16 April, 1974, Queen performed their very first North American show @ Regis College Fieldhouse in Denver, Colorado, USA 🇺🇸 The band supported Mott The Hoople
“Queen ll Tour”
Elektra Records had done some excellent ground work in the United States market without the band ever having played there or undertaken any real promotion. Queen’s debut album made it to #83 and ‘Queen ll’ entered the top 50 — two extremely encouraging showings for a non-American band with a low profile.
It was apparent that Queen definitely had a core of support in the USA and after the success of the ’73 UK tour, Mott The Hoople asked Queen to open for them on this tour as well.
Queen was received rather quietly at first; the audience had obviously heard of Mott; but weren’t too sure of the English newcomers wearing satin and polish
But you know by the end of the set, they were completely won over!
Greg Osborne recalled:
“Freddie Mercury appeared somewhat nervous during the show. Although he and Queen performed brilliantly, Freddie would turn his back to the audience at times and step onto Roger Taylor’s drum riser with one foot and then let himself down. His head was down at times as if he were concentrating intently on the song or his performance. They were great, as were Mott The Hoople. The crowd was wild and colorful and completely into both bands.”
Both Brian May and Roger Taylor credit Mott with inspiring them to embrace their flamboyance and become fully-fledged rock stars in the 1970s. It was on the road with the band where they cultivated their theatrical stage persona.
Brian said; “The early Queen tour in 1974 was when we learned how to be rock stars. Just as you thought the day was over, one of Mott would burst into your room, loaded with bottles and whatever else, and off you’d go again. It was very, very full-on and very, very exciting.”
Roger is convinced it was Mott the Hoople’s liberal fans who encouraged Queen to develop their glam rock act.
He recalls, “Mott were perfect for us. They had an open-minded, very rock ‘n’ roll, insane audience. They were liberated, colourful – not the normal rock crowd… The shows got bigger, but it was rough. Fred wouldn’t get out of the van some nights. He and Brian had black and white fingernails and literally wore dresses, but the tough audiences in Liverpool and Glasgow and Newcastle loved us.”
This would prove to be a strenuous tour for Queen; the venues were bigger, the audiences were harder to woo and impress, and the travelling between gigs was a lot tougher and longer than the relatively short distances between dates in Britain — but the band had a ball!
Sources: ‘Queen – The Early Years’ by Mark Hodkinson and ‘Queen As It Began’ by Jackie Gunn and Jim Jenkins and
Here’s an interesting article about Queen’s first concert in America – Big Spenders On Campus: Queen Make Their US Live Debut 👉 https://www.udiscovermusic.com/stories/queen-make-us-live-debut/0