By Chyrisse Tabone, Journalist and Mark Weaver, Photographer–Rock At Night Tampa Correspondents
Venue: Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Florida–June 24, 2016
First of all, I never had the pleasure of seeing Pink Floyd live—and I doubt a reunion will happen in my lifetime. I grew up with Dark Side of the Moon, Animals, and The Wall, as they were very popular in my childhood and teen years. So the obvious chance for me to relive those years was to see Brit Floyd—and boy, what a treat! Brit Floyd are likely the best “tribute band” in the world, if given a label–but more than that, they are performing note-by-note and recreating the stage atmosphere and drama in the vein of Pink Floyd so accurately one can close his/her eyes and time travel 40 years ago. Brit Floyd is maintaining the integrity and authenticity of what may essentially be deemed as modern classical music since much of albums have central themes and movements.
Brit Floyd performed at the Space and Time Part 2 Continuum World Tour 2016 at Ruth Eckerd Hall, Clearwater, Florida on June 24, 2016 to a totally packed crowd—every seat from floor to balcony was filled with Baby Boomers and Generation X’ers who came to experience the music of Pink Floyd in all its glory.
The nine-member band dressed in black attire played every little nuance with synths, keyboards, saxophone, drums, bass, steel pedal guitar, and even congas. Three marvelous female vocalists rounded out the sound to its full accuracy, with harmonies that were breathtaking. A full round lighting platform, similar to the original Pink Floyd set-up, was a focus as lights, laser, and videos were appropriately placed as a backdrop.
The evening’s music consisted of two sets with songs introduced in the video by year (1973-1994). Set 1 started the evening with “Signs of Life” and showed videos through the round “port hole” screen such as 1960s space launches, water droplets, sea grasses, and microbes. The band worked its way through time, bouncing between music from The Division Bell (“High Hopes”) to several parts of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” from Wish You Were Here and a personal favorite “Us and Them” from Dark Side of the Moon. There were plenty of lights flashing and visuals on the stage to enhance the listening experience without being over the top.
A highlight of the Set 1 was “The Happiest Days of Our Lives” with the helicopter blaring and cartoon videos of the psycho school master and robotic students, later segueing into “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2”. The entire audience was singing the lyrics and I was time-traveling to my youth and thinking about how the meaning behind the lyrics have even more relevance today. Also, the song “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” was especially well-received, featured a giant inflatable pig, and even had nuances down to the cow bell and talk box. Lots of strobe lights and extra-sensory effects made the experience even more enjoyable.
Set 2 of the concert continued with more pleasing visual and aural delights such as spooky dry ice, psychedelic videos, and laser lights of various configurations beaming overhead—so much that it felt like I was riding on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (my favorite ride at Disney, so this is a compliment).
A couple of highlights of Set 2 included the songs “Time”, “Money”, and a killer solo by vocalist Angela Cervantes during “The Great Gig in the Sky”, earning her a standing ovation. By the end of Set 2, the audience was so engulfed by the music and experience, many women were holding palms up, as if in a church service—praising and singing the words to “Comfortably Numb”.
Rounding out the evening was “Wish You Were Here” and “Run Like Hell” as encore choices. I am sure that every Pink Floyd fan who never got to see the band in its prime—or even those that did—would thoroughly enjoy seeing Brit Floyd. Rock At Night says “highly recommended”.
Signs of Life
Learning to Fly
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-V)
Us and Them
The Happiest Days of Our Lives
Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Yet Another Movie
Round and Around
One of These Days
The Great Gig in the Sky
With You Were Here
Run Like Hell
Damian Darlington-guitar, vocals, musical director
Rob Stringer-keyboards, vocals
Ian Cattell-bass guitar, vocals
Edo Scordo-guitar, vocals
Thomas Ashbrook-keyboards, vocals