Queen brings a kind of magic

They came, they saw, and they well and truly rocked.

As the first notes of Now I’m Here rang out through Forsyth Barr Stadium in Dunedin last night, Queen fans were indeed having a good time.

With a lavish red-and-gold stage set-up, a back catalogue full of hits, and even a hologram of former lead singer Freddie Mercury, it was a theatrical show of epic proportions.

Last night’s atmosphere could not have been more different to that of last week’s big gig.

While Elton John fans had to deal with torrential rain and flooded roads, last night’s concert-goers were treated to a picture perfect, sunny Dunedin afternoon and evening.

The rockers arrived in the city on Sunday afternoon, and guitarist Brian May kept fans updated on social media as he explored Dunedin.

Mr May told the crowd he was "thrilled" to be in the city for the first time.

 Lead singer Adam Lambert belted out the hits alongside guitarist Brian May as Queen rocked...
Lead singer Adam Lambert belted out the hits alongside guitarist Brian May as Queen rocked Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium last night. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH

"May I say Kia Ora ... I think my Japanese is better," he joked.

The Octagon was buzzing in the lead-up to the show as fans soaked up the sun and packed out bars.

Arnold Thompson had travelled down from Wellington to sell Queen merchandise to fans before the show.

"The atmosphere's electric," he said, saying trade had been steady during the afternoon.

Gates opened about 6pm, and hundreds of fans were lined up early.

Mega-fans also donned fancy dress, from regal crowns to some of Mercury’s famous outfits.

Jazz Walmsley and her mum, Zena, travelled from Oamaru for the big night.

They were wearing tiaras in tribute to the band’s royal moniker, while Zena was also decked out in Queen merchandise.

Jazz was looking forward to hearing Fat Bottomed Girls, while Zena wanted to hear Somebody To Love.

Meanwhile, Kristine Price and Tania Graham wore replica bright yellow Freddie Mercury jackets.

"Adam’s not an impersonator, so we thought we would represent Freddie," Ms Graham said.

Mercury died of complications related to Aids in 1991, at age 45.

Mr Lambert, who has fronted the band for eight years, acknowledged the “big pink elephant in the room” during the show.

“It’s true. I’m not Freddy Mercury," he told the crowd.

"Because you have only one Freddy Mercury."

After a high-energy encore the band members said their farewells, leaving fans wondering if it had indeed been real life, or just fantasy.