Brian May Recalls Queen Overcoming Their Greatest Challenge In America
In a recent video uploaded on Queen’s official YouTube channel, Brian May reflected on their success over their biggest challenge in America.
The guitarist recalled playing in stadiums to a big crowd in South America with the following words:
“Playing to stadiums instead of arenas happened out of England, happened in South America. And we went down there with jumbo jets full of gear to play these football stadiums, not knowing if we would sell them out. How would this happen? We have been assured by the promoters. Gerry Stickells went there; how a wonderful tour manager. Jim Beach went there and said, ‘Yes, you’re gonna fill all these football stadiums because you’re that big down there,’ even if we had never been. “
Opening up about how it felt playing to more people, May continued:
“And suddenly we are playing outdoors to 18,000 or 15,000 people in an arena to 100,000 people or even more. 150,000 people in some places, in Argentina and Brazil. And you think it would throw us, but actually, it was such a great challenge, and the audience was so full of energy. It felt kind of natural.”
The musician also remembered Freddie Mercury’s reaction to performing in stadiums and praised their crew, saying:
“There is a lovely little vignette of Freddie being interviewed. You’ve probably seen it many times where they said, ‘Freddie, how do you feel playing and singing before 200,000 people.’ ‘I haven’t done it yet.’ That was the absolute truth. We didn’t know, but we just assumed we could. We had a great crew, wonderful people who conquered the technical problems that were to fill a football stadium with sound, but it was all new.”
During this period, they were on tour in support of their 1980 album ‘The Game,’ featuring hits like ‘Another One Bites The Dust’ and ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love.’ Their brief tour began on February 28 with two back-to-back shows at Estadio Velez Sarsfield in Buenos Aires, where they attracted a massive crowd of 300,000 people – the largest single concert audience in Argentine history as of 1982, as reported in the Washington Post at the time.
You can watch the whole video below.