On Sunday night, March 22, 2009 at the Keswick Theatre in Glenside, PA, something truly magical happened in front of a sold-out crowd. It was one of the most surreal moments in our lives. It wasn’t just a night, it was “One Night Of Queen” performed by Gary Mullen & The Works.
We’ve seen a lot of tribute bands in our lives, but nothing that in any way, shape or form, comes close to “One Night Of Queen”!
The story behind this band is rather interesting. Gary's wife and mother secretly sent away an application to the popular UK television series called, “Stars In Their Eyes”, much like American Idol here in the U.S., but without any record contract for the winner. Gary went on to win the grand final of “Stars In Their Eyes” in 2000 as Freddie Mercury. He then put together a Queen tribute band and the rest is as they say, history.
Over the last nine years, “One Night Of Queen” has toured virtually non-stop throughout the world, selling out theatres, arenas, concerts halls and festivals in the UK, Germany, Holland, Switzerland, New Zealand and the U.S. Being internationally acclaimed is one of the main differences between “One Night Of Queen” and other tribute bands. Also, while other tribute bands might play 3 or 4 concerts a month, Gary Mullen & The Works play between 170 and 200 shows every year! Perhaps the biggest factor in what makes “One Night Of Queen” different from other tribute acts is the dead-on reproduction of Queen’s music and Gary Mullen’s ability to bring beloved Freddie Mercury back to life! Gary looks like Freddie Mercury, sounds like Freddie Mercury, has the same mannerisms as Freddie Mercury and has the same flair, strut and stage presence as Freddie Mercury! Their performance was nothing short of incredible! To be noted, all of the members of The Works are accomplished musicians, with decades of experience in the music industry.
Gary truly makes Freddie Mercury come alive! Same hair, same mustache, same vintage Adidas sneakers from the 1980’s, same white t-shirt and the same type of microphone on half a stand which Freddie Mercury made famous. We would be remiss if we didn’t mention that they have a custom built lighting rig on stage that looks just like the lighting rigs used during Queen's “Hot Space Tour” of 1982. Truly a lighting and production team worthy of Queen themselves!
The show opened with “One Vision” and by the last note of the song, the packed audience at the Keswick was watching Queen! They played all Queen’s big hits like, “Another One Bites The Dust”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Fat Bottomed Girls”, “Tie Your Mother Down”, “Killer Queen”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” and “Somebody To Love”, just to name a few. They even did a rendition of Elvis Presley’s “Jailhouse Rock”. The concert ended with Gary coming out with a U.S. flag wrapped around him and a Philadelphia Phillies hat on as they played “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions”.
They are so good at replicating Queen that they not only performed 15 sold out shows at the Deutsches Theatre in Munich, Germany, but also were invited to perform at the BBC’s “Proms In The Park” concert in Hyde Park, London in September 2005, alongside Andrea Bocelli, G4 and Simply Red, noted by UK journalists as the “highlight of the day for the 45,000 fans in attendance!”.
Legendary Queen guitarist Brian May has been quoted as saying, "Gary bears a remarkable likeness to Freddie, not only in emulating Freddie’s unique stage persona but also accurately reproducing Freddie’s live vocal style and range." Queen drummer, Roger Taylor has said that “Mullen puts more Freddie into a show than Freddie himself did, and I hope Mullen won't put the real Queen out of a job.”
On a side note, since Freddie’s death on 11/24/91, Brian May, Roger Taylor and Paul Rodgers (frontman from Free and Bad Company) joined forces in 2004 and collaborated on an album titled, “The Cosmos Rocks” with a very successful tour in 2005 and 2006. Queen + Paul Rodgers are rumored to tour later this year and Bad Company is doing a 10 date mini-tour and are scheduled to play 7/4/09 at Resorts Casino in Atlantic City, NJ !!!
As the band took a bow, Gary thanked the crowd and told everyone to come back and see them next year. So, if you missed this concert or are unable to see them on their remaining U.S. dates, plan on going to this “must-see” concert next year! “One Night Of Queen” proved that Freddie lives and the show does go on! For more information on the band and the intimate Keswick Theatre visit WWW.ONENIGHTOFQUEEN.COM and WWW.KESWICKTHEATRE.COM !!!