They Will Rock You

Many of us from the ’70s remember the first time we heard Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It was on a late-night rock and roll variety TV show called “The Midnight Special” hosted by Wolfman Jack.
Every week he had all of the top rockers at the time on the show performing their hit songs. What made Queen stand out — it was the first music video many of us had ever seen.
British rockers Freddie Mercury (lead vocals, piano); Brian May (lead guitar, vocals); Roger Taylor (drums, vocals) and John Deacon (bass guitar) were influenced by progressive rock, hard rock and heavy metal but they also brought elements of theater into the show. Mercury’s charismatic and flamboyant showmanship and the powerful energy of the group made rock history. Queen became the king of arena rock, performing to packed stadiums around the globe for more than two decades.
Mercury took his role as front man to new untapped levels with his crazy outfits, vocal prowess and his undeniable talent.
He mesmerized audiences with his energy and larger than life stage persona. Upon his death in 1991, a huge void was left in the rock concert world, which to this day has not yet been matched.
Queen Nation, a tribute to Queen, was formed in 2004. Queen Nation consists of: Gregory Finsley (vocals & keyboards as Freddie Mercury), Mike McManus (guitar as Brian May), Pete Burke (drums as Roger Taylor), and Parker Combs (bass as John Deacon). The mission of the show is to carry on the musical torch and pay homage to the golden age of vintage Queen concerts.
Queen Nation’s live 90-minute production of Queen’s greatest hits preserves the image, sound, and stage persona of vintage Queen. Their attention to detail and accuracy are at the heart of this live retrospective journey through such Queen songs as “We Will Rock You,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are The Champions,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “You’re My Best Friend,” “Another One Bites The Dust,” “Under Pressure” and many more.
They have performed in front of thousands of people at casinos, fairs, festivals and private affairs, but their series of shows at the Riverside Resort, Thursday-Sunday, October 12-15.

A little more about the guys
Mike McManus could sing every song on the Sgt. Pepper’s album by age 6. It was in Boston where he acquired a taste for melodic ’70s arena rock bands such as Queen and Cheap Trick.
In 2004, McManus got a call from singer Joe Retta to complete the line-up for Queen Nation. Looking at it as a labor of love, McManus buckled down and began learning all the guitar parts and transcribing all the harmonies—not an easy task.
“I didn’t think I could gain any more respect for Brian May and Queen than I already had,” he stated. “My respect for them doubled when I sat down to learn these songs!”
Add to that McManus’ dead-on Brian May mannerisms and accurate stage attire, and you’d swear you were at the L.A. Forum in 1980.

Greg Finsley took up percussion at age 11 and never stopped. His desire to multitask became an easy habit early in life wanting to sing and play the drum set simultaneously and later the piano. Mixing rock, blues, swamp pop, country, and other styles of music in bands, Finsley has played with many top musicians in New Orleans since he arrived in 1995. He even played Bourbon Street at the famous Tropical Isle with “Late As Usual” on a weekly basis.
His first Queen tribute (Queen For A Day) was started in Dallas in 2001. Finsley was introduced to Queen Nation in 2007 and created an extra push in his musical endeavors, which has become one of the top performing Queen tributes in North America.

Parker Combs has spent the last 18 years playing original and cover music in a variety of rock, funk and country bands. “Playing with Queen Nation has allowed me to use my classical and rock background to truly appreciate John Deacon’s musicianship and re-discover the music and history of Queen.”

Peter Burke has been active in the LA music scene since the mid ’90s.
Throughout the first decade of the new millennium, he worked several platinum-selling recording artists including Wilson Phillips, Tiffany, and the BulletBoys. Highlights included appearances on TV shows “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” “Good Morning America,” and “On Air with Ryan Seacrest,” with Wilson Phillips in support of their Columbia release California in 2004, and two albums recorded with the BulletBoys Sophie and Live: Behind the Orange Curtain.


QUEEN NATION

DON’S CELEBRITY THEATRE within the RIVERSIDE

Thurs-Sun, October 12-15 (8 p.m; doors open 6:30 p.m.)

See Showtimes for tickets