City: New York, NY, USA
Venue: Madison Square Garden
Date: November 17, 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



           

         
   
       
     

Queen (or at least, some of the members of the band) thought it'd be a great idea to hire a few strippers to ride bicycles on stage topless during Fat Bottomed Girls, as depicted on the sleeve of the 7" single and the Jazz LP mail-order poster. Roger Taylor and a few others were given the (enviable?) task to scout a local strip club to hire a few girls for the event. During soundcheck when the band ran the song with six ladies, many of the security guards were sure to catch a peek from the balconies.

These three New York area shows find Freddie in great voice. The rest of the band are on fire as well.

Freddie is unable to introduce Somebody To Love immediately because the audience is so rowdy. "Listen my darlings, listen to me. I'm talking to you, motherfuckers!" This would probably be the last time he'd address an audience as "darlings." This line reveals him in a stage of metamorphosis between his campy image of Queen's early days to the macho image he was easing into.

Brian May introduces the medley thus: "Especially for New York City, we'd like to do a little collage of songs. This is mainly from A Night At The Opera. Do you remember that?" The audience roars in approval. Little do they know (or would they care) that it's the same medley the band have done in every other city, not just theirs. He continues, "It's going to be a pretty rude night, I have to tell you." Freddie snickers at the piano, likely because the audience have no idea what they're in for about an hour from now. Brian snickers as well while he introduces Death On Two Legs.

Roger misses a line in I'm In Love With My Car, but the band recover within a couple bars; much better than they do in Glasgow the following year!

Freddie gets a bit poignant before a great version of Now I'm Here: "Ok folks, we're gonna do something from the Sheer Heart Attack album. We used to do this song when we were little kids. We've grown up now." And afterward he gets a bit raunchy, "A lot of people call this next song Spread Your Legs. Well, I do too. It's also called Spread Your Wings."

As Brian starts playing the acoustic intro to Dreamers Ball, he says it's "a sad little song, this."

Freddie dedicates Love Of My Life to "All you Fat Bottomed Girls... and the guys... and the turkeys." Perhaps the turkey comment is referring to the fact that US Thanksgiving is coming up next week.

After Love Of My Life, Brian says, "You're a good listening audience. We appreciate that; thank you. That's real nice. Ok, we'd like you to stamp your booties to this number if you feel like it, because you're getting a little fidgety by now. This is an ensemble number. This is called '39." This would be the last show where Roger would play the last two choruses of the song on his scaled-down drum kit on the small stage. From the next concert in Uniondale through the Japanese shows, he'd stick with the tambourine and bass drum for most of the song, switching to the kit only for the last chorus. Having two consecutive choruses with a change from one to the other is definitely the better way to go, so thumbs up to that executive decision.

The band then offer a great version of It's Late, with everyone firing on all cylinders.

Pics 5 through 8 were taken during Fat Bottomed Girls. Before the song, Freddie says, "I must say, you're a much better audience than what we had last night. Compared to you, they were dead!" The audience erupts. Near the end of the song, after Freddie shouts "Get on your bikes and ride" (clearly with more excitement than usual), the girls make their grand entrance. Amongst his vocal adlibs is, "You like 'em pretty?" and "You like what you see?" As Roger starts the intro to Keep Yourself Alive, Freddie remarks, "Lovely little beauties!" The band would create a similar spectacle again next year in Munich.

Clearly buzzing off the last song, Brian plays some very nifty lines after the first chorus of Keep Yourself Alive.

Between We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions, Freddie proudly dedicates the sport-friendly anthems to the New York Yankees, as they had just won the World Series of baseball for the second straight season.

At the end of the show, Freddie hides little by saying, "Sweet dreams, New York. Thank you for your time and your money!"

After this show, Queen are presented with a gold ticket, marking 100,000 tickets sold at five shows at the Garden over the past two years.

Roger later recalled the Fat Bottomed fun: "We wanted people to think we were having fun and being silly. But there was also a lot of hard work. Trouble is, we got better and better at having a good time."

Here is a review of the show, obviously written by someone who isn't much of a Queen fan. He even refers to It's Late as a "lackluster" tune.

Pics 9 through 13 are from Nino Trovato, taken by Angela Verdon. Note that the B stage (i.e. with Roger's smaller drum kit) that drops down for the acoustic set can be seen in the pic 12. Pic 13 was snapped while the smaller stage was in its descent prior to Dreamers Ball (the top of John Deacon's head can be seen in the background).


Recording length: 122 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:
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 [cut], Dreamers Ball, Love Of My Life, '39, It's Late, Brighton Rock, Fat Bottomed Girls, Keep Yourself Alive [cut], Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This source was taped by Rob Schoorl. Bits of Spread Your Wings and Keep Yourself Alive are cut for tape flips. Rob also taped the 2-5-77, 12-1-77, 8-20-80, and 7-23-82 shows.

