Went to a concert by a tribute band called The Pink Floyd Experience tonight. The show was fine, though I definitely did not feel that I had in ANY way “experienced” Pink Floyd.
Of course, the thing was hyped quite a bit on local radio for the past month or so. Now, you know that a tribute act is not going to be anything like the real thing…but the hack DJs who work for radio stations are very good at pretending otherwise. Specifically, they are very well schooled in pretending to share their own experiences with you, as if they’d seen the act or the real thing previously, etc, and whether it lived up.
Imagine dreaming of growing up to be a radio DJ, and just turning into a commercial hack pushing product! shudders!
Now, it isn’t like I don’t know better, but I still got taken in a bit, especially by promises of flying pigs, helicopters, etc. Here’s how it really went down:
First set: Pink songs from here and there, mostly popular or hit songs. Some twirling coloured lights like you’d see at ANY show, a little bit of smoke on the stage, and a video screen behind the band. Decent stereo sound, but nothing like the quadrophonic experience promised. Granted that we weren’t on the floor, but all I could make of the rear channels were the odd canned vocal bits through the read speakers, which really weren’t used to any spectacular effect. The song list worked its way into the Animals album towards the 20-minute intermission…
...Which had to have been over half an hour long. Too long to let an audience cool off – but then, I saw only a very few people in either set even stand up, let alone dance or groove out at all. Lots more Animals mixed with other tracks. The sound was very well mixed and a bit louder than the first set.
First encore: two or three tracks, and still nothing from The Wall. Still leaning on Animals.
Second encore: three tracks from The Wall. (You can guess which.) The audience finally stands up, though very few people in the bleacher seats; just the floor crowd. A big flying pig comes out during song two, with a nicely engineered pair of mini radio controlled helicopter rotors propelling it around. That must have been the helicopter!!!!! Because I never saw another one. So aside from the video screen, that was the only special effect.
It was also only about the third time the band in any way engaged the audience. They were technically very good. They were a far cry from being wooden men, but…they sure didn’t do much to get the crowd’s energy up, ever. That enthusiasm at the end was entirely due to the songs from The Wall…and honestly, it was much too long of a wait.
All in all, I’m just glad the tickets were only $40 each. And my girlfriend had a great time! The music was very good, and the technical support (lights, sounds, video, etc) was excellent. But not in any way a Pink Floyd “experience”. Not exactly boring, but a bit disappointing.
For comparison: last year’s ABBA tribute did a fantastic job of raising energy and putting on a show. Took me right back to the 70s. So it’s not like it can’t be done…
Looking forward to (the real) Motley Crue – now THAT should be a show, never mind the radio hype.