Her Majesty The Queen Rock Show @ Winter Arts Festival, Colley Reserve, Glenelg 21/7/2023

The Festival State has lived up to its reputation this winter with the Glenelg Winter Arts Festival. Laying its roots in Colley Reserve, the new Festival, presented by Gluttony, showcases a variety of events, including one by local vocal powerhouse Rachel Vidoni.

Vidoni, the award-winning producer and performer of Come Together – The Beatles Rock Show, soft launched her new show. In the same vein as Come Together, Her Majesty – The Queen Rock Show is the re-imaging – Vidoni style – of another internationally renowned band: Queen.

Backed by all-star local musicians Hayden Ryan (drums), Russ James (keys), Lee Nash (bass), Ben Whittington (guitar), and Cam Blokland (guitar), with Emily Isaacs and Kylie Ferreira on backing vocals, this is a tribute show oozing with talent.

Sauntering on stage in a stunning red, glittery body suit and full-length cape, Vidoni was a vision as she launched into a powerful version of The Show Must Go On. The drama that exuded from her vocals alone was a testament to the quality of performance we would be treated to.

Over an hour, we witnessed impressive chorus vocals fused with glam rock and heavy metal. The set list was all killer and no filler. Honestly, that is not difficult when Queen is involved. Understandably, given the time restraints, every hit wasn’t included. But the songs that were served to scratch everyone’s itch.

We heard I Want It All, Now I’m Here, We Are the Champions, Another One Bites the Dust, Killer Queen, Fat Bottomed Girls, Bohemian Rhapsody, Save Me, Somebody to Love, Who Wants to Live Forever, Don’t Stop Me Now, and We Will Rock You. Not bad, hey?!

There were a few highlights that piqued excitement and generated sing-a-longs. None more so than, you guessed it, Bohemian Rhapsody. Its composition remained true enough to the original yet offered a unique perspective. Vidoni, Isaacs, and Ferreira are to be commended for their captivating and complementary vocals throughout.

Her Majesty – The Queen Rock Show intentionally omitted the performative theatrics Vidoni’s shows are known for. There were no props or dancers. And it still rocked. The overall musicianship was prevalent, suggesting a solid foundation had been laid. Any embellishments that will eventually be added are sure to elevate the performance.

If this show was considered the dress rehearsal, the hard launch, most likely at the 2024 Adelaide Fringe, will be one not to miss.

Live Review By Anita Kertes

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