via – Brit Floyd
There is a clear distinction between cover and tribute bands. That group of dads who play the same set of 70s rock hits every Wednesday night at your local bar are a cover band. Brit Floyd, with a visual production set up that rivals the next arena tour to come through Montreal, are a tribute band. Last night, The World’s Greatest Pink Floyd Show came to The Bell Centre, before heading off to Quebec City tonight. One thing I can guarantee, all those dads in cover bands, had tickets to last night’s tribute show.
Pink Floyd are arguably the greatest rock band to come out of England in the 60s & 70s, and possibly the most influential group of all time. Unfortunately, the band will never reunite on stage again, leaving my generation forever wondering what the experimental soundscapes of The Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall or Wish You Were Here sound like live. Fortunately, Brit Floyd have taken it upon themselves to recreate these legendary performances so not