Brian May Shares A Secret From Queen’s Shows
Brian May live in 2019 - AdamMethos / Youtube
The live shows by Queen have always been outstanding. The band’s ability to engage with their fans and put on an exciting performance has earned them a reputation as one of the greatest live acts of all time. With that, Brian May has posted the “secret recipe” for the band’s spectacular live performances on the band’s official YouTube page.
In order to fine-tune their performance and make sure everything is in harmony, bands must typically have a soundcheck before a live performance. Yet, to be fair, Queen rarely does anything that could be called “normal.” And so, we wouldn’t be shocked if Queen rewrote the song during soundcheck to give it that finishing polish. However, Brian May insisted that the alterations being made were minimal in nature.
“We call it a soundcheck, but part of it is to check the sound,” May revealed. “And it’s always necessary, but the rest of it is to just try stuff out, even if it’s only a few bars, like, ‘What happened last night? Oh, that happened. Well, what if we do this?’ And you’re gradually evolving the show, finding out little bits that didn’t work as well as they could, maybe they could be improved.”
“‘Oh, let’s try. We didn’t try this song for ages, so maybe we try this,’” he continued. “And if it works well in sound check, you put it in the next night. But it can be all sorts of little, small, tiny little things. Like ‘If I do this, generally you do that, which conflicts, so maybe we… ‘Oh, yeah, okay, I’ll do this.’”
He then opens up about the Japanese philosophy called Kaizen, an approach you seek for constant improvement. It’s based on the principle that gradual improvements are more beneficial than sudden breakthroughs in elevating the mundane to the spectacular.
Listen to Brian May’s secret below.