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Drive-In concerts coming to Adventureland Labor Day weekend

Bassist Randy Gregg and lead singer Joseph Russo

Bassist Randy Gregg and lead singer Joseph Russo from Almost Queen will perform a drive-in concert at Adventureland on Sept. 5. Credit: Corey Sipkin

This Labor Day weekend Adventureland in East Farmingdale should be renamed Musicland — the amusement park will host two back-to-back drive-in concerts. Almost Queen rocks the stage on Saturday, Sept. 5 while “Freestyle Carstock” swings through Sunday, Sept. 6.

“Normally we cater to the kids, but we had to change gears and cater to the adult clientele this summer,” says Adventureland co-owner and president Steve Gentile, who has partnered with Brian Rosenberg NY, Fever Entertainment and Universal Special Events. “These shows are bringing some life to our parking lot. It’s a nice way to finish out a season that we never had.”

QUEEN FOR A DAY

Tribute band Almost Queen will perform Queen classics, including “Bohemian Rhapsody,” on what would have been the band's late lead singer Freddie Mercury’s 74th birthday. 

“There are so many incredible elements to that one song,” says bassist Randy Gregg. “It’s this extremely somber ballad with a guitar solo that tears at your heartstrings that all of a sudden breaks into an extremely unconventional operatic bridge, which then turns into this rock section that rips your face off before returning back to the most subdued of somber conclusions any song could ever have. It still gives me the chills every night.”

Filling Mercury’s shoes for the evening will be lead singer Joseph Russo, who not only sings like the legendary Queen frontman, but he also physically evokes him.

“No one can be Freddie. I’m the first to admit it. There was nothing like Freddie’s voice and there probably never will be. The strength he had and his range was immense,” says Russo. “But we aim to impress. We wouldn’t do it if we didn’t think we could do it justice.”

Because of the birthday celebration, the band is cooking up something special.

“It’s a night where we try some deep cuts like ‘The Millionaire Waltz’ from 1976’s ‘A Day at the Races,’ ” says Russo. “We’ve been asking for requests for weeks now. It’s all about what the people want to hear. But, there will be a lot of surprises.”

Additionally, Queen fans will get treated to a screening of the band’s 2018 biopic, “Bohemian Rhapsody” after the concert.

HOUSE OF FREESTYLE

“Freestyle Carstock” will feature TKA, Judy Torres, Cynthia, Soave and Sammy Zone. This marks the first live freestyle event on Long Island since the pandemic hit.

“The three of us and the fans are starving to just feel a sense of safety while having fun, so we want to bring them a small sense of normalcy during these trying times,” says TKA lead singer K7 aka Louis Sharpe Figueroa. “Our live show is all energy, energy, energy! We haven’t played here since February so the show will be off the charts with our other lifelong freestyle friends.”

This show is getting the Queen of Freestyle out of quarantine — singer Judy Torres will be performing her first live gig in over five months.

“I’m itching to get back on stage. I hope I don’t forget the words because it’s been so long,” she says. “This drive-in concert is a unique situation. It’s kind of an old school idea which I like because freestyle is old school, too. I’m looking forward to it.”

Even more than the music, Torres has missed her connection with the crowd.

“There are no more devoted fans than the Freestyle freaks. When they are excited, you literally are blown away,” she says. “Freestyle music gives off the vibe of hope. No matter what, we are resilient and we are going to get through this time together.”

COVID COMPLIANT

One hundred and sixty parking spaces are layered in rows of nine six-feet apart and distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Bathrooms will be available on-site with lines monitored for social distancing and cleaned in between use. 

Surround sound will be amplified as well as being available in each car radio. Two giant movie screens will project the action on stage. Food concessions and nonalcoholic beverages will be sold. Those leaving their vehicle area must wear a mask.

ALMOST QUEEN - Saturday, Sept. 5

“FREESTYLE CARSTOCK” featuring TKA, Judy Torres, Cynthia, Soave and Sammy Zone - Sunday, Sept. 6

WHEN/WHERE Gates open at 6 p.m. for an 8 p.m. general admission for both shows, Adventureland parking lot, 2245 Broadhollow Road in East Farmingdale

INFO 631-694-6868, adventureland.us, Tickets can be purchased at eventbrite.com or universalspecialevents.com

ADMISSION $185 per car (up to six people)

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