Hot new Internet meme: Vocalists who sound exactly like rock stars

posted at 6:42 pm on September 26, 2011 by Allahpundit

A palate cleanser aimed squarely at the three or four readers who haven’t seen these two clips elsewhere this past week. Here’s background on the first guy, who’s the lead vocalist for a popular Christian band in Canada. This was his audition video for the “Queen Extravaganza” tour marking Queen’s 40th anniversary. I think he might make the cut. The second clip, via Gawker, comes from a Chilean talent show and is simply … unearthly. If you played me audio from the first vid and asked me if it was the real Freddie Mercury or an impostor, I might guess impostor. If you played me the second clip and asked me if it was Eddie Vedder or a soundalike, I’d guess Vedder all the way. It’s that good — probably the best vocal impersonation I’ve ever heard. If Vedder quit tomorrow and Pearl Jam needed another anguished baritone to mumble his way through lyrics, they wouldn’t miss a beat. Just hand this guy a flannel shirt and a chip for his shoulder and they’re set.

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The band is “Downhere” and they are really good IMO. Definitly overlooked even in the Christian music community.

vcferlita on September 26, 2011 at 6:45 PM

I know a Jewish janitor that sounds just like Woody Allen.

The Mega Independent on September 26, 2011 at 6:47 PM

My friends and I were posting and reposting Marc Martel’s work just a couple of days ago. Check him out with his church doing Bohemian Rhapsody. Amazing! we’ll be hearing more from Marc for sure.

Ordinary1 on September 26, 2011 at 6:47 PM

Just hand this guy a flannel shirt and a chip for his shoulder and they’re set.

He got the shirt.

the_nile on September 26, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Boy do I love Queen…it was nice to hear that, though his voice is a little bit different than Freddie’s – still beautiful! Saw Queen + Paul Rodgers…wasn’t alive to see Queen in America when Freddie was around.

JeepGirl on September 26, 2011 at 6:49 PM

The first guy sounds way closer to Freddy Mercury than the second does to Eddie. Not even close. Second guy is good but I have heard a lot more better Eddie Vedder impersonations than that.

The Notorious G.O.P on September 26, 2011 at 6:49 PM

dude did an awesome job on a tough song– yellow ledbetter.

ted c on September 26, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Yeah, the second guy’s got the mumbling down pat.

Vigilante on September 26, 2011 at 6:50 PM

Wow! Great Freddy impression…

Teach yourself to be Freddy Mercury!

Funny!

Key West Reader on September 26, 2011 at 6:51 PM

The Freddie Mercury guy is really good!

I didn’t know hair dryers could be used as standins for microphones. Who knew.

theotherone on September 26, 2011 at 6:52 PM

I like the Eddie Vedder imitation of the “Yaba Dabba Dooby Dada” lyrical style!

Opposite Day on September 26, 2011 at 6:52 PM

And they say it’s impossible that Paul McCartney was replaced….

ceruleanblue on September 26, 2011 at 6:56 PM

I saw Pearl Jam at Lollapalooza ’92 in New Orleans. Well, I say “saw” I was in the concession line trying to convince all the people in front of me to go and see Pearl Jam so I could move up in the staggeringly long line.

rihar on September 26, 2011 at 6:58 PM

Anybody who sings over a guitar solo should be shot.

Mark1971 on September 26, 2011 at 6:59 PM

three or four readers who haven’t seen these two clips

That would be me.

That second one just transported me back to high school…gah. But both were exceptional.

Bee on September 26, 2011 at 7:00 PM

And they say it’s impossible that Paul McCartney was replaced….

ceruleanblue on September 26, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Have you sean Shaun of the Dead? He sort of was replaced.

rihar on September 26, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Wow, the first guy kinda looks like Freddie too.

AUINSC on September 26, 2011 at 7:01 PM

I have seen this,impressive,especially hitting the high-notes!!

canopfor on September 26, 2011 at 7:02 PM

Find Me Somebody to Love- Queen
*******************************

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GnMjbxR-pGQ

canopfor on September 26, 2011 at 7:04 PM

The Canadian guy does an OK Freddie Mercury. A solid B+. If you’re really into vocalists who sound like rock stars, the #1 guy is Arnel Pineda of Journey. For those who haven’t heard of him, here you go…

http://tiny.cc/g4tqk

joejm65 on September 26, 2011 at 7:05 PM

I especially like the Eddie Vedder imitation of the “Yaba Dabba Dooby Dada” lyrical style!