The audience's reaction to the girls on their bikes is is clearly heard here. It's the most distant recording of the three sources, so the music isn't loud enough to drown out the audience at certain moments like this one.


Recording length: 97 minutes (2 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > Master Cassette > 1st Gen Cassette > CDR (1)
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


This is an alternate source, with much clearer sound overall. The taper (who also recorded one of the 12-1-77 sources) once again decided to spare tape by pausing it between songs. The tape cuts out not long after We Are The Champions ends.


Recording length: 93 minutes (2 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > Master Cassette > 1st Gen Cassette > ? > WAV > FLAC level 8
Track listing:
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


This is another copy of source 2, missing the first song. Furthermore, the transfer wasn't done well. It seems that the azimuth had been aligned properly, perfecting the EQ and sound as a whole, but the volume was set too high, resulting in distortion. The first song is missing for some reason.


Recording length: 10 minutes (1 LP, incomplete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Lazing On A Night At The Galileo Opera" LP

     
Track listing:
If You Can't Beat Them, Killer Queen, Bicycle Race


This 1992 bootleg uses a third audience source from New York for these three songs. Also included are songs from Glasgow '77, London '77, and Copenhagen '78. Only 25 copies were pressed.

The third scan is the outside of a 20-page booklet (the inside of which is black and white). The bootleg also includes a poster and artwork for a CD release that never materialized.


Recording length: 10 minutes (1 LP, incomplete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: "News Of The 77/78 World Tour" LP

           
Track listing:
If You Can't Beat Them, Killer Queen, Bicycle Race


The same bootleggers who produced "Lazing On A Night At The Galileo Opera" released two other titles around the same time with identical musical content: "News Of The 77/78 World Tour" and "By Overwhelming Popular Demand." There are 75 and 100 copies respectively.

The 75 copies of the former were pressed in three sets of 25 blue, red and yellow inserts. They all had the same back insert.


Recording length: 5 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Ultra Rare Trax" (FQ) silver

     
Track listing:
If You Can't Beat Them


This 1995 Mexican compilation bootleg contains one song from the third audience source, sounding much better than it did on the above LPs.


Recording length: 5 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "The Ultimate Rarities Collection" (FBCD) silver

     
Track listing:
If You Can't Beat Them


This 1996 Italian disc is a straight copy of "Ultra Rare Trax."


Recording length: 71 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: A-
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > Master Cassette > 1st Gen Cassette > ? > CDR (x)
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, Brighton Rock [cut], 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 [cut]


This is the uncut third audience source, recorded very close to the stage. Now I'm Here through It's Late are missing, as well as most of God Save The Queen. Even with the missing songs, in this quality it is one of the most important recordings of Queen live.

The quality improves a bit by Fat Bottomed Girls, where it then sounds almost as good as the Montreal audience tape from December. Also, about 40 seconds of tape are missing on this copy, cutting out some of the banter after Brighton Rock.

Audience members near the taper keep shouting out for older songs like Flick Of The Wrist, Ogre Battle, and Liar. As the strippers leave the stage after Fat Bottomed Girls, one of them shouts, "What are you doing after the show!?"

After Keep Yourself Alive, a friend of the taper tells him, "You missed a lot, man. It's already been an hour and a half." So this at least confirms that some songs in the middle weren't taped and that there was a reason for it. In fact, the missing section before Fat Bottomed Girls can be heard on other copies of the tape, also consisting of the taper and his buddy arguing over the tape and the missing songs. Perhaps it's not so curious that it was edited out of this copy.

As the band are leaving the stage at the end of the show, someone shouts out to Brian, referring to his guitar, "Smash it!" Pete Townshend and Ritchie Blackmore didn't make their own guitars from scratch, so this fellow wouldn't have his wish granted at a Queen concert (unless he crossed the Hudson River to see the band in New Jersey in 1982, where Brian smashed his spare).


Recording length: 72 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: unknown mics/recorder > cassette master > 1st generation cassette > Soundforge (tracking) > WAV > TLH [SB's aligned] FLAC level 8
(transfer: Sony TC-WE 475 > gold tipped cables > JVC XL-R2010 CD-RW (44.1 Hz))
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, Brighton Rock [cut], Fat Bottomed Girls, Keep Yourself Alive, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions


This is another first generation copy of the third source, but the transfer isn't quite as good.

However, this copy doesn't have the cut at the beginning of side B (before Fat Bottomed Girls), and has a couple extra seconds of tape in this spot than previous copies had.


Recording length: 118 minutes (2 CDR, incomplete)
Quality: A- / B+ / 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 is part of a 4-disc set including a recording from the previous night's show, released by Uxbridge in November 2009.

It is a merge of the three audience sources, missing bits of tape from sources 1 and 3.




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