Queen fans have a lot to be thankful for recently. Over the last couple of years the band has released two great concert DVDs, both in excellent two-disk packages, and have also re-released the legendary We Will Rock You DVD with a much needed DTS audio remaster. Live At Wembley Stadium was the first of these two new concert videos from Queen, and it is remarkable. I won't even try to tell you which of these three DVDs is the "best", but this one is certainly the most vital, since it captured the band on what would be their last tour, only five years before the death of their inimitable frontman, Freddie Mercury.
Live At Wembley Stadium was filmed July 12, 1986 at Wembley Stadium in London during Queen's The Magic Tour, which was to promote their recently released album A Kind Of Magic. For those of you who were around back then, this album was basically the soundtrack to the movie Highlander, and the song "One Vision" was also featured in the movie Iron Eagle. A Kind Of Magic was also one of Queen's weaker albums, and was part of a slide into mediocrity that started around 1982 with their atrocious Hot Space album.
The setlist for this show was reasonably diverse, and included a few nice surprises such as "Seven Seas Of Rhye" from Queen II, and "In The Lap Of The Gods" and "Now I'm Hear" from Sheer Heart Attack, but is was mostly dominated by their mid-80's material. Nine of the twenty-two original Queen songs performed were from either A Kind Of Magic, or The Works albums, so if you love that period of the band, then this set is the one for you. That is about the time I started to loose interest in Queen, so I'd much prefer to see the Live Killers set on DVD, but the songs they did choose from their 80's catalog were mostly the better ones, and the added live muscle improved a few of them significantly.
During the band interview Brian May and Roger Taylor talk about how a lot of thought goes into the setlist and the pacing of each show. I will paraphrase some of their comments: "In the first ten minutes, blind and deafen them, then, while they're still recovering, slip in a few not quite so good ones, a few recognizable ones, slow things down a little, and then gradually build to a climax." That is pretty much what they did at Wembley that night.