Opposite Day on September 26, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Wow! Great Freddy impression…

Teach yourself to be Freddy Mercury!

Funny!

Key West Reader on September 26, 2011 at 6:51 PM

Key West Reader:Lol,U is baaad,right,bloody English eh,right!:)

canopfor on September 26, 2011 at 7:08 PM

I saw Pearl Jam at Lollapalooza ’92 in New Orleans. Well, I say “saw” I was in the concession line trying to convince all the people in front of me to go and see Pearl Jam so I could move up in the staggeringly long line.

rihar on September 26, 2011 at 6:58 PM

funny you mention that. A guy I just started working with and I were talking about concerts we’ve seen in the past. Turns out we both went to the same U2 concert in Ames, IA back in 1992. small world

ted c on September 26, 2011 at 7:09 PM

Palate cleansed…

… Thanks Allah!

Seven Percent Solution on September 26, 2011 at 7:09 PM

incredible. Now if only the Newsboys can get rid of Michael Tait and bring back Peter Furler

TheQuestion on September 26, 2011 at 7:10 PM

Alternate title for this post: a glimpse into Slublog’s ipod list.

Slublog on September 26, 2011 at 7:11 PM

Freddy was a musical genius.

Vedder…what did he say?

“Leeetle bom ha ast, nay to breg fom!”.

“Unce…tice…fee times a mady…..”

BobMbx on September 26, 2011 at 7:13 PM

And they say it’s impossible that Paul McCartney was replaced….

ceruleanblue on September 26, 2011 at 6:56 PM

Have you sean Shaun of the Dead? He sort of was replaced.

rihar on September 26, 2011 at 7:00 PM

Steve Perry’s replacement (Journey) is practically alien.

BobMbx on September 26, 2011 at 7:15 PM

The first dude has a twofer going: Sounds like Freddie Mercury and with that ‘stache he looks like Cary Elwes from “Princess Bride”.

http://www.imdb.com/media/rm3767567360/tt0093779

Bishop on September 26, 2011 at 7:16 PM

I’m a big fan of Downhere, so that first clip was really cool for me!

AP, I guess I’m one of those three or four people, ’cause I hadn’t seen this ;)

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on September 26, 2011 at 7:16 PM

Bishop on September 26, 2011 at 7:16 PM

Cary Elwes *swoooooooooon*… what were we talking about again?

Did you see Elwes on Psych? One of my favorite actors on my favorite show = brilliant.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on September 26, 2011 at 7:18 PM

I’ve liked Downhere for awhile now. A couple of years ago their song “How many Kings” caught my attention. There are some Freddie like vocals on that.

AnotherOpinion on September 26, 2011 at 7:19 PM

incredible. Now if only the Newsboys can get rid of Michael Tait and bring back Peter Furler

TheQuestion on September 26, 2011 at 7:10 PM

They’d still sound like ’80′s schlock. There. I said it.

CurtZHP on September 26, 2011 at 7:24 PM

That 2nd video is awesome. I’m just wondering how the guy knew what the lyrics were.

One of my favorite Pearl Jam songs.

ramrants on September 26, 2011 at 7:25 PM

incredible. Now if only the Newsboys can get rid of Michael Tait and bring back Peter Furler

TheQuestion on September 26, 2011 at 7:10 PM

OMG, I am Peter’s biggest fan! Have you seen his solo work from this year? I cried when I found out about it, I was so happy to hear his passionate, unique voice again:

Acoustic version from KLOVE

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g-IxhvZUOUs

Studio version (official video)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KqrsELRaabo&ob=av2n

Now, if Phil Joel joins him, I’ll be very close to Heaven.

FTR, I like Michael Tait, but not really in the Newsboys. He was very good in DCTalk and his own band, Tait.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on September 26, 2011 at 7:25 PM

That first dude is freakin awesome. I’m jelous. I need to take some voice lessons.

jawkneemusic on September 26, 2011 at 7:26 PM

CurtZHP on September 26, 2011 at 7:24 PM

Not even close. The Newsboys with Furler and Joel were incredible. The lyrics by Steve Taylor plus their own unique sound were unbeatable. Their two praise albums are CDs I would bring to a desert island. So powerful.

