As an adolescent, I used to listen to Night At The Opera on my discman constantly. Falling asleep to the gentle sound of songs like '39 and Love of My Life then waking and stomping around the streets of New York City to the more dangerous Death on Two Legs. My love of the band Queen and it's flamboyant, bad-as-fuck frontman Freddy Mercury extends as far back as I can remember. Bohemian Rhapsody was a song I knew every word to before I even had a full vocabulary. It started when I was a mini-tangerine and by the time 12, my Queen-obsession was full-fledged. I fell in love, I had my heart broken, I fought, did drugs, I grew, I learned, all accompanied by a Queen soundtrack.
Freddy Mercury was everything I ever wanted to be. He was charasmatic, creative and talented. Every year on world AIDS day, I settled in to watch Queen Live at Wembley Stadium on TV. I know that concert backwards and forwards. To this day it is a warm friendly swirl of costume changes, incredible piano and sweat pouring down his angular and handsome face. I was fascinated by Freddy Mercury. I idolize him to this day. I never had a crush on him, I merely thought of him as something like a real-life Galadriel, "beautiful and terrible as the dawn". Freddy Mercury died in November of 1991 and I fantasized that I was his incarnate, a kind of show business dalai lama.
I always said that if in my lifetime I had ever had the chance to see Queen live, I would have acted like an insane fangirl, crying, tearing my hair out and trampling my friends and loved ones in the heat of the moment. When Queen announced their tour with Adam Lambert filling in for Freddy Mercury, I knew that this was my chance to fulfill that prophecy. This show where Brian May and Roger Taylor were both present would be as close as I ever got to a real live Queen show. I got tickets as soon as I could and on July 9th, I drove all the way to Houston, ready to see my favorite band perform live for the first time in years. Even with my high hopes, it was more incredible than I ever thought it would be. There was an electricity in the room comprised of the collective excitement over the music and the collective knowledge of just what it was that we were all missing. I danced, I cheered, I cried my eyes out. I felt connected to the music, the band, the rest of the audience. I lived out one of my dreams, as simple as it was. In the process, I fell miserably in love Queen all over again.