City: Puebla, Mexico
Venue: Estadio Olimpico de beisbol Ignacio Zaragoza
Date: October 17, 1981

Setlist:
We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Play The Game, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, Save Me, Now I'm Here, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), Love Of My Life, Keep Yourself Alive, drum/guitar solos, Flash, The Hero, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Another One Bites The Dust, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


                             
 
                                         

This is the first of two nights in Puebla.

The government and organizers chose this location in an effort to avoid the larger crowds of Mexico City, but a lack of experience and infrastructure soon had the entire operation backfiring in all directions. In fact, the band were expecting to play in Mexico City, and it was only at the last minute that they discovered where they were actually playing. They were livid upon arrival, and things only got worse when they realized that the venue was literally falling apart.

Everyone entering the venue was searched thoroughly and all batteries were confiscated, as it seems the authorities wanted to prevent people from recording the show. However, there was a stall set up inside the venue by the police re-selling the same batteries at exorbitant prices. They had at least two buyers, as there are two known audience recordings of the show.

These three Queen shows were among the first rock concerts in Mexico. Plenty of the people on hand weren't really Queen fans, but fans of rock music in general. Many people drank and misbehaved, and ultimately made this particular show a difficult experience for many - including the band. Backstage there was only one toilet for the band and crew combined. Furthermore, it didn't have a lock, so they had to devise a little system with signs for 'engaged' and 'vacant'.

Queen would recall this concert to be one of their worst experiences. Various objects were being thrown at the band throughout much of the show, at least partially because audience members thought it was Queen who were pocketing the extra money from the battery re-sales. Since it was so overcrowded, at some point during the show people ended up tearing down the gate into the venue. In some parts of the stadium the tiers collapsed and many people were seriously injured, breaking arms and legs.

Musically speaking, the band still play a fantastic show. Their vocal harmonies in Killer Queen are picture perfect tonight, and Mercury sounds magnificent throughout.

As Freddie introduces Brian May on the piano, he says, "Let's get a light on him." After announcing the festivities in Spanish, he quirks, "That's all my Spanish you're gonna get tonight." He then delivers a gorgeous version of Brian's ballad, phrasing the back half of the second chorus like the single version.

In the middle of Now I'm Here, Freddie reacts to the rowdy audience throwing shoes at the band: "I've never seen so many shoes on stage. It's like bloody Chelsea Cobbler, I tell you [Chelsea Cobbler is a men's shoe store in London]!" During the vocal exchange with the audience, he urges them, "Come on motherfuckers, let's get the beat!" Just as the band are merging back into the song after Dragon Attack, Mercury does his usual "Think I'll stay around" bit, but adds, "I think I'll go home, right now." More shoes soon hit the stage, and he responds again while the band are finishing the song. "Ah, you're dead, you buggers!" His frustrations are clear. At one point a boot hit John Deacon in the head.

Brian has some fun between verses of Keep Yourself Alive. Later, he breaks a string during The Hero, but he manages to keep it in tune with the whammy bar (a huge challenge with floating tremolo). He has a bit of trouble with his Birch copy in the Bohemian Rhapsody solo, but he gets the old lady back with a fixed string for the tail end of the song.

The band drop Sheer Heart Attack, no doubt to finish the show quicker. After the second encore of We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions, Freddie says, "Thank you for the shoes! Adios amigos, you motherfuckers! You bunch of tacos, goodbye!"

Only one small door was open for fans to exit the venue, and people were still leaving at 3am. Police presence made things even more tense. With large batons they beat people who walked out of line, and they were left on the ground bleeding. Amidst all the chaos the band were locked in an underground room, where John Deacon, who was claustrophobic, was not having a particularly good time. Here the band were forced to sign a legal document ensuring they would return the following night, to prevent riots. Fortunately the second show would prove not to be nearly as problematic.



An audience video of this show exists, reportedly containing the overwhelming majority of the show. The coordinator of the Mexican Queen fan club is allegedly the filmer, who refuses to leak anything but short and heavily watermarked samples. He once teased collectors with three such clips from Monterrey and Puebla with a combined 35 seconds in length, and in such horrible digitally altered quality that would make 1990s mpeg files look pristine by comparison.

