The Queen Extravaganza

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Sound Spike Report and Gallery
June 8th 2012

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Sound Spike  - Chicago Show Gallery

Sound Spike Feature  - "We're very proud of our cannon of music and you know we'd like that to be represented in an absolutely brilliant way. And not as just traipsing through the hits ... we want to see a really scintillatingly put together show played, you know, almost perfectly." Roger Taylor

Click here to read the full feature.

New Live Shots In The Media Section
June 6th 2012

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We have just uploaded some superb live shots of the guys in action. Check out the media section for some photos taken by our QE lighting guru Rob Sinclair.

More on the way too!

QE Perform We Are The Champions Acoustically!
June 5th 2012

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Just prior to their show in Cleveland the QE band popped by local Fox News to say hello and perform 'We Are The Champions' live and unplugged. Check it out below...

Roger Interview with Post-Dispatch
June 4th 2012

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Queen drummer Roger Taylor was back home in his native England, walking by a local hole in the wall when something caught his eye. It was a poster for an upcoming Queen tribute band concert.

Later, in another nearby town, he saw a poster for another Queen tribute band concert, this one from a different band.

"It's outrageous," says Taylor, of the band fronted by Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991. "There's hundreds of Queen tribute bands. I have nothing against tribute bands. Some are OK. Some are not that good and cheesy. It's just so misleading, and it's a cheapening of our music."

But rather than grumble, Taylor decided to lauch an official Queen-endorsed tribute band, the Queen Extravaganza.

"Nobody does our music better than us," says Taylor, who produces the show. Queen guitarist Brian May also is involved. "I feel I have the right to fight back and make sure the music is presented in a better way."

Taylor had more to say about the Queen Extravaganza.

Q • Why aren't you and May in the production yourselves?

A • We do still play, Brian and myself, what's left of Queen. We're doing shows in Europe, going out with Adam Lambert. But with the Extravaganza, I wanted it to have its own life. I didn't want to put our personalities over it. And I didn't want to commit myself to a lot of touring. These are young people. I am not.

Q • What makes Queen Extravaganza different from the typical tribute band concert?

A • With tribute shows, the band usually dresses as whomever they're playing tribute to. They're trying to look like them, basically imitating them. We're not trying to do that. We're just trying to present the music in a way that's very true to the records and our live performances. We have Marc Martel singing with us, and the weird thing is you close your eyes, and Freddie Mercury is in the room. It's an extraordinary and uncanny audio resemblance. That gives us a head start.

Q • How are concertgoers reacting to the show?

A • I feel a real glow when I see people light up. We really have re-created those songs in a spectacular way.

Q • Why did you take the search for musicians and singers online?

A • I thought I'd drag myself into the 21st century and try to do it the modern way. It was the most efficient medium. People in their bedrooms in Idaho could get into the process by sending in their auditions.

Q • Why are four singers necessary?

A • It enables us to cover the massive harmonies that Queen couldn't cover live before, though we could in the studio. I have a fantastic rock performer in Jeff Scott Soto. He puts over the hard rock stuff great. There's a girl, Jennifer Espinoza, who does the ballad stuff and has an incredibly low voice for a woman. She puts over some great stuff in a more melodic way. Yvan Pedneault is just a fantastic performer with a high, pure range in his voice. … We get to do "Bohemian Rhapsody" from beginning to end, which we would have never have been able to do before because we didn't have enough singers.

Q • Was Adam Lambert ever looked at to front the Queen Extravaganza?

A • I think that would be foolish, the wrong thing for Adam to be heavily associated with at this time. He has a flourishing career. He would be crazy to do that. He should concentrate on his own career. In the meantime, we have a fantastic temporary association with him. He's an exceptional talent.

Q • Did you ever consider a Freddie Mercury hologram?

A • Those aren't holograms. They're two-dimensional projection done with new technology. We looked at it, but I didn't want to attempt to resuscitate Freddie like that. It didn't fit into our plans. … It felt weirder than weird.

Photo: Rob Sinclair

Press Release: Extravaganza Opens To Sold Out Shows And Standing Ovations!
May 31st 2012

press Release:

Official Queen Tribute Show Produced by Roger Taylor to Hit the U.S. on May 31

The Queen Extravaganza, a spectacular touring concert show designed to celebrate the glorious music and live experience of legendary rockers Queen, kicked off this past weekend with electrifying performances that dazzled Canadian audiences.  The accolades are sure to continue when the Queen Extravaganza makes their live U.S. concert debut on Thursday, May 31 at the Fox Theatre in Detroit, Michigan.

During the tour opener at the Grand Theatre Du Quebec on May 26th, as well as concerts in Montreal and Toronto, the band was met with rave reviews by fans and critics alike.  La Presse remarked that there were “ovations at almost every song...the tour could have a long life," while Journal De Quebec stated that the sound was "mind-blowing."

The recent Canadian performances marked The Queen Extravaganza’s first live shows since their public debut last month on American Idol, when the group performed with Queen’s Roger Taylor and Brian May for an explosive rendition of "Somebody to Love."  USA Today noted that lead singer Marc Martel’s “ability to sound like Freddie Mercury remains staggering,” and the National Post imagined that “Freddie Mercury was giving them a thumbs up from the heavens as they hit every note bang on, just as he would have.”   Examiner stated, “if you missed Queen during the 70's and 80's, be prepared to be impressed," and FOX News raved that “the new band not only has musical chops, but they actually physically resemble the members of the original Queen, circa 1975.”  Billboard.com summed up the Queen Extravaganza by simply stating that they “sounded magnificent.”

Conceived and produced by Queen’s  Roger Taylor, whose idea was to create the ultimate Queen concert experience in an electrifying road show featuring some of today’s best new music talent, The Queen Extravaganza touring band includes four vocalists and five musicians.   Taylor led the judging of an intensive 11-week talent search in which singers Marc Martel and Jennifer Espinoza; bassist Francois Olivier Doyon; guitarists Brian Gresh and Tristan Avakian; and drummer Tyler Warren were selected as winners of the competition. Vocalists Yvan Pedneault and Jeff Scott Soto, and keyboardist/musical director Brandon Ethridge, joined the group earlier this year.

In a two-set show that runs just over two hours, the band performs nearly 40 Queen classics drawn from a list of the band’s biggest all-time chart hits: “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Another One Bites The Dust,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Under Pressure,” “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions,” “A Kind Of Magic,” “Radio Ga Ga,” “Somebody To Love” and “Killer Queen.”  The show also highlights some of the band’s finest heavy-duty rock anthems which have long been at the core of their live performances, such as “I’m In Love With My Car,” “Tie Your Mother Down,” “Seven Seas Of Rye,” and “In The Lap Of The Gods.”

In addition, the excitement on stage is enhanced with the inclusion of never-before-seen video footage, and a heavyweight production team headed by stage designer Mark Fisher, who has been responsible for some of the most memorable rock concerts ever staged, including The Wall for Pink Floyd and every Rolling Stones show since 1989.

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