The Smith Center
Wednesday, May 29, 2019 | 7:15 a.m.
Brody Dolyniuk is a full-time Las Vegan once again. The co-creator of local music institution and touring tribute sensation Yellow Brick Road was a fixture in the Vegas live entertainment scene for nearly 20 years before moving to Southern California for the last eight years, although he has continued performing in Vegas semi-regularly thanks to a multitude of projects including touring symphony shows based on the music of Queen, the Who, the Rolling Stones, U2 and Journey. He also developed his own Symphonic Rockshow and evolved into a producer and stage technician while simultaneously growing as a dynamic, charismatic singer.
The Vegas music scene has changed quite a bit in those eight years but Dolyniuk is looking forward to making an impact in a different way. “It’s why I came back here, that strong entertainment scene despite the ways the industry is changing,” he says. “Live music is almost a dying art form and I want to do whatever I can to keep this scene alive. Vegas has been great to me over the years and it’s good to be back.”
He's been back in town since December and he returns to the Smith Center this week for a new production focused on the music of Queen. Here’s the rest of my conversation with Dolyniuk.
You’ve done Queen in a handful of different shows. Is this a new version? This is an all-new presentation and production. I have the Queen catalogue for quite a while since Yellow Brick Road started out as an Elton John tribute and morphed into sort of a classic rock group. We had to fill four one-hour sets per night, so we used Pink Floyd and Led Zeppelin and all that stuff, and we did a lot of Queen in that group. This show came about because I had done a number of other performances at the Smith Center and they reached out and asked I had an all-Queen show.
The music is timeless but obviously surging in popularity at the moment, thanks to last year’s film “Bohemian Rhapsody.” What’s your approach for this show? First and foremost, the music has to be done right. I’m pretty careful about the people I select for any project, to make sure and find [musicians] who already have that music in their DNA so it’s not a forced thing. And then there’s usually a big visual element with all the shows I’ve done there. I’m kind of a nerd when it comes to the technical things but I’m going a bit old-school for this one. There will be kind of an ’80s-style concert lighting rig, but there will be some video elements and a lot of lights, some lasers and theatrical effects and fog jets.
You’ve done so many shows in Las Vegas and all over the place. Do you think you’re still best known here for Yellow Brick Road? I’m not sure any more. I would have said yes 10 or even five years ago. Even though I still manage them, they’ve carried on without my presence onstage for more than eight years now with two different vocalists. There’s a portion of Las Vegas that remembers me from that, but also people who probably know me from other symphony shows I’ve done on tour.
Are you more focused these days on producing shows or performing? I like wearing all the different hats. Back in the day people strictly knew me as a singer and now more and more they’re becoming aware of all these other projects. I would like to see the next chapter be more in the producer realm although I don’t want to totally stop [performing] because I enjoy it and I enjoy the connection to an audience.
Now that you’re back in Las Vegas, do you see yourself assembling some sort of ongoing or resident show? I work with the Femmes of Rock and we just co-produced a mini-show at the Westgate. I would like to see that find a residency or do some sort of similar situation, whether it’s my own show or someone else’s show. I would love the opportunity to park a show somewhere where I have the chance to fine-tune something without the stress and pressure of having to mount it every day and then tear it down and take it to the next place.
“The Magic of Queen” featuring Brody Dolyniuk will be presented at 7:30 p.m. June 1 at The Smith Center’s Reynolds Hall (361 Symphony Park Ave., 702-749-2000) and more information can be found at thesmithcenter.com.