tvordlj: (Queen Logo)
I've been perusing some of the reviews for the Queen concerts, from Toronto, Montreal and last night's gig in New York. You know most of the serious newspapers are not going to have a lot of good to say and true to form the Globe and Mail and the New York Times reviews were churlish and petty. While they also raise some truths, they're probably not fans and for fans, the concerts were pretty fucking awesome. Did the middle acoustic set and solos drag things down? Yes, a bit, the solos put some focus on the band members who take a back seat to the lead singer who garners a lot of the attention most of the time,  and having video of  Freddie is also a treat for long time fans. It's a Queen concert, after all, not an Adam Lambert solo concert. He's there for Queen, not for his own material, so showcasing Freddie is a nice tribute.

While I do think Adam Lambert does a very good job, and I don't want to compare him to Freddie too much, it's inevitable and I wasn't sure how to explain what I thought of the differences between the two. He's very much the type that a front man for Queen needs to be, that's for sure. But a couple of reviews hit the nail on the head. Freddie's voice has more richness, one said, and another talked about Freddie's presence on stage as having authority. Yes, that's it, exactly. Freddie really did command the stage and his voice had the authority and richness and depth, no matter how high or low the octave. Most people's singing does tend to go a bit wobbly at the high end of their range, or sound screechy. Adam's does a little, too but he does have a pretty good range and the material requires it.

The reviews from the Montreal Gazette and the New York Daily News were a lot more balanced, I thought. Ok, maybe  a lot more positive than negative but since I enjoyed the concert so much, I'd agree with them anyway! A few of my friends have seen the concerts and they have all been blown away. One saw them in New York last night and said it was "wicked"!

I concur.
tvordlj: (Queen Logo)
It's Monday morning again and in one week I will be in Montreal to see Queen (+Adam Lambert). Because he's not an official full time member of the band, he gets to have his name added on in all the publicity. My coworker who is a dedicated Adam fan suspects things are in the works for him to join full time at some point but I also hear he is going to work on a new album of his own later this year. That being said, there's no reason he couldn't join full time and still put out his own solo stuff.

I wonder, if he joins full time, that they'll record new stuff? It seems like there's a lot more excitement surrounding the band these days than when they had Paul Rogers singing with them. I think that was never meant to be a long term thing though they did release an album of new music. It was pretty good, better than him performing their classic stuff. In my opinion. I've got nothing against PR as a vocalist, he's got a good voice, I just never though it meshed with Queen particularly well. Adam Lambert really does seem to fit in well. His style is also flambuoyant but in his own way. Because Queen has been so associated with the likes of Freddie Mercury, you need someone that has a similar flair, I think and in AL it seems they have found it.

We're just in and out, basically, flying in on Sunday and back home on Tuesday after the concert. We'll get to do a little bit of stuff in Montreal on the Monday, maybe visit the BioDome and walk around Old Montreal for a bit as well. It really is a cool city.

And catching up on 2014 books...

2014 books )
tvordlj: (Queen Logo)
Three days. Three long days.
Some years ago we at work adopted a framework for delivering IT services to the rest of the corporation. It's called ITIL. We didn't implement much of it but are pushing more towards it these days. It's all processes and "best practices" and all the other buzzwords you don't want to know. More buzzwords and acronyms than you *ever* want to know. We had a course and had to write an exam.

Now, we've all had to upgrade to a newer version of it. Those of us that had certification in the old version had to sit through a three day course. Those that had been certified in the current version will only need a one day refresher. It's probably the worst course I've ever had to sit through in that they bombard you with information and definitions and a few examples, but mostly you absorb what you can, memorize what you can and hope for the best on the exam. Two and a half days to plow through 300 pages of the manual, less than that really because there are exercises and two practice exams so you might as well say it's only two days of "learning".

The exam is multiple choice but the wording can be very tricky. The practice exams are supposed to be old retired exams. They weren't too bad. I did ok on those. If they truly were exams in the past,  I think they were retired because they were too easy. The actual exam was worse. However, I apparently passed. We've got preliminary emails with a pass/fail. We will later get the actual results and an e-certificate which sucks. For the amount of money it probably costs them to put this on, you'd think they'd insist on proper certificates printed on proper certificate paper. Why should I spend my money to have it printed on nice paper? Anyway I don't care what my actual score was (you have to have 65% or 26 out of 40 questions to pass). With any luck they won't change the versions again before I retire!

Still no actual wedding date because there isn't a venue booked yet. I have a feeling we could do it on a Sunday rather than a Saturday which is ok because it's not an evening dinner/dance thing anyway. I'm going to meet someone at one of the local hotels on Saturday to chat and see their facilities. That's the first one. I've sent a couple other emails out and nobody's got back to me. I don't understand why they would be so offhanded about potential business. I sent the emails a week ago using the contact information on the websites. If that's incorrect, then they've very likely missed out a lot of business.

