Well, I have to say, it was great. I was really looking forward to seeing a Queen tribute band for the first time. Overall, I was happy with the show, and had a good time there in third row from the front. The 2500-capacity hall was about half full, but the audience was still very enthusiastic and gave a great reception, nonetheless.
First of all, the Freddie was just outstanding. He had the voice, the moves, the personality, everything. He was constantly getting the audience into the show, and came across incredibly well. He made it worth the money alone. What a great performer! Clearly he has listened to his live stuff intently, judging by many of his comments towards the audience. Many made me smile. And his Day-O with the audience was excellent, as he combined about 4 different versions from throughtout Queen's career. I'd love to see anyone who could do a better Freddie than this guy could. He was just something else. He changed his outfits throughout, and even had falsies for Break Free.
The lights were also outstanding throughout! The stage was a similar to the Magic tour stage (much smaller, of course!), but there was plenty of room for Freddie to roam about.
The setlist had nothing obscure, although songs like One Vision, Hammer To Fall, and I Want It All may have been unknown to many people in the audience, because they were not really hits here. In terms of getting the audience going, the best songs of the night were Fat Bottomed Girls and the fast WWRY in the encore.
They opened with One Vision, and I was expecting this exciting energy from the band. The drummer looked half-awake (which was often the case throughout the show), and the guitarist just kind of stood there. His tone was very much unlike the beautifully clean Vox tone of our beloved Brian May. He was playing out of a Marshall stack! There were honestly no more than two or three moments where he actually sounded like Brian May. Clearly he was very talented, but he wasn't anything like a Brian May clone. And clearly the drummer was very talented as well, but he just didn't have the body language.
The guitarist, drummer, and bassist were no doubt very talented musicians, but they sounded like a band who were playing Queen songs, not a band who were playing songs similarly to the way Queen did. The solo spots showcased the members' talents. The guitar solo sounded more like Joe Satriani, the drum solo sounded more like Neil Peart, and the bass solo included licks from some other bands (well-appreciated by the audience). They were great solos in their own right, but seemed a bit out of place at a Queen tribute show.
The above points can be relative to taste, so it can be said that this next one is the only true criticism: The use of vocal overdubs all over the place was an insult to the real Queen. I had doubts at first, but they completely gave it away during Somebody To Love when you could hear them turn the tape off, as this background hiss suddenly disappeared after "one day I'm gonna be free Lord....."
The guitarist, although clearly an excellent one, was a bit of a show-off at times. The real Brian May was nothing like this, so I saw this as a slight insult as well. However, he was still a wonderful guy to talk to after the show, and I still did compliment his guitar playing. Regardless of my own tastes, there is no denying he was an incredibly talented musician. I spoke with all four musicians afterwards, and they were all extremely nice people.
Aside from all this, I can still say they are a great band. However, in short, with the singer aside, they just don't sound like Queen. But with that in mind, the songs do have a certain freshness to them. You must see these guys if you get the chance, as the frontman is worth the money alone. They will be coming back next year, and I will definitely see them again.
"The more generous you are with your music, the more it comes back to you." -- Dan Lampinskihttp://www.queenlive.ca