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4.6 out of 5 stars
Queen And Paul Rodgers: Return Of The Champions [DVD] [2006]
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102 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on 16 September 2005
I feel privileged to have seen this DVD at a pre-release cinema screening in London on 14th September. The benefit event (for Medicinema)was attended by Brian May, Roger Taylor and Jamie Moses.
I fully admit to being a Queen fan and a long time follower of Paul Rodgers work aswell. So for me the teaming up of the two was a dream ticket. Right from the first few notes of the concert I knew we were in for a treat...both with the sound and visuals. The sound is awesomely mixed and the stereo imaging creates a truly live and excited feeling. Filmed in High Definition with 5.1 DTS Surround Sound and PCM Stereo, this'll look and sound absolutely spectacular on your TV or multimedia system. Filmed from fourteen different camera positions the bands every gesticulation and rock grimaces are captured from all angles. The director and editor have done a great job in making this stadium concert (Sheffield Arena) into a very intimate occasion. We see Paul sing and grin, then to Brian who hits down on a power chord, eyes up to the lights. The next shot is of two or three fans swaying and singing along in clenched fist, closed eyed ecstasy. And so it goes on..we're under Paul as he twists and turns his mike stand, we're in the crowd, we're above and spinning down to Roger on the drums. It's just what any fan would do if given the dexterity of a spirit form or ghost. We'd weave around and visit each of the band as they interact with each other and the crowd. There are many touching moments during this DVD. The intro track "Reaching Out" really does seem to be a request from Paul for acceptance from the Queen fans "Are you reaching out for me..like I'm reaching out for you?" - Freddie appears on screen to sing Bohemian Rhapsody with the band playing live with him. Paul comes on for the last "rock out" part and the track finishes with Paul and Freddie taking turns to sing every other line. Beautifully and tastefully done. One thing that this DVD does is show Paul off to be the extraordinary front man that he is. His singing is impeccable ("No overdubs, all live" - Jamie Moses) and his obvious enjoyment of the crowd and occasion is infectious. He even does a couple of mad mike stand theatrics that perhaps (back in the 70's) were a precursor to Freddie's famed prop work!
Paul Rodgers isn't Freddie Mercury and is not in any way pretending to be him either!! "Why should he, he's Paul Rodgers" said Brian May in a recent interview. Paul is a rock singer who delivers Queen's material in his own style and Queen back him wonderfully in a number of his own classics. All the band are master craftsmen.
A great coming together. An inspired joining of forces.

Turn it up loud and prepare to be wriggling on the edge of your seat.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 21 April 2006
I, as many others, did not want to like Paul Rodgers. Yes, he's a good singer, but he's just not Freddie. I thought, when i bought this Dvd, that he would try to be, and that it would be good, but just not queen.

And it wasnt.

However, it was, simply amazing, Paul didnt try to be like Freddie, he took the songs and added his own element to the classic queen songs such as "Crazy Little thing called Love" and "Fat bottomed Girls" along with all the others. The Acoustic parts in the middle were a great tribute to Freddie and I thoroughly enjoyed watching (and of course listening) to this Dvd!

