Brian May and Kerry Ellis at The Olympia Theatre – Review
Brian May & Kerry Ellis at The Olympia Theatre – Sunday, 30th June, 2013
Dr. Brian May, ex Queen member, living guitar legend, and Kerry Ellis his super rock singing accomplice played a back catalog of Queen hits, rock musical numbers and their hits to a full house and an adoring crowd at the Olympia Theatre last Sunday night.
In a nut shell, Brian May is on Rolling Stone’s list of the Top 100 guitarists ever; the eighteen albums he played on with Queen topped the charts and has sold over 300 million copies globally. He penned the classic anthem “We Will Rock You” and the “Stomp, Stomp, Clap” move was one of his creations. “We are the Champions” is led by his guitar solo and he was a key role on the classic song “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Astronomer and author, he earned a Physics doctorate in 2007, upon completing his PhD thesis on Interplanetary Dust.
Opening to cheers and wolf whistles, the stage was intimately decorated with candles. Under low lights, an older Brian May, brandishing long, curly rock star hair showed off his folk side to his personality with an acoustic guitar. Kerry Ellis of “We Will Rock You” and “Les Miserable” fame is a hugely successful musical theatre actress famed around the world. She toned down the drama, dressed in a little black number and she eased us all in with some slow, effortless tunes alongside May.
“I Who Have Nothing” was performed flawlessly and a number of hits by their heroes, “Life is Real” dedicated to John Lennon, was a well received. “The Way We Were” was blasted out Broadway style. Another classic “Can’t Help Falling in Love”, got the entire audience singing and clapping along.
Kerry on her own now, belted out “I’m Not That Girl” and May returning to the stage tinkered along to “If I Loved You” with Ellis’s vocal touching very close to “X-Factor” style. “39” by Queen, got everyone involved again, however, not all members seemed to be enjoying it as some leapt up and thunderously left the theater – shouting: “Freddy Would Be Sick”. “39” was followed by “Something”, a cover by the Beatles.
Ellis exits the stage, leaving us alone with May who stood up against a starry background, the lights dim, and he pulls out his electric guitar… finally the show begins! We space-journeyed through the skies and across light years with May with “Last Horizon” which was stunning – an incredible song to hear played live. If an instrument could become human! The screams from the crowd were deafening.
Kerry returns, the vibe more electrified and together they perform Bob Dylan’s “Knocking on Heavens Door”. Brian tells us how Rory Gallagher taught him everything he knows moving on to “Tie Your Mother Up”, his astonishing solo with a sweeping slide guitar effect earned him a standing ovation. Asking everyone to “Stomp, Stomp, Clap”, the building shakes and we rocked out to “We Will Rock You”, the man is a pro giving, a well rounded guitar performance. Standing ovations and cries for more from the crowd.
Ending on their brand new single “The Kissing Song”, they leave us in darkness, is this it? Oh no, it’s not! Ellis and May return again to blast out “Is it Raining in Heaven” for Freddy Mercury and ultimately ended on “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” where they took the house down.
With Ellis and her powerful vocal style, complimenting May’s magnificent guitar solos, they did not disappoint their fans in Dublin.
Review by Áine Byrne