Let me welcome you, ladies and gentlemen, I would like to say hello,
Are you ready for some entertainment? Are you ready for a show?
The screen is dark. A faint glow stretches from the corner of the screen.
It began with some lighters and candles, held up around the audience, and gentle claps as the people awaited the show. The cold night air whistled in their ears, and soft murmurs were heard around the venue.
Tonight, there are two audiences: the one before you onscreen and the one around you.
Almost half a century ago, a beloved band called Queen performed a one-night-only show at the Montreal Forum. They were armed with nothing but their instruments and each member’s raw talent: Brian May’s intricate guitar playing, Roger Taylor’s extraordinary drumming, John Deacon’s skillful bass riffs, and of course, Freddie Mercury’s powerful singing voice.
These four men and their music are still hailed as pure innovation and expertise. And now, exactly 42 years after the striking performance known as Queen Rock Montreal, fans and enthusiasts around the world get to experience it once more as it is launched in IMAX theaters globally. It is a dream come true for many, fans new and old. If anyone is looking to have a real good time, just give them a call!
We found the right location, got a lot of pretty lights
The sound and amplification...listen!
The IMAX theater at the Pacific Science Center was where I witnessed my first-ever live Queen concert film, and it was everything marvelous and more. This IMAX theater, equipped with 12,000 watts of digital sound, a six-story-tall/80’ widescreen, and hundreds of seats was the royal palace fit for a Queen.
The booming sound system truly immerses the audience in the concert, bringing the viewer within the hallowed gates of rock heaven. The instrumentals and the vocals, with the ideal combination of ballads, hardcore rockers, and the occasional drum and guitar solo, were amplified in the IMAX’s speakers, every song an ethereal experience. Could it be real life? Or is it just fantasy?
The screen magnifies every detail, so you can notice each thread on the band member’s uniquely styled outfits. The audiences keep their eyes peeled for a mere glimpse of the famous rock stars. The lights onstage keep an inimitable ambiance that changes with each stroke of rhythm. And around you, in the theater, it’s pitch black except for the show in front of you, and you feel completely immersed in the performance as if nothing else really matters to you.
You’ve never seen nothing like it, no, never in your life. It’s like going up to heaven and then coming back alive.
One of Queen’s staples was their way of engaging their crowd, whether it be live in 1981 or playing through an IMAX screen in 2024. They invite you to participate in their songs. While the audience onscreen sang along with the band, you could sing to yourself or, like me, act like you’re really in the concert. Some IMAX audience members openly participated, especially in the stomp-stomp-clap sequence in We Will Rock You and some of Freddie Mercury’s vocal callouts.
You can sing freely as they play some of their most famous hits, including Killer Queen, Another One Bites the Dust, Somebody to Love, and of course, Bohemian Rhapsody. But if you crave those underrated masterpieces, Queen also supplied some of their lesser-known hits such as Dragon Attack, Let Me Entertain You, Sheer Heart Attack, Save Me, and I’m In Love with My Car.
Gonna rock, gonna roll you, get you dancing in the aisles
Jazz you, razzmatazz you with a little bit of style
But it isn’t just their captivating lyrics and musicianship that draw you in. Behind the curtain, in the pantomime, Queen’s stage presence filled the Montreal Forum and filled the IMAX with its lively flair and flamboyant energy. From the beginning, when Freddie opened with one of their most well-known arena rock anthems, We Will Rock You, faces lit up and every eye stared in wonder at their explosive panache. Queen carried on with the same vigor and passion as they did from the beginning.
It does not highlight enough the sheer heart attack that one gets just by attending. Surely, with all this pomp and circumstance being spotlighted at this terrific performance, you will feel compelled to attend.
Previously announced by Brian May and Roger Taylor as a one-weekend-only performance from January 18-21, Queen Rock Montreal has now been extended for additional dates, starting from January 26 to the 31. As of January 22, Queen Rock Montreal has grossed around $4.1 million in box offices worldwide, even beating existing records set by other concert films such as the Beatles’ Get Back - The Rooftop Concert, even just from its opening weekend. Queen always knows how to top the bill and overkill; even within 98 minutes, they can put on a crazy performance.
The concert film is projected to keep rising in popularity now that new dates have been added. This means, for all you lucky people out there, there’s still a chance to enjoy it before the opportunity goes, any way the wind blows.
Even if you didn’t plan on attending before, I hope you’ll be convinced now; it brings a new angle, it’s highly commendable, and it’s a supersonic show! If you don’t believe me, take Brian May’s own words at the concert’s IMAX premiere: “This film has preserved one of the highest peaks in Queen's touring life, on stage in the old glory days.”
If you have any free time this week, stop by the nearest IMAX and catch a glimpse of this razzamatazz-tic show, and if you can't, listen to the live album. Queen serves an impressive menu of rock à la carte. It’s a performance guaranteed to blow your mind!