My roommate and I play cards a few times a week. We sit and talk, drink beer, maybe smoke a little bud, and watch music videos on YouTube. If that sounds like a good time, it’s because it is. We take turns being the DJ and playing songs, trying to introduce each other to new stuff and revisiting old favorites from the past. The other night I played him Queen’s set at Live Aid in 1985. In case you don’t know, Queen’s Live Aid set is considered to be one of the best live performances of all time. Watch it and I’m sure you’ll agree. Watch it right now. Seriously. Here it is. Watch the entire set and then finish reading this blog. I’ll wait.
Wow. Just wow. I still have goosebumps. Now you do too. How electrifying was that? They killed it. Freddie Mercury had a stadium full of people clapping in unison and singing along while millions more watched it live via satellite from home. He generated more energy than a thousand nuclear bombs. It’s only a twenty-minute set, but it will be remembered forever, especially that rendition of “Radio Ga Ga.” It deserves to be remembered. It’s not a perfect set, that’s the amazing thing about it. It’s far too abbreviated. There’s feedback and distortion. The rest of the band wasn’t particularly spectacular. But Freddie Mercury was. He was all over the stage, playing multiple instruments, singing his heart out, and owning the crowd.
I’ve been to a lot of concerts. I’ve seen a lot of big bands and famous names and great sets. I’ve never experienced anything half as good as this. It’s weird to watch a recorded live set that you didn’t experience personally, but you watch it and you feel like you were there. You feel like you are a part of it. That’s the sign of a great frontman, and Freddie was the best. You can disagree with me, but you’ll be wrong.
Critically Rated at 17/17
Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young
The Olympics are an amazing event. Every four years, athletes from various nations get a chance to compete against the world and represent their countries. Most athletes will never get a medal; the highlight of their Olympic experience is typically the Opening Ceremony. The host country usually puts on a little display to show off how amazing their country is, and there’s a lot of music and theatrics and fireworks. Then there’s the Parade of Nations where all the represented countries get a shout out and a moment in the spotlight.
The 2008 Beijing Opening Ceremony was amazing. It was an impressive display of China’s power, and their power is in their population. They have a shit ton of people. And they can do shit in unison and that is terrifying and awesome. The London Games had a tough act to follow.
They tried though. They got renowned director Danny Boyle (Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, 28 Days Later) to direct the show, and they had every single British celebrity you can think of make an appearance. They had Daniel Craig a.k.a. James Bond! They had the mother fucking Queen of England! They had David Beckham and J.K. Rowling and Kenneth Branagh! They even had Mr. Bean and Sir Paul McCartney (the last good living Beatle)! There are only a handful of world-famous Brits and they were all there.
There was a theme to the ceremony. I’m sure there was. But it was boring and so I don’t know what it was. At one point they were paying homage to the Industrial Revolution and they forged Olympic Rings and it was beautiful and awe-inspiring. And then that shit just kept going on and on. And on and on. Then it went on some more. By the time the Parade of Nations was starting, I was done. I have the internet; I can see what countries are competing on my own time. I don’t need to rely on NBC’s extensive Olympic coverage.
It wasn’t a terrible Opening Ceremony. It just had the bad luck of following the best Opening Ceremony of all time. The Summer Olympics have started. That’s all that matters. Let the games begin.
Critically Rated at 12/17