Nearly 35 years after Freddie Mercury and Queen triumphantly performed what is widely considered to be the greatest rock concert of all time — their 22-minute, six-song performance at London’s Wembley Stadium for Bob Geldof’s Ethiopian famine relief benefit, Live Aid — Queen and their current frontman, Adam Lambert, have reenacted the same set for another worthy cause.
On Sunday, the rock heroes performed Fire Fight Australia at Sydney’s ANZ’s Stadium to raise funds for bushfire relief — playing, in order, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Radio Ga Ga,” “Hammer to Fall,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “We Will Rock You,” and “We Are the Champions.”
It marked the first time since 1985 that Queen had recreated this specific set in full — a set that was introduced to a whole new audience in 2018, after Oscar-winning actor Rami Malik staged it for the final sequence of Bohemian Rhapsody, the highest-grossing musical biopic of all time.
Watch Queen’s full Fire Fight Australia concert below.
“This is Australia’s pain, but it’s humanity’s problem,” Queen guitarist Brian May declared. “My heart has broken seeing the plight of the animals [that have been injured or killed in the Australian fires]. I hope the concert will help them too. We all need this tragedy to never happen.”
Said Queen drummer Roger Taylor: “This would seem to be not only Australia’s problem, but a climate change problem that affects the whole world. We are here right now, and anything we can do to help in finding Australia a way to recover is the least we can do as musicians. We are all in trouble.”
“When we heard about the fires here in Australia, our hearts were broken,” Lambert told the audience of approximately 75,000 people. “And when [Australian concert promoter] Paul Dainty called us up and said, ‘Let’s do this,’ we jumped at the chance. You all have the love and the unity to make this problem better. We are so proud to be a part of this evening tonight.”
Lambert, who first performed with Queen over a decade ago on the Season 8 American Idol finale and has officially fronted Queen on tour since 2013, ably stepped into Freddie Mercury’s sparkly shoes Sunday — although the original Queen frontman’s presence was also deeply felt at ANZ Stadium, when the Fire Fight Australia production incorporated footage of Mercury’s famous call-and-response crowd singalong at Live Aid.
This weekend’s 10-hour Fire Fight Australia concert also included performances by Alice Cooper, Olivia Newton-John, k.d. lang, 5 Seconds of Summer, and, via satellite from Melbourne, Michael Bublé. The benefit raised a reported $9.5 million for key organisations providing crucial rescue, recover, and rehabilitation assistance in Australia's fire-affected areas.
American Idol returns for its 18th season this week. Watch Rami Malek reprise Queen’s Live Aid concert in the exclusive side-by-side clip below.