The Uptown! Knauer Performing Arts Center in West Chester will host 33 1/3 LIVE’s Killer Queen Experience (KQE), a 90-minute concert featuring popular Queen tracks, on Saturday, Aug. 24 at 8 PM.
Not just another tribute band, KQE re-creates Queen’s studio recordings live, with an ensemble of instrumental and vocal talent needed to make that possible.
Uptown! Director Catherine Friedman recommends getting tickets early for this show.
“There is a lot of buzz about this group, and we’re expecting a full house,” she said.
Jim Drnec, drummer and founder of the multi-faceted musical collective 33 1/3 LIVE, remembers listening to his favorite albums all the way through, the way the artist meant them to be heard. This was the inspiration for 33 1/3 LIVE’s most recent and most ambitious endeavor: The Killer Queen Experience.
The group faithfully performs Queen’s studio recordings live on stage, including all the vocal harmonies that made the recordings so amazing. To simulate Queen drummer Roger Taylor’s style, Drnec plays special instruments, a 1970s-era Ludwig Vistalite drum kit with Paiste 2002 cymbals, and a Roland sample pad for sound effects.
Not satisfied with just playing the “hits,” KQE also plays Queen’s quintessential album, A Night At The Opera, in its entirety, featuring tracks like “You’re My Best Friend,” “The Prophet’s Song,” and the operatic masterpiece “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
KQE strives to loyally reproduce each track, retaining the energy and excitement of a live performance. That means there are more musicians and singers than were on the album, allowing them to perform the songs as they were recorded, overdubs and all.
“We have nine musicians, playing multiple instruments, and six vocalists, so we can reproduce live the parts that even Queen could not manage on stage,” said lead vocalist Justin Gonzalez.
The cast also includes “some of the Delaware Valley’s best musicians,” said Drnec. Fans of live classic rock may recognize some members of the KQE ensemble who regularly appear throughout the tri-state region:
- Stephanie Davis (vocals, vocal arrangements, clarinet)
- Michele Davis-Tortu (vocals, violin, bells)
- John Dennis (electric/acoustic guitars, vocals)
- Tony Mecca (vocals)
- Chip Michael (bass guitar)
- Mike Pappas (keyboards)
- John Tidwell (vocals)
- Steve Wiggs (electric/digital guitars)
These accomplished musicians are, as Davis-Tortu said, “thrilled to honor the legacy that is Freddie Mercury and Queen!”
Click here for tickets.