It might not be cool to say, but missing out on seeing Freddie Mercury perform live is one of the great musical tragedies of my life. I'm always struck by the regret I feel at this fact, and attempts on my part to compensate -- namely, rewatching Queen's Live at Wembley Stadium DVD -- have never sufficed. This past October, an opportunity to in part rectify this situation rolled my way. With howler Paul Rodgers of Bad Company as their new frontman, Brian May and Roger Taylor reunited as "Queen + Paul Rodgers" and played the Hollywood Bowl for the first time in 20 years. Their intention was never to resurrect early Queen's Freddie-centric energy but instead to reinterpret much of their repertoire with Rodgers on the mic. They succeeded -- except, of course, everything that was once special about them was gone. Only the spectacle remained, which is better than nothing in my book. Freddie Mercury is dead; long live Queen!
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