What did Queen play at their last gig with Freddie Mercury?

24 November 2023, 12:00

Freddie Mercury takes a curtain call at Queen's show at Knebworth, 9 August 1986
Freddie Mercury takes a curtain call at Queen's show at Knebworth, 9 August 1986. Picture: FG/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

The legendary band played their final show with Freddie Mercury in the summer of 1986 - but what did they bow out with?

Queen and Freddie Mercury biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, climaxes with s show-stopping set at Live Aid in July 1985. The film ends with this amazing moment - but the band’s career didn’t end there.

Queen would continue recording right up until four months before Mercury’s death on 24 November 1991. However, their time as live performers was cut short when the singer was diagnosed as HIV positive in 1987.

One of the factual alterations to the Bo Rhap movie meant that the Magic Tour of 1986 was to be the last featuring all four original members of Queen: Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor. So how did this glittering live career end?

Watch the epic final trailer for 'Bohemian Rhapsody'

Where was Queen’s final show with Freddie Mercury held?

Queen’s final show was titled A Night Of Summer Magic and took place at Knebworth House in Hertfordshire on 9 August 1986. It was the final date of a European tour in support of the band’s A Kind Of Magic album, which was released in June.

Freddie and co had played two nights at London’s Wembley Stadium in July, followed by one night at Manchester’s Maine Road a few days later. By the time Queen reached Knebworth, they were past masters of the stadium rock show.

For the ticket price of £14.50 (or £16 on the door!) you could have a day of music that included Scottish rockers Big Country and denim-clad veterans Status Quo.

Freddie Mercury performing live on stage at Knebworth, 9 August 1986
Freddie Mercury performing live on stage at Knebworth, 9 August 1986. Picture: Pete Still/Redferns/Getty Images

What did Queen play at their final show with Freddie Mercury?

  1. One Vision

    Queen’s set opened with their 1985 single One Vision, which was written and released in the aftermath of the band’s performance at Live Aid. The epic intro was the perfect opener and the recording from Knebworth was later used to kick off the album Live Magic, released at Christmas 1986.

  2. Tie Your Mother Down

    The opening track from the 1976 album A Day At The Races, written by Brian May.

  3. In The Lap Of The Gods… Revisited

    An epic singalong song from 1974’s Sheer Heart Attack, written by Freddie Mercury.

  4. Seven Seas Of Rhye

    Queen’s first hit single from February 1974 and still a crowd pleaser 12 years later

  5. Tear It Up

    A big tune from the hit album The Works, from 1984.

  6. A Kind Of Magic

    The title track of Queen’s then-current album. It's recently been selling sofas on a TV ad.

    Freddie Mercury at Knebworth, 9th August 1986
    Freddie Mercury at Knebworth, 9th August 1986. Picture: Peter Marsh/Mirrorpix/Getty Images
  7. Freddie’s vocal improv

    Aka the classic “daaaaay-oh” call and response that made such an impression at Live Aid. One of Freddie’s finest moments as a frontman

  8. Under Pressure

    The collaboration with David Bowie that made Number 1 in October 1981

    Freddie Mercury performing on the Knebworth stage. 9th August 1986.
    Freddie Mercury performing on the Knebworth stage. 9th August 1986. Picture: Alamy
  9. Another One Bites The Dust

    Bassist John Deacon’s monster of a tune, from 1980’s The Game and a US Number 1.

  10. Who Wants To Live Forever

    The Kind Of Magic album was sort of unofficial soundtrack to the film Highlander, and this anthemic ballad concerns the immortal heroes and villains that feature in the movie.

  11. I Want To Break Free

    One of Queen’s most famous singles, taken from the 1984 album The Works.

    The crowds at Knebworth Park watching Queen play on 9th August 1986.
    The crowds at Knebworth Park watching Queen play on 9th August 1986. Picture: Dave Hogan/Getty Images
  12. Impromptu

    An improvised live piece that showcases Mercury’s incredible vocal range. The rest of the band are pretty tight, too.

  13. Guitar Solo

    After that wig out, now it’s Brian May’s turn to show off. And with talent like that, why not?

  14. Now I’m Here

    Taken from the band’s 1974 album Sheer Heart Attack, this was a Top 20 hit when released as a single. The song concerns Queen’s tour of the US supporting the group Mott The Hoople.

  15. Love Of My Life

    One of the greatest singalongs ever - Freddie Mercury’s emotional love song, taken from the classic 1975 album A Night At The Opera.

  16. Is This The World We Created…?

    Written about the famine and poverty then sweeping Africa, this was a genuine tears-in-the-eyes moment when it was played at Live Aid and performed a similar duty at Knebworth

    £15 on the door for Queen. Imagine that.
    £15 on the door for Queen. Imagine that. Picture: Alamy
  17. (You’re So Square) Baby I Don’t Care / Hello Mary Lou / Tutti Frutti

    The traditional Queen “50s rock ’n’ roll” medley makes its final outing with Mercury, taking in songs by Elvis Presley, Gene Pitney and Little Richard.

  18. Bohemian Rhapsody

    The ultimate Queen song, performed with Mercury on vocals for the last time. As usual, the band nip off stage during the opera section, but re-appear with a bang once the heavy rock segment kicks in. Powerful.

  19. Hammer To Fall

    “Give it to me one more time!” One of the rockier tracks from 1984’s The Works album.

  20. Crazy Little Thing Called Love

    Freddie croons away on this boisterous rockabilly-style single from 1979.

  21. Encore 1: Radio Ga Ga

    The first encore was a huge spectacle. As per the legendary Live Aid performance, the crowd joined in with the hands in the air/clapping as seen in the video.

    Queen - Radio Ga Ga @ Knebworth Park 1986

  22. Encore 2: We Will Rock You

    The second encore kicked off with the stomping 1977 classic. Unusually, the track segued into this track rather than We Are The Champions…

  23. Friends Will Be Friends

    Arms in the air for this track from A Kind Of Magic.

  24. We Are The Champions

    The only way the final show could end - with the triumphant single taken from 1977’s News Of The World album. Thanks Freddie.

  25. God Save The Queen

    The traditional end to a Queen show - Brian May’s guitar version of the National Anthem played over the PA. Now try and find your car.

Freddie Mercury helicopters into Knebworth Park
Freddie Mercury helicopters into Knebworth Park. Picture: Dave Hogan/Getty Images

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