City: Milton Keynes, UK
Venue: National Bowl
Date: June 5, 1982

Setlist:
Flash (tape), The Hero, We Will Rock You (fast), Action This Day, Play The Game, Staying Power, Somebody To Love, Now I'm Here, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), Las Palabras de Amor (intro), Love Of My Life, Save Me, Back Chat, Get Down Make Love, guitar solo, drum solo, Under Pressure, Fat Bottomed Girls, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Another One Bites The Dust, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


               
 
               

It was originally intended for the band to play this concert at Arsenal Stadium in Highbury, but it was moved to Milton Keynes for the same reason the Leeds show wasn't played at the famed Old Trafford. These articles (1, 2) briefly explain things. It's also worth noting that the band wanted to play at London's famous Royal Albert Hall as well, but the plan was never orchestrated as there was much fear that the weight of Queen's lighting rig would make the ceiling cave in. An early tour itinerary listed two London shows (June 4 and 5) on the agenda.

The Teardrop Explodes were among the bands (the same line-up as last week in Leeds) who opened for Queen at this show. Their guitarist, Julian Cope, stood before about 40 thousand Queen fans and introduced the next song as being probably the best song they had ever heard, prompting someone near the stage to throw a toilet seat at him, which missed (people are known to bring cameras and certain substances to concerts, but toilet seats?). Lemonade bottles were then thrown at the guitarist which he tossed back into the audience.

The complete Queen concert was filmed. A shortened video was shown on UK TV on a show called "The Tube" in January 1983 (omitting Action This Day, the bit of Las Palabras de Amor, Back Chat, Get Down Make Love, part of the guitar solo, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Another One Bites The Dust, and Sheer Heart Attack), and on MTV in the US in August 1983. The video was edited by Gavin Taylor, who was later invited by the band to direct the now famous video at Wembley Stadium in 1986. An even shorter version (about 50 minutes long) of the Milton Keynes video was shown on UK TV in 2001 (and many times since). Both the Milton Keynes and Wembley shows would eventually be released on DVD uncut.

The 2004 official release of this show (both on CD and DVD) is called "Queen On Fire: Live At The Bowl". The DVD is a beautiful document of Queen's show at the time. It is packed full of classic Queen moments that were thankfully caught on film - countless things from the energetic opening of the show, to Brian playfully punching Freddie's hat off his head towards the end of the We Will Rock You guitar solo. There are also extras from 1982 shows in Vienna and Tokyo.

After a great version of Play The Game, Freddie essentially apologizes to the audience for much of the latest album's content: "Now most of you know that we've got some new songs out in the last week. For what it's worth we're gonna do a few songs in the funk/black category, whatever you call it. That doesn't mean we've lost our rock and roll feel, okay? I mean it's only a bloody record. People get so excited about these things! We just wanna try out a few songs. This is Staying Power." For some reason part of the speech was removed for the CD release of "Live At The Bowl." Without a doubt this is his definitive live delivery of the song, pulling off all of the stops. Mercury is at his peak tonight.

Somebody To Love has been a vocal adventure of Freddie's for the past couple years. His intro is different every night, as is his solo spot towards the end. The version captured here on film is surely one of his best. Before launching into the familiar piano theme, he asks the audience in a moment for the ages, "Are you ready?" And in excitement, "Huh? Are you ready brothers and sisters?"

Part way through his vocal exchange with the audience in Now I'm Here, Freddie says, "C'mon, we're gonna make you sing like Aretha Franklin." At the end of the successful duel, he jokingly says, "Right, you can join the band!" The r&b influence is never more evident than it is here, and it makes for a classic version of the song.

Brian breaks a string just before his guitar solo in Dragon Attack. While he switches to a Red Special copy, John Deacon gets to play the bass solo as it's heard on the record - the one and only time he has the chance to do it. It's on the fly, and he nails it note for note.

"Las Palabras de Amor" was released as a single a few days ago, and Brian plays a small bit of it on his 12-string acoustic before Love Of My Life. He then mentions how the band won't be playing their "song of peace" tonight, as he calls it. This remains the only show where the Hot Space ballad would be referenced.

Brian's guitar cuts out for some reason during his solo spot. This moment was edited out of the 1983 TV broadcasts (and slightly edited on the CD release), but it is included in all its glory on the DVD. Brian's guitar tech is seen rushing on and off stage within seconds, having quickly fixed whatever the issue was.

About half way through Sheer Heart Attack, Brian sneaks in the riff from I Go Crazy an octave up, and much faster, to match the tempo of the energetic News Of The World rocker. The song would be dropped from the set after this show, only to emerge again late in the pending North American tour.

This would be Morgan Fisher's last show with the band as the touring keyboardist. A number of theories are abound about his departure, including musical differences or his apparent fear of flying. At the end of the day, he simply moved on to do other things. Fisher confirmed in a 2009 interview that he has never been afraid of airplanes.

The CD and DVD releases would be patched up a bit, most notably in the third verse of Fat Bottomed Girls where Freddie's voice cracked badly on "locality". Also, at the end of Brian's guitar solo, Roger's timing with the guitar delays was a bit off at the show, but this was nicely fixed up. The audio as a whole is much different from the video feed on the TV broadcasts. Naturally the sound quality is much better overall, but there are a couple differences worth pointing out. Some of Brian's backing vocals (particularly at the end of Somebody To Love) can be clearly heard on recordings of the TV broadcasts, but were brought down in the mix for the official releases. Also, compression has been added to Roger's snare drum, giving it a much fatter sound than on Queen Rock Montreal from just six months earlier.

