|City:||Auckland, New Zealand|
|Venue:||Mount Smart Stadium|
|Date:||April 13, 1985|
This outdoor show was Queen's first and only concert in New Zealand. According to an early tour itinerary, two other shows were originally planned (on April 11 at Hawks Bay in Tamoana, and on April 14 at Queen Elizabeth II Park in Christchurch), but this show in Auckland didn't even sell out, which is likely the reason why the band did only a single show in the country. It was initially scheduled to be played at Western Springs Stadium.
This write-up is from the paper a few days before the show: http://www.queencuttings.com
Queen were a half hour late going on. After soundcheck Freddie Mercury got very drunk with Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet, sharing entire bottles of vodka and vintage port. Hadley was around only because his band's New Zealand tour dates had been suddenly cancelled while playing in Australia, and later in the evening he would clearly ignore his manager's warning to keep a low profile.
In 2011, Brian May and Roger Taylor recalled the evening in the extras of the Days Of Our Lives documentary. Their intro music (an arrangement of Machines, off The Works album) was already playing and a few people in the backstage area were frantically helping Freddie get into his tights. "You stupid cunts, you've put my tights on back to front!" cried Freddie part way through the proceedings. With the clock ticking, the laces of his boots were untied and his boots came off and the tights were properly put on. Freddie made it to the stage with literally seconds to spare.
After the second song, he shouted, "Hello, New Zealand! We're gonna have one motherfucker of a time!" Both Brian and Roger recall Freddie when started Somebody To Love and forgot what song he was playing. In 2011, Roger added, "The first half hour of the gig was terrifying for the three of us because we were playing like trojans to make up for Freddie's deficiencies." Spike Edney also recalled that Freddie was "ad-libbing, making things up, singing crap" for the first half hour.
Between songs (probably after the medley of old songs), Freddie did his usual falsetto vocal improv and added, "My voice is fucked!" According to a book on Queen, at one point he proclaimed to Hadley who was side stage (into his mic and thus audible to the audience) that he was "pissed."
Before doing Love Of My Life, Brian explained how over the years it had become a tradition for the crowd to join in. However, the song wasn't well known in New Zealand, and even if it were, the locals weren't the public singing type.
Most of the above pictures were taken by Mike Tucker and David Austin, the last of which was taken during Hammer To Fall, which Freddie introduced as, "One for all you heavy metal fans to have a good jerk-off to."
Tony Hadley joined Queen for Jailhouse Rock (as seen in the second picture above). Roger Taylor recalled Tony didn't remember a single word of the song. He apparently ended up singing Tutti Frutti instead. He fondly recalled the day in a 2006 interview. Here's a pro pic taken during this song.
Here are two posters for the show, the second of which indicates the show wasn't yet sold out on the day of: 1 2
And here are two reviews, giving a pretty clear picture of the evening: 1 2
A video (of indeterminate length) of this show reportedly exists in the archives of a local TV station, but nothing has ever come of the rumours.
The day before the show, the band did an interview for TV.