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The News of the World Tour was a concert tour by the British rock band Queen, supporting their successful 1977 album News of the World. The tour spanned from 11 November 1977 to 13 May 1978 over three tour legs: North America, Europe, and The United Kingdom. Rehearsals for the tour took place at Shepperton Studios in October 1977.[1]

News of the World Tour
World tour by Queen
Newsoftheworldnorthamericadates.jpg
A poster showing the North American dates of the tour.
Associated albumNews of the World
Start date11 November 1977
End date13 May 1978
Legs3
No. of shows26 in North America
20 in Europe
46 in Total
Queen concert chronology

Contents

OverviewEdit

Hot off the heels of the A Day at the Races Tour, the band retreated to Wessex Studios to record their sixth studio album, News of the World. A video shoot for the first single off the album, "We Are the Champions," was shot on 6 October 1977 at New London Theatre. Many people from the Queen Fan Club were privately invited to the event to fill up the theatre. After running through four takes of the video, the band played a short live set for the 900 person audience, which served as a warm-up gig for the tour in the coming month.[2] The band then spent the last week of the month rehearsing for the tour, during which, News of the World was released (28 October 1977).[1]

 
Deacon, May, and Mercury (L-R) on stage during the North American leg of the News of the World Tour at New Haven Coliseum on November 16, 1977.

Visually, their show has been revamped for this tour. The News of the World Tour prominently features their brand new lighting rig, "The Crown." The rig was first used for their two shows at Earls Court in June 1977. The full rig cost £50,000 to make, was 25 feet tall by 54 feet wide, and was the worlds first mobile lighting rig.[3][4] The Crown was scaled down for this tour, and built in Boston.[1] The stage outfits have also changed. Instead of starting the show in his white jumpsuit like on the previous tour, Mercury would start the show with a leather jacket on top of his iconic leotards. There also seems to be a larger assortment of leotards in Mercury's arsenal for this tour, such as the black and white checkered outfit (worn on most shows, including the filmed concert in Houston), the black and white striped outfit (featured in Boston, Oakland, and Stockholm), the orange, green, and white checkered outfit (featured in the second night in Philadelphia and the second night in Rotterdam), the full white outfit (featured in the first night in Rotterdam), and the full black outfit (featured in Copenhagen and Hamburg). During the second encore, Mercury would switch to another spandex leotard coated in sparkles. However, for the UK Leg of the tour in 1978, Mercury had ditched the leotards for the main set, and instead wore leather pants and suspenders. This would become his main outfit for the following tour at the end of the year. His outfit for the second encore also changed on the UK leg; Mercury wears a sparkled spandex leotard similar to the one on the previous legs, but it's red instead of white, and the legs and arms have been cut off. As for the other members, Brian May would typically wear a white jacket through the main set, and would come out during the rock section of "Bohemian Rhapsody" in poncho-like drapes designed by Zandra Rhodes. Roger Taylor would dress in a white, baggy shirt, and John Deacon would casually dress in a shirt and slacks.

It was the first to feature "We Will Rock You", "We Are the Champions" and "Love of My Life" – three of the anthems that helped make Queen well known for their concerts.

This tour was the first the band performed without an opening act.[5]

The News of the World Tour is also notable for featuring some of Queen's longest shows, generally lasting two hours per night, in contrast to previous tours, where the shows would last around 1 hour and 40 minutes.[1] The shows in Boston (12 November 1977) and Inglewood (22 December 1977) were particularly lengthy performances, with the concert in Boston clocking in at 2 hours and 25 minutes, and the concert in Inglewood clocking in at 2 hours and 15 minutes, making them the second and third longest shows of Queen's career, respectively.[6]

One of the shows on the North American leg – at The Summit in Houston, Texas – was filmed and is widely available among fans. The Houston concert is considered one of their best bootlegs.[7] Other shows on the tour were filmed by Bob Harris (radio presenter) and his crew, those being Atlanta (8 December 1977), Fort Worth (10 December 1977), and Las Vegas (15 December 1977), and while footage of the pre-show setup from those dates has emerged in documentaries, no footage of those three performances have been seen.[8]

SetlistsEdit

Out of the eleven songs on News of the World, eight would be featured on stage in some capacity, whether it be the full song, or as part of the typical medley that they would perform early in the set.[1] Songs that were performed in full include: "We Are the Champions," "Spread Your Wings," "Sleeping On the Sidewalk," "It's Late," and "My Melancholy Blues." "We Will Rock You" was performed three times during the set: First, it opened the show on playback while Freddie Mercury would walk out on stage and sing the first verse of the song, after which Brian May would finish the song with his guitar solo. The band would then quickly follow up with the fast version of the song, which was notably featured on Live Killers. The third and final performance of the song would be during the encores. This time, the playback would not be present, and instead, Roger Taylor would provide a real drum beat. Only one verse of the song is played again, but the song would be featured in full by the next tour.[1] "Sheer Heart Attack" cut down to only a single verse, but just like "We Will Rock You," the song would eventually be played in full by the following tour. Finally, "Get Down Make Love" would be featured as part of the medley, and thus, the second verse and chorus were cut from the song.[1]

