If you can't actually see Queen live, members Brian May and Roger Taylor hope that you will settle for their new touring tribute show, The Queen Extravaganza.
Taylor's idea was to the create the ultimate Queen concert experience in an electrifying road show that celebrates the band's music and legacy performed by some of the best new music talent out there today. Taylor personally takes the role of producer and music director.
To guarantee the touring show matches the fabled design and excitement of Queen at its live best, Taylor has enlisted a heavyweight production team headed by stage designer Mark Fisher. Fisher has been responsible for some of the most memorable rock concerts ever staged, including The Wall for Pink Floyd, every Rolling Stones show since 1989, and, working with lighting designer Willie Williams, every U2 concert.
The Queen Extravaganza touring band, four vocalists and five musicians (two guitars, bass, drums and keyboards), were hired after an intensive 12 week online audition search. The buzz surrounding the public auditions sparked worldwide interest with video submissions generating more than 10 million views.Television host Ellen DeGeneres was so impressed with the level of talent, that she invited one hopeful to perform his audition on her show. That contestant, Nashville's Marc Martel, secured himself a place in the final band. The rest of The QE band includes vocalists and QE contestant Jennifer Espinoza along with addition vocalists Yvan Pedneault and Jeff Scott Soto; bassist Francois Olivier Doyon; guitarists Brian Gresh and Tristan Avakian; drummer Tyler Warren and keyboardist & musical director Brandon Ethridge
In a show which will run just over two hours of playing time, The QE band will perform close on 40 true Queen classics drawn from a list of the band's biggest all-time chart hits – Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites the Dust, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Under Pressure, We Will Rock You/We Are the Champions, A Kind of Magic, Radio Ga Ga, Somebody to Love, Killer Queen - as well as highlighting some of the band's finest heavy-duty rock based anthems which have long been at the core of their live performances, so audiences can also expect a healthy dose of early period Queen with songs such as I'm In Love With My Car, Tie Your Mother Down, Seven Seas of Rye, and In the Lap Of The Gods among them.
Production values will be boosted with the inclusion of never-before-seen video footage.
"The Queen Extravaganza will not be like a traditional tribute show," says Taylor. "It is a brand new show specially designed to enable these new fans, together with fans of old, to celebrate the music of Queen in a heart stopping event."
Adds Taylor, "It's going to be very spectacular, it's going to be very visual, there are going to be some shocks and some tremendous surprises. It will be a rock celebration in the Royal tradition.
The North American tour dates:
May 26 - Quebec - Grand Theatre du Quebec
May 27 - Montreal - St. Denis
May 29 - Toronto - QE Theatre
May 31 - Detroit, MI - Fox Theatre
June 1 - Chicago, IL - House of Blues
June 2 - Minneapolis, MN - The Brick
June 5 - St. Louis, MO - The Pageant
June 7 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
June 8 - Washington, DC - 9:30 Club
June 9 - Wallingford, CT - Oakdale
June 10 - Bethlehem, PA - Event Center
June 11 - Boston, MA - House of Blues
June 12 - Huntington, NY - Paramount Theatres
June 15 - Tampa, FL - Louis Lykes Ferguson Hall
June 17 - Orlando, FL - The Plaza Live
June 19 - Dallas, TX - Grand Prarie
June 20 - Houston, TX - House of Blues
June 23 - Las Vegas, NV - House of Blues
June 24 - San Diego, CA - Humphrey's
June 25 - Los Angeles, CA - Club Nokia
June 26 - San Francisco, CA - Regency
June 28 - Seattle, WA - Showbox
June 30 - Vancouver - Orpheum
July 2 - Calgary - Jack Singer
July 3 - Edmonton - Jubilee