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on September 26, 2011 at 7:27 PM

Except Freddie Mercury was awesome and Eddie Vedder sucks.

Jim Treacher on September 26, 2011 at 7:28 PM

That Pearl Jam guy is dead on. I’d swear it was him.

portlandon on September 26, 2011 at 7:29 PM

Martel’s Freddy Mercury is good, but his Keith Green (70s-80s Christian singer) is uncanny good.

Slublog on September 26, 2011 at 7:35 PM

That Pearl Jam guy was way too understandable /s

phreshone on September 26, 2011 at 7:37 PM

Really slow news day.

ElectricPhase on September 26, 2011 at 7:39 PM

Mika sounds like Freddy and has actual talent

commodore on September 26, 2011 at 7:42 PM

Slublog on September 26, 2011 at 7:35 PM

Thank you for that clip. I love Keith Green. When I first got into CCM (I was eleven in the early ’90s), my local CCM station played all the good stuff from the ’70s so I was “raised” on Green, even many years after his death. Also, Randy Stonehill, Larry Norman, and 2nd Chapter of Acts.

I just found Martel doing Nessun Dorma (my favorite aria of all time)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNMZfFPLoKg&feature=related

I had no idea what fun Martel had on youtube… wow!

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on September 26, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Except Freddie Mercury was awesome and Eddie Vedder sucks.
Jim Treacher on September 26, 2011 at 7:28 PM

LOL! This. I grew up during the “grung” era and I have always hated Eddie Vedder’s voice and music.

jawkneemusic on September 26, 2011 at 7:47 PM

Aslans Girl on September 26, 2011 at 7:46 PM

His “So you Wanna Go Back to Egypt” is good as well.

Slublog on September 26, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Pearl Jam – Yellow Ledbetter Lyrics

Zorg on September 26, 2011 at 8:00 PM

Not a Freddie Mercury fan, but Marc Martel is charming.

Buy Danish on September 26, 2011 at 8:01 PM

Amazing. I listened to the “Bohemian Rhapsody” link as well. Stunning. I can carry a tune about as well as Obama can lead a country. Not very well at all.

BruthaMan on September 26, 2011 at 8:11 PM

I had a friend in high school who could sound exactly (to my ears, anyway) like Elvis Presley. I would pick up my guitar and we’d perform Blue Suede Shoes and Hound Dog. Come to think of it, Freddie’s Crazy Little Thing Called Love was a pretty good tribute to Elvis.

Bigfoot on September 26, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Aslans Girl on September 26, 2011 at 7:25 PM

I wonder if Steve Taylor still writes all his lyrics. Hope so.

They’d still sound like ’80′s schlock.

CurtZHP on September 26, 2011 at 7:24 PM

You say that like it’s a bad thing. (haters gonna hate)

29Victor on September 26, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Wow Martel singing Keith Green takes me back a few decades! Keith passed from this world way too early…

jbh45 on September 26, 2011 at 8:24 PM

Here’s background on the first guy, who’s the lead vocalist for a popular Christian band in Canada. This was his audition video for the “Queen Extravaganza” tour marking Queen’s 40th anniversary. I think he might make the cut.

Downhere rocks! Well, mellow rocks anyway. Great lyrics, great tunes.

itsnotaboutme on September 26, 2011 at 8:26 PM

I think he might make the cut.

Holy Sh!t…I guess.

Jaibones on September 26, 2011 at 8:34 PM

OK, they’re awesome, but here’s a guy who, while he doesn’t sound exactly like the acts he’s imitating, the number of different vocalists he impersonates is what’s really impressive. Tim Hawkins sounds pretty much like Coldplay, Pearljam, Nickelback, Metallica, B52′s, & Guns n Roses on this one clip. He does many other impressions, including Alanis Morrissette! You can surf around YouTube for his other stuff. His stand-up comedy is great, too.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r5R8gSgedh4

itsnotaboutme on September 26, 2011 at 8:37 PM

I thought his Somebody to Love was incredible. Then I heard his Nessum Dorma, and I just about fell out of my chair. He doesn’t just to Freddie Mercury, folks. He does Pavarotti too.

keep the change on September 26, 2011 at 8:38 PM

Except Freddie Mercury was awesome and Eddie Vedder sucks.