It is rumoured that a pro video filmed for TV once existed, but was destroyed in the 1985 Mexico City earthquake.

Most of these pictures were submitted by Hugo Vázquez, Nareg Mikaelian, Fabio Minero and Alessio Rizzitelli. The first 13 pics were snapped during soundcheck, either tonight or the following night. Pic 15 is of Roger Taylor and John Deacon being escorted to the stage by Freddie's assistant, Peter Freestone. The last four pics were submitted by Daniel Minero. The middle two pics could be from either night in Puebla.


Recording length: 52 minutes (1 LP, incomplete)
Quality: B / B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "No More Mañanas" LP

   
Track listing:
Brian/Roger radio greetings, We Will Rock You (fast), Play The Game, Somebody To Love [cut], Save Me, Now I'm Here [cut], Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise) [cut], Love Of My Life, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites The Dust, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This bootleg was released in 1988 in Mexico.

It begins with a short radio segment with Brian and Roger from Radio Exitos 790 AM, and the concert material varies in quality. Somebody To Love through Love Of My Life sound great, while the rest of the tracks are average quality.

50 copies exist with a gray cover, and 50 with a black one.


Recording length: 52 minutes (1 LP, incomplete)
Quality: B / B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "En Vivo Puebla 17 Octubre 1981" LP

Track listing:
Brian/Roger radio greetings, We Will Rock You (fast), Play The Game, Somebody To Love [cut], Save Me, Now I'm Here [cut], Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise) [cut], Love Of My Life, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites The Dust, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This bootleg is from the same pressing as "No More Mañanas," so its content is identical. 100 copies exist.


Recording length: 4 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Ultra Rare Trax" (FQ) silver

     
Track listing:
Flash, The Hero


This 1995 Mexican compilation bootleg contains two songs from this show. This bootleg was produced by the same person who did the two LPs.


Recording length: 4 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "The Ultimate Rarities Collection" (FBCD) silver

     
Track listing:
Flash, The Hero


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


Recording length: 55 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B- / B / B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Nevermore Goodbye Tacos" (FQ) silver

     
Track listing:
Brian/Roger radio greetings, Under Pressure (soundcheck), DJ intro, We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Killer Queen, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, Keep Yourself Alive, drum/guitar solos, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


Although the quality on this 1997 bootleg varies from track to track, this is one of those rare (and almost generous) bootlegs where the producer chose to include all the rest of the songs that weren't on previous releases.

Also on the disc are a few bonus tracks of various solo material ranging from 1988 to 1997.


Recording length: 83 minutes (2 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > ? > Cassette > WAV > FLAC level 8
Track listing:
We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You [cut], Play The Game, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, Save Me, Now I'm Here [cut], Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise) [cut], Love Of My Life, Keep Yourself Alive, drum/guitar solos, Flash, The Hero, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Another One Bites The Dust, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This is the uncut audience source used for the bootlegs. It's likely a few generations from the master since there is material on the bootleg LPs that sounds a bit better.


Recording length: 85 minutes (2 CD, complete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > Master > 2nd Gen Cassette > WAV > CDR (1)
Track listing:
We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Play The Game, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, Save Me, Now I'm Here, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), Love Of My Life, Keep Yourself Alive, drum/guitar solos, Flash, The Hero, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Another One Bites The Dust, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This is an alternate source. At 85 minutes, this is another short 1981 show due to the uncooperative audience.

A few bits between songs are missing, but musically it is complete.


Recording length: 2 CDR
Quality: ?
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Mexican Gluttons For Punishment" (Breakdown)

 
Track listing:
We Will Rock You (fast), Let Me Entertain You, Play The Game, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, I'm In Love With My Car, Get Down Make Love, Save Me, Now I'm Here, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), Love Of My Life, Keep Yourself Alive, drum/guitar solos, Flash, The Hero, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Another One Bites The Dust, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This bootleg was released in September 2010. More info will follow.


Recording length: 8 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > ? > Cassette > WAV > FLAC level 8
Track listing:
Rock It [cut], I'm In Love With My Car, Under Pressure


This longer recording of the Puebla soundcheck was found in 2015. Only a massively hiss reduced Under Pressure had previously circulated. This copy is definitely listenable.




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