Childhood’s End, The Uptown Theatre in Utica on 4/20

The Uptown Theatre, in the midst of a large remodel, hosted Central New York’s own Childhood’s End for a celebration of 4/20. For most, it’s just like any other day, but for some it’s a holiday, one seemingly dedicated to smoking weed and if you’re lucky, listening to music. The crowd at the Uptown appeared to be down for both.

Photo by Sandra Jackson for Sublunar Studios/Visual Design

I arrived early and immediately noticed that many people were sitting down and the open section in the front was fairly empty. People did not seem to be there to dance but to get elevated a bit and expand their minds. A departure from ‘normal’ concerts for sure, but I completely understood and took a seat with the rest of the crowd.

Childhood’s End, in a nod to the day, started their show with a clip from many stoner’s favorite show, The Family Guy, in which Brian the family dog and Stewie the talking baby, tout the wonders of pot, specifically a “Bag of Weed” in a catchy Broadway style number. After which, they went on to dedicate the show to Storm Thorgerson, the artist behind several of Pink Floyd’s iconic album covers including Dark Side of the Moon and Wish You Were Here, who died earlier that week.

After opening with a few well-known tunes, including their namesake, the band broke out a David Gilmour solo tune that I wasn’t familiar with, “Murder”. Written about the death of John Lennon,  I found it to be both well placed, and well-played.

The addition of Jerry More on saxophone was a crucial one and punched up the band’s overall offering, allowing for a full sound in crowd favorites like “Money”, “Us and Them” and others. The band of course hit on many songs that elicited cheers and fist pumps from the not-so young crowd, who conveniently brought their Air Guitars.

Childhoods’ End show feels thoughtful and carefully planned, with attention to the lights as well as visuals. Semi-relevant movie clips (in the very best way possible) were played in time with their music and created an extra dimension for those looking to really expand their horizons. A truly multidimensional experience, and one that reflects dedication the original artist’s work, while still showing off the creativity and excellent musicianship of the band.

Setlist: 

Set 1: One Slip, Learning To Fly, Take It Back, Childhood’s End, Murder, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Wish You Were Here, Speak To Me, Breathe, Time, Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse

Set 2: Dogs, In The Flesh?, The Thin Ice, Another Brick In The Wall (Part 1), The Happiest Days Of Our Lives, Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2), Mother, Goodbye Blue Sky, Empty Spaces, Young Lust, One Of My Turns, Another Brick In The Wall (Part 3), Goodbye Cruel World, Hey You

Encore: Comfortably Numb, Run Like Hell