The music of Queen is legendary as it gets passed from generation to generation. The aura that surrounds the music and the band's legacy seems to build with each passing year. With a new movie about Queen, and their lead singer Freddie Mercury, hitting theaters in November, the excitement with their music is at an all-time high. A couple of the original members of Queen (Brian May and Roger Taylor) continue to tour, but with a demand this passionate from fans, Taylor and May created the Queen tribute band, the Queen Extravaganza.
The Queen Extravaganza was one of the United Kingdom's fasting selling theatre tours last year and have continued that success by bringing their show to the U.S. Last Saturday night saw the Queen Extravaganza grace the stage of the Toyota Oakdale Theatre, performing over 25 of Queen's biggest hits.
The night began with the pounding rhythm and swirling voices that many fans recognized from past Queen live shows, as Queen Extravaganza delivered the energy of "One Vision" and "Don't Stop Me Now." Everywhere you turned, you saw members of the audience singing along to classics like "Killer Queen" and "Bicycle Race." Singer Alifio Netto did an outstanding job covering the stage with his presence, working at his best to try and fill the shoes of the late, great Freddie Mercury. He got some of the ladies in the audience to stand up and shake their hips to "Fat Bottom Girls," and wave their hands to the sweet sounds of "You're My Best Friend." Drummer Tyler Warren, who also performs as a percussionist with Queen + Adam Lambert, took the lead on "It's A Kind Of Magic," before the band closed out their first set with the intense finale of "I Want It All."
After a short break, the Queen Extravaganza returned to the stage with the guitar frenzy of "Hammer To Fall," as Brian Gresch lead the way with his skills on the six-strings. The theatre erupted with the opening bass lines of "Under Pressue" and "Another One Bites The Dust," as bassist Francois-Olivier Doyon kept pace. Warren dedicated the song "These Are The Days Of Our Lives" to its songwriter, Roger Taylor and Freddie Mercury, along with the legacy of Queen.
The energy of the second set rose to another level as the audience finally turned the show into a full-on rock concert, by standing, singing and clapping along to "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and "Radio Ga Ga." The Queen Extravaganza closed out the evening with a punk-like ending to "Somebody To Love" and the crowd favorite "Bohemian Rhapsody" as the band harmonized through the operatic part of the song.
The finale was signaled by the pounding of drums that are known throughout sports arena around the world as the band began the encore with "We Will Rock You." Keyboardist Alex Maynard quickly delivered the opening chords of "We Are The Champions" as all in attendance felt that they came as close at they will ever get to a perfect night of Queen's greatest hits performed live.
Setlist: One Vision, Don't Stop Me Now, Killer Queen, Good Old Fashion Lover Boy, Play The Game, Bicycle Race, Now I'm Here, Save Me, Fat Bottom Girls, You're My Best Friend, A Kind Of Magic, I Want It All, Hammer To Fall, Seven Seas Of Rhye, Under Pressure, I Want To Break Free, Invisible Man, Breakthru, Another One Bites The Dust, These Are The Days Of Our Lives, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Show Must Go On, Radio Ga Ga, Somebody To Love, Bohemian Rhapsody, We Will Rock You, We Are The Champions