Singer Brody Dolyniuk channels Freddie Mercury for ‘Music of Queen’ concerts with Spokane SymphonyFriday Jan 25, 2019 • Features • Spokesman Review
If you go
The Music of Queen: A Rock Symphony
When: 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday
Where: Martin Woldson Theater at the Fox, 1001 W. Sprague Ave.
Cost: $33-$75. Tickets available through the box office, by calling (509) 624-1200, at www.ticketswest.com and all TicketsWest outlets.
Note: Saturday’s show is nearly sold out.
Brody Dolyniuk’s high school friends recognized his talent before he did.
While driving around listening to music, Dolyniuk would effortlessly start mimicking each artist.
Friends would ask how he managed to sound just like the actual song, but in Dolyniuk’s mind, he was just singing.
“It was never really a conscious effort; it just happened naturally,” he said. “Then when people started pointing it out to me, then I guess picked up on it and then I realized ‘Wow, I guess I do tend to shift my voice a little bit when I sing the different songs.’ ”
After it became a conscious thing, Dolyniuk honed his singing skills and eventually formed a band called Yellow Brick Road in 1997. The band began as an Elton John tribute band but eventually transitioned to performing tunes from a variety of classic rock acts, including Kansas, Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin and Queen.
More than a decade later, in 2009, a mutual friend of Dolyniuk and someone who performed with Windborne Music suggested Dolyniuk’s name when Windborne, a company that presents symphony shows featuring the music of artists like David Bowie, Led Zeppelin, Whitney Houston and the Rolling Stones, were looking for someone to front their newest project, a show featuring the music of Queen.
Dolyniuk auditioned in Virginia Beach and eventually got the gig.
He’s since joined symphonies across the country to perform the music of Queen, the Rolling Stones, the Who, U2, Journey and Elton John. He’s also an on-call stand-in for many other Windborne shows including Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd.
Dolyniuk, plus bandmates Justin Avery (keyboards/background vocals), George Cintron (guitar/background vocals), Dan Clemens (bass/background vocals) and Powell Randolph (drums/background vocals), will join the Spokane Symphony on Friday and Saturday for “The Music of Queen: A Rock Symphony.”
The concerts will be conducted by Martin Herman.
At first, Dolyniuk found the transition from performing for crowds of 150-200 people in Las Vegas nightclubs to performing for audiences of a couple thousand people alongside a 50-60-member orchestra to be a daunting experience.
But Dolyniuk quickly realized that no matter the size of the audience or the number of musicians on stage with him, his role didn’t change.
“When I got out there, I realized I still have the same function here – to sing the songs as best as I can and try to engage the audience.”
Because he grew up listening to much of the music he performs, Dolyniuk has found that he doesn’t need to do much research before tackling a new show.
“It’s ingrained in my head,” he said. “I suppose there’s a little bit of a study, but a lot of it comes naturally. Singing along with the original recording, your voice tends to naturally want to fall into that groove.”
Though his vocals are spot on, Dolyniuk wants to make it clear that he’s not an impersonator and doesn’t do a characterization of, in regards to the “Music of Queen” show, Freddie Mercury on stage.
Instead, he see himself as a fan of the songs he’s performing and tries to channel the original singer’s voice.
“There are a lot of impersonators that change their lives to become the person they’re performing as,” Dolyniuk said. “That’s never been an issue with me where I lost my identity.”
No matter what show he’s performing, Dolyniuk tries to find moments between verses and phrases where he can stop for a moment and listen to the symphony and his bandmates play.
He is, after all, just as much a fan of the music he’s performing as those seated in the audience.
Well, the rock audience, at least.
In Dolyniuk’s experience, the audiences at the symphony shows in which he performs are split into two: the rock audience that’s there to hear the tunes they know and love and the subscription-based audience that’s there to hear the symphony.
“The goal is to expose both of those audiences to the other side and bring them towards the center,” he said. “It’s a challenge every night, but usually by the second or third song, you can already see the poles shifting toward the center.”