As a fan of Queen, I went with every intention of hating this, their tribute band. I’m not big on concerts anyway, a place where they ruin all the songs you loved on the radio.
But these guys were really super hella good. Damn them.
The singer, Greg, looked enough like Freddie Mercury that if you squinted your eyes, you could forget about his moose knuckle. He also had Freddie’s copstache and biker hat. (You get the feeling that handcuffs came with the outfit.)
Legend has it that Greg was chosen to play Freddie Mercury the same way they find the Dalai Lama: As a child, he was presented with different objects and headed directly for the wrist band.
“We have found The One.”
And we the people gobbled Him up, tossing beach balls, waving glow sticks. Tonight Camarillo would party till ten. And talk about diversity: There were short white people, tall white people, old white people ...
Not a one of us had rhythm. I caught myself several times doing the whitey lip-bite. The guy in front of me -- wearing an Eagles shirt, wrong concert -- swayed the entire time with a #1 finger. He would have used a lighter, but that’s illegal in Camarillo.
Some of the pre-teens formed a mosh pit. They didn’t recognize the guy in tight pants, but they kinda sorta knew the songs and couldn’t wait for him to do “YMCA.” So it goes.
If you plan on seeing a concert in Camarillo, come early. A week or more if possible. I’m not saying we’re starved for entertainment, but the entire populace showed up, pets included. It was like Woodstock 40 years later.
PA announcement: “We’re told that we’ve got some bad Metamucil going around...”
Patti, five feet tall, couldn’t see the stage, so I rolled up our blanket for a step stool. Problem is that from then on I had to hold her by the belt loops. Patti got a false sense of security, like a harnessed trapeze girl, and started swinging left and write to snap photos.
Queen Nation closed with “We Will Rock You” slash “We Are the Champions,” and why are those songs conjoined in the first place? I thought we had the technology to prevent that during the songwriting process.
Greg pranced into the audience while people grabbed at him for a touch, a tear, some brief encounter with this man who was practically almost Freddie Mercury...
And I got to thinking.
Why am I developing new material when I could just recreate the old? How much easier would that be? Maybe it’s time I become Rodney Nation and tour the country doing one-liners.
“When I was born, the doctor slapped my mother. I tell ya.”
In conclusion, this band was so good that I felt the way I do after a long fireworks show -- guilty for having not paid. Then the guilt wears off and I start thinking about how much I spent on alcohol.