I Can’t Stop Watching the Queen Live Aid Performance


[Photo Credit: Youtube. Image Description: Freddie Mercury is standing in the middle of a stage, wearing a white tank top and light colored jeans. He’s holding a microphone and facing an enormous crowd of people. This photo is taken from behind him.]

If you’ve also seen the movie, you might recognize my title above as the next logical step after viewing Bohemian Rhapsody, the recent film about the band Queen and the life of Freddie Mercury. The film begins and ends with the 1985 Live Aid performance, and Rami Malek, who played Freddie Mercury, just won an Academy Award for Best Actor — in part, because he nailed every single movement and mannerism of Freddie Mercury during that particular concert.

After watching the movie, I watched the Youtube of the 1985 performance, and now, I just keep watching it here and there. I had seen portions of it before, but this was the first time I’ve watched it in its entirety.

The performance is so very embodied. Freddie Mercury is just so physical up there as he feels the music and directs it. One of my favorite movements happens a couple of times when he cuts off the music of the band with a huge flourish, ending with his arm in the air.

But also, the dancing is so great.

I think what I love is that he’s just… so fully alive up there. So completely in his element, seeming to enjoy the music he created years ago so thoroughly while crafting a moment in the present that is now probably one of the best live performances in common memory.

There are many ways to be fully alive and in our element. Our way, in fact, might be very different. But I can’t help but think about this. When I watch this phenomenal performance, I desire this aliveness for myself and others.

Renee Roederer


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