The Washington Post

Rock Star Royalty

'Queen Extravaganza' pays tribute to an influential band


It’s easy to romanticize the 1970s as a time of expansive sexual freedom, tight-fitting slacks and bombastic arena-rock bands, mostly because Freddie Mercury and Queen blazed those glittering trails for future generations. Original Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor are now touring their “Queen Extravaganza,” a live tribute to the band. Ahead of Friday’s show at the 9:30 Club, we present bands that owe a debt of rock ’n’ roll gratitude to Mercury and Co.

Metallica: Queen’s 1974 song “Stone Cold Crazy” is widely considered the first speed-metal song, a fact that really clicks when you hear Metallica’s faithful cover version on 1998’s “Garage Inc.”

Smashing Pumpkins: Billy Corgan’s circus-dandy shtick is right out of Mercury’s fabulousness handbook, as are the Pumpkins’ sweeping song arrangements. Case study: The Pumpkins’ “Tonight, Tonight,” from 1995, is essentially “In the Lap of the Gods” with a string section.

The Darkness: When this British band broke with 2003’s “Permission to Land,” it was unclear if they were making a heady commentary about the excesses of rock. Turned out they just like Queen a LOT.

Girl Talk: Mash-up DJ Gregg Gillis sampled “Bohemian Rhapsody” in “What’s It All About?” on 2008’s “Feed the Animals.” But with its back-and-forth time changes, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is already four songs in one.

 9:30 Club, 815 V St. NW; Fri., 8 p.m., $35; 202-265-0930, (U Street)
Shauna Miller is managing editor at the Atlantic's CityLab. You can hit her up on Her.



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