Jim Treacher on September 26, 2011 at 7:28 PM

There it is … way to be there for me, Treach! Fu*k Eddie; he’s a drunken douche. Give me some Freddie any time; guy was awesome.

Jaibones on September 26, 2011 at 8:39 PM

I had a friend in high school who could sound exactly (to my ears, anyway) like Elvis Presley. I would pick up my guitar and we’d perform Blue Suede Shoes and Hound Dog.

Bigfoot on September 26, 2011 at 8:18 PM

Check this guy out singing “Can’t Help Falling in Love” in a pizzeria in Utah.

Sterling is singing. This is Mike Masse’s channel. He’s another one of those truly amazing talents that is yet to be discovered.

BruthaMan on September 26, 2011 at 8:41 PM

I can say “black tie” just like the dude from ZZ Top.

JammieWearingFool on September 26, 2011 at 8:41 PM

OK…I stand corrected. Javier is Eddie Vedder.

That’s just astonishing.

Jaibones on September 26, 2011 at 8:41 PM

It would help if I posted the link, doh!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CgyB8zZMBnM

BruthaMan on September 26, 2011 at 8:41 PM

Slublog on September 26, 2011 at 7:48 PM

Manna burgers! One of my favorites from Keith :)

Martel’s cover is good, too!

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on September 26, 2011 at 8:43 PM

BobMbx on September 26, 2011 at 7:13 PM

Well done.

Jaibones on September 26, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Anybody who sings over a guitar solo should be shot.

Mark1971 on September 26, 2011 at 6:59 PM

D’ja ever stop to think for just a sec that the reason he did that was to prove it wasn’t just another Milli Vanilli moment caught on the innernets?

Nah…

UncleOlaf on September 26, 2011 at 8:44 PM

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on September 26, 2011 at 8:43 PM

You seem harmless enough, Aslan’s Girl, but I really must say that I’ll never get used to your -Aslan’s Girl/Alsan’s Girl schtick.

- Jaibones on September 25, 2011 at 8:44 PM

Jaibones on September 26, 2011 at 8:45 PM

If you’re really into vocalists who sound like rock stars, the #1 guy is Arnel Pineda of Journey. For those who haven’t heard of him, here you go…

http://tiny.cc/g4tqk

joejm65 on September 26, 2011 at 7:05 PM

Arnel is great, & his story is even more compelling! Unfortunately, from what I hear, he’s no longer with Journey. Or am I wrong…?

itsnotaboutme on September 26, 2011 at 8:49 PM

The Freddy guy’s singing gave me the chills. I just finished listening to a live version of this song by Mercury the other day. Man, what a loss for the world when he died. This guy brings it all back for me.

Dandapani on September 26, 2011 at 8:56 PM

He does Pavarotti too.

keep the change on September 26, 2011 at 8:38 PM

I’ve heard him sing “Nessun Dorma” and while he does a crdible job, he’s no Pavarotti. Now if Martel could sing “La Donna e Mobile”, maybe.
I have seen both in person. By the time I saw Pavarotti, he had lost some of his voice but he could still project to the back row of the balcony with no problem and no mike. They had some technical difficulties and the sound went down briefly. I felt like the whole concert hall was vibrating when he kept on singing. It’s the only ticket I was willing to pay more than $100 for.

Deanna on September 26, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Deanna on September 26, 2011 at 9:14 PM

Ahhhh, Pavorotti; simply the best. Jealous you got to see him live!

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on September 26, 2011 at 9:17 PM

Wow. I’ve heard many rock stars try to sing Queen songs, and they all fail. I used to say nobody can sing like Freddy Mercury, but that guy did a great job. Better than the pros.

p40tiger on September 26, 2011 at 9:22 PM

Except Freddie Mercury was awesome and Eddie Vedder sucks.

Jim Treacher on September 26, 2011 at 7:28 PM

Everything about Freddie was magical except that for the way he died. Seriously, how many people do you know who have a full Zoroastrian funeral??!! I thought the South American Eddie Vedder actually sounded much better than the real thing. His voice was sweeter and more mellow.

cynccook on September 26, 2011 at 10:05 PM

I read somewhere that a sign of real talent is the ability to mimic several different styles/singers.

