Much like Live At Wembley Stadium, Queen On Fire: Live At The Bowl is the audio disc companion of a DVD released to capitalize on a popular and mostly previously unheard Queen concert. Unlike Live At Wembley Stadium, Queen On Fire: Live At The Bowl had never appeared on disc before, so its release was more than welcome, especially considering that the band were "on fire". Despite touring all over the world and playing to various audiences who would react differently to each song, Queen always gave it their all and fed on the energy of the crowd, but they always instilled a different kind of passion into homecoming shows, and the brief UK tour in May and June 1982 was no exception. Queen On Fire: Live At The Bowl is a prime example of the band working their asses off and enjoying themselves at the same time.
What is most exciting is that the band try out the new material from Hot Space, which was arguably flat on record, and turn each song into rip-roaring and scorching rockers. Staying Power (with John on electric rhythm guitar, while new recruit keyboardist Morgan Fisher provides synth bass), Action This Day, and Back Chat are all transformed into rockers worthy of rubbing shoulders with Tie Your Mother Down, Fat Bottomed Girls, and Now I'm Here. Even the two ballads, Love Of My Life and Save Me, are given more of an edge, with Freddie commanding and leading the audience as only he can. The standout performance, though, is Somebody To Love, with the band turning in a towering, eight minute performance that proves, once and for all, how awesome a vocalist Freddie could be. What's amazing is that this show was at the end of a grueling European tour; Freddie himself even notes, "I'm positively knackered, I tell ya!"
The band's energy doesn't flag at all, though (especially compared to the Japanese shows in November, by which time they were racing through their set to get to the finish line), and the set shows four musicians at the peak of their live power. While the accompanying visuals enhance the experience all the more, Queen On Fire: Live At The Bowl is the live album that should have been their Live At Leeds or Get Yer Ya-Ya's Out!, except that it was 22 years too late.
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