When it comes to engimatic front men, there are few that embody the power and passion quite like Chocolate Starfish’s Adam Thompson. He owns the stage, channels the music, and has audiences eating out the palm of his hand. So it is no surprise that when it came to picking his next great project, Adam chose to showcase the music of his hero Freddie Mercury and Queen in Bohemian Rhapsody the blockbuster movie soundtrack, live in concert.
Chocolate Starfish are known for paying homage to great music. They’ve put on a hugely successful run of Classic Album Series concerts, with an ode to Meat Loaf’s Bat Out Of Hell (2017) and INXS’s KICK (2018), bringing the music to life with their powerhouse performances. Now, the band are stepping aside to let their electric and engaging lead singer – lover of life, singer of great songs – pay tribute to the immeasurable talent of Queen, Freddie Mercury and the acclaimed soundtrack of the smash-hit Golden Globe winning music biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
The Bohemian Rhapsody live in concert was originally just a one-off event, slated for April 2019 in Melbourne. Adam Thompson, with the We Will Rock You Band, announced the show just as the biopic landed in theatres in 2018 and the concert sold-out within minutes. Much like the movie, which is reputed as the highest selling music biopic of all time, the live concert concept music fans demanding more dates. It was an opportunity that Adam couldn’t resist.
“I feel that Freddie Mercury and Queen embody the eclectic mix between rock and theatre that many have tried, but few have succeeded in capturing and delivering,” says Adam. “The songs and the stage performances danced between bombastic and melancholy. Its different, its exciting and its emotional – there’s something for everyone. I would call this a celebration show rather than a concept or tribute show. As with the classic albums I have performed with Chocolate Starfish – Bat Out Of Hell and KICK – I don’t try to emulate, rather, I celebrate the songs, adding my own personality where warranted.”
Performing with the We Will Rock You band is a special coup for Adam Thompson, and for audiences. In 2002, Queen’s Brian May and Rodger Taylor hand-picked the band in Melbourne for their hit musical. Featuring Simon Croft, Andy Swann and Andrew Patterson, it brings special revelry to the evening.
“I am rapt to be sharing the stage with three members of the We Will Rock You band,” says Adam. “The chemistry is building like a Darwin wet season. It is great to have players who live and breathe the subtleties of Queen and allow me to be the show-off, and those who are sanctioned by Brian and Rodger only add to the thrill.”
Chocolate Starfish are widely reputed as one of the best live bands on the scene and Adam Thompson is revered for his showmanship. The band arrived smack bang in the middle of the grunge scene of the 1990s and refused to fit the mould. Chocolate Starfish had six top 40 singles and two top 10 albums on the Australian charts, gold and platinum record sales and an ARIA for Most Popular Album. They left an indelible print on the Aussie music scene and ingrained themselves in local music history with their singles Four Letter Word, Mountain and You’re So Vain to name a few. Fast forward for now, and the band, and himself have never shied away from the spotlight or performing. Channeling the music of Queen, a band that has inspired Adam from the beginning, is one of the most exciting challenges of this career to date.
“This show is a new pinnacle and I think we always need to challenge ourselves to be the best we can be,” he says. “Freddie was always my go-to in terms of ‘live’ performances, and Starfish fans who have followed us for years will be saying, ‘of course, now I get it!’. I hope the crowds will come and bring the global phenomena of the Bohemian Rhapsody movie to life with me and the band on stage. Queen and Freddie always made the audience feel like every show was their show and I’m no different – make it great and make it a memory.”
For Adam Thompson, it was the song Love Of My Life that first impacted him and inspired his love of Queen. “Freddie and Brian delivered it live with the crowd taking over and Freddie conducted them,” says Adam. “As a young kid from the country, that sound and vision was expression personified and something I have always tried to borrow from. There was also an honesty about Queen – although incredibly successful, they maintained their realness as their foundation.”
The Bohemian Rhapsody concert will feature hit after hit from Queen’s back catalogue. With tracks such as Somebody to Love, Killer Queen, Fat Bottomed Girls, We Will Rock You, Another One Bites The Dust, I Want To Break Free and Under Pressure to name a few, it will be a spectacular evening from start to finish. Adam Thompson and the We Will Rock You band look forward to exchanging that love and energy of Queen with audiences. “This show and these songs are made to be shared,” says Adam.
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