Pink Floyd enthusiasts were treated to a fun night of music and visual displays Saturday night in Albany. The Australian Pink Floyd Show made a stop at the Palace Theater and put on a complete show filled with classic Pink Floyd songs that spanned their entire catalog. Along with a giant circular video monitor, laser light projections and backup singers, it made for a true theatrical experience. Writers Tim O’Shea and Pete Mason attended and each took something different from the show.
Review by Tim O’Shea
The show opened with the dark and brooding “In the Flesh” and instantly captured the audience’s attention. The early portion of the show included several selections from some of the later Pink Floyd albums. “Sorrow” from the album A Momentary Lapse of Reason was also well received. The band then shifted gears and went into one of the group’s earlier numbers with a stirring rendition of “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun”. Another first set highlight was “Pigs” which was performed flawlessly. After this, spotlights and that familiar helicopter sound led into the set closer of “Another Brick in the Wall” which also featured a giant inflatable “teacher” on stage which corresponded to the video being shown on stage.
The second set opened with the Syd Barrett tribute “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”. This was another song complemented beautifully by the video being shown which included some very early images of the band when Barrett was still included. The chiming of clocks that followed could only mean it was time for “Time”, followed by another song from the epic Dark Side of the Moon album with “Great Gig in the Sky”. This gave the three backup singers a chance to shine as each took their own approach to the classic vocal solo that ends the song. “Us and Them” was also played later in the set giving the audience a good sampling from this classic album.
Review by Pete Mason
What stood out about Australian Pink Floyd was the the fact that this was not a cover band, it was a true tribute band. The band not only had strong improvisational structure to songs with full jamming capabilities. But the key thing for me was that they featured a great deal of rarities and for once, a band playing Pink Floyd was not a greatest hits parade. Utilizing the full catalog, the band’s songs connected you with the four decades of Floyd, especially the songs that harken back to the emothional aftermath of World War Two that is intertwined throughout a number of their songs.
Opening up with “In the Flesh” is setting the bar high for the night with the ‘thrust you back into your seat’ power of this tune from The Wall. “Set the Controls” was a huge highlight, with the sun projected in various lenses behind the band as the ominous and dark song got into motion; with Halloween around the corner, this is true Haunted House music. “Pigs”, appropriately, showed political leaders with snouts and pig ears super imposed on their visages on the screen as the full song was played well enough that you could picture Battersea Power Station behind the band. But instead, we got the incredibly creepy/acid-visual of a giant teacher inflated on stage left behind the backup singers, perfect to bring in “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2“
The second set gave a nice tribute to the memory of Syd Barrett with a medley of photos and his musical compositions from the 1960s, followed by the apropos “Shine on you Crazy Diamond”. After a pair of tuned from Dark Side of the Moon, we were treated to two rarer songs, “What do you want from me” off 1994s’ The Division Bell and “The Fletcher Memorial Home” off 1983’s The Final Cut, each of which allowed the various singers in the band to showcase their chops and dipped back into the well of creepy for the visuals broadcast on the screen during “Fletcher”, a truly troubling tune, albiet one of Waters more introspective songs. With some more Dark Side songs, the highlight of the night was the off-setlist Interstellar Overdrive that featured a giant pink kangaroo that arose from nowhere, keeping the psychedelic aspect of Pink Floyd lasting beyond their years. Aussie Pink Floyd no doubt redefined tribute band for me this night, as well as gave a nice sampling of the four decades of Floyd.
Set 1: In the Flesh, Take it Back, Sorrow, Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, High Hopes, Pigs, Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
Set 2: Syd Barrett Medley, Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Time->Great Gig in the Sky, What do you Want From Me, The Fletcher Memorial Home, Us and Them, Wish You Were Here, Interstellar Overdrive, Comfortably Numb
E: Run like hell