Queen loves to keep their audience guessing at their live shows; that’s the subject of “Expect the Unexpected,” episode 26 of their weekly YouTube series Queen the Greatest Live.
In the episode, Brian May and Roger Taylor discuss their desire to throw in surprises in order to keep the audience engaged and keep things fresh for themselves on long tours.
Some of the ways they’ve done that is with acoustic sets, medleys of their hits and surprise covers of other people’s tunes. An example of the last approach is shown in the clip via a medley of Elvis Presley’s “(You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care,” Ricky Nelson’s “Hello Mary Lou” and the Little Richard classic “Tutti Frutti,” from their shows at London’s Wembley Stadium on their 1986 Magic Tour.
“Why cover other people’s songs? It’s just an instinct. Sometimes you just want to give it that thing which you loved when you were a kid,” May shares. “I suppose it refreshes us and sometimes it’s quite refreshing for the audience. It’s out of the blue. They don’t expect it. It just brings something out of you, you can be a bit more reckless with other people’s material than with your own sometimes. Fun. It’s just fun, I guess.”
Taylor adds, “It’s kind of telling people this is why we love rock and roll, because these songs really influenced us. It’s nice to do those. It keeps our interest up and kind of broadens the show a bit.”
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