Imagine being plucked from obscurity by a musical hero and hand-selected to be part of a tribute band celebrating the music of the iconic band Queen. That’s just what happened to nine veritably unknown singers and musicians from around the globe, chosen by Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, architects of the band’s sound, for The Queen Extravaganza summer tour band. Taylor, who took on the role of show producer and music director, wanted to create the ultimate Queen concert experience in an electrifying road show designed by a heavyweight production team headed by stage designer Mark Fisher, (known for memorable productions including “”The Wall”” for Pink Floyd and every Rolling Stones show since 1989) and Rob Sinclair (Adele, Peter Gabriel, Queen, Pet Shop Boys and Vampire Weekend). The tour celebrates Queen’s legacy and music, performed by some of the best new talent they could find.
Launched at the end of May, the tour travels to theatres in cities coast to coast across the United States and Canada through early July. At FOH is engineer James McCullagh, who manages the entire audio production from the helm of a DiGiCo SD10. Going into the tour, McCullagh was adamant about his console choice, having worked with DiGiCo SD desks on previous excursions with artists from Lucinda Williams to Journey.
”I knew that I wanted to use a DiGiCo,”” McCullagh recalls. “”I said right up front it was non-negotiable. I’m a big fan of DiGiCo and I like the sound of the consoles. I’m familiar with the layout and it works well for me. There are a few things that I have in my arsenal that I knew would be beneficial in working with this band and the DiGiCo console is one of them. DiGiCo’s layout and functionality proves to be so much easier for me to run a show, and on this one, we’ve got nine singers onstage, 12 different effects channels running at one particular time, maybe seven to eight functional cues per song. There’s a lot going on and I needed a console that could deal with the intricacies of making that happen. For me it was a no-brainer to use a DiGiCo to ensure I would be able to get that huge drum sound and layered mass of vocals that Queen are known for. ”