‘One Night of Queen’ tribute brings the legendary band back to life at the Vilar Center
If You Go ...
What: “One Night of Queen,” with tribute band Gary Mullen and the Works.
When: 7:30 p.m. Monday, March 21.
Where: Vilar Performing Arts Center, 68 Avondale Lane, Beaver Creek.
Cost: $28 for children and $58 for adults.
More information: Buy tickets at vilarpac.org, or call the box office at 888-920-ARTS.
Freddie Mercury lives, and somewhere he’s smiling at Gary Mullen and The Works.
Mullen is almost Shakespearean the way he struts and frets his hour upon the stage. Mullen, clad in tight white pants and vintage Adidas sneakers, struts, postures and preens so much like Mercury that you’ll swear it’s the legendary Queen front man.
Mullen and the band perform “One Night of Queen” today at Beaver Creek’s Vilar Performing Arts Center.
Mercury died in 1991 from complications of AIDS, so many of you might be a little young to have seen him perform.
Chances are, you know Queen classics such as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “Killer Queen,” “Fat Bottomed Girls” and “Another One Bites the Dust.” Like the original Queen featuring guitar god Brian May, Mullen is backed by a four-piece band: Billy Moffat on bass, John Halliwell on drums, Malcolm Gentles on keyboard and Dave Brockett on guitar.
They don’t do a glitzy Vegas-style stage show. It’s more like watching reincarnated Queen in concert.
“It’s not our show. It’s the audience’s show,” Mullen said. “We want them to sing along and dance and play air guitar and dance until their hands bleed.”
Mullen was 4 years old when he first saw Queen on television.
“I remember seeing this flamboyant guy in a black and white leotard with a band behind him. I was just blown away,” Mullen said. “I said to my mom, ‘Who’s that?’ She said, ‘That’s Freddie Mercury.’”
“Can we buy those records?” he asked.
Yes, she replied, they could. And they did.
Mullen bought memorabilia and albums and became a karaoke favorite for his Queen renditions around his home town in Scotland.
“People would come up to me and say, ‘Hey, man, I’ll give you a beer if you sing ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’” Mullen said.
‘Stars in Their Eyes’
Mullen’s career as Freddie started in 2000, when his wife and his mother secretly applied to have him appear on the TV show “Stars in Their Eyes.”
The crowd loved him, and he drew more than twice the number of votes as the runner-up, setting the all-time record for votes on the show. It helped that the official Queen fan club fell in love with Mullen and voted for him en masse.
He hit the road after that, earning rave reviews as a Queen solo act. He soon formed the band The Works, and they created “One Night of Queen.” That show hit the road in 2002, and they’ve worked around 150 nights a year since.
To make sure he got it right, Mullen managed an invitation from Brian May to a Queen & Paul Rodgers show. When they met backstage after the show, Mullen mostly listened because he was more or less speechless.
When he isn’t fronting the band, Mullen has recorded various voice overs for radio, television and computer games. He has also recorded an album of original material with long-term song writing partner Barry Kelly called “Blood, Sweat and Beers.”
Staff Writer Randy Wyrick can be reached at 970-748-2935 and email@example.com.