Queen relives historic Live Aid concert

Queen and Adam Lambert created history, linking two of the biggest music charity events by performing their 1985 Live Aid set at Fire Fight Australia on Sunday.

Queen T-shirts were only second to the official Fire Fight koala shirt as the most popular attire and the roar of the crowd when they took the ANZ stadium stage could be heard for kilometres.

And after a video message from Prince William, it was time for more royalty in Queen as the fundraising total leapt over the $7 million mark after 8pm.

"This is Australia's pain but it's humanity's problem," Queen cofounder Brian May said.

"My heart has broken seeing the plight of the animals. I hope the concert will help them too. We all need this tragedy to never happen."

Drummer Roger Taylor added: "This would seem to be not only Australia's problem but a climate change problem that affects the whole world. We are here right now and anything we can do to help in finding Australia a way to recover is the least we can do as musicians. We are all in trouble."

The band were generous enough to donate their stage for the event (left up from playing the previous night) but unlike Saturday, Queen reigned without rain.

The 2020 model Queen opened with the 70s model Bohemian Rhapsody (at least the first part thereof) and suddenly it was back to 1985 and Live Aid.

Indeed it was the identical classic Live Aid set - and why not - that is seen as the blueprint for a bite size charity concert performance.

So for the first time since 1985 it was all there - Radio GaGa and the handclaps, the 'Ayo' vocal warm-up (on video supplied by Freddie Mercury), Hammer to Fall, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions.

The irony is that millions of people watch that Live Aid performance on YouTube each year, now they've updated it - just with a few key members gone but not forgotten.

And it's not news, but Adam Lambert is a magical vocalist.

"When we heard about the fires in Australia our hearts were broken," Lambert said. "You all have the love and unity to make this problem better."

The concert then crossed to Michael Buble in Melbourne, where he hosted volunteer firefighters in his audience, before homegrown hip hop heroes Hilltop Hoods delivered another set to get the crowd bouncing.

Special guest k.d. Lang, a longtime honorary Australian, struck an emotional chord with her signature version of the Leonard Cohen hymn Hallelujah.

Earlier pop heroine Amy Shark looked close to tears after finishing her opening song Adore before erupting into a megawatt grin as she sang All Loved Up.

"This is the greatest day of my life," she told the crowd.

From boys to men, 5 Seconds of Summer's homecoming to perform at Fire Fight Australia left no one in doubt about why they have become  one of the biggest acts in the world.

Fire Fight closed out with two of Australia's most loved and enduring artists, Icehouse and then John Farnham with fellow national treasure Olivia Newton-John to sing Two Strong Hearts.

One of the highlights was Farnham being joined by recent Eurovision: Australia Decides contestant Mitch Tambo and Queen's Brian May to perform You're The Voice as a duet in English and Gamilaraay.

You can still donate to firefight­australia.com with funds distrib­uted to the FR­RR's Fire Fight Fund.


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