Hot Space Tour
The Hot Space Tour was a concert tour by the British rock band Queen in support of their 1982 album Hot Space. The tour started on 9 April in Gothenburg, Sweden and ended, after sixty-nine concerts, in Tokorozawa, Japan.
|Tour by Queen|
A small poster that promotes the American leg of the tour.
|Associated album||Hot Space|
|Start date||9 April 1982|
|End date||3 November 1982|
|No. of shows||30 in Europe|
33 in North America
6 in Asia
|Queen concert chronology|
The tour saw many changes to Queen's show. The tour was the first in which the band used a keyboardist, playing in the background. For the European leg of the tour, they used Morgan Fisher. Fisher is best known for having been a member of Mott the Hoople in the 1970's. Queen were the opening act for Mott the Hoople's US Tour of 1974, so the band already had close connections with Fisher prior to the tour. Another connection which Fisher had with the band was through a short-lived progressive rock band called Morgan, which he formed with Tim Staffell, who was the bass guitarist and lead vocalist for the pre-Queen band Smile.
After taking most of the April shows to warm up, Freddie Mercury's voice achieves a peak during May and June, giving some of his best live performances in the band's history, as evidenced by him achieving high notes rarely seen on most other tours. His voice no longer has the same superiority from July however, which progressively weakens until the Japanese concerts in October and November. However it remains strong overall. Thus, the June shows are said to be the last in his 'prime era' (lasting from November 1979 until June 1982, in which his voice is described to be at its most clear and powerful conditions).
Queen toured Europe, North America and Japan throughout 1982. Several alterations were made to the touring schedule. The first being the cancellation of a planned concert at the Royal Albert Hall in London, due to the venue not being able to cope with the weight of the band's light rig. The second were two rescheduled concerts in England. The concert in Leeds was originally scheduled to take place at Old Trafford in Manchester and the Milton Keynes concert was supposed to take place at Arsenal Stadium in London. The concerts were moved due to potential noise complaints from local residents.
A DVD documenting the band's 5 June 1982 concert at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes was released in 2004 as Queen on Fire – Live at the Bowl. The DVD Extras contained video clips and audio clips recorded in Austria and Japan.
The Hot Space Tour marked Queen's last concerts in North America to feature Freddie Mercury and John Deacon. Brian May and Roger Taylor returned to perform in the United States, along with Paul Rodgers, on the Queen + Paul Rodgers Tour.
- Freddie Mercury – lead Vocals, piano, acoustic guitar (on "Crazy Little Thing Called Love")
- Brian May – electric guitar, acoustic guitar, backing vocals, piano
- Roger Taylor – drums, backing vocals
- John Deacon – bass guitar, additional vocals, electric guitar (on "Staying Power")
Unlike most tours, in which the band would normally only need a few nights to become comfortable with a setlist, it would take more than a month during the start of the tour. All of the shows in April are unique as the band are undergoing an experimental period, before finally achieving an optimal setlist outline by May. Throughout the year, it would be rare for more than two shows to have the same setlist, with the European leg of the tour in particular having no more than two shows sharing a setlist, and with each show on the Japanese leg of the tour having its own individual setlist. The band would still continue to experiment throughout the year.
The European tour had a new show opener in which a tape recorded version of "Flash" would be heard over the loudspeakers for approximately a minute, after which the band would appear and seamlessly jump into an energetic version of the "The Hero". This would then be followed by either "Tie Your Mother Down", "We Will Rock You (Fast)" or "Sheer Heart Attack" depending on the night.
Then, for the North American tour this was replaced with the tape recorded version of "Flash" playing over the loudspeakers before the music would quieten down and the band would start playing the much slower intro to "Rock It". In July and August shows, the band would play the full version of Rock It and then play a brief version of "We Will Rock You (Fast)", while in the September shows they would only play the intro to Rock It and then play the full version of "We Will Rock You (Fast)".
The Japanese leg of the tour would see the band alternate between the Flash/The Hero/We Will Rock You (Fast)and Flash/Rock It/We Will Rock You (Fast) intros each night.
The fast version of We Will Rock You, which had been performed at almost every show from November 1977 up until the end of 1981, would be dropped for most of the April shows, being on rotation during the May shows before making a permanent return into the set again in June. Tie Your Mother Down was also performed at the start of most April shows before returning to the end of the setlist in May, where it had been for all shows from November 1977 until the end of 1981. Sheer Heart Attack, which since its introduction to the setlist in November 1977 had been performed as an encore for most shows, would be instead performed at the start of the show during a select few May concerts, before being dropped from the set entirely after June.
Most songs from the Hot Space album would be played on this tour, with "Action This Day" and "Under Pressure" being performed at every single show. Since the album itself was released on May 21, fans at shows from the start of the tour until then would have been unfamiliar with the songs "Staying Power", "Back Chat" and "Action This Day". "Body Language" was introduced to the show briefly in May, before making a permanent return in July, and "Calling All Girls" would be introduced in July as well. "Life Is Real" would be heard at only a few concerts in August, and "Put Out The Fire" would be introduced to the show in September. "Dancer", "Las Palabras De Amor" and "Cool Cat" were never be performed live.
- "1982". Queen Online. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- "Hot Space". Queen Online. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- "Queen live on tour: Hot Space (Europe)". Queen Concerts. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- "Leeds, UK Elland Road May 29, 1982". Queen Live. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- "Milton Keynes, UK National Bowl June 4, 1982". Queen Live. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- "Queen Queen On Fire: Live At The Bowl Review". BBC. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- "On Fire at The Bowl". Queen Online. Retrieved 31 January 2017.
- "Queen Most Loved Band". The Guardian. 5 July 2005. Retrieved 31 January 2017.