25 Sleeps until the Queen concert in Montreal!!! Can i just say how excited i am? (!!!!) They are my all time favourite. My only regret is never seeing them when Freddie was alive but Adam Lambert does a very good job. But i know Brian May's guitar is going to burst my heart right out of my chest. as much as I loved Freddie, it was always Brian's playing and sound that lifted me. We're going to be on the floor near the stage, well... the stage is going to have a ramp or catwalk out away from it and that's what we're going to be near. There are seats but I expect we'll be on our feet for most of it and it's going to be 3 hours, no opening band, no intermission. At least I'll have a chair to sit in if my legs or back get too tired. I'm going with a coworker and another friend and the coworker saw them in London two summers ago. She said it was the same then, long show, no intermission, no opening act. I'm so stoked!
tvordlj: (Queen Logo)
My lovely niece is getting married on Aug. 30. I got an invite for her wedding shower the other day for Sunday the 13th of July. Ok yes, i'll go, so I sent the rsvp. Then also got a notice for the AGM for the Downeast Streeters local corrie group and I thought i'd go but yes, it's also the 13th. I might have squeezed it in, leaving the shower a little early and buzzing down to where the meeting is, providing I could borrow my mom's car. Then it occurred to me.

On Sunday July 13 at 4 p.m. I'll be on a flight to Montreal! Queen plays the Bell Centre on the monday!!!!!!!!!! Squee!!! Sorry everyone, that trumps it all ! I literally cannot be three places at once, even if i could probably have squeezed in the two back to back.  Wow, just over a month away! All of a sudden it's so close!
tvordlj: (Queen Logo)
And we've got tickets!!!!!!!!!

My coworker friend Kelly use a login from the Adam Lambert fan club and they could get tickets from today on. She got through and got floor seats! No standing outside the venue all day to get a standing place in a mosh pit like she's done for other concerts. It's all seating. I have no doubt that we'll be standing through much of it but that's ok. At least if my back does get tired, I can sit for a few minutes. I'M SO EXCITED!! I know it won't be the same as it would have with Freddie but i'll keep him in my heart and really enjoy the show!

Tickets are on sale to the public on Friday. I think the official Queen fan club probably does the same thing. It does take the best seats away from the general public, I guess, but in this case, I'll take it! What's really annoying is the scalpers that grab up as many as they can and start selling them on ebay and Kijiji minutes after they've bought them. That's what really bothers me. I remember seeing that when the Elton John tickets went on sale. He sold out in a half hour and Kijiji had scads of tickets on sale immediately and all of them going for at least double the face value. It really isn't fair. It's one thing to resell a ticket you can't use or buy a couple extra and sell them for face value to someone that couldn't get through or wants an extra. It's quite another thing to buy up all the good seats to resell at a profit and nobody seems to be able to stop this. They don't have to hang around outside the venue on the day anymore, not with so many internet places to buy.

I do have to admit, though, that i bought tickets to a hockey game through eBay so there's a bit of hypocricy on my part there. It looked as if the person had a season ticket and sold the individual game tickets for auction. I looked at his other auctions and he had the exact same seats for sale at other NHL home games (Montreal Canadiens, ironically, at the same venue as the Queen concert). I didn't pay very much over the face value, though so I don't feel too bad about that. It's a different situation, as well and I didn't feel ripped off because it wasn't an outright pay-me-double+ thing.
tvordlj: (Queen Logo)
Queen is doing a short North American tour in June-July and they're playing in Montreal and Toronto! Now, ok, Freddie's dead and nobody can really fill his shoes. The last person they took on board, Paul Rogers, did not impress me though the CD they recorded of original work with him was good. I saw some early video footage of him on stage with them and he seemed to be dressed like Freddie and trying to emulate him in style when he was singing. It really put me off and although I did get the cd, i would never have considered seeing them live.

Last year, hmmm might have been the year before actually, Queen (or at least, Brian May and Roger Taylor, because John Deacon has retired from the band) did some gigs in London with Adam Lambert who is a former winner or participant of American Idol. He's made a fairly successful career for himself and is quite popular. One of my coworkers is an uber-fan and went to two of the three concerts in London. I saw some Youtube video of it and I have to say, Adam did a very good job. He did his own thing, and though did come across as flamboyant, he's apparently like that anyway and it seemed to be his own way with a nod to Freddie as well. He seems in awe of the legends that he's standing on stage with (and well he should be!) but he seems to fit in nicely.

So anyway, turns out they're doing this tour with Adam and I'm going to do my very best to snag a ticket to the Montreal show. My friend at work will be going and possibly her husband and another person at work in another department, also possibly. She's planning to drive up to Montreal so I said I'd go as well and contribute to the costs and the driving. We can share the hotel but if her husband is going, I may just get my own room as I don't really know him all that well and I'd be more comfortable on my own or sharing with the other woman even though I don't know her at all. Then on the weekend, I was talking to one of my old friends from school who was looking for a concert buddy. She has tickets to George Thorougood in May and I said i might go. I have seen him before but it's usually a good one. Queen came up and she's very interested. I think she's going to try to get her own ticket even if we don't end up sitting together. We can share a hotel room for sure, and with my coworker or the other gal if it's all girls together. I think she'll fly up. I will still go with my coworker because I promised and that was the whole idea, a road trip. My coworker was thinking of staying on in Montreal. She thought about trying to get a ticket to see Katy Perry who's playing there the next night. I don't mind KP but i don't think I want to spend the money on a concert. I thought I'd probably just come back myself on the train or fly and if my other friend is going, we could fly back together.

Anyway, it's all up in the air. The tickets go on sale Friday though early tickets can be got today I think, if you have American Express but we'll see how the week plays out. By the weekend I should know who's got what and who's going. Other plans can be made from there. I might actually get to see Queen!!! My all time favourite band!! It's definitely a bucket list band for me and even if Freddie isn't there, I think it will be a great show.

And tick off another one of those "try something new" items. I wish I had been able to see Queen back in the day but I never could, and then it was too late once Freddie died.

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