EDINBURG – When Patrick Myers and his buddies were students in college they all had an urge to watch Queen, the legendary arena-rock band from London led by Freddie Mercury on vocals, but they knew it was never going to happen.
“We had only just left home and come to college when Freddie died,” Myers said in a phone interview. “We realized we would never see Queen and never see the songs live.”
In the early 1990s the boys were devastated mainly because they had just lost their hero succumbed to a battle with AIDS. Mercury's illness was never made officially public until his final days. Stemming from his death the group of friends began singing and playing the band's songs and then went to learning how to work the music with precision.
The group was to play a show for their peers knowing a few of them would want to see a Queen show but of course that would never happen again. That is how Killer Queen was born.
“We played in front about 1,000 students and it just snowballed from there,” Myers said. “It got bigger and bigger and suddenly we were playing all over the world and a few years down the road from that we were playing in the same arenas that Queen had played.”
From the beginning Myers and along with the other members of Killer Queen jumped into the project head first. Myers even donned Mercury's signature mustache because if Killer Queen was to dress and look like the original band, concert goers could pretend to be at Queen show.
Killer Queen didn't stop at the costumes. They wanted to the pyrotechnics, as many lights as possible to make it a big a celebration of Queen visually and musically.
Technically speaking Myers knows it is difficult to perform like Freddy Mercury. The frontman's voice ranged four octaves and he was a piano and guitar player as well.
But Myers was up to the challenge. He took guitar lessons and learned to play piano on his own as a child. Being an actor on stage was also a help when trying to act like Freddy Mercury.
“Vocally I had to do a lot of work,” Myers said. “It was like trying to climb Mount Everest, like a real wow!”
Myers explained once he learned how to sing the songs he appreciated the difficulty behind them. The learning curve took about a year and a half before the group was able to perform the famous tunes with confidence.
“Even though we worked hard at it, we thought it would only last a few shows over one summer,” he said. “There is no way to do the show without all the hard work, not just vocally, the guitar solos are extraordinary, the arrangements are interesting, the key changes, the drum patterns are intense and beautifully realized but the whole thing needs to mesh together to make it sound like Queen.”
Saturday July 1 at H-E-B Park Amphitheater Killer Queen will take the stage to play all the songs that made Queen one of the greatest arena bands of all time. The concert will begin at 7 p.m. on the heels of High Steaks Texas Cook 'Em, one of the largest barbecue cook-offs in the Rio Grande Valley with 112 teams already signed up to compete.
Tickets for the concert will start at $20 and are separate from the $5 tickets to High Steaks. Those looking to wave the $5 entry fee for High Steaks can call (956) 383-4974 to become a judge for either brisket, ribs, chicken or steak.