Gallery update A day at the Races 5 February 1977

5 February 1977, Queen performed @ Madison Square Garden also known as “The World’s Most Famous Arena” in New York “A Day At The Races” Tour

This was the band’s first time playing @ The Famous Garden. The concert sold out within minutes and Queen were set to perform before 20,000 enthusiastic fanatics. This show was absolutely fantastic!

It’s been said, once you played the Garden, that’s when you had finally ‘made it’ on this side of the Atlantic.

Highlights of the show:

After ‘Ogre Battle,’ Freddie speaks to the frantic audience. “Thank you. Good evening everybody! Thank you, thank you for giving us such a nice welcome. It’s really nice to be back here in New York. Okay, we’re gonna have some fun tonight, okay? We think you’ll like it. Right now we’re gonna change the mood straight away, do something a bit quieter. So take it easy. Take it easy everybody. This… this… listen to me my darlings! Let me do the talking for a change.” (as a flurry of the at-the-time fashionable firecrackers go off!) “This is a song called ‘White Queen.’”

Brian, before ’39: “We’re gonna do something a little different now. We’ve never done this in New York before. We weren’t up to it last time; we didn’t have the guts. This is something off the last album. It features the dulcet tones of Mr. Taylor. And Mr. Mercury. This is ’39.”

Freddie stops the show briefly after ‘Stone Cold Crazy,’ as there seems to be a slight power issue. He continues: “This next song is a song that we do… every time we do a show we love to do it. It’s called ‘Liar.’” This version of the song is blistering.

Brian, as Freddie sits down at the piano after Liar: “Thank you for making this a night to remember. We’re gonna give you something else to remember. We’d like to leave you in the lap of the gods. Thanks a lot.”

“It was a pleasure doing business with you,” says Freddie at the end of the show.

Brian May recalled this show in his ‘Queen in 3D’

Book:

“Our first show in New York’s famous Madison Square Garden (MSG) arena, on 5 February 1977, was a milestone for Queen but also for me personally. The innate electricity of this place is hard to describe. MSG is nationally famous in the USA for top-level basketball and many other sporting events, and famous worldwide for world title boxing matches. It’s also a kind of badge of merit to play there as a music act – something that every rock band aspires to. The feeling of hitting that stage for the first time, to a packed roaring house of American fans, was truly breathtaking. On most tours you get accustomed to handling ‘nerves’ – you have confidence in your team and yourself after a while – but certain nights are impossible to treat as ‘normal’ and this was one of them.”

“My recollection is that my feet seemed to be suspended about three inches above the boards of that stage, and if you listen to recordings from the night, you can hear us racing at break-neck speed as if there’s no tomorrow. It was an overwhelming noise that came back from the crowd that night, and a huge affirmation for us as a group in full flight.”

Source: Brian May, ‘Queen in 3D

Elektra Records threw a party for the band after the concert.

In a 2013 interview with Record Collector, Roger Taylor says this gig was “quite a big step,” adding “I was quite nervous for that one. You had to step up.”

𝐅𝐨𝐫 𝐲𝐞𝐚𝐫𝐬 𝐢𝐭 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐛𝐞𝐥𝐢𝐞𝐯𝐞𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐨 ‘𝐓𝐢𝐞 𝐘𝐨𝐮𝐫 𝐌𝐨𝐭𝐡𝐞𝐫 𝐃𝐨𝐰𝐧‘ 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐚𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐢𝐬 𝐯𝐞𝐧𝐮𝐞 𝐝𝐮𝐫𝐢𝐧𝐠 𝐬𝐨𝐮𝐧𝐝𝐜𝐡𝐞𝐜𝐤 𝐛𝐮𝐭 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐝𝐢𝐫𝐞𝐜𝐭𝐨𝐫, 𝐁𝐫𝐮𝐜𝐞 𝐆𝐨𝐰𝐞𝐫𝐬 𝐜𝐨𝐧𝐟𝐢𝐫𝐦𝐞𝐝 𝐡𝐞 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐟𝐥𝐨𝐰𝐧 𝐭𝐨 𝐌𝐢𝐚𝐦𝐢, 𝐅𝐥𝐨𝐫𝐢𝐝𝐚 (19 𝐅𝐞𝐛𝐫𝐮𝐚𝐫𝐲) 𝐚𝐧𝐝 𝐭𝐡𝐚𝐭 𝐢𝐬 𝐰𝐡𝐞𝐫𝐞 𝐭𝐡𝐞 𝐯𝐢𝐝𝐞𝐨 𝐰𝐚𝐬 𝐟𝐢𝐥𝐦𝐞𝐝!

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