9 December 1980, Queen performed their second of three evenings at Wembley Arena, London
“The Game” Tour
Queen are a force to be reckoned with by this point in the tour, and this show in particular is such an excellent one on all levels. Musically they are spot on, and Freddie’s voice is nothing short of perfect, hitting virtually every note he wants to. Their vocal harmonies are tight, with ‘Play The Game’ being a notable mention.
In light of John Lennon’s tragic murder the night before (8 December Queen put together a version of ‘Imagine’ to be performed tonight in honor of the former ‘Beatle.’ All the lights went down and just one spotlight remaining as Queen played the beautiful tribute
Freddie recited the lyrics from a scrap piece of paper. It is clearly an emotionally challenging task for the band to deliver this iconic song written by one of their heroes on such an occasion, and the gesture is much appreciated by the audience who give them a standing ovation afterward. A fan recalls, “I particularly remember Roger being very upset and biting his hand to hold back the tears.”
They skip Keep Yourself Alive (marking the first time the band play no songs from their first couple albums), and Brian jumps straight into his guitar solo. This would be the last time the band would finish this section of the show off with the ending of ‘Brighton Rock.’ They probably dropped it because they felt it was too long between songs familiar to the majority of the audience. It would be resurrected for the ‘Works’ tour in 1984.
Freddie then grabs his 12-string acoustic guitar and says, “Okay, I’m gonna do a Jimi Hendrix impersonation in a song called ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love.’”
Pete Townshend and his wife Karen attended the show. Pete later remarked, “I thought they were the maddest band I’d ever seen.” He added that Queen were the only band in his eyes that took on the mantle of The Who by doing it their way with a brashness and Britishness that nobody else really had