News > SFGMC Performs Tribute Concert to Queen

Added on 30-Apr-2002

On the weekend of the tenth anniversary of the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in Wembley Stadium, nearly 200 members of the San Francisco Gay Men’s Chorus performed an entire show based on Queen. The first act highlighted songs from Queen’s early years, featuring exact arrangements of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Somebody To Love”, “Killer Queen”, to name a few. The sold-out shows wowed an enthusiastic audience, who screamed and cheered during the stunning live renditions of these favorite Queen classics. This is the first time that an all-male chorus sang the songs that made Queen famous in the 1970s.

. In recording “Bohemian Rhapsody” Freddie Mercury made over 180 dubs of the vocal parts in order to achieve the rich texture heard on the recording. To have that many live, in-the-flesh voices sing the parts brought the song to life in a way that we hope would have Freddie smiling down on us, nodding in approval.

Act Two began with the song “Flash” from the movie “Flash Gordon”, and featured a campy black and white movie titled “Flash Gordon: Queen of the Universe”. The short film was made by and starred members of the Chorus. The movie will be included on an enhanced CD of the recorded concert, which will be available for purchase in June. (To pre-order a copy of this limited printing, please visit the Chorus’ website at

The rest of Act Two featured Queen’s later music, including an a cappella version of “Who Wants To Live Forever”. This was an emotional highlight of the entire show, considering Freddie’s death from AIDS, as well as the Chorus’ own loss of over 200 men from the disease. A slide presentation shown during the song “The Show Must Go On” paid homage to Freddie Mercury’s life and Queen’s history. In usual Queen fashion, the Chorus ended their concert with “God Save The Queen”.

The Chorus was thrilled to perform the complex, yet fun-to-sing melodies that so many of them grew up enjoying. Their enthusiasm was apparent as they danced and “rocked out” while singing. And boy did they rock! The accompanying band, consisting of a drummer, synthesizers, a bass guitarist, and an electric guitarist, were so close to the original sound, it was as if Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon had flown in to perform with the Chorus. The energy was electric and the audience left the performance buzzing. As one audience member said, “I had goose-bumps during the entire show.” Proving once again that the music of Queen will go on and on and on…

Submitted by: jimbohemian

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