“One of these days, I’m going to cut you into little pieces!”
One of These Days, Meddle, 1971
The above quote is what that crazy/terrifying voice is trying to tell you about half-way through Pink Floyd’s 1971 song One of These Days.
Ohh, Pink Floyd: how you scare us!
But seriously….I saw Australian Pink Floyd re-create a Pink Floyd show at the Agganis Arena last week, and quiete frankly, it rocked.
Thing is: I started writing last Friday, had scheduling conflicts for about 8 days straight which kept me from finishing, then my internet stopped working two days ago, so here I am, at the tail end of my lunch break at work, writing this Preface, if you can call it that. I think I’m going to publish this, and then tinker with it later, cause it ain’t perfect, but I want to get it out there.
So turn on your dark lamps everyone….the shows about to Begin.
I saw Australian Pink Floyd this past week; they were great. They started off with a complete cover of Dark Side of the Moon, synced note for note with their light/video show.
During this day and age, it seems to go without saying: if you see a Pink Floyd cover show (because they don’t do shows anymore, because they hate each other), Dark Side of the Moon needs to be played, at some point, in its entirety. Some people may think this is a bad thing, seeing as it is somewhat cliched and contrived; I see it as a good thing, seeing as it is a freaking masterpiece. When Roger Waters toured earlier this year, they started off the show with other stuff, then played Dark Side about halfway through; Australian Pink Floyd decided to kick it off with a bang; I thought it was pretty cool.
There’s really not much to even say about this part of the show: it was tremendous. If you know the album well, you can only imagine how good it was.
Following this they took about a half hour show, and then ripped for the rest of the night.
Memorable songs included Shine on You Crazy Diamond (parts 1 and 2….part 1 kicked off the second part of the show), Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun (an oldie from their second album, A Saucerful of Secrets, 1968), One of These Days (absolutely unreal f**king version of this…..not only was it about 8 minutes long, but a giant, inflatable kangaroo came out to dance on stage….yes, you read that right), Another Brick in the Wall (complete with a fake helicopter and search light scanning the crowd), some really great material from The Wall, Wish You Were Here, an absolutely explosive version of Comfortably Numb (this version was about 15 minutes long, and was capped off when a gigantic disco ball descended from the ceiling), and a ripping version of Run Like Hell to finish off the encore (I usually don’t even like this song, but it was terrific, complete with the artists asking everyone, “Is anyone out there paranoid? Does anyone think they’re being followed? Run…..Run Like Hell!!!!).
Yes, I thought this show was terrific. My companion wasn’t as impressed; I got the tickets free through work, and he was a little upset, for a couple reasons: people wouldn’t stop filming/taking photos with their cellphones (yes, this is a very annoying new phenomenon we’re seeing at concerts…..but while it bothers me, it bothered my friend much more); the crowd was lame (yes, the crowd was lame….located in the Agganis Arena, B.U. security was all over the place, and the crowd in genreral was fairly old; there wasn’t much energy); and he claimed that there was “too much rock.”
A few notes on his criticism: while the cellphones and crowd were a little lame, the band had nothing to do with this. Nothing. While it would have been better to be surrounded by a wild crowd of mangly hippies, I didn’t let anyone around me ruin the performance.
As for my friend’s statement claiming that there was too much rock, here’s my rebuttal: Pink Floyd has a lot of acoustic stuff in their archives, notably on the albums Meddle, 1971 (my favorite Pink Floyd album) and The Wall, 1979, but as a cover band doing as much varied Floyd stuff as possible over the span of three hours, I don’t really think there’s a point to delve into a lot of acoustic stuff. They played a couple acoustics from The Wall; they played Wish You Here; there was some melodic stuff on Dark Side.
If they were playing all underground Floyd stuff, then I would have expected more, but for what they were doing, I thought it was fine.
As for my thoughts on how the show could have been better: I would have liked to have heard just a couple more of the old songs. Just a couple. They played Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, which was great, but if they could have thrown in just one or two more (like say Astonomy Domine, or maybe even Careful With That Axe, Eugene), that would have been awesome. They did play One of These Days, which I consider to be old (anything pre-Dark Side should be considered old), and they played it great. So I can’t really complain….but that is something I would have liked.
