NEPA Scene Staff

Queen and Elton John tribute bands perform together at Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Feb. 8

Queen and Elton John tribute bands perform together at Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Feb. 8
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From a press release:

It was announced this week that Almost Queen, a tribute to the legendary rock band Queen, will perform at the F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre on Saturday, Feb. 8 at 8 p.m. with special guests Philadelphia Freedom, an Elton John tribute act from Wilkes-Barre.

Tickets, which are $29.50, $39.50, $49.50, and $59.50, plus fees, are on sale now and available at the Sundance Vacations Box Office at the Kirby Center (71 Public Square, Wilkes-Barre), online at kirbycenter.org, and by phone at 570-826-1100.

Almost Queen promises to deliver “the most authentic Queen live show since the days of Queen themselves.” The deliberate four-piece band showcases signature four-part harmonies and intricate musical interludes. Donning genuine costumes, Almost Queen recaptures the live energy and precision of the ultimate rock band.

Expect to hear iconic classics like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” “We Are the Champions,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” and “Another One Bites the Dust.” This accurate Queen experience has sold out numerous times in places like Sellersville and is still riding high on Queen’s resurgence in popularity following the 2018 release of the biographical film “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a foot-stomping celebration of Queen, their music, and their extraordinary lead singer Freddie Mercury. Played by Rami Malek, Mercury defied stereotypes and shattered conventions to become one of the most beloved entertainers on the planet. The film traces the meteoric rise of the band through their iconic songs and revolutionary sound that cements a legacy that inspires outsiders, dreamers, and music lovers to this day.

“Bohemian Rhapsody” received numerous accolades, including a leading four awards at the 91st Academy Awards for Best Actor (Malek), Best Film Editing, Best Sound Editing, and Best Sound Mixing; it was also nominated for Best Picture. The film won Best Motion Picture – Drama at the 76th Golden Globe Awards and was nominated for the Producers Guild of America Award for Best Theatrical Motion Picture and the BAFTA Award for Best British Film. Malek also won the Golden Globe Award, Screen Actors Guild Award, and British Academy Film Award for Best Actor.

In Almost Queen, Joseph Russo portrays Freddie Mercury with Steve Leonard as Brian May, John Cappadona as Roger Taylor, and Randy Gregg as John Deacon.

“These guys are even better than the Queen that’s out there touring,” Howard Stern said of Almost Queen.

“Almost Queen is better at playing Queen than Bent Brother is at playing Twisted Sister,” Mark “The Animal” Mendoza of Twister Sister noted. His bandmate Eddie Ojeda agreed: “I am a very big Queen fan, and Almost Queen does a great job of creating the illusion of actually seeing Queen live. We all miss Freddie Mercury; I feel the band pays tribute to him and Queen respectfully.”

Philadelphia Freedom: A Tribute to Elton John is a premier tribute show showcasing the music and fashion changes of Sir Elton John’s musical career. Playing all of the hits, such as “Bennie and the Jets,” “Rocket Man” and, of course, “Philadelphia Freedom,” their stage show intends to be as close as possible to the original madman’s vision.

Philadelphia Freedom is led by Wilkes-Barre native Doug Delescavage, a Berklee college of music graduate and lifelong Elton John fan. Combining the outrageous costumes and stage presence with the elegance of Elton’s compositions, the band recalls the 72-year-old singer/songwriter in his prime touring years.

Elton John received his own hit biographical film, “Rocketman,” this year. A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of Elton John’s breakthrough years, the movie premiered at the Cannes Film Festival in May and went on to gross $195 million worldwide against its $40 million budget. It received positive reviews from critics, who acclaimed Taron Egerton’s lead performance, with the costume design, musical numbers, and visual style also receiving general praise.