Queen Extravaganza – O2 Academy, Bristol 12/11/13

Perhaps the first of its kind, Queen Extravaganza, a Queen tribute act, was pieced together by Brian May and Roger Taylor. It was clear from the second they came out that they dominated the stage, not just as a tribute band but as a group of passionate musicians paying tribute to the one and only Queen.

Kicking off with a more rocked up version of We Will Rock You they cut it short as they went into Queen Killer, which was where frontman Marc Martel strutted confidently as if he had practised Freddy Mercury’s mannerisms to perfection!

The band were about four or five songs in and you could see that people who had never seen the real Queen live could tell what they had missed out on and for the other majority who had seen Queen, this was the most amazing way to be reminded of it and when Don’t Stop Me Now was ripped into play, the place was pumping and everybody was jiving and singing to every word like it was the last song they were ever going to sing!

The set wasn’t just filled with the massive number ones; the group also played some least known songs like I’m In Love With My Car. This featured the drummer Tyler Warren on vocals during this song, which unfortunately was the one bad thing of the night. The main vocalist was extremely talented, so it does not make sense to have the drummer sing a whole song when his vocals were not too good of a standard.

The lead singer has a very authentic tone to his voice and never fails to hit the high notes, making him the perfect person to mimic Freddy Mercury. They also had a second vocalist called Jennifer Espinoza who fronted a handful of songs and along with providing flawless harmonies, especially important for the one massive hit everyone was itching to hear and the one song that was the most demanding: Bohemian Rhapsody. It was huge and was perfect when the band left the stage so the middle section could be played with the original audio, then the band re-entered to rock out for the remainder of the song!

One of the highlights of the show was the encore Tie Your Mother Down, where the guitarist Brian Gresh led the intro with his spot-on sound, charging the riff like he’d wrote it, and performed every solo fluently.

Overall this was one of best tribute gigs money can buy and their UK return should cause excitement as this group is definitely the closest thing you could get to seeing Queen.

9/10

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