The idea of Queen without Freddie Mercury is so unconscionable it would have been understandable if Brian May and Roger Taylor had chosen to hang up their instruments and walked away following his death.
But the fact that May has stuck defiantly to the same haircut for the last three decades indicates this is not a man who is open to change.
He wants the band to stay the same, which presumably is why he and Roger - both of them capable singers, Roger scarily reminiscent of Rod Stewart - invited Paul Rodgers to guest as lead vocalist, rather than one of them stepping out of their accepted roles and up to the mic.
The star of Free and Bad Company is an excellent showman, but lacks the flamboyance of Freddie, apart from his party trick of hurling the mic stand up in the air and catching it one handed.
He does a good job in the rockier numbers like Another One Bites the Dust and Fat Bottomed Girls but cannot emulate Mercury's operatic highs and lows.
After about five songs he disappears entirely and leaves the singing to Roger and Brian, presumably so they can reassert their authority as Queen's surviving members,
After going to such lengths to establish him as a charismatic front man, his absence leaves a void and the songs the other two perform - along with ear-bleeding instrumentals from both - start to feel like filler.
There is a poignant moment when Roger sings Days of Our Lives, as images of Freddie on a giant screen remind the audience of what has been lost.
Freddie takes the lead (via video footage) on Bohemian Rhapsody and Rodgers rejoins them to milk the crescendo.
Foot stomping hand clappers like We Will Rock You, We Are the Champions and even Free's All Right Now thrilled the faithful
It wasn't quite the second coming, but the band's decision to end with God Save the Queen suggests that mission had been accomplished.