26 January 1979, Queen perform the first evening @ Vorst Nationaal (Forest Nationale), Brussels, Belgium “Live Killers” Tour
Before the concert, the promo video for their new single ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ (directed by Jorgan Kliebenst) is filmed.
Freddie, after the first song: “Hello Brussels! We meet again! It’s really nice to be back. You wanna rock? You wanna roll? Okay, let’s dooooooo it!”
Brian: “Thank you, good evening people of Brussels. It’s great to see you again. An old song for you now. This is a song from a couple years ago. This is something called ‘Somebody To Love.’”
Freddie, after a standing ovation following ‘You’re My Best Friend’: “Merci beaucoup! You lovely people. Okay, on with the show. Do you people remember a group called Mott The Hoople? I’m sure some of you do. A long, long time back when we first started out, we did a tour with those guys – the only support tour of our lives. And Brian wrote a song in dedication. This is from an album called ‘Sheer Heart Attack’.”
While listening to the audience sing a football chant after ‘Now I’m Here’, Freddie says: “Let me hear you, c’mon! Thank you, you’re a beautiful audience.”
Brian, after ‘Spread Your Wings’: “Somehow you make a good noise here, people. You’re great. I think I should tell you an interesting fact. We’re thinking of making a live album, and this is the first night we’ve ever recorded for a live album, so I hope you make a nice little noise, as you are.”
Speaking to masses of cheers: Freddie says, “The last time we did this song when we were here, you were the best choir in the world. We’d like a repeat performance. This next number is called ‘Love Of My Life’.” After the song, Brian says, “You’re the best. The best. Unbelieveable. I don’t think we need a singer.” Someone in the audience keeps shouting for ‘I’m In Love With My Car’, even though Queen have already played the song. Brian continues, “Right, we’d like you to sing some more if you’d like. This is called ’39.”
Indeed, this was the first show to be properly recorded by the band with the intention of making a live album. The next twenty shows were recorded, but for quality reasons many of the shows couldn’t be used. Live Killers would be released in June.
Here’s an incredible fan story:
I saw Queen in Brussels on Friday 26th January 1979. I wasn’t even 13 years old yet and this was the very first concert I ever went to. Needless to say I was very excited being a huge Queen fan.
I wasn’t allowed to go by myself so my older sister and brother (non-Queen fans) had to accompany me. We had to go by public transport (tram) which took us about an hour to reach the concert hall. It was impressive to enter the concert hall and see the crowd, stage, speakers etc. for someone like me who had never been to a gig before.
I still remember I got the chills when the lights went out and the band opened with “We Will Rock You (fast)”. They immediately rocked my socks off and the loud (yeah well I thought it was loud back then sound blew me away.
Some other memories:
– Me being a bit disappointed because they didn’t play a full version of “Death On Two Legs” as it was part of a medley.
– Me being completely impressed by “Now I’m Here”, not only because it really rocked of course but also because Freddie made the crowd sing along.
– Two smaller but higher stages at both sides of the main stage on which Brian and Freddie were standing every now and then. I thought that was very cool and I could imagine how great it must have been to them to stand there and rock the crowd.
I had the time of my life that evening (to put it lightly). I think that every Queen fan can perfectly imagine how fantastic it must have been to see Queen as the first band ever to see live. I’m 40 now and I’ve seen so many other amazing bands since but this concert is definitely the one I cherish most. And sometimes when I go to a gig in the same concert hall I imagine myself standing there as a kid to see Freddie, Brian, John and Roger but the feeling I had that evening in ’79 never really came back…
Written by Erik C. (what an incredible memory)