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Queen with Paul Rodgers: They are the champions

During the Queen with Paul Rodgers concert on St. Patrick's Day, the music was pounding, the stage lights were blinding, and there likely was no one in HSBC Arena who would rather be anywhere else. A good, old-fashioned rock concert.

With a wide assortment of songs, opening with "Tie Your Mother Down," and closing with "We Are the Champions," the concert showcased the band's passion for music and Paul Rodgers' energetic stage presence. Not only did they play a variety of songs, but Rodgers had a variety of clothing (he changed five times!) They also played four songs from Paul Rodgers' former bands, like "All Right Now" from Free and "Bad Company" from Bad Company.

Though they picked songs that were in Paul Rodgers' voice capacity, he sometimes got drowned out by the music. Other than that, he did his own thing, and did the songs justice. Of course, when it came time to do "Bohemian Rhapsody," they let late lead singer Freddie Mercury take over. The three big screens surrounding the stage showed Mercury singing and playing piano. Paul Rodgers came in at the end, with the hard rock part of "Bohemian Rhapsody."

More of the harder-rock Queen songs seemed to suit him better, like "Another One Bites the Dust" and "Under Pressure." They had another guitarist besides Brian May, a bassist (because John Deacon, the original Queen bassist, decided to stay retired), and a piano player, all of whom were very talented musicians.

The most memorable thing about the concert was guitarist Brian May's solo. He took a little time out of the concert and just played. The guitar was practically singing, and there was a huge disco ball going around. He completely captivated the audience, taking them somewhere far away for those few minutes, and not many musicians could do that. Roger Taylor, the drummer, also took a solo, right before he started singing "I'm in love with my car," a song he wrote himself.

Aside from the astounding music, the stage lights were fantastic and intense. The lights flashed to the rhythm of the music, and the pyro-technology at this concert was not something you usually see much anymore. Other eye-catching aspects of the concert included the fog machines and the moment when Paul Rodgers rose from under the stage, playing "Bad Company" on the piano.

Although the arena wasn't as packed as it could have been, it was a relief to see a multitude of ages at the concert. It was just disappointing that one of the most original rock bands ever didn't get more of an audience. That doesn't mean, though, that the people who did show up to support the band weren't a great audience. Everyone knew the words and practically drowned out Brian May when he sang "Love of my Life."

This concert was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. When Freddie Mercury died in 1991, most fans would never expect Queen to tour again. Queen could never replace him and didn't try to. This was just a little jam session with Paul Rodgers at a benefit that turned into a world tour. Concertgoers left with their ears ringing, their hearts pounding, and a reminder that music never dies.

Shannon Gawel is a sophomore at Frontier.

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