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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


‘Dynamite with a laser beam, guaranteed to blow your mind’

Sofia Moraga
The Flandrau Science Center and Planetarium, located on University and Cherry Ave.

The Flandrau Science Center & Planetarium at the University of Arizona will rock you with a new laser light show set to the music of rock group Queen, accompanying the release of the new major motion picture, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” 

The new light show features lasers on the dome and a mix of Queen’s hit songs, all working together to bring a dazzling light show to Flandrau.  

Queen is a British rock band that formed in the 1970s in London. The band’s members include Brian May, Roger Taylor, John Deacon and the late Freddie Mercury. 

The band recorded 15 studio albums, including hit songs “Killer Queen,” “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Somebody to Love,” “We Are the Champions” and “We Will Rock You.” They also performed world tours, playing stages like Madison Square Garden and Wembley Stadium.

Queen was known for operatic rock songs, often writing songs with exceptional vocal ranges and intense drums and bass. 

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The newly released film “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which follows the life of Freddie Mercury and explains how Queen came to be, hit theaters Nov. 2. The movie highlights the band’s highs and lows, the grueling songwriting and album-making process and the grand performances Queen and Freddie Mercury put on.

The show “Laser Queen” started its run at Flandrau at the beginning of November, alongside the release of the new movie.    

The Flandrau Science Center wanted to connect to a younger audience and get on the wave of celebrating Queen’s popularity once again, according to Shipherd Reed, associate director of communications at the center. 

The Flandrau Center has always had laser light shows for audiences to enjoy — including Flandrau’s longest running light show, “Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon,” according to Reed. 

“Laser Queen” features a playlist of Queen’s hit songs while the lasers dance along the dome to the beats of the music. The lasers move in different patterns, colors and whimsical designs. 

“[Queen] seems to be having a new cultural moment. I don’t think Queen ever went away,” Reed said. “We thought maybe we try to see if we could ride that cultural surge and get the Queen show in here.” 

Prompted by the release of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” fans from younger generations are embracing Queen’s music and coming to Flandrau to take part in the light show, according to Reed. 

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“There’s so many Queen songs that people don’t even realize they know them, and they’re like ‘Oh, yeah! I love this song!’ Hopefully it will connect with audiences,” Reed said. 

The songs used in the show stood out distinctly because of Freddie Mercury’s famous operatic vocals, something Queen was known for, according to Alexandra Nieland, a shift lead at Flandrau.  

“The music is the best part of the show,” Nieland said.  

Audience members that came out to the show said they were surprised to hear songs they knew the words to, only to find out that it was Queen who sang them, according to Nieland. 

“I think the laser shows are a really unique format for experiencing music,” Reed said. “Maybe we hear a song here or there, but we don’t experience it independent of the other media that is going on.” 

“Laser Queen” will be playing on weekends at the Flandrau through the end of this semester and into next year.  Tickets can be purchased at the door before any of the showtimes. More information regarding showtimes are on the Flandrau’s website.

“You’re watching the laser lights dance on the dome, but you’re also just experiencing the music in a more concentrated focused way than you almost ever have the opportunity in life,” Reed said. 

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