The Queen Extravaganza – Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, Ct

I wanted to see this performance due to an article I had read in Rolling Stone Magazine about The Queen Extravaganza on the Web. I have never watched a single minute of American Idol during its broadcast schedule. I’ll grant you I may watch a YouTube video after the fact to see what all the buzz is about. I have developed a reserved judgement on American Idol and its role, its place in music. I felt American Idol was overhyped. I can safely say after attending last night’s Official Queen Tribute Show a production sanctioned by the surviving members of Queen (Roger Taylor, Brian May and John Deacon)  and American Idol, I can now lift that sanction in my heart and head.It was a very convincing night of solid entertainment.

My wife was surprised we were going to see a Queen “tribute” concert. I can assure you we saw, felt and experienced much more than a tribute to Queen last night.

It was infectious to experience the music through this young ensemble of artist/fans who put their heart and soul into an evening of Queen’s music. My appreciation for these young musical performers who were so in earnest has reawakened a deeper love for Queen inside the music of our heart.

Our major complaint was the sound system was excruciatingly loud, it really hurt our left ear drums, trust me they could have cut back on the loudness factor and still have achieved their stated goal.

The Queen Extravaganza - Rob Sinclair

But aside from the crushing sound the two act performance was a joy to witness. Queen fans were out in force last night. The first act centered on early Queen as the backdrop featured a poster of Queen on a brick wall in a club somewhere in England. That set ended on a high note with Bohemian Rhapsody taking us to intermission.

The second act was more multimedia /visual, using concert footage from Wembley Stadium, official MTV videos (Under Pressure a personal fave). The greater Queen hits such as Another One Bites The Dust, Somebody To Love and Radio Gaga (love that song and Metropolis the sci-fi movie, they showed some great black and white clips from the 1927 classic) appeared in the second act.

The song that rose everyone to their feet first was Fat Bottom Girls. Connecticut concert audiences are sedate and laid back, the Queen Extravaganza performers had to work that much harder to get the Oakdale crowd into the experience. This song did just that.

It was an exciting variable to have four different lead singers represent Freddie Mercury‘s vocals. I think each vocalist was very polished  and vivacious evidencing lots of charisma. Marc Martel was my favorite vocalist and when he sang it felt the closest to Freddie Mercury’s voice and style. The musicians were very capable and enthusiastic. It was a wise choice to have two guitarists to approximate Brian May’s licks and runs. The keyboardist also served as the music director. The drummer was top-notch and handled a vocal lead, with his stellar drumming admirably.

The singers and musicians of "The Queen Experience," which will come to the Oakdale in Wallingford on Saturday, June 9, were hand-picked by Queen drummer Roger Taylor. Photo: Contributed Photo / CT

We want to thank the Queen Extravaganza for pulling out all the stops last night in Wallingford, Ct. You were the champions and to you as the victors we happily shared the spoils of your conquest.

Please have a great rest of the tour everyone! We love you!

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2 Replies to “The Queen Extravaganza – Oakdale Theatre, Wallingford, Ct”

  1. My wife and I were about four rows back, near center, and I agree with you about the equipment being up too high.

    I also agree with everything else. Phenomenal show, and something any Queen fan will enjoy.

    We came in during the third song, so I’m a little bummed that we missed “Tie Your Mother Down” though…

    1. Jim,

      Thanks for your comment. If it’s any consolation the band was just getting it’s sea legs on that opening number. The rendition was not as powerful as the other numbers. They seemed to start to gel at Killer Queen where you came in 😉

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