View Mobile Site

Ask the Expert

Signal Photos


Queen Nation opens Concerts in the Park tonight

Event kicks off eight weeks of Saturday night musical performances in Central Ppark

Posted: July 6, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Updated: July 6, 2013 2:00 a.m.
Gregory Finsley of Queen Nation.  Gregory Finsley of Queen Nation. 
Gregory Finsley of Queen Nation. 

The Queen tribute band Queen Nation opens this year’s round of Santa Clarita’s highly popular Concerts in the Park series tonight.

“They’re the biggest rock band in the world,” Queen Nation’s Mike McManus said of the London band that remained atop the charts in the ‘70s and continued to hold top spots in the world of rock and roll through the ‘90s, releasing 15 studio albums and 31 Billboard Hot 100 singles.

Queen Nation has been together for nine years and has its own following.

“We were all huge Queen fans,” McManus said of his fellow Queen Nation members: Gregory Finsley on lead vocals and keyboard, Parker Combs on bass, and Pete Burke on drums.

“We kind of learned three or four songs, then got together,” said the band’s guitarist and back-up violinist.

Concerts in the Park are held each Saturday at 7 p.m. at Central Park from tonight through Aug. 24. The series has proved so popular that city officials have had to impose rules restricting the practice of saving space in the park and have found charging for VIP parking a worthwhile practice.

Queen Nation has performed at the venue twice previously and met with a warm response.

Formed in 2004, the group was choreographed by the band’s current manager Dave Hewitt, who wanted a Queen cover to play the Canyon Club in Agoura Hills, now the band’s home venue.

“It was pretty much magic from day one. Its just snowballed ever since,” McManus said.

Despite all the members of the band having day jobs, they have more than 60 shows booked for this year. The band has performed across the country and in Canada and Mexico.

“We never sleep,” McManus said.

At a Queen Nation show, any person who is familiar with Queen will hear all of the songs he or she knows and be introduced to a few unknowns, he said.

“We always make room for the die-hard fans. We’ll throw in songs that 90 percent of the fans won’t know but people will come up and ask us about them.”

Queen Nation is the first of eight bands performing at Central Park this summer, having played the concert series in 2006 and 2008.

“Central Park in Santa Clarita is in our top five venues,” the guitarist said. “You know how to rock and you come out in droves.”

Preparing to rock with the residents of the Santa Clarita Valley for a third time, the band makes one request: that attendees bring their best singing voices.

“‘Cause we don’t want to do all the work.”


More info on Concerts in the Park

July 13 – Poor Man’s Poison
Powerful toe tapping acoustics and smooth, spellbinding harmonies and witty, meaningful lyrics.
July 20 – Bostyx
Paying tribute to the music and vibe of Boston and Styx.
July 27 – Platinum Groove
This high energy, interactive dance band will have you dancing in the aisles.
Aug. 3 – Incendio
This Latin-guitar group has recorded seven internationally acclaimed CD’s and performed across the United States.
Aug. 10 – Boogie Knights
The Boogie Knights are heralded as “The greatest disco revival show in the world.”
Aug. 17 – Lisa Haley and the Zydecats
Neo-zydeco tunes and hypnotic ballads ignite the spirits of jazz, folk, rock and blues fans.
Aug. 24 – The Spazmatics
An ’80s-nerds-that-rock show, performing songs by Oingo Boingo, Duran Duran, Thomas Dolby, Billy Idol and more.



Commenting not available.
Commenting is not available.


Powered By
Morris Technology
Please wait ...