Flash: A tribute to Queen, Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury - review
If you were in the second row or further, you could have been forgiven for thinking you were staring at Freddie Mercury in the flesh.
After acoustic duo Nibs and Tony warmed up the audience, an array of purple lights descended on the sell-out crowd at Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn before the unmistakable guitar riff of One Vision rang out.
Bursting onto the stage moments later was Freddie Mercury, played by Italian front man Claudio Desideri, whose European accent only added to his eclectic vocal range.
The pace was set from the first word sung, as this refined act churned out Queen’s greatest hits in quick succession.
Without a moment’s notice, the band rolled into Tie Your Mother Down before receiving a rumbling applause and playing It’s A Kind Of Magic.
The hours of practice showed in this almost flawless performance; a minor technical problem was put down to nothing more than ‘too much energy’ by Claudio Desideri and it was hard to disagree.
The band used exact replicas of Queen’s instruments and guitarist Nathan Mathers' had the crucial job of replicating the iconic sound of Brian May.
Armed with nothing more than a black curly wig and Brian May’s Red Special guitar, the celebrated guitar sounds of Queen were spot on and played note for note.
With a solid rhythm section and idyllic harmonies throughout from drummer John Holden, keyboard player Tom Bissell, and bassist Daniel Wilkes, it is no surprise Flash were back with their second sell-out show at the theatre in two years.
Impressive light shows and multiple costume changes, including Freddie Mercury’s famous crown and cape, were delivered with a performance that epitomised the Queen singer’s synonymous flamboyance and crowd interaction.
Love Of My Life, played on a 12-stringed acoustic guitar accompanied only by the vocals, was followed by a somewhat varied interpretation of the crowd favourite Bohemian Rhapsody.
After missing out the start of the song, the band then left the stage half way through only to be replaced by the original record being played through the speakers.
They did however return in time to finish the song to a complete standing ovation.
The band left the stage before being urged back on to perform two final songs - We Will Rock You, and We Are The Champions.