreamers Ball has become a fuller 'vocal brass' section, as Roger now adds a kazoo to Brian's trombone. After the song, Freddie seems to reveal how the band still aren't completely comfortable playing it yet, as he asks the audience, "Do you like the acoustic songs we sing for you? I just hope so." Brian does the band intro after Love Of My Life, as would eventually become the custom on the Jazz tour. After Roger and John each get their moment in the spotlight, Freddie says, "And Aretha Franklin on vocals."

A fantastic and very daring version of Brighton Rock is played tonight. It is the first confirmed instance of Roger doing his tympani solo. Freddie, after the song: "This is our latest 45, a double A side. This is dedicated to all you guys with big bottoms, yeah. Nice big fat juicy bottoms. This song is called Fat Bottomed Girls."

Sheer Heart Attack is now a longer version, as it had previously merged into Jailhouse Rock after the first chorus (or Keep Yourself Alive, like in Dallas a few weeks back).

This is the first known performance where Freddie really went of his way to emphasize "I thank you all" during We Are The Champions, which would always result in a great cheer from the audience. From this point onward, Freddie would do this at virtually every show.

Since this review doesn't mention the spectacle during Fat Bottomed Girls that would happen the next night, it is likely a review of the November 16 show.

A second review is more like a personal scathing of the band more than a review of a concert, but it's not surprising since none of Rolling Stone's writers at the time were known to like the band.

This third review is from the New York Times.

The first two pics were taken by Rob Schoorl. The rest of the pics are from Nino Trovato, taken by his cousin Angela. The first of these reveals Joe Trovato, head of lighting, at the lighting board. The eighth and ninth pictures are of Brian May playing the solo in We Will Rock You.

Here are a few pro pics: 1 2 3 4 5

Although these photos don't specify a date, the photographer, Robin Platzer, is New York-based, which most likely means they were taken at one of the three New York area shows. The sixth photo reminds us of a classic Freddie Mercury quote:

"I don't like the way my teeth protrude. I'm going to have them done, but I just haven't had the time. Apart from that, I'm perfect."

Indeed, he had a few extra teeth on the top half of his mouth, but didn't want to have any dental work done on them out of fear that it would alter his voice. His concerns were valid, and so his overbite would forever remain with him.


Recording length: 115 minutes (2 CDR, complete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: "All That Jazz" (Uxbridge)

     
Track listing:
We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Somebody To Love, If You Can't Beat Them, Death On Two Legs, Killer Queen, Bicycle Race, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, You're My Best Friend, Now I'm Here, Spread Your Wings, Dreamers Ball, Love Of My Life, '39, It's Late, Brighton Rock, Fat Bottomed Girls, Keep Yourself Alive, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This show was bootlegged for the first time in November 2009, part of a 4-disc set including a recording from the following night's show.

It is a pretty good copy of the audience tape, although it gets slightly distorted at Spread Your Wings through the end of the show (which seems to be the case on every copy).


Recording length: 113 minutes (2 CD, complete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > ? > CDR (x) > WAV (GoldWave speed correction) > FLAC
Track listing:
We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Somebody To Love, If You Can't Beat Them, Death On Two Legs, Killer Queen, Bicycle Race, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, You're My Best Friend, Now I'm Here, Spread Your Wings, Dreamers Ball, Love Of My Life, '39, It's Late, Brighton Rock, Fat Bottomed Girls, Keep Yourself Alive, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This is perhaps a tape generation higher than the Uxbridge bootleg. The EQ is a bit different (more bottom end), and there is more tape hiss.


Recording length: 6 minutes (1 DVD, incomplete)
Quality: C
Source: Audience
Lineage: Super 8 silent master reel > DVD-R (0)

       
Track listing:
We Will Rock You (fast) [cut], Let Me Entertain You [cut], Somebody To Love [cut], Death On Two Legs [cut], Killer Queen [cut], Love Of My Life [cut], It's Late [cut], Brighton Rock [cut], Bohemian Rhapsody [cut], Tie Your Mother Down [cut]


Much of this fragmentary super 8 footage is out of focus.




Previous Concert

Next Concert

Back to 1978 Concerts