The Australian Pink Floyd Show offer such a meticulous recreation of the progressive rock behemoths in concert that they were famously invited to play the 50th birthday party of David Gilmour, who at the time was the lead guitarist and singer for Pink Floyd in real life.
Set aside for the moment all that this implies (although if you opt to hire someone to impersonate you at your next shindig, at least give credit for the idea), and you get some idea of how good this band has become at mimicking the Floyd over nearly three decades.
The members of Pink Floyd were some of the great shrinking violets of rock, rarely appearing on their own album covers and preferring relative anonymity onstage while their lights, props, films, and wildly meticulous sound did the speaking for them. APFS capitalize on this with a show that in some ways might as well be Pink Floyd, which in its latter incarnations from the late 1980s into the 1990s (the period this tribute reproduces) was such a well-oiled touring machine that their shows resembled multi-media spectacles rather than unpredictable Dionysian hootenannies.
And here’s the thing—while the two Pink Floyd shows I saw in back-to-back nights in California in 1987 were absolutely identical, down to the patter to the audience between songs, the band sounded absolutely exquisite. Once they dispensed with the inferior new album they were flogging at the time and launched into a series of classics, that Bay Area basketball arena absolutely exploded.
Dwindling creative fortunes, outlandish acrimony, age and death have ensured that Pink Floyd, one of the handful of greatest bands of its time, is no more—and in any case, the last time they played here was in 1994 (not counting tours by estranged member Roger Waters, recounting the history of which would be akin to sorting out a multi-decade Medieval grudge). Here’s a chance to hear some of that legendary sound—and wonder whether, a hundred years from now, bands might be touring the world reproducing the experience of centuries gone by (like our friends at Orchestra Hall).
The Australian Pink Floyd show performs at the State Theatre September 8, 2016. Tickets and info here.