There are cover bands and then there are "tribute" cover bands. The former is just a band that will rip through other bands' material; maybe they'll put their own spin on the music, maybe they won't.
The tribute cover band does a bit more, with members who emulate the original band, including music style and all the way down to looks.
Sure it can be campy, but if it's done right, it can generate an uncanny likeness that gives you the only opportunity to come remotely close to seeing a band that is long gone.
For you Queen fans who may have never had the chance to catch the operatic vocal styles and stage theatrics of Freddie Mercury along with the stunning guitar work of Brian May, Wednesday could be your chance.
"One Night of Queen" features Gary Mullen and the Works, from Glasgow, Scotland, a band composed of life-long Queen fans who have used their talent to craft a tribute to the great arena rock band of the 1970s and '80s.
Joining Mullen, who is great as Freddie Mercury, is David Brockett on guitar, Billy Moffat on bass, Jonathan Evans on drums and Malcolm Gentles on piano.
Mullen's path toward Mercury began when his relatives entered him in "Stars in their Eyes," the UK equivalent of "American Idol."
"My mother and wife conspired and entered the show for me and I knew nothing about it until the TV station called," said Mullen from Glasgow. "It was an accidental career I absolutely love, and is the case of being in the right place at the right time."
After performing on the program as Mercury, Mullen, who before had been in high school bands and performed at karaoke, took this to the next level by recreating a band that he loved while growing up.
"I've been a fan of Queen all my life, so this is an ideal job for me because I get to be my hero," said Mullen.
For lovers of original music, tribute bands bring a risky offering; a group of musicians doing a possible disservice to musicians who have long since been established as icons.
The goal for Mullen and the rest of the band is far from a cheesy show.
"When most people think of a tribute band, they think of something like a cabaret, but this is a proper rock show with proper stage production. It's a full on rock concert for two hours," said Mullen. "We create the excitement, the big production, the costumes and the energy of a Queen show."
It's all created from a fan's perspective, the biggest Queen fans being the band.
"I'm trying to put on a show that I would like to see. We are trying to get audience participation, so bring an air guitar and rock out for two hours," said Mullen. "Let's close the door for two hours and have a damn good time."
Liggettb@fortlewis.eduBryant Liggett is a freelance writer and general manager of KDUR.