There comes a time in the life of every young man who looks and sounds disturbingly like Freddie Mercury to ask himself the question: Do I grow the mustache?
In the case of Pablo Padín, leader of Argentine Queen tribute band Dios Salve a la Reina (God Save the Queen), boy, did he ever grow that mustache. This Friday at 10 p.m., Padín’s band will rock Grand Central (697 N. Miami Ave., Miami) with two hours of Queen hits. The bandmates look and sound exactly like Queen at its peak, down to the guitars, hair, and shoes. And, sweet dios, that mustache.
The mustache means Padín’s commitment to channeling Freddie Mercury doesn’t end when he leaves the stage. Dude can’t go anywhere without getting stopped by people on the street (bah-dah-dee-dah-day!) and being begged to yell “Fried chicken!” into their mobile phones. All he wants to do is ride his bicycle, and suddenly he’s expected to ask a traffic cop for directions in falsetto? Yet Pablo Padín endures. Freedom to shave aside, this is not a life he chose, but one for which he was destined.
It’s eerie. Even every last whirl of Padín’s chest hair is Freddie Perfect-ury. But what of all the other men and women who look like Freddie Mercury but don’t have the voice to match? They might grow their hair long and sew sleeves onto all their tank tops. They might take jobs in lumber yards and research laboratories far outside the glow of the stage lights. They might profess to lead happy and fulfilled lives. But the next time your tempeh Reuben is delivered by an oddly familiar clean-shaven man, curiously light on his feet but with the heavy eyes of a deferred dreamer, share with him Freddie Mercury’s sweetest song of all, one of tolerance and understanding.
Fri., Dec. 13, 10 p.m., 2013