Queen is one of the most iconic and influential rock bands of all time, known for legendary songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” and “We Are The Champions.” Though the band was founded in 1970 and rose to fame in the 1970s and 1980s, Queen remains hugely popular today, continuing to attract new generations of fans.
With lead singer Freddie Mercury’s tragic death in 1991, Queen’s touring days appeared to be over. However, remaining original members Brian May and Roger Taylor have kept the band alive in recent decades, touring with guest vocalists like Paul Rodgers and Adam Lambert. This has left many American fans wondering and hoping: will Queen ever tour in the United States again?
Brief Background on Queen and Their Tours
Queen was formed in London in 1970 and consisted of Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano), Brian May (guitar, vocals), John Deacon (bass guitar), and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals). The band built a fanbase in the UK in the early 1970s before achieving massive international success later in the decade with hit albums like A Night at the Opera (1975) and massively popular singles like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are The Champions.”
Queen was known for spectacle and excess in their live shows, pioneering massive tours including special lighting and pyrotechnic effects. They frequently toured the UK and Europe in the 1970s and also did several tours in the United States and Canada. Their early US tours included:
- 1974 – First US tour supporting their debut album Queen, playing clubs and ballrooms
- 1975 – Tour supporting Sheer Heart Attack, playing arenas like Madison Square Garden
- 1977 – Tour supporting A Day at the Races, playing arenas again
Queen’s popularity exploded in the early 1980s after the success of “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” Their major tours in North America during this period included:
- 1980 – The Game Tour, playing arenas and stadiums across the US and Canada
- 1982 – Hot Space Tour, again playing mostly arenas
Queen’s last tour with Freddie Mercury was the Magic Tour in 1986, which included several dates across Europe but did not visit North America.
Queen Tours After Freddie Mercury
After Freddie Mercury’s untimely death from AIDS-related illness in 1991, the remaining members of Queen focused on recordings and one-off performances for memorial concerts and events. However, in 2005 the band announced they would tour again with former Free and Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers joining May and Taylor.
Queen + Paul Rodgers embarked on several world tours over the next few years:
- 2005-2006 – Return of the Champions Tour, 36 dates across Europe and Asia
- 2008 – Rock the Cosmos Tour, 25 dates across Europe and South America
- 2009 – US Tour, playing arenas and amphitheaters in 21 cities
The 2009 US tour marked Queen’s return to American stages for the first time in over 25 years. Though successful, there were no plans for further roadwork with Paul Rodgers beyond this run.
In 2011, Queen began touring with former American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert on vocals. Since then, May and Taylor have toured frequently with Lambert as their frontman:
- 2014 – North American Tour, 19 arena dates
- 2016 – Europe Festival Tour, 15 dates
- 2017 – North American Tour, 25 arena dates
- 2020 – The Rhapsody Tour, originally planned for 27 dates in Europe before being postponed due to COVID-19
The most recent outing in 2017 marked Queen + Adam Lambert’s first full concert tour of North America in nearly 40 years.
Possibility of Another US Tour
Given the success of recent North American tours with Lambert in 2014 and 2017, many American Queen fans have been eager to know if and when the band might return to stages in the United States.
In October 2022, drummer Roger Taylor indicated in an interview that the band did intend to tour the US again soon once they had completed a run of European dates:
“We’re not done yet. When we finally do, I think Adam will have done more shows with us than Freddie did.”
Though Taylor did not provide exact timing, his comments suggest the band remains open to bringing their spectacular live show back to America. With an ever-growing catalog of hits spanning five decades and Lambert adeptly handling vocals while channeling Mercury’s charismatic style, the ingredients are certainly there for an unforgettable US tour.
If their recent tours are any indication, a potential setlist could include classics like:
- “We Will Rock You”
- “We Are The Champions”
- “Killer Queen”
- “Fat Bottomed Girls”
- “Somebody to Love”
- “Don’t Stop Me Now”
- “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”
- “Another One Bites the Dust”
- “Bohemian Rhapsody”
- “Radio Ga Ga”
Along with other hits and potentially some deeper cuts. Visually, audiences could expect an extravagant production with lighting and effects paying tribute to Freddie Mercury’s larger-than-life persona.
Analysis of Factors Supporting a US Tour
Several key factors support the likelihood of Queen embarking on a major US tour in the next couple years:
Demand from American Fans
Queen’s enduring popularity in America is clear from the swift sellouts and added dates of their recent tours here. Tickets for a 2023 tour would surely be in high demand across all major US cities. Queen could easily fill basketball arenas and stadiums for multiple nights.
Tours of the United States remain extremely lucrative for legacy rock acts like Queen. The band could expect to gross tens of millions from a nationwide run of 20-30 dates in major metropolitan areas based on pricing and venue sizes.
2023 marks the 50th anniversary of Queen’s first album release. The band could capitalize on heightened interest during this milestone year. 2026 will be the 50th anniversary of their first US show, offering another opportunity to rally American fans with a celebratory tour.
Adam Lambert’s Draw
As an American and household name from Idol, Lambert provides invaluable appeal and publicity in the US market. His impressive vocals and flamboyant performing style keep the Queen concert experience as close to Freddie Mercury as possible.
Brian May and Roger Taylor’s Energy
At ages 76 and 73 respectively, May and Taylor continue to showcase impressive stamina and musicianship on tour. Both appear motivated to bring Queen’s music to as many fans as possible while they are still able.
Potential Hurdles or Limitations
A few factors could potentially impact Queen’s ability or willingness to commit to a major US excursion:
Logistics and Expenses
As veteran musicians in their 70s, the rigors of extended international travel and grueling tour production may weigh on May and Taylor. The massive scale of a national US tour with arena production values also brings tremendous costs.
Health and fitness levels for May and Taylor will be critical if they are to withstand the demands of 2-3 months criss-crossing America and performing 2+ hour shows. Any injuries or illnesses could derail tour plans quickly.
May and Taylor have varied musical and non-musical interests they pursue outside Queen, including solo work, performances with Lambert, and advocacy causes. Scheduling sufficient time for a major US tour may pose challenges.
In summary, American fans have good reason to be optimistic about their chances of seeing Queen perform live in the United States again soon. The band remains enormously popular here, can still draw huge crowds, and has a singer in Adam Lambert capable of captivating today’s audiences. Milestone anniversaries on the horizon provide ideal opportunities for nostalgic celebrations and tours.
Provided May and Taylor remain in good health, Queen could likely put together an electrifying stadium production to visit all the major US cities in 2023 or 2024. Of course, nothing is guaranteed, especially given the logistical complexities. But the desire still appears strong, so American fans should watch eagerly for an official tour announcement in the coming year. When Queen does return, expect tickets to sell out instantly as fans far and wide relish the chance to hear classics like “We Will Rock You” performed live once more.