Blake on September 26, 2011 at 10:14 PM

The problem with mimicking is that you’re already putting a veneer of control in your voice that goes against honest emotional and artistic expression.

John the Libertarian on September 26, 2011 at 10:43 PM

If you played me audio from the first vid and asked me if it was the real Freddie Mercury or an impostor, I might guess impostor.

If you look at his face, he looks related to Freddie. Just add a mustache.

ChuckTX on September 26, 2011 at 10:46 PM

Great voice but I couldn’t get past him singing over the guitar solo. Brian May is such an awesome guitarist, one of the lucky few to provoke words of approval from the late great Frank Zappa, the ultimate accolade. I love his tone. “This is the guitar solo” – oh my actual god I wanted to throttle him.

Sharke on September 26, 2011 at 10:51 PM

O.k. The people who think that guy sounds exactly like Vedder have obviously not listened to much Pearl Jam. He sounds similar but it is not that close.

The Notorious G.O.P on September 26, 2011 at 10:51 PM

If you look at his face, he looks related to Freddie. Just add a mustache.

ChuckTX on September 26, 2011 at 10:46 PM

Yes he does have the cheeks and jaw of FM.

Sharke on September 26, 2011 at 10:51 PM

Actually he sounds more like Scott Staap than Eddie Vedder.

The Notorious G.O.P on September 26, 2011 at 10:52 PM

These are awesome…thanks. Isn’t this how Journey found their Asian lead singer? He sounded like Steve Perry?

There’s a Korean guy on YouTube who sounds like Steelheart’s lead singer. Hitting those vocals is quite tough.

jediwebdude on September 27, 2011 at 12:35 AM

I just found Martel doing Nessun Dorma (my favorite aria of all time)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FNMZfFPLoKg&feature=related

I had no idea what fun Martel had on youtube… wow!

-Aslan’s Girl

Aslans Girl on September 26, 2011 at 7:46 PM

Wow is right! I was a vocal performance major in college before I decided I wanted to have a life, and as a trained singer, I give this guy two thumbs up! He has an incredible voice, and unbelievable control of it. Thanks for the link!

Susanboo on September 27, 2011 at 12:55 AM

Not that he’s bad, but the Mercury guy sounds at best like Freddie if he had been up for 30 hours straight and drained of his trademark vocal enthusiasm (and maybe half an octave). There’s a place for the understated, but a Freddie Mercury impression ain’t it.

But yeah, Mr. Vedder has a potential replacement on the oldies circuit now….

calbear on September 27, 2011 at 1:05 AM

Marc Martel ROCKS. Downhere, his band, ROCKS! Martel’s voice is not really a put-on. He sounds like Freddie Mercury in the Downhere songs too. He has great pipes. BTW, his interrupting the guitar solo was just a way of vamping Freddie Mercuryisms in his audition. Totally fair, although I do agree that Brian May’s guitar solos are masterpieces in their own right. Did you know that May also got a PhD in astrophysics? He built his own guitar, and nicknamed it the fireplace?

kscheuller on September 27, 2011 at 2:37 AM

That second guy was awesome–I love Pearl Jam

RedSoxNation on September 27, 2011 at 8:08 AM

Second guy is good but I have heard a lot more better Eddie Vedder impersonations than that.

The Notorious G.O.P on September 26, 2011 at 6:49 PM

Bullshiiiiiiit.

You-Eh-Vee on September 27, 2011 at 9:36 AM

The Queen guy is slightly different, but very close.

The Vedder guy – oh my – it’s sooooooo close, it would actually be hard to tell on a recording.

cktheman on September 27, 2011 at 10:03 AM

kscheuller on September 27, 2011 at 2:37 AM

Not to take away from your justified praise of Brian May, but his guitar is the “Red Special.” I got to see it up close at a behind the scenes thing when Queen and PR originally came to the states for 2 shows. Pretty dang remarkable!! And that original guitar he and his dad built is still rocking and sounds great today.

Free Indeed on September 27, 2011 at 11:18 AM

Actually, it’s primarily known as the “Red Special,” but is also known as “The Fireplace” because the fret was built using part of his dad’s actual fireplace. Incredible guitar.:

http://www.brianmay.com/brian/mags&press/guitaroct99/guitaroct99.html

kscheuller on September 29, 2011 at 11:16 PM