A Night At Boston (Wardour-067)
Orpheum Theater, Boston, MA – January 30th, 1976
Disc 1 (61:26): Bohemian Rhapsody (tape & rock part), Ogre Battle, Sweet Lady, White Queen, Flick Of The Wrist, Bohemian Rhapsody (verses), Killer Queen, The March Of The Black Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody (reprise), Bring Back That Leroy Brown, Brighton Rock, Son And Daughter, The Prophet’s Song, Stone Cold Crazy, Doing All Right
Disc 2 (36:33): Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon, Keep Yourself Alive, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Liar, In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited, Now I’m Here, Big Spender, Jailhouse Rock, Stupid Cupid / Be-Bop-A-Lulu, God Save The Queen
Queen’s January 30th, 1976 concert in Boston was never documented on a circulating tape until recently. The sound quality of this audience recording is excellent and is already legendary. It is perhaps the best sounding Queen tape to surface from the seventies.
Not only is it clear and well balanced, but captures all of the dynamics and energy of Queen live right when they became a huge act and this can be considered to be the definitive live statement from this era. There is a cut after “Son & Daughter” and “In The Lap Of The Gods…Revisited” with no loss in music.
Their early 1976 tour was their first really big one in the States. The venues were bigger than last time and they had more sellouts.
This the third night of the tour after Waterbury and a first night in Boston and, after the opening introduction on tape, the place seems to explode the moment they come on stage with the hard rock part of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It is funny to think that their biggest hit to date wasn’t performed complete at first but has what amounts to three cameos in the set.
The hard rock continues with an amazing “Ogre Battle” and “Sweet Lady.” The Night At The Opera track is one of the weakest songs on the album and had a short life in the live act, but this version sounds really exciting.
Freddie has some problems with the monitors before the medley, saying: “We’d like to do a little medley for you, when my piano comes back on again. It’s a slightly different medley from, it’s exactly the same one as last night, but slightly different to the one we did last year. We’re gonna start off, my piano’s back on, with a little segment from a number, I think you know it, this one, we’ll start off with a number called Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Dividing their hit makes sense since they could not reproduce the middle section. “Killer Queen” and “March Of The Black Queen” essentially replaces the opera section in the middle with a “Bring Back That Leroy Brown” coda at the end.
Brian May is featured next with several of his songs, “Brighton Rock,” “Son & Daughter” and “The Prophet’s Song” played back to back. “Brighton Rock” contains the long, delicate at times sounding solo. “The Prophet’s Song” has the vocal games by Freddie including a reference to “Death On Two Legs” and the spaced out coda segueing into a fast version of “Stone Cold Crazy.”
Freddie asks for requests from their first album and although the audience shout out “Liar” (“we’re gonna do that”) they play “Doing Alright” instead.
“Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon” is “a typical English ditty” which baffles the Boston audience. “Keep Yourself Alive” features a heavy drum solo from Roger Taylor and after a nice version of “Seven Seas Of Rhye” Freddie refers to “Liar” as a “song that’s done a lot for us.”
It is one of the longest songs in the set and both the band and audience have a lot of energy throughout. The cover medley in the encores is especially noteworthy. Since this tape surfaced online it was only a matter of time before a silver label would press it. Wardour don’t apply any heavy handed mastering keeping the tape sounding really nice and this is one of the definitive, must have Queen releases (official or unofficial).If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)