Queen tribute band performs free show in Vail Tuesday
Ryan Summerlin July 9, 2012
Following the death of Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the legendary rock band Queen, rock concerts around the world were never the same.
However, a group of Queen fans came together to form a tribute band called Queen Nation, with hopes of keeping Queen’s legend alive.
“We knew it was going to be difficult and a challenge for us,” said Michael McManus, guitarist of Queen Nation.
The tribute band members consist of Joe Retta or Gregory Finsley on vocals and keyboards as Freddie Mercury; Mike McManus on guitar as Brian May; Pete Burke on drums as Roger Taylor; and Parker Combs on bass as John Deacon.
Because every member of Queen Nation is a longtime Queen fan, it was easier for them to learn the mannerisms of each band member that they impersonate.
“I feel because we all (Queen Nation) had training, being influenced by the members of Queen growing up, along with being versed on theory, and in scholastic musical ventures, we were able to grasp the styles and chord formations pretty quickly, along with working in a group format,” Finsley said.
They dress up in costumes to make the tribute concert more realistic.
When the tribute band first came together, the members were a bit intimidated since Queen is an iconic band, but they were very determine.
“We’re not quitters,” said McManus. “If we’re going to do this, I would want to see it done right.”
As of now, there are only three Queen tribute bands in the nation due to the difficulty of the music.
“It is fun to have this type of challenge and there’s always more tunes to learn, which makes it fun to acquire for later shows,” Finsley said.
Throughout Queen Nation’s eight years, band members’ best memories revolve around hearing fans tell them they like the tribute band just as much as they like the original Queen.
They enjoy making kids who’ve never even heard of Queen before into fans.
“I can see the excitement in their eyes that I had as a kid,” McManus said.
According to McManus, playing Brian May in the band has been a real musical challenge for him because May and the talent of all the other Queen members is so legendary.
However, he said that they put so much love into it because they just want to do justice to the original band.
“We try to mix things up and make it fun for all ages in this type of venue, just like the Beaver Creek gig last year,” said Finsley.
This is Queen Nation’s third time performing in Eagle County. Their first performance in Vail eventually led to a concert in Beaver Creek and soon one in Dillon.
“We are here to entertain you and give you our all in a tribute to Queen,” said Finsley. “We will also choose a volunteer to ring some bells for another iconic tune, so be prepared, it might just be you.”
Mary Kelley Zeleskey is an intern at the Vail Daily and can be reached at 970-777-3120.