Queen tribute band, Gary Mullen and the Works took the stage in a spectacle of sound and lights to a sold-out show in Moraine Valley’s Dorothy Menker Theater, delighting Queen fans young and old.
Shortly after winning Stars in Their Eyes in 2000 with the the largest number of votes in the show’s history, Gary Mullen formed The Works in 2002 with Billy Moffat on bass guitar, Jon Halliwell on drums, Malcolm Gentles on keyboards, and David Brockett on guitar.
They have played across the globe performing in the UK, Europe, South Africa, New Zealand, and the US and are currently celebrating both their fifteenth year anniversary as a band and their tenth US tour.The group barreled out to One Vision followed by Another One Bites the Dust.
Although the audience started the night off a bit lethargic, Mullen was quick to cheekily remark “Are you here to rock and roll tonight? Because if you’re here to sit on your ass and play bingo, go home.” The crowd’s energy rose for the rest of the show, with the entire auditorium on their feet by the end of the night.
The Works flew through Queen’s greatest hits without missing a beat, playing I Want to Break Free, Under Pressure, Seven Seas of Rye, Don’t Stop Me Now, You’re My Best Friend, and Somebody to Love before intermission. The second set—which Mullen promised would be “faster and sexier”—included Flash, I Want It All, Killer Queen, Bicycle, Now I’m Here, Fat Bottomed Girls, Somebody to Love, and of course Bohemian Rhapsody.
Mullen ended the second set playing guitar to Crazy Little Thing Called Love, before coming back for an encore with We Will Rock You and We Are
Some of the band showed off their talents throughout the night. Mullen imitated Mercury’s acapella call-and-response with the audience, Brockett—who in 2001 was named on of Scotland’s best guitarists in Total Guitar magazine—played a stand-alone guitar solo to grand applause, and Halliwell als provided an excellent drum solo.
Overall, Mullen’s energetic and flamboyant stage presence channeled Freddie Mercury’s spirit, dancing around stage with a baseless microphone stand like Mercury’s. His costume changes throughout the night with outfits from several famous concerts as well as the donning of Mercury’s signature mustache felt like a true Queen performance.