NEPA Scene Staff

Wilkes-Barre tribute to Elton John joins Almost Queen in Mohegan Sun Arena parking lot concert on July 17

Wilkes-Barre tribute to Elton John joins Almost Queen in Mohegan Sun Arena parking lot concert on July 17
Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

From a press release:

If the iconic music of Queen wasn’t enough to rock you out of your house, Philadelphia Freedom: A Tribute to Elton John will.

Led by Wilkes-Barre native Doug Delescavage, the group was recently added to Almost Queen’s outdoor concert at the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza in Wilkes-Barre Township this Friday, July 17 at 8 p.m. The two tribute bands sold out the nearby F.M. Kirby Center in Wilkes-Barre twice when they played there together last year and will share a stage again in the arena parking lot this weekend.

Presented by Geisinger, this live in-person event will be featured as part of the venue’s “Live from the Lot” summer concert series. Tickets, which are $99.50 per vehicle (under $25 per person with four people per car), are on sale now at ticketmaster.com and the reopened NBT Bank Box Office at Mohegan Sun Arena (255 Highland Park Blvd., Wilkes-Barre) during the box office’s summer hours of operation.

For tickets purchased through Ticketmaster, only touchless mobile tickets administered through the Ticketmaster app (iOS and Android) will be valid for this event.

A limited number of Gold Circle ($199.50) and Silver Circle ($149.50) parking spaces are available for this performance. Gold Circle and Silver Circle parking guarantees a spot in the first few rows in closest proximity to the stage.

A maximum of four occupants will be permitted per vehicle. Up to 1,000 vehicles will be permitted for the event.

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 frontman Doug Delescavage is 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 73-year-old singer/songwriter in his prime touring years. His band includes bassist Bernie Gavlick, who nails Dee Murray’s stage presence, fashion, and bass playing, and drummer Justin Malinowski, who resembles Nigel Olsson in both looks and performance.

New fans may have discovered Elton John through his 2019 hit biographical film “Rocketman.” A musical fantasy about the fantastical human story of John’s breakthrough years, the movie premiered at the Cannes Film Festival and went on to gross $195 million worldwide against its $40 million budget. It received positive reviews from critics, who lauded Taron Egerton’s lead performance, with the costume design, musical numbers, and visual style also receiving general praise.

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.

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. The band is based in New York City.

“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.”

Social distancing measures will operate in accordance with Pennsylvania guidelines (subject to change):

  • Vehicles will be spaced to accommodate social distancing.
  • Cars will park in a staggered fashion to achieve spacing and best visibility.
  • Patrons may only leave their vehicles to use their tailgating space adjacent to their vehicle, restrooms, or to obtain concessions.
  • A maximum of four people are allowed in each tailgating space.
  • Masks must be worn by any patrons traveling to and from portable restrooms and concessions.
  • Portable, single-stall restrooms will be located throughout the parking lot and cleaned frequently.

Additional information for these first-of-a-kind concert experiences:

  • Passenger vehicles only. No motorcycles, buses, party buses, limousines, RVs, bicycles, or foot traffic allowed. ADA accessible vehicles will be permitted.
  • All tickets are general admission and spots cannot be reserved.
  • Guests may bring their own food and beverage. No grills permitted.
  • Event is rain or shine.
  • Event will take place in the Mohegan Sun Arena at Casey Plaza parking lot. All cars must enter through the main entrance from Highland Park Boulevard.
  • Audio amplification will be announced at the event.
  • Cars with more than four adults will be turned away without refund.
  • Vehicles are subject to search upon entry.
  • No pets allowed.

For day-of:

  • Once parked, vehicle relocation is not permitted.
  • Please follow parking attendants’ directions to your parking spot.
  • Please pull forward into the spot – don’t try to back in.
  • If you wish to park with your friends, we recommend you meet away from the venue and drive in together.

State guidance on social distancing, public gatherings, and certain procedures and practices is subject to change. The Mohegan Sun Arena will keep customers informed of changes as they pertain to these events at mohegansunarenapa.com. For a list of frequently asked questions as it pertains to this event, visit mohegansunarenapa.com/drivein.

Photo by Jeffrey Vogt Photography