For those lucky enough to catch Panic! At The Disco on their recent Gospel Tour, one of the highlights of the experience was no doubt watching the Las Vegas favourites perform their cover of the classic Queen cut Bohemian Rhapsody. But was it as good as Ball Park Music‘s rendition at Splendour In The Grass?
How about the surviving members of Queen, with Adam Lambert filling the considerable shoes left by frontman Freddie Mercury, who originally penned the iconic tune? What about the countless amateur renditions that could potentially take up more of YouTube’s server space than tween makeup tutorials?
To settle any debate that might occur, we’ve decided to have a look at four different takes on Mercury’s immortal tune and dissect the merits of each. It took us a while – every time the rock interlude kicked in we had to drop everything and immediately engage in a Wayne’s World-style headbanging session.
Watch: Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody
Panic! At The Disco
As readers can see below, Panic! At The Disco did a mighty fine job of rendering the legendary tune in a style that’s both faithful to Freddie Mercury’s original composition, but lets the band members spread their wings a little. Best of all, they used a loop from Wayne’s World during the song’s famous drop.
Frontman Brendon Urie’s voice doesn’t quite have the range of a Mercury or a Lambert, but he still manages to belt out the lyrics with plenty of gusto and achieves some impressive vocal feats of his own. We also enjoyed his moves during the blissful drop, but if he really wanted to do the song justice, he should’ve opted for one of Mercury’s shiny white jumpsuits instead of going shirtless in black jeans.
Watch: Panic! At The Disco – Bohemian Rhapsody
Ball Park Music
If you haven’t noticed yet, we really have a soft spot in our hearts for this one. Brisbane indie favourites Ball Park Music didn’t need any of that backing track nonsense for their Bohemian Rhapsody cover. They had thousands of enraptured Splendour In The Grass punters doing the harmonies for them.
Also sadly missing from both Panic! At The Disco’s cover and Queen + Adam Lambert’s rendition is Ball Park Music’s epic gong. According to the band, they brought it out just for Bohemian Rhapsody, and not only do we appreciate the effort, we actually reckon it’s what every other cover of the song is missing.
Watch: Ball Park Music – Bohemian Rhapsody at Splendour In The Grass 2014
Queen + Adam Lambert
We must say, Adam Lambert makes for a damn fine vocal accompaniment to the talents of guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. He treads carefully, avoiding the pitfalls of becoming a Freddie Mercury tribute act, but has fun, doing each song the utmost justice with his incredible set of pipes and charisma.
You’ve gotta give Queen points just for being, y’know, Queen, but their performance of Bohemian Rhapsody is outstanding for other reasons. The tribute to Mercury, in which he rejoins his bandmates via archival footage, is awesome, and it must be said, no one can really nail that solo quite like May can.
Watch: Queen + Adam Lambert – Bohemian Rhapsody at Independence Square, Kiev
Since this isn’t a live rendition, we’re screening this one out of competition, but it’s still worth checking out, if only for the stellar effort. Richie Castellano used his home studio to recreate Bohemian Rhapsody and nailed everything, right down to the wind chime effect and nods to the track’s famous music video.