While Lambert has appeared with current Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor at numerous shows, this will be the singer's first official tour with the group. The trio first appeared together in 2009 to perform "We Are the Champions" during American Idol before teaming up again in 2011 to perform "The Show Must Go On," "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" at the MTV European Music Awards. In 2012, Lambert joined the group again for a series of shows throughout Europe.
In a press conference held this morning at Madison Square Garden, May explained the difference between this tour and the band's collaboration with former Bad Company frontman Paul Rodgers. "It was great with Paul, but it came to a natural end," said May. "This happened organically with Adam. People are going to ask whether it's Queen without Freddie. I don't know. We just want to go out there one more time. Adam isn't an imitator. We're going into new territory."
"Adam is the most incredible frontman," added Taylor. "He's a great diva, and I mean that in the best possible way. We need that theatrically."
Lambert admitted filling in for original Queen frontman Freddie Mercury again was "daunting," but said, "It's such a treat to get onstage, pay my respects and sing some of the greatest songs ever written."
The trio haven't decided on a set list yet, but said they would look at Queen's whole catalog. "Our biggest problem is having too many hits," said May. "We have a very interesting set design. It's big and daring. We're gonna do it to the max." Lambert did admit that he'd love to perform "Dragon Attack" from the band's 1980 album The Game. "It's such a cool groove," said the singer.
The upcoming tour's genesis began in earnest at last year's iHeartRadio festival, when the group received critical acclaim for their hit-heavy set. "He does bring his own approach and he has this amazing range, a gymnastic, beautiful tone and he really fits our material so well," Taylor told Rolling Stone of Lambert at the festival. "He has all the elements – he has the passion, he has the humor, a little bit of camp. And when the shots are down, he has the power. It’s incredible," May added.
“I'm completely in awe of the Queen phenomenon,” Lambert said in a statement. “The thought of sharing the stage for a full set in North America is so beautifully surreal. I'm honored to be able to pay my respects to Freddie's memory; he's a personal hero of mine, and I am deeply grateful for the chance to sing such powerful music for fans of this legendary band. I know this tour will be a huge milestone for me, and with the support of Brian, Roger and the rest of the band, I feel like magic will be on display.”