Friends Arena, Stockholm 2017. It's silent, crowded, packed to the last seat, but silent and calm during a few seconds after some heavy rock. Everybody leaves the stage except for the guitarist, Brian May. He walks to the edge of the scene, the darkness of the arena surrounding him. He sits down and asks the crowd for help in order to get some magic.
”Love of my life you've hurt me, you've broken my heart and now you leave me. Love of my life can't you see, bring it back, bring it back. Don't take it away from me because you don't know what it means to me ” - Brian sings.
This concert, with Adam Lambert as the lead singer, was a mix of power and electrifying musical emotions. It's hard to imagine any Queen fan be disappointed. Despite Adam's modern energy and perfect contribution, one of the highlights of the concert was that song, ”Love of my life” featuring Brian May alone with his acoustic guitar and voice.
When he reached the last chorus suddenly Brian was not alone on the stage anymore. Freddie Mercury was projected beside him on the big screen, singing the last bit of the song together with thousands of friends.
With tears in his eyes, Brian accompanied Freddie and then watched him walk away on the big screen. Believe me, he was not the only one shedding a tear in the arena.
Isn't it strange how one man, dead since 1991, reserved towards the public during his lifetime, can still be loved by so many? He was an excellent singer but it is more than that. Thousands of people that never talked to him, people he never knew still feel a strong connection to him. Love is individual, so here is my own reflections about that.
Freddie sung on a very personal level. His voice had such a broad repertoire, angry shouts, powerful crescendos, low vulnerable whisperings and fragile high notes in nearly every song. You could, and still can, feel you know him just by listening to his words. The fact that he sang his own or his bands material of course also contributed to the whole experience.
I was born in 1983. Ten years earlier Queen performed in Sweden for the first time. So in some way I was very late to the show. When I was ten, two years after Freddie's death, I understood Queen was becoming the love of my musical life.
From what I have gathered, even though Freddie was open and giving on stage, he was private about his personal life. That fact, that our own imagination with the help of all his music has built an image of Freddie in our own minds, is maybe also another reason why we can have such an emotional attachment to him.
Last but not least, his smile and laugh on stage in songs and in the few interviews he did. He was not hiding behind a complicated cool facade or dark gaze. In his expressions he let everybody know; I love doing this. And what comes around goes around. Or as the lyrics states in the song “Dear Friend”:
“So dear friends your love is gone Only tears to dwell upon I dare not say as the wind must blow So a love is lost - a love is won”