The spirit of Freddie Mercury is alive and well in Windsor today (Feb. 2) as tribute band Simply Queen gear up for a special performance at the Giovanni Caboto Club tonight. The band works hard to offer an accurate representation of what a Queen concert with Mercury at the helm was like.
They perform all the iconic songs that made Queen one of the most legendary rock bands of all time, and faithfully attempt to recreate the grand scope of Queen’s live shows, both musically and visually, with attention to detail capturing the amazing live Queen experience that filled stadiums around the world.
“If anyone has experienced a Queen show from the past, they’ll really get it,” frontman and Freddie Mercury impersonator Rick Rock told YQG Rocks. “We do all of the hits, as well as some of the early stuff, and we’ve worked on all the finer details of how they did the live shows back then – everything from the guitar solos to the big extra vocals.”
Simply Queen actually brings along a ton of credentials with them. Rock works extra hard to make sure the costumes and vocals are accurately presented and guitarist Bob Wegner was hand-picked by Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor to play guitar in several productions of the award-winning We Will Rock You musical. Drummer Greg Hawco is a television and film composer, notably for the CBC television series Republic of Doyle, and Mitch Taylor (bass) is a veteran of the southwestern Ontario circuit.
It’s really tough to look like the full package, but we sure work real hard at it,” Rock said about looking like Mercury. “When Freddie died he was 35 years old and I’m in my 50s, so you know, it’s tough to keep up with that, but I try. Trying to pull of a Queen show is a big challenge and we not only have to live up to what Queen was, we have to live up to what people remember and sometimes that’s even harder. For us it’s a labour of love. I’ve liked Queen since the early 70s when they came out and I just knew they had something special.
Tonight’s show is a benefit concert for the Amherstburg Food and Fellowship Mission. Tickets are $30 at the door.
“There’s an abundance of wonderful musicians in our area that keep giving,” Rock said of the charity aspect of shows like the one tonight. “I think it’s part of who we are as musicians – we care about our communities. We enjoy helping out and giving back, so we truly enjoy it.”
Simply Queen’s next performance is in Chatham at the Chatham Banquet & Conference Centre on March 8. Visit the band online.