So I’m switching channels, and I come across HDNet. It’s a decent channel that offers up some films, television programs and concerts. I don’t check it regularly, but this time I stopped on the channel as it was airing a concert by Queen + Paul Rogers. Now, I happen to be a fan of Queen, and there are a few songs by Bad Company that I don’t mind.
After Freddie Mercury’s death, it appeared the band was done for. Then a few years ago, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor teamed up with Bad Company singer Paul Rogers without bassist John Deacon. I was skeptical of the project, not just because the bass player, an integral part of Queen, declined to participate. Mostly, I just couldn’t bring myself to see Paul Rogers taking the place of Freddie Mercury. Sure, this “new” group wasn’t billing itself as the original band, but a new entity, but that was not the point.
I was willing to give this group a shot, especially since the concert was a free broadcast. I’m glad it was free.
Paul Rogers is a decent singer, and has plenty of power behind his voice. Unfortunately he doesn’t have the range or nuance that Freddie Mercury did, and as a result the songs really do come across as cover versions. Good cover versions, but covers. The show, at least the part that I saw, which I think was the last 30 minutes or so, included a couple of Bad Company songs. I get it, and if I had paid a ticket to see this band, I would expect a couple from Paul Roger’s former band.
Apparently the group put out an album. I have no desire to pick this up now. I’m not begrudging May, Taylor and Rogers for wanting to get back in front of an audience. The way the group presented itself was also admirable, being honest about who they were, and not necessarily replacing the band as it used to be. Still, I didn’t like what I heard. It wasn’t a bad performance, just “ordinary” and Queen was anything but an ordinary band.