Queen: It’s a Kinda Magic is, as described by the Australian production company that’s taken the show around the world, “the theatrical creation of the very best of Queen live in concert, which has captured the imagination of Queen fans everywhere.” Having appeared in Spain, France, Germany, Portugal, Turkey, Canada, Australia, the Middle East, New Zealand and China, this theatrical re-creation of one of rock’s most iconic bands recently launched a coast-to-coast U.S. tour to test the market response.
The Briere Production Group of Burnaby, B.C., handled tour production for the show, which included a dozen dates in 2,000 to 3,000–seat theaters like the Kodak Theater in Los Angeles. The production features an extended set of 30 Queen anthems from the band’s 1980s arena tour era and a cast of Australian musician/actors, including Craig Pesco as Freddie Mercury, Travis Hair as guitarist Brian May, Brett Millican as drummer Roger Taylor and Mitch Cairns as bassist John Deacon.
Asked about his company’s primary audio responsibilities for the show, Chris Briere, BPG operations manager, explains, “Tonality-wise, they were definitely trying to re-create the exact sounds of the band. The guitar player uses a Brian May guitar with the amp modeling based on the Vox AC30, so they wanted that same tonality. We had to come up with a great overall sound that was really clear and didn’t color the sound too much. Their FOH engineer was particularly pleased with the midrange clarity of the Martin Audio W8LCs.”
According to Briere, another advantage of the W8LCs was their weight. “We had to play different venues every day,” he recalls, “and a lot of these soft-seat theaters have limited rigging capacity in house to hang heavy boxes. The big benefit of the W8LC is that it only weighs 128 pounds a box, which you can fly off a single point and they always provide great coverage. We had 10 W8LCs a side with a dozen WSX subs ground-stacked six a side.
“The production company also liked the horn-loaded WSX subs, which were incredibly powerful in some of the theaters, even with just three or four a side. For a single 18-inch, they’re really quite amazing.”
The FOH system included Martin Audio MA2.8 and MA4.2 power amplifiers, a Yamaha PM5DRH digital console, Lake Contours, a wireless tablet and dbx 162SLs. A Yamaha M7CL, Turbosound TFM330s and QSC amplification was used for the monitor system. Microphones included Shure, AKG, Radial and Audix.
For more information on the P.A., visit Martin Audio at www.martin-audio.com. For more information on the Briere Production Group, visit www.bpg-inc.ca. For additional SR news, visit The Briefing Room.