Later this year Queen Extravaganza will tour Queen‘s Greatest Hits (the UK’s biggest selling album of all time) across the country. Far from the sort of tribute band you might see headlining your local village hall, QUEX were recruited by Roger Taylor and Brian May, who continue to acts as producers of the ongoing project. Before taking the show onto the road, the band are given access to original master tapes in order to recreate the magic that happened when Freddie, Brian, Roger and John recorded in a studio together.
Taking over the vocals for the upcoming tour is Brazilian born singer Alirio Netto. Having starred in We Will Rock You, as well as performing at Rock in Rio and releasing music worldwide, he’s one of the most recognised rock voices in Brazil, now delivering lyrics originally heard from one of the most recognised rock voices in the world. The combination can only be a good thing. Bassist Francois-Olivier Doyon returns, having been a part of QUEX since day one, joined by Nick Radcliffe on guitar and Darren Reeves on keyboards, both of whom have worked on We Will Rock You in some capacity.
Drummer and Musical Director Tyler Warren is also back (at the back!), and clearly doesn’t tire of performing Queen tracks live – when not performing alongside his Queen Extravaganza bandmates he plays percussion for Queen + Adam Lambert‘s shows. However, aside from playing the hits either alongside the official tribute band or the band themselves, we asked Tyler which other great bits he’d love to play live…
1. It’s Late
This might be my favorite deep cut Queen track. The lift in the chorus (especially the last one), the guitar solo, the double-time break downs, everything about it is just absolutely tops. I’ll be continuously gunning for this one until we do it.
2. Let Me Entertain You
When Queen used to do this it smoked. The energy, which isn’t necessarily the same on the Jazz studio version, screams for live. Especially for the beginning of the show, like they used to do.
I’ve always had a soft spot for this song. It was the first real long song they did. I think the chorus background vocals are on fire, especially for early first-album Queen, with that punchy, layered sound they became known for. And that big guitar jam halfway through? Oh yeah. Also, it was the very first song my mom ever played in a band when she was in high school!
4. We Will Rock You (Fast)
Once again, when they opened with this, it just makes you want to get up, dance, and scream. My favourite live album of theirs is Live Killers, and even though it’s not, sonically, their best live album, that doesn’t matter, because it captured a moment in time. A very energetic, confident moment in time.
5. The Prophet’s Song
We’ve done this before when we did A Night At The Opera front to back, and every single time we’d meet fans after the show, this was the one that absolutely blew them away. Every time, it was this song, especially the middle section with Marc, Francois, and I singing the echo section. It was certainly a satisfying, proud moment in the show for me, proving to everything that we actually could do this live.
6. Tenement Funster
7. Flick of the Wrist
8. Lily of the Valley
These 3 songs have always been a favorite of mine from the early Queen cannon. When we did the first A Night at the Opera tour 3 years ago, the first two songs were suggested by Roger, and I said, “Why don’t we do Lily of the Valley too, and do the 3 songs just like they are on the album?” They flow seamlessly into each other. Starts with one of my favorite Roger tracks, going into Freddie’s FOTW, kind of a precursor to Death on Two Legs, and ends with the beautiful Lily of the Valley.
9. I Can’t Live With You
This is one of those songs that gets looked over, mainly because it’s latter day Queen. I think it’s a standout track from Innuendo (especially the version with real drums (…) on the Rocks compilation), with that punchy chorus, and those groovy verses. I actually think it’d be a great live track.
10. Rock It (Prime Jive)
11. Coming Soon
12. Need Your Loving Tonight
If we ever do The Game front to back I’ll be a happy person, because I’ve always loved these tracks from Roger and John. They’re fairly stripped back, uptempo, and could really be standout live tracks, given enough attention.
13. Princes of the Universe
I get a lot of requests from fans for this one, especially when we’re on the road. You can’t deny it, either. Like the best of the Freddie-written tracks, there’s always something different to grab your attention, from the beginning vocal fanfare (‘Here we are, born to be kings’), all the way to the double time chorus/bridge (whatever you want to call it) and guitar solo. It’s one of those great multifaceted Freddie tracks.
14. These Are the Days of Our Live
Believe it or not, we’ve never done this one live. We rehearsed it for our very first tour in 2012, but we never played it. It’s a shame, because it’s such an emotional song. Everyone knows it. You can’t always batter people with big giant rock songs, and this is the perfect moment to decompress for an emotional moment.
15. Bring Back That Leroy Brown
We’ve always been good at pulling off the quirky, studio version of Queen, and I’ve always wanted to give this track a go. It’s a mouthful vocally, but it’s such a fun little ditty, and it would be an attention grabber because it’s so fun, wordy, and short. One of these days…
16. You Take My Breath Away
This has always been my favorite mellow Freddie moment. Just Freddie and a piano (for most of it), it’s just a beautiful, revealing love song, and Freddie’s background vocals are so emotive and soul-baring…
17. Spread Your Wings
One of the great John songs. Knowing from experience with Q+AL, you can even sing along to songs you may not totally know, and this was one of those songs when we did it. The chorus of this song begs to be sang along to, and could be an amazing moment for us, the band, and the crowd to join together and sing along.
18. The Miracle
I think this song is quite overlooked. It was probably overshadowed by I Want It All. I think it’s a beautiful song with a beautiful lyric, and harkens back to the Queen of old.
19. Fun It
Sometimes in a show, you need a moment to just groove. I always thought this was a fun song from Jazz, and always loved the vocal trade off between Roger and Freddie. Plus, that means I’d get to sing a little bit! Haha!
Another song I think gets overlooked. It’s a great drop-D rocker with that in-your-face chorus, and a snarly lyric and vocal in the verses, and some great interplay between drums and guitar. I think the only time it got attention in the live realm was Brian’s first solo tour. I think it’d be a great, rousing live track!
You might not hear many of the above, but Queen Extravaganza‘s Queen: Greatest Hits tour is sure to be an incredible evening. Get your tickets here, and in the meantime here’s a playlist of Tyler’s Greatest Bits.