I also expected them to play Welcome To The Machine, from Wish You Here (1975), and really wanted them to play it. Oh Well.
And ofcourse, the greatest Pink Floyd song of all-time, Echoes, from Meddle, wasn’t played. But seeing as it is about a half-hour long, once again, I can’t complain.
But honestly….these are all nitpicks. You can only nitpick so much.
Growing up, I had a strange understanding of Pink Floyd. They were famous for singing a song about a wall and children being picked on by teachers, and having the children sing the chorus. They were famous for having an album of continuous music which I didn’t really understand. They were famous for being weird.
But more than anything…..they were famous for their extravagent light shows at concerts. I remember being at a barbeque as a little kid, and one of my mom’s friends saying something like, “Wow, that’s just a like a Pink Floyd light show.”
I didn’t really understand it, but I started looking into it (as much as a thirteen year old without internet could), and came to the following conclusion: not only did Pink Floyd play music at their concerts, they had extravagent lightshows, which people seemed to enjoy with equal enthuisiasm.
And so, many years later, as I was preparing to watch the closest thing I will ever see resembling a live Pink Floyd show, the following thought crossed my mind: how will the light show be?
The answer: the light show was awesome. There was also video to go with the show, and as mentioned above, some inflatables and a disco ball. There’s no way to really describe it, except to say that it rocked. My words will do it no justice.
And so I’ve finally finished this review of this concert. People have already started commenting, as you can see below; hopefully, now that I’ve finished, ya’ll can give me some more feedback.
Before I go, I will give the following grades: my hypothetical grades, had I been alive to see the real Pink Floyd in 1975, and my real grades, for the Australian Pink Floyd show I just saw. I include the original show as a control: since I’ve never seen Pink Floyd, I really don’t know what I’m talking about, so I can’t honestly grade them without first imagining what it would have been like to see Pink Floyd:
Real Pink Floyd Show:
Pink Floyd at The Boston Garden, 1975 (I don’t know if they were touring at the time, but bear with me here):
Music Quality: A+
Music Selection: A (I would imagine them to play stuff from their new album, Wish You Were Here, and to delve into a healthy amount of their other stuff. Seeing as the The Wall won’t come out for four years, we won’t hear anything from this era.)
Light Show Quality: A+
General Atmosphere: A++ (the amount of crazy people at a Pink Floyd show in the mid-Seventies would be probably be substantial. Crazy people make for great concert companions.)
Food: C+ I don’t know what the Garden served in ’75, but it was probably worse than what they served in the ’80s and early ’90s, which wasn’t great.
Overall Grade: A
Australian Pink Floyd at the Agganis Arena, 2007:
Music Quality: A (I can’t give them an A+ for some reason, but they certainly ripped, so they deserve and A).
Music Selection: B+ ( I wished they played more old stuff. They played some stuff from The Division Bell era that we didn’t need to hear. But they kept it to a minimum, they played what we needed to hear, and they did just enough to keep the die-hards happy [barely]).
Light Show Quality: A++ I never saw an actual Pink Floyd light show, but we’ve come a long way in the technology department…..I think we got the 1975 light technicians beat.
General Atmosphere: D+ It most certainly deserved a D, but here’s why I gave it the plus: it didn’t hamper how I viewed the show. Yes, a wild crowd would have made the experience better; but the crowd at Agganis didn’t take away from my experience. My friend, as stated below, doesn’t feel the same way: if he was grading, he’d probably give them the always feared “Red F” that all the kids talked about in the 1st grade (What was a ‘red F’? Was it just a F-, written in red ink? Is there such a thing as a F-? These are questions I dwell on sometimes…but not often.) But, seeing as I’m the teacher here, they get a D+.
Food: Incomplete: I bought sweet potato fries, but accidentally left them at the counter.
My final grade: A- They did a great job covering Pink Floyd….I recommend them.
Until Next Time,