The band became the first western act since Louis Armstrong in 1964 to perform in Eastern Europe
In 1986 Europe’s Eastern Bloc lift the Iron Curtain to welcome Queen in Budapest
In 1986, Queen were stadium and open air concerts kings. Promoting their album “A Kind Of Magic”, the band went on a successful tour in Europe where they played to more than one million people, 400,000 in the UK alone, a record at the time. The band and particularly Freddie Mercury were showing no signs to slow down or stop any time sooner, but, tragically, the tour end up being the last one ever with Mercury. On July 27, Queen made history again when they became the first western act since Louis Armstrong in 1964 to perform in Eastern Europe. At the time, the Eastern Bloc was going through the the Cold War, but lift their Iron Curtain to welcome Queen. At the Népstadion in Budapest, Hungry, Queen played to a crowd of 80.000 people, in what was one of the biggest rock concerts ever held in Eastern Europe. The band played for over 2 hours, revisiting their career and even performed a traditional song from Hungry, “Tavaszi szél vizet áraszt”. Though the tour’s highlight is often considered to be the shows at Wembley Stadium in London, from a historical perspective, the Hungry concert also wrote an important page on Rock history and remains one of Queen’s career highlights. The concert was officially released for the first time on DVD and Blu-ray in 2012 under the title “Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest”, which is a play on the “Hungarian Rhapsodies” by Franz Liszt and Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”.
Here’s a clip of Queen performing “Bohemian Rhapsody” taken from “Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest”
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