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July 21, 2010

Still The Champions—Queen + Paul Rodgers: New Album, New Tour

When rock legends get together, it’s almost always something incredible. And when legends as iconic as Queen and Paul Rodgers get together to form a musical partnership, then take it on tour, it’s even better. Taking it one step further into the realm of rock-fan heaven, that musical partnership has turned into a band of its own—Queen + Paul Rodgers announced a new tour, and a new album full of their own material.

For long-time fans of classic rock, it’s still hard to imagine Queen without Freddie Mercury, but back in late 2004, a collaboration between Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor and Raul Rodgers of Free and Bad Company fame brought crowds to their feet at the UK Music Hall of Fame awards with performances of “We Will Rock You,” “We Are the Champions” and “All Right Now.” The successful chemistry was not lost on the trio of experienced performers and Queen + Paul Rodgers was born.

The “new” group was officially formed and their first public performance together was March 2005, in South Africa, supporting Nelson Mandela’s 46664 AIDS awareness campaign. A tour quickly followed with the rock legends playing 32 sold out dates across Europe and the UK. The 23-date North American tour went on the road in 2006 and the live concert “Return of the Champions” simultaneous CD/DVD release followed soon after. Up until now, they’ve been playing the “classics”—giving fans what they wanted to hear—favourite rock anthems and tunes.

Every now and then, concert fans would get a taste of something different when on tour Queen + Paul Rodgers would treat concertgoers to surprise additions to the set list. Fans in Japan heard “I Was Born to Love You,” while those at the Hyde Park concert heard a cover of John Lennon’s “Imagine.” Perhaps paying tribute to Cream, on reunion tour at the same time in London, Newcastle audiences were treated to “Sunshine of Your Love.” North American dates saw a frequent addition of “Dragon Attack.”

Finally, Queen + Paul Rodgers have recorded an album together—the first new studio album to carry the Queen name since the Freddie Mercury days.

Rockin’ the House

With the new album comes a new tour. Queen + Paul Rodgers are hitting the road for an extensive 28-date tour, taking them to 14 countries in seven weeks, covering Europe and the UK. The album is set to hit stores in September, and the Cosmos Rocks Tour starts 15 September 2008 in Moscow. Queen + Paul Rodgers then heads to Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland and the Netherlands before they land in the UK in early October for six dates, including London’s O2 Arena on 13 October. After making the rounds of Nottingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Birmingham and Liverpool the band is off to Serbia, Hungary, Spain and Austria.

Queen + Paul Rodgers concerts feature songs from their new album, of course, but these guys are veteran performers and crowd pleasers. The concert sets will also include material from both Queen and Paul Rodgers history. Sure to be included in the set lists are Queen mega-hits “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Another One Bites the Dust,” “We Are the Champions,” “We Will Rock You” and of course, the classic rock anthem “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Expected Rodgers hits include “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” “Wishing Well,” “Can’t Get Enough” and “All Right Now.” The new album features all new material by May, Taylor and Rodgers, plus “Say It’s Not True,” previously released at the end of 2007 as a World Aids Day download.

Making the Rounds

The Cosmos Rocks Tour starts at the Moscow SCO Olympic Arena 15th and 16th September, then moves to Berlin, Antwerp, Paris, Rome, Milan and ends September in Zurich. October takes Queen + Paul Rodgers to Munich, Mannheim, Hannover, Hamburg and Rotterdam before landing the band at the Nottingham Trent FM Arena on the 10th. UK dates are:


Friday 10th—Nottingham Trent FM Arena

Saturday 11th—Glasgow SE&CC

Monday 13th—London O2

Tuesday 14th—Cardiff International Arena

Thursday 16th—Birmingham NIA

Saturday 18th—Liverpool Echo Arena

The Cosmos Rocks Tour then heads to Barcelona, Spain then off to the Murcia Estadio Municipal and Madrid, before heading to Budapest, Belgrade and Prague, and finally wrapping up on the 1st of November in Vienna.

The Cosmos Rocks Tour is sure to be pure auditory ambrosia for Queen and Paul Rodgers fans alike, and combining the two legends into one band is a stroke of pure, fan-pleasing genius.

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