Queen Revisit Their Iconic Live Aid Performance Rehearsals
via Queen Official / Youtube
In the most recent episode of The Greatest series, Queen revisited their rehearsals for their legendary performance at Live Aid.
In order to raise awareness and funds for a horrific famine in Ethiopia, several of the most prominent music performers in the world gathered on July 13, 1985, in London and Philadelphia to perform in a global charity concert organized by Boomtown Rats singer Bob Geldof and Ultravox frontman Midge Ure.
In just 20 minutes, Queen gave what is now considered as widely acknowledged “greatest live performance of all time” in front of 1.9 billion people. Queen was one of the only acts to put serious time into rehearsing to get the most out of the short set time as seen in these rehearsal videos.
The newly-released episode highlighted close-ups of the casually dressed band members warming up for the event. It cuts between rarely-seen rehearsal footage and the band’s live performances of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Hammer To Fall,” and “Radio Ga Ga.” Brian May explained:
“We didn’t go there to [steal the show]. We went there to do our bit.
“I didn’t think when we came off that it was our best performance or anything like that.”
May also noted one factor that made Queen’s performance spectacular was Freddie Mercury’s confidence throughout their set. He said:
“The adrenaline that was flowing in Freddie was pretty magnificent.
“Freddie, when you watch him now, he looks so full of confidence. And he is … He knows that he can get the audience on his side, in spite of the fact that nobody had bought tickets to see us. We weren’t on the bill when people bought all those tickets. So that was a step into the unknown. But I don’t think Freddie ever had any doubts.”
While Roger Taylor added:
“From the word go, he (Freddie) came out of the traps like a champion.
“I remember looking up and seeing the whole place going completely bonkers in unison and thinking ‘Oh, this is going well’.”
Watch their Live Aid rehearsal video below.