The greatest arena rock band of all time was formed in 1970, at London’s Imperial College.
The greatest arena rock cover band in Columbus history was formed just outside of a college bar, in an impromptu mosh pit thrown by two 22-year-olds.
“You know how hard it is to have a mosh pit in a car?” Jacob Wooten asks.
Probably not nearly as hard as coming up with a way to ape Queen and the astral work of front man Freddie Mercury and guitarist Brian May.
The musician and former owner of music bar Kobo, and his longtime friend and fellow musician Phil Cogley (The Saturday Giant) hatched their plan seven years ago, a notion of playing some Queen songs for a one-off show quickly ballooning into an “epic” display of all the bombast typically associated with the British arena rock giants.
“Our first show, we were not very good, at all,” Wooten laughed, “but in the end, I think people were intrigued enough to come back.”
And when they did come back – by the hundreds – Mr. Fahrenheit and the Loverboys backed up their epic promise with an eight-man super cover band, featuring local metal guitarist Rob Bradley mimicking May, and Cogley as a devoted Mercury clone, often in tight white pants, cape, and requisite porn ’stache.
“Phil isn’t the same vocalist – no one is Freddie Mercury – but Phil has that same charisma,” he said. “He can run down a catwalk and make everybody scream.”
The band, after growing their show at several Red, White, and Boom! appearances and a sold-out bash at The Bluestone in December 2012, are, in typical Queen style, going even bigger in 2014. They’re turning the Fahrenheit experience into a two-stage outdoor festival at 400 West Rich, an all-day seven-year anniversary jam, supported by 14 bands and two DJs. The event is expected to draw more than 1,000 people, and proceeds from the $7 ticket price will go toward the Franklinton Arts District and Project: Zero Ohio.
Yes, there will still be a catwalk, and a giant light show, and other “epic” surprises that Wooten isn’t ready to disclose, keeping the mysticism of Queen intact.
“I won’t say exactly what’s happening, but it’s gonna be some full-tilt arena shit.” •
Philip Cogley (The Saturday Giant)
Jacob Wooten (Vis A Vis)
Mike Sidwell (She Male Fiesta)
(OSU Math Department)
Rob Bradley (Sleepers Awake)
Chris Bolognese (The Whiles)
Kevin Collins (The Lost Revival)
Chris Heidel (Fingers)