It would be fair to say that my all-time favorite band is Pink Floyd. I’ve been listening to them ever since my friend Kourt introduced me to them via the album A Momentary Lapse of Reason while on a trip to Galveston with his family. While I admit I tend to like the newer stuff more than the older stuff (and I don’t have any albums before The Dark Side of the Moon), it’s still all some of my favorite stuff. I even had the movie Pink Floyd – The Wall on VHS, and wish the movie was out on Blu-Ray.
That being said, one of my greatest regrets was not seeing the band live in concert. The one time I knew of that they came into town for a concert when I knew about them and liked them was when they toured for The Division Bell, and not only did I not know they were coming into town until it was too late, I wasn’t much of a concert-goer and I didn’t feel comfortable asking anyone to go with me.
Since then, I’ve had the opportunity to do the next best thing twice. Last year, Roger Waters came into town for his The Wall Live concert tour, which was essentially his performing the entirety of The Wall. It was an incredible show, complete with an actual wall being built during the show, projection and laser effects, and the like. Not only was I impressed, so was Jennifer, who wasn’t familiar with Pink Floyd’s work and wasn’t sure she would like the concert.
As much as I liked the show, though, I kind of wished that I could see a performance containing more of Pink Floyd’s catalog. That wish came through on Tuesday, when Brit Floyd came to town.
Brit Floyd is a tribute band for Pink Floyd, with a stage presence that is almost exactly like the original band’s, complete with the round projection screen above them. Jennifer and I had seen their performance at Red Rocks on our local PBS station, so when they announced they were coming to Houston we decided to go ahead and get tickets.
So, how was the show? In a word: AWESOME.
The musicians were all extremely good at what they did, and the singers (Ian Cantell and band leader Damian Darlington) sounded so close to David Gilmour and Roger Waters it was eerie. They literally played at least one song from all of their studio albums, including what I thought were less popular songs like “Sorrow” (from A Momentary Lapse of Reason) and “High Hopes” (from The Division Bell). They covered all of the big hits as well, with the biggest highlight being their performance of “Comfortably Numb” at the very end. For “Comfortably Numb”, they even had a small “hotel room” set, with Cantell acting as the doctor and the percussionist acting like the patient. The widescreen TV in the set was even playing the “Comfortably Numb” scene from the movie. :-)
It was one little detail that made me truly appreciate their dedication to Pink Floyd’s music, however. When performing the song “One of These Days” live, Pink Floyd would add the first few notes from the Doctor Who theme song somewhere during the middle. Brit Floyd did the exact same thing, at the exact same spot. :-)
The most telling reaction, however, came from Jennifer. She had gone into the show with no expectations, not really knowing Pink Floyd’s music. By the end, she had REALLY enjoyed the performance, and wanted to listen to some of their earlier albums. :-)
All in all, it was a wonderful show, and Jennifer and I definitely want to catch them next time they come through town. They may not be the original Pink Floyd, but given how good they are at the music and how much attention and care to detail they give towards the source material, they’re definitely the next best thing. :-)