2 August 1982 – Queen performed the first of two consecutive evenings @ Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
After Freddie showers the audience with some cold beer, he introduces a new song. “We’re gonna try something new tonight. This is a phase that we’re going through right now. But don’t worry about it. Everybody thinks we’re gonna turn black or something. It’s not gonna be that. This is Staying Power.”
Before ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love,’ Freddie introduces keyboardist Fred Mandel as a “local boy from Toronto.”
One person who attended this show mentioned how the audience was pretty restrained until ‘Tie Your Mother Down,’ when people finally charged toward the stage. He recalled the excitement of watching Queen finally playing a couple “old songs”. As we know, not many songs from the first few albums would be played on this tour, as the band were focusing on the two most recent studio albums – recalling the success of ‘The Game’ and trying to market ‘Hot Space.’
Here’s an amazing fan story:
“I decided to go to one of the Queen shows. The Latin-studying geek that I was… had no friends who were willing to dish out $12.50 for a ticket, so I went alone to Maple Leaf Gardens. I wouldn’t say that I was a huge Queen fan – yet. But I certainly knew their music despite the advent and dominance of synthesized tunes on the radio. At the concert, I had a Red Section seat which was about 8 rows up from the floor.
I remember the classic tunes being played as well as tunes I had never heard before, like Tie Your Mother Down. Then in the second half, Freddie Mercury made a gesture and suddenly there was a stampede toward the stage, so I ran along as well. I found myself right up against the stage, but I couldn’t see very much because I was a petite little girl. My disappointment lasted for no more than a minute, when a guy offered me his shoulders to sit on. Normally I would not have considered doing such a thing, but the euphoria and great energy of the concert made me forget that I was only 16 yrs old and by myself.
Hoisted up on the stranger’s shoulders, I could immediately feel the cold air conditioned stage. Freddie Mercury was running back and forth with great energy. Brian May stood still under a spotlight. Then Freddie Mercury ran by during one of the last songs/encores. As he did, he looked me straight in the eyes, with a great smile, and slapped my hand “high five”. Then Brian May came by and handed me a long stem red carnation from a loose bouquet that somebody threw on stage.
He distributed all of the flowers to others as well, but it seemed so personal when he handed one to me.
What a great concert experience. I could still feel the smack of Freddie’s hand on mine 31 years later. I still have the ticket stub and pressed red carnation in my box of fond memories. Sigh.” ~ Roxy, a fan
(Thanks to Natromanxoff for the story)