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Review and photos by Frances SealyThere is no denying that progressive rock band, Pink Floyd, has left an indelible mark on 20th century rock music. Their albums like The Dark Side of the Moon and The Wall are examples of music that will go down in history as modern day classical music. Both albums became the best selling albums of all time. Even in Pink Floyd's heyday, planetariums in the United States successfully capitalized on using the band's recordings to present lavish light shows in dark auditoriums. The original five-member band is nonexistent today and very unlikely to ever tour or record together again as monumental differences between original founders Roger Waters and David Gilmour still burn today.
Reporting on tribute bands is not our normal practice and you tend to proceed with caution. Brit Floyd has proved to be an exceptionally powerful band worthy of review. Brit Floyd is Damian Darlington's band that splintered off of The Australian Pink Floyd Show in 2011. Darlington is a fine example of a multi-tasking musical director, guitarist including lap-steel guitar, and a singer.
The show started when the theatre was darkened and the video screen lighted up and the band took their position on stage. The familiar Pink Floyd sounds started and the audience was transported back in time. No one really noticed that this was not Pink Floyd. The music was impeccably reproduced live. It was stellar.
The vocals were not exact replicas of the Pink Floyd vocals, but they were close enough. Most important was the musical arrangements and guitars. David Gilmour's guitars were perfectly rendered. The original vocal on the wordless song, "The Great Gig in the Sky," was performed by Clare Torry. Emily Jollands performed the song with as many vocal histrionics as the original version. This garnered a well-deserved standing ovation. It was a jaw-dropping performance.
The songs in the set were a mix of pink Floyd songs that varied from the beginning of their career to the end. This is not a show to expect an album to be performed in its entirety. However, all of the fans favorite songs were done.
Equally mesmerizing was the videos and the light shows that accompanied the music. Lasers were used gingerly sliced through the crowd so as to not lose their effect. They appeared totally different in the balcony than on the floor. The crowd seemed to be aware of this and there was not an empty seat in the balcony. The visuals included Pink Floyd's iconic album covers, clips from original music videos, and animations from the past. Everything meshed very well together.
This two and one-half hour show was better than any planetarium presentation by a long shot. A live concert of the original band will probably never happen again. Brit Floyd is the next best alternative. This reviewer would go to see Brit Floyd again and again and...
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