God Knows What I’m Doing (Godfatherecords G.R. 492/493)
Boston Music Hall, Boston, MA – January 30, 1976
Disc 1: (60:46) Bohemian Rhapsody (Opera), Bohemian Rhapsody (Rock), Ogre Battle, Sweet Lady, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Medley: Bohemian Rhapsody (Ballad), Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody (Solo and Outro), Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Brighton Rock, Guitar Solo, Son And Daughter, The Prophet’s Song, Stone Cold Crazy, Doing All Right
Disc 2: (39:23) Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Keep Yourself Alive, Drum Solo, Keep Yourself Alive (reprise), Seven Seas Of Rhye, Liar, In the Lap Of The Gods…Revisited, Now I’m Here, Hey Big Spender, Rock And Roll Medley, God Save The Queen
Queen’s Boston performance on January 30, 1976 is one of the many recordings to surface from the Dan Lampinski collection of tapes. His recordings all sound very nice capturing an amazing amount of detail and this tape is no exception. The sound quality is excellent throughout presenting a broad range of frequencies and the recording is virtually complete with no musical cuts. This is the second night in Boston and the band sound very tight with Freddie’s vocals very strong and a nice balance between the instruments.
The band was touring A Night At The Opera, released in November 1975, but only feature a small sampling of material from it at this point. Although the LP debuted at #1 in the UK and #4 in the US, tracks like “I’m In Love With My Car”, “You’re My Best Friend”, “39 “, and “Love Of My Life” weren’t yet included but would all become an important part of the set in later tours.
Instead the weight of the new material rests on “Bohemian Rhapsody” played at three different intervals in the set. The taped opera section was used as the intro leading the band into the rock segment and would appear two more times during the medley. “Ogre Battle” is very aggressive with an impressive vocal performance and is followed by the second of the new tracks, “Sweet Lady”. “White Queen” is introduced as “a number to listen to very carefully”. This track was always better live and May’s cascading solos drenched in echo really add to the effectiveness. Unfortunately May will struggle with his tuning throughout the rest of the night starting in “Flick Of The Wrist”.
The main medley of the show now focuses around “Bohemian Rhapsody” in one of my favorite arrangements including “The March Of The Black Queen”. The segues flow very smoothly and end on a high note with “Bring Back That Leroy Brown”. “Brighton Rock” gives way to Brian May’s guitar solo where there is some confusion coming out before “Son And Daughter” but they recover very quickly. Freddie hints at “Death On Two Legs” during the vocal workout in “The Prophet’s Song”. Following “Stone Cold Crazy”, Freddie says “it’s now request time”. Shouts of “Liar” from the crowd prompt him to say “we are gonna do that, but what else?” and instead play “Doing All Right”.
Even after a great response to “Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon” Mercury says “you’ll get used to that one”, perhaps feeling insecure about the obscure ditty. May gets extra funky in “Keep Yourself Alive” which also has an extended Roger Taylor drum break. Following “Seven Seas Of Rhye”, the audience finally get their request with “Liar”. “Now I’m Here” which had opened all shows since its release is now employed as the first encore. The second encore starts with “Big Spender” segued with the “Rock And Roll Medley”. The medley includes “Jailhouse Rock”, “Shake, Rattle And Roll”, “Stupid Cupid”, “Be Bop A Lula”, and returns to “Jailhouse Rock” for the finish.
This show was first released by Wardour as A Night At Boston in July 2009. While Wardour’s version sounds excellent as well, Godfather sounds a bit punchier with a slightly crisper high end. It comes packaged in a tri-fold cardboard sleeve and is one of the more attractive Queen packages produced by the label. But given the sound quality alone, even the most casual of Queen collectors will need this one.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)