On Saturday August 2, 2014 The Killer Queens (an all female tribute to Queen) rocked the stage at Cargo inside the Whitney Peak Hotel in downtown Reno. The Queens played two sets in front of nearly 200+ die hard Queen fans.
The Killer Queens are a high energy all girl tribute to Queen that focuses on the live show as originally portrayed by Queen. Equipped with Brian May’s Red Special and Vox Amp, Freddie Mercury’s free falling mic stand and authentic costumes to match, they offer a full show with costume changes, lights, fog and a professionalism for all ages to enjoy.
They are selling out venues all over the Bay Area, from San Jose to San Francisco and as far North as Lake Tahoe and now Reno. Their growing fan base is at 2,000 strong and the buzz around the group is viral. Their fans extend as far as Italy, Brazil and England. With the recent addition of the highly sought after agency, Swan Entertainment, the band is expanding their touring base and will be traveling to Southern California and out of state in 2014.
Current band members include, Nina Noir as Frederica Mercury (vocals), Joyce Kuo as Briana May (lead guitar), Dana Guerin Parker as Rogetta Taylor (drums), and filling in for original bassist Amelia Smith was Diana DeRego Wells as Diana Deacon.
The girls played two full sets that both went a little over an hour each, the first set went like this, (from the set list on stage)
"We Will Rock You", "I Want It All", "Tie Your Mother Down", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "Play The Game", "Hammer To Fall", "Radio Ga Ga", "Fat Bottom Girls", "Save Me", "Dragon Attack", "Flash", "Bicycle Race", "You're My Best Friend" and "Now I'm Here".
The second set of Queen hits went like this,
"Let Me Entertain You", "Don't Stop Me Now", "Stone Cold Crazy", "Another One Bites The Dust", "Killer Queen", "A Kind Of Magic", "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Somebody To Love", "I Want To Break Free", "Under Pressure", "It's Late" and two encore songs, "We Will Rock You" (reprise) and "We Are The Champions".
As soon as the girls came on stage the crowd went wild. Lead singer Noir took control of the stage and had all the fans eating out of her hands the entire show. Her vocals were suburb, after all she was imitating the great Freddie Mercury and she nailed it. She also interacted with the audience in between songs which always makes for a good show. As for lead guitarist Kuo, her skills on guitar were awesome, her leads were spot on, even Brian May would be impressed. Drummer Parker kept very good time and led the band in the right direction. The band could not have picked a better fill-in on bass as Wells, she killed it (and she was gorgeous as were all the girls).
During the intermission in between sets and after the show, the girls came out and talked with the fans as well as took photos and signed autographs. The Queens were very friendly and answered every question that was asked of them. Very cool.
In an on-line interview with Noir, who is the bands manager, this examiner asked her about the missing original bass player, how the band was formed and if anyone in the band had any side projects going on. This was her reply,
"Our bassist (Amelia Smith) is the only one who was missing that night. She is a graphic design artist for a big tech company and occasionally has to go into top secret mode to work on a big release. She will be back rocking with us in October. Diana DeRego Wells (who is filling in for Smith) is going to stay in the band and switch to piano and backing vocals as Spike Edna, a female twist on the unofficial 5th member Spike Edney.
Joyce Kuo bought a Brian May guitar and vox amp. Then she started thinking about how cool a tribute would be. Since she's a girl it would have to be an all girl tribute. She was talking to a mutual friend of ours about it when she said she needed the perfect Freddie. He immediately thought of me and they called me that night. Dana Guerin Parker, our drummer has been in the same projects as Joyce but never at the same time. They were excited to finally get to work with each other.
Our bassist was the hardest member to find. We lined one girl up but she backed out at the last minute. Our first rehearsal was without a bassist. We put out the word and interviewed several girls. I wanted Dawn. She was in my favorite local ska band, Monkey, and I knew she was a solid player. Lucky for us she heard it through the grape vine and found us. We were stoked. We had the perfect set of girls to make this dream a reality. In January of 2012 we formed The Killer Queens and we have been rocking it ever since.
All of us have been in original projects. Joyce is in a million bands. She likes to stay extra busy. She is in a funk cover band, a disco cover band, works with original artists, and drums for a local band as well. Dana drums for local theater companies but makes The Killer Queens her number one project. Dawn occasionally plays out with other artists, but also makes KQ her main gig. I am the main manager of KQ and dedicate all of my time to the project. However, I am also a songwriter and will be releasing a solo album this September. I play out with other projects as well. I toured with Geoff Tate's Queensryche as Suite Sister Mary for the 25th Anniversary Mind Crime Tour in 2013. I will be playing a show with Geoff and the gang at the Morgan Hill Amphitheater. A couple months back I co-wrote a duet with Pushing The Sun who got the opportunity to open the show for Queensryche. I prefer writing music to covering it, but I wouldn't trade the tribute for anything. Even though being in a Tribute comes with a lot of prejudice".
This examiner thanks Miss Noir for her time doing this interview.
If you like the music of Queen and like to see gorgeous girls rockin' it on stage, then this is the band to see. You won't be disappointed, they killed it. To see where the band is playing next, (click here).
A good time was had by all.
If you want to check out all the photos of The Killer Queens at this show (click here).
As with all this examiners reviews and feature stories, "The Photos Are What It's All About", so check out the photo slideshow and enjoy the show.
All photos by JOHN TUCKNESS
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