Brian May and Roger Taylor are interviewed before the show, as shown on the Bowl DVD and the original TV broadcasts. Brian reveals that he really enjoys playing Play The Game. He explains, "You've done your leaping about, and you've made your statement on your entry. And then you can settle down and start really playing something." Roger says his current favourite is Under Pressure.

On the day before this show, Freddie's boyfriend at the time had bitten him between his thumb and forefinger during a fight, causing it to bleed profusely and require stitches. On the DVD, Freddie is seen tossing the bandage around just before coming on stage.

The sixth picture was submitted by Fabio Minero, and the tenth is from Alessio Rizzitelli. The third set was taken by Phil Reynolds.

Here are a few pro pics that were taken at this show:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

More pictures from this show can be found at http://www.repfoto.com. You have to register as a user.


Recording length: 1 LP, incomplete
Quality: B
Source: TV
Lineage: "Mot et Chandon" LP

     
Track listing:
Flash (tape), The Hero, We Will Rock You (fast), Somebody To Love, Now I'm Here, Love Of My Life, Under Pressure, Fat Bottomed Girls, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


Although it doesn't specify a date on the cover, this 1991 German LP bootleg is from one of the 1983 TV broadcasts of the Milton Keynes show.

Plenty of songs are missing, as all 18 couldn't fit onto a single LP. Instead of shifting other songs around, the Now I'm Here / Dragon Attack combination is split between the two sides.

The title was Freddie Mercury's favourite kind of champagne, as heard in the opening lyrics of the band's first major hit song, Killer Queen.

It was pressed with three different covers. All three versions had the same pink LP. These 20 numbered copies contained a pair of boxer shorts. There are 100 copies in all.


Recording length: 1 LP, incomplete
Quality: B
Source: TV
Lineage: "Mot et Chandon" LP

   
Track listing:
Flash (tape), The Hero, We Will Rock You (fast), Somebody To Love, Now I'm Here, Love Of My Life, Under Pressure, Fat Bottomed Girls, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


The next 30 copies of the LP contained a t-shirt.


Recording length: 1 LP, incomplete
Quality: B
Source: TV
Lineage: "Mot et Chandon" LP

 
Track listing:
Flash (tape), The Hero, We Will Rock You (fast), Somebody To Love, Now I'm Here, Love Of My Life, Under Pressure, Fat Bottomed Girls, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


These are the final 50 numbered copies.


Recording length: 72 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: A-
Source: TV
Lineage: "Command Performance" silver

       
Track listing:
Flash (tape), The Hero, We Will Rock You (fast), Play The Game, Staying Power, Somebody To Love, Now I'm Here, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), Love Of My Life, Save Me, guitar solo [cut], drum solo, Under Pressure, Fat Bottomed Girls, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This is a straight copy of one of the the mono TV broadcasts.


Recording length: 72 minutes (1 CD, incomplete)
Quality: A-
Source: TV
Lineage: "Rock It To The Bowl" (Dancing Horse) silver

 
Track listing:
Flash (tape), The Hero, We Will Rock You (fast), Play The Game, Staying Power, Somebody To Love, Now I'm Here, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), Love Of My Life, Save Me, guitar solo [cut], drum solo, Under Pressure, Fat Bottomed Girls, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This is musically identical to the Command Performance bootleg.

Both titles have mislabelled The Hero as Rock It on their respective back covers.


Recording length: 85 minutes (2 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > ? > CDR (x)
Track listing:
Flash (tape), The Hero, We Will Rock You (fast), Action This Day, Play The Game, Staying Power, Somebody To Love, Now I'm Here, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), Las Palabras de Amor (intro), Love Of My Life, Save Me, Back Chat, Get Down Make Love, guitar solo, drum solo, Under Pressure, Fat Bottomed Girls, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down


There was a time when this audience source was valuable, as it included songs not seen on the TV broadcasts - particularly the snippet of Las Palabras de Amor.


Recording length: 105 minutes (2 CD, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: AUD > Master Cassette > ? > FLAC level 8
Track listing:
Flash (tape), The Hero, We Will Rock You (fast), Action This Day, Play The Game, Staying Power, Somebody To Love, Now I'm Here, Dragon Attack, Now I'm Here (reprise), Las Palabras de Amor (intro), Love Of My Life, Save Me, Back Chat, Get Down Make Love, guitar solo [cut], drum solo, Under Pressure, Fat Bottomed Girls, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Tie Your Mother Down, Another One Bites The Dust, Sheer Heart Attack, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen


This alternate source (likely from the master tape) is missing a couple minutes of the guitar solo, including the precise point where Brian has his guitar issues.


Recording length: 5 minutes (1 LP, incomplete)
Quality: B+
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Absolutely Rare" LP

Track listing:
Back Chat


This compilation bootleg released on vinyl in 1992 included one song from a third Milton Keynes audience source - the best-sounding of the three.


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

     
Track listing:
Back Chat


This is a 1992 CD re-release of a vinyl title released earlier in the year, but with a different cover. It is musically identical.


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

 
Track listing:
Back Chat


This German 1992 bootleg CD has the same content as Absolutely Rare.


Recording length: 10 minutes (LP, incomplete)
Quality: B-
Source: Audience
Lineage: "Hot Space Tour '82" LP

     
Track listing:
Staying Power, Under Pressure, Sheer Heart Attack


Three songs from a possible fourth audience source were included on this compilation 3-LP of the two nights in Fukuoka in October 1982. A straight copy of the LPs later came out on CD.




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