"Sleeping on the Sidewalk" would not last long on stage, as the band only played the song at three shows on the tour before dropping it from the set.[1] The version that was released on the 40th Anniversary Box Set of News of the World comes from the show in Boston on 12 November 1977[9]

North America
Europe

Tour datesEdit

Date City Country Venue
North America
11 November 1977 Portland United States Cumberland County Civic Center
12 November 1977 Boston Boston Garden
13 November 1977 Springfield Springfield Civic Center
15 November 1977 Providence Providence Civic Center
16 November 1977 New Haven New Haven Coliseum
18 November 1977 Detroit Cobo Hall
19 November 1977
21 November 1977 Toronto Canada Maple Leaf Gardens
23 November 1977 Philadelphia United States The Spectrum
24 November 1977
25 November 1977 Norfolk Norfolk Scope
27 November 1977 Richfield Richfield Coliseum
29 November 1977 Landover Capital Centre
1 December 1977 New York City Madison Square Garden
2 December 1977
4 December 1977 Dayton University of Dayton Arena
5 December 1977 Chicago Chicago Stadium
8 December 1977 Atlanta Omni Coliseum
10 December 1977 Fort Worth Fort Worth Convention Center
11 December 1977 Houston The Summit
15 December 1977 Las Vegas Aladdin Theatre for the Performing Arts
16 December 1977 San Diego San Diego Sports Arena
17 December 1977 Oakland Oakland Coliseum Arena
20 December 1977 Long Beach Long Beach Convention Center
21 December 1977
22 December 1977 Inglewood The Forum
Europe
12 April 1978 Stockholm Sweden Johanneshovs Isstadion
13 April 1978 Copenhagen Denmark Falkoner Center
14 April 1978 Hamburg West Germany Ernst-Merck-Halle
16 April 1978 Brussels Belgium Forest National
17 April 1978
19 April 1978 Rotterdam Netherlands Rotterdam Ahoy
20 April 1978
21 April 1978 Brussels Belgium Forest National
23 April 1978 Paris France Pavillon de Paris
24 April 1978
26 April 1978 Dortmund West Germany Westfalenhallen
28 April 1978 Berlin Deutschlandhalle
30 April 1978 Zürich Switzerland Hallenstadion
2 May 1978 Vienna Austria Wiener Stadthalle
3 May 1978 Munich West Germany Olympiahalle
6 May 1978 Stafford England Bingley Hall
7 May 1978
11 May 1978 London Wembley Arena
12 May 1978
13 May 1978

Tour bandEdit

Reception and recollectionsEdit

In the book The Show I'll Never Forget: 50 Writers Relive Their Most Memorable Concertgoing Experience, novelist Tracy Chevalier recalls attending one of this tour's concerts at the age of 15:

The band wisely didn't dare attempt to reproduce in its entirety the long, baroque confection that is Bohemian Rhapsody. For the infamous operatic middle section, the band members left the stage as the studio recording played. Freddie and Brian then changed costume, and, at the word "Beelzebub", all four men popped out of a door in the stage floor and joined live again for the heavy metal section, fireworks going off, dry ice pouring out, everyone going berserk, me in tears of excitement. It was one of the best live moments I've ever witnessed. Indeed, I was spoiled by seeing Queen play live before anyone else; for sheer exuberant theatricality, no one else has come close.[10]

Robert Hilburn of the Los Angeles Times called this concert tour the band's "most spectacularly staged and finely honed show yet".[5]

"We arrived in Las Vegas on Monday," recalled Old Grey Whistle Test presenter Bob Harris, who was travelling with the band for a filmed piece, "and the band weren't playing until Thursday, so we had three days to party… On the Thursday, when the band were playing, they got the four limos to park at the back of the Aladdin. Each of them got in, then the limos drove them round to the front, where they got out and walked into the hotel for the gig. You have to do it; it's the rock 'n' roll way. You can't just walk into the lobby!"[11]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "Queenlive.ca". QUEEN LIVE. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  2. ^ "QUEEN LIVE". Queenlive.ca. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  3. ^ "QUEEN LIVE". Queenlive.ca. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Lighting rig: Earls Court 1977". Queen Concerts. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  5. ^ a b Hilburn, Robert (20 December 1977). "Pop Music Review: Queen's Royal Achievement". Los Angeles Times.
  6. ^ Taylor, Gary. Queen Touring North America. pp. 106, 138.
  7. ^ "Concert: Queen live in Summit, Houston, Texas, USA". Queen Concerts. Retrieved 26-5-2012
  8. ^ "QUEEN LIVE". Queenlive.ca. Retrieved 4 January 2019.
  9. ^ "Queenlive.ca". QUEEN LIVE. Retrieved 31 December 2018.
  10. ^ Chevalier, Tracy (27 January 2007). "These were the gigs of our lives". The Times.
  11. ^ Yates, Henry: "Ever meet Hendrix?"; Classic Rock #148, August 2010, p40

External linksEdit