A classic band, with an added Element, They would have done Freddie proud
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on 8 November 2005
One of Freddie Mercury's rock heroes was Paul Rodgers,mine too. How then did I feel when, resigned to never seeing Queen live, I heard of this tour? I waited with excitement to get tickets for Manchester but they sold out online in under two hours when I was out. So - back to Dortmund and the Westfalenhalle an arena I knew well from Army service. Got the tickets, booked Easyjet and flew over, three of us for less than £90. Had a great nostalgia trip and headed for the Halle, Fabulous atmosphere from a good natured audience.
From the very first note the place erupted. The mix of Brian May, Roger Taylor and Paul Rodgers has moved the Queen magic into a new plane; Rodgers will never be Freddie - he does not try to be but instead adds a smoky blues atmosphere to the legendary Queen mix.
Surprise also hearing May and Taylor sing. Brian May's simple version of "love of my life" left not a dry eye in the place whilst Roger awed all with a new song.
I wanted it to go on for ever but sadly it came to a close.
My 13 year old daughter, weaned on boy bands and now into heavy metal voted it the greatest concert ever, she could not believe just how such old men could show the rest off.
This DVD is heading for her Christmas stocking - and mine. At the Amazon price, its a giveaway. Let's have more and soon.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 15 February 2006
I didn't want to like this and only bought it when I had some vouchers for my Birthday; I thought "why not complete the collection".
I am not a Paul Rodgers fan and wasn't interested in seeing the concert. Boy did I get that wrong, the Gig was fantastic, so good in fact that I watched it again straight away, this was a first for me.
Paul Rodgers is a great singer but he doesn't try to be Freddie and I think that's why it's soooooo good...
Buy it, watch it, love it, it's a treat for us Queen Fans.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 10 January 2006
I went to the Newcastle concert but I still appreciate being able to see this on DVD, as the atmosphere's pretty similar. Paul Rodgers was fantastic and he comes across well on the DVD. He wasn't trying to be like Freddie, which is what made it work - it was truly him and Queen. His voice is superb, the music is superb and the crowd participate (almost) as well as the Newcastle crowd - sorry, but I'm bound to think the crowd I was in was better, aren't I!!!?? The addition of "Imagine" from the Hyde Park concert after the London Bombings is incredibly moving - the gig had to be postponed and many of the emergency workers got free tickets. It made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. 4 stars just because there are no other special features. If you are a Queen fan, it needs to be in your collection - it's a seminal piece of work and possibly the last live Queen DVD (though I hope not). Brilliant.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 27 November 2005
I was lucky enough to be at this concert. Although PR will never be Freddie, he did a fantastic job and has one of the best rock voices ever. He wasn't trying to be something he's not and I was so pleased to be there, having never had the opportunity to see Freddie perform live. Having had some initial problems with the sound quality on the DVD, fiddling with the TV settings helped no end. Crank it up and enjoy the brilliance that is Queen with Paul Rodgers. A good mix of classic Queen and Paul's hits from Free and Bad Company too!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2007
I was at this concert myself, literally 5 metres from the front row.. this dvd captures every bit of amazement I saw that night.. Yeah, at first I'll admit, i was unsure how the whole Paul Rodgers thing would work out.. just as many people were wondering. But - in no way did he try and fill Freddie's shoes, Paul put his own unique style of blues into some of the songs and the result was very enjoyable. Id highly recommend this..
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on 4 November 2005
Wow! This DVD is excellent. A must have for any Queen fan. Paul Rodgers does an excellent job, and it's great to hear Brian May and Roger Taylor singing more of the songs. The only down side is that it doesn't have any bonus features like interviews etc - that would have made it even better. Brilliant concert though. Get the CD as well!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 31 January 2006
I am not a great Queen fan, although I still have vivid memories of their LIveAid performance which was awesome.
Twenty one years on and without the late Freddy this DVD is a solid piece of work, and provides cosy nostalgia rather than inspiring viewing, however the addition of Paul Rogers was a master stroke, his voice is better than ever and the real highlghts of this DVD are when they perform his Free and Bad Company hits - a couple more and I would have given this top marks, although he didn't look entirely happy singing some of Queens songs!
The 5-1 mix was not alogether satisfactory.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 31 October 2005
One words sums this concert up for me: Amazing! After being a fan of Queen for almost 10 years, I found it hard to imagine someone else stepping into the shoes of the late, great Freddie Mercury. And then Paul Rodgers came along. After hearing that Rodgers was a blues singer, I wasn't sure if the format would work. After all, Queen were known to rock. How wrong could I be? I've just finished watching the 'Return of the Champions' DVD, and couldn't believe how fantastic it was. All of the classics are here, ranging from 'We Will Rock You', to 'Love Of My Life', to 'Tie Your Mother Down', and Mercury's masterpiece; 'Bohemian Rhapsody'. As well as this, some of Paul Rodgers' hits are included. My highlights include the new version of 'Hammer To Fall', and two latter-Queen songs that have only been performed once: 'The Show Must Go On' and 'I Want It All'. Fans of Freddie will find it hard not to be moved during 'Bohemian Rhapsody' when he can be seen on a video screen playing behind the band. I cannot explain how excited I was by this DVD, and I have completely accepted Paul Rodgers as the band's new frontman. I hope they continue to reign.
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