IF YOU GO:
* What: We Will Rock You: A Tribute to the Music of Queen.
* When: 9:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17
* Where: Rhythm & Brews, 221 Market St.
* Admission: $10
* Phone: 423-267-4644
* Website: www.rhythm-brews.com
When it comes to musical homages, few bands pose as monumental a challenge to emulate accurately as Pink Floyd, but a Queen tribute is hardly a walk in the park.
A little over a year after a start-to-finish rendition of "Dark Side of the Moon" pushed Amber Fults and the Ambivalent Lovers to the edge of their abilities, the local pop/rock quintet is tackling a Queen tribute Friday night, Jan. 17, that promises to be even more challenging.
"Every single practice, they've been like, 'Whose idea was this? Oh, yeah, it was yours,'" Fults says, laughing.
To compound the problem, she adds, the band didn't begin work on the tribute until November. By comparison, they spent five months prepping for "Dark Side."
Despite the headache of near-nightly practices and the kind of micromanaging that would give a Swiss watchmaker a migraine, Fults says the rewards should be worth the effort.
"You can sit on the outside and watch other people do stuff or step outside of your comfort zone so that other people ask, 'Why didn't I try to do that?'" she says. "I'd rather be on that side of things than just do what I'm comfortable doing."
Just like their Floyd tribute, the evening will begin with a full set by the Ambivalent Lovers. Once they switch gears to anthemic Brit rock, the 33-song set will begin with a handful of full-band songs followed by several acoustic numbers, including "'39" and an unplugged rearrangement of "You're My Best Friend."
To close out the evening, however, the band will pull out all the stops to perform anthemic favorites such as "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Somebody To Love" with the assistance of a full, 20-member choir and six-piece string section. In all, 33 artists will participate in the tribute.
Fults says she hopes the results will live up to the source material.
"We're not Queen, and we'll never be Queen, but we're definitely going to do it justice," she says. "I feel like if Freddie Mercury were to walk in, he'd be like, 'Well, you didn't dance around as much as I did, but you guys are all right.'"
Contact Casey Phillips at cphillips@timesfree press.com or 423-757-6205. Follow him on Twitter at @PhillipsCTFP.
Casey Phillips has worked as a features reporter in the Life department since May 2007. He writes about entertainment, consumer technology, animals and news of the weird. Casey hails from Knoxville and earned a bachelor of science degree in journalism and a bachelor of arts in German from Middle Tennessee State University, where he worked as the features editor for the student newspaper, Sidelines. Casey's writing has earned numerous accolades, including first and second place ...