Review: Queen Extravaganza at O2 City Hall Newcastle

Review: Queen Extravaganza at O2 City Hall Newcastle

Queen Extravaganza – Wednesday 28th February 

The Queen Extravaganza have their tagline which sums them up perfectly “a rock celebration in the royal tradition”. The band was originally formed by Roger Taylor himself with some help from guitar and Queen icon, Brian May. He referred to it as his very own tribute band and it has been his baby ever since. They have played across the whole world and even starred on American Idol. There have been various members of this band come and go but the team we saw last night certainly knew how to put on a show. 

Newcastle’s O2 City Hall was packed to the rafters with people ready to hear Queen’s greatest back catalogue. Queen are my all time favourite band so they had some big shoes to fill. There was an excited buzz in the air as we waited for our showtime of 7:30. The stage was filled with dazzling spotlights and the iconic Queen logo. They took to the stage with a burst of energy and were ready to perform the house down. The beginning was exciting with bright, flashing lights and that notorious beat of We Will Rock You. Our singers took to the stage with vigor and belted out the all time classic. It did have a slightly different arrangement which made it all the more interesting and unique. 

Our band consisted of the bassist, who has been in the band from the beginning, Francois Olivier Doyon, Guitarist Nick Radcliffe, Keyboard extraordinaire Darren J Reeves, Drummer and vocalist George Farrar and our two lead vocalists, Alirio Netto and the phenomenal Gareth Taylor.  All of the guys were exceptionally talented in their own right but also took their hand to different instruments as well – multi talented icons – we love to see it! 

Gareth Taylor’s voice was truly something to behold. He had the Freddie tone down and sang with such energy and passion that it filled the venue with electricity. He knew how to work the audience and was a true professional. His high notes during Somebody to Love were just so special and the power behind his voice was pure magic. I definitely think Freddie would be proud of him covering his songs. 

Drummer, George Farrar, was a huge surprise and highlight for me as he dedicated his songs to the founder of Queen Extravaganza and fellow drummer Roger Taylor. He sang I’m in love with my Car and Days of our Lives so wonderfully as well as excelling on the drums. What a real talent we got to see upon that stage. 

The lighting was incredibly intense and did work well throughout the set however, it did leave me with a bit of a headache especially with so many flashing lights so just a little pre-warning if you are light sensitive. The lighting was expertly managed however and was in perfect timing with the music especially during Killer Queen and Don’t Stop Me Now. 

The sound was also brilliantly used, especially the echoing vocals during Now I’m Here. The sound was so full and filled the whole venue with each instrument being perfectly balanced out to create that rich, rocky sound we all know and love. I adored how they mixed up the set list as well with more obvious songs interwoven with the more obscure. Perfect for ultimate Queen fans getting to hear songs they wouldn’t always get to listen to with a tribute band! 

They had such great interaction with the audience and managed to get the seated venue on their feet and joined in with Crazy Little Thing Called love and I Want to Break Free. Everyone was just having such a great time thanks to this really talented band. 

My favourite songs of the night had to be Somebody to Love and Fat Bottomed Girls- two ultimate Queen songs! It was so wonderful to see how much of a big following this brilliant tribute band had behind them and the next time they tour I will definitely be returning. 

Wonderful talent and an all round rocking, royal rumble!

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