The Covid19-delayed Hella Mega Tour, featuring Weezer, Fallout Boy, and headline act Greenday, hit London on the 24 June 2022. The enthusiastic 75 000 strong audience demonstrated that, despite the three-year delay, alternative US rock music still has a strong following in London. It also showed how much live music was missed during the pandemic.
In its review, Kerrang noted that, never mind rock, "it’s just nice to have music back, full-stop. That’s evident from every single inch of the London Stadium, with those both on and offstage tonight clearly here to do one thing, and one thing only: have a hella (mega) good time". Just listen to the crowd singing before Green Day took the stage!
Bohemian Rhapsody was released long before most of the audience members were born, but the sheer enjoyment of singing along to the track with a stadium full of people is plain to see. More than that, the audience does a damn good job too. During the instrumental parts there is an excited hum, and the few moments when Freddie's voice can be heard over the singalong only add to the charm. The clapping during the middle section shows just how much fun was had by all.
As a YouTube commentator notes, "Queen is the only group that can hold a concert without being there!" This was not the first time that Bohemian Rhapsody has threatened to steal the show at a Green Day concert. The tradition started when the band performed in Hyde Park in July 2017 on their Revolution Radio tour. As usual, recorded music played as the band readied itself. The Queen song came on, and the audience spontaneously sang along in unison. The moment was captured by an onstage camera.
The massed audience tribute to Freddie Mercury and Queen at Hyde Park was posted online and went viral. In five years, it has had 30m views on YouTube.
It would be wrong to see the impromptu 2017 Hyde Park version of Bohemian Rhapsody as somehow diminishing the 2022 singalong at London Stadium. To do so would be to overlook the hardship and tragedy of the Covid19 pandemic and the joy people are finding in being able to attend mass events like the Hella Mega Tour.
Long live the memory of Freddie Mercury and long may concert audiences sing along to Bohemian Rhapsody.