Welcome To The Machine (no label)
Entertainment Centre, Sydney, Australia – April 26th, 1985
Machines Intro., Tear It Up, Tie Your Mother Down, Under Pressure, Somebody To Love, Killer Queen, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Keep Yourself Alive, Liar, Impromptu, It’s A Hard Life, Vocal Improvisation, Dragon Attack, Now I’m Here, Is This The World We Created?, Love Of My Life, Guitar Solo, Brighton Rock (Reprise), Another One Bites The Dust, Hammer To Fall, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, Radio Ga Ga, I Want To Break Free, Jailhouse Rock, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions, God Save The Queen
Queen played eight shows in Australia on The Works tour in 1985. This was their first appearance there since 1976 and would wind up being their final shows in Australia with Freddie Mercury. Welcome To The Machinecaptures the second Sydney show on April 26 from a very good to excellent audience camcorder. The filmer was sitting off of the floor seats to stage left but with the use of zoom was able to capture many interesting close ups of the action. He also has the good sense to zoom back at points to tape the magnitude of the gigantic Metropolis set which really comes to life by the end of the show with “Radio Ga Ga.” The video is reasonably clear and since he used a tripod is steady producing an enjoyable viewing experience of the entire concert. There are small cuts in “It’s A Hard Life” and “Is This The World We Created?” The taper changes cassettes at the end of “Brighton Rock” which cuts off part of “Another One Bites The Dust.”
The show begins with the taped “Machines” introduction set to dramatic smoke, lights and the spinning gears before they hit the stage with the new song “Tear It Up” and “Tie Your Mother Down.” Freddie says, “Are you rock and rollers together? Are we gonna make a noise?” before they start “Under Pressure.” The medley begins with “Somebody To Love” where Freddie stretches out the beginning and leads the audience in singing the title with very dramatic hand gestures. “All right brothers and sisters” he quips. After playing the first part of the song Freddie plays “Death On Two Legs” on the piano as an segue into “Killer Queen.” Several verses of “Seven Seas Of Rhye” follow before leading into “Keep Yourself Alive.” The band really wake up for “Liar.” It is the first real use of the big set as Freddie stands over Taylor and raises his hands during the shouts of “LIAR!” bathed in white light. It is a spectacular image.
“I think our first night last night was really good. It’s nice to come back here after nine years” Freddie says before the band begin the impromptu jam leading into “It’s A Hard Life.” The gymnastic vocal games act end with a shout of “Dragon Attack” leading the band into The Game song, which has a long guitar solo bridge into “Now I’m Here.” The first real break occurs as Brian May sits down with the acoustic guitar and dedicates “Is This The World We Created?” to all those in Sydney who made them feel at home. “Love Of My Life” is a song that dates back to their last visit to the city and in the middle Freddie gets carried away, singing “I love you love you love you. And don’t you fucking forget it.”
May’s long guitar solo has several excellent close ups before he moves and the camera captures the back of many heads. The shots show Brian furiously twiddling the knobs on the guitar, changing the tone as the technicians behind him look on. The solo ends with the final verse of “Brighton Rock.” “Hammer To Fall” is another song that makes good use of the set with the explosions on the floodlights and the gears turning during the guitar solo. Spike Edney comes on stage to play rhythm guitar in the middle of the track. It is a bit disorienting seeing him onstage since he stands right in front of the drum riser making moves with Freddie and Brian.
On “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” Freddie plays electric telecaster and May switches guitars three times. He begins on acoustic, switches to the black telecaster as used in the video and then, for the finale, uses the normal guitar. “Radio Ga Ga” again captures spectacular footage of Freddie standing behind the drum kit on the Metropolis stage while leading the audience in the appropriate hand claps. This was the first single from the album and remains one of their greatest live pieces despite the goofiness of the words. The first encore is “I Want To Break Free” with Freddie in drag as in the video. “Jailhouse Rock” and the expected duo of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions” close the night. This is presented in NTSC region 0 with an easy to navigate menu. For fan shot footage this is a great show to watch.If you liked this review, buy me a cup of joe. (Suggested: $3 a shot or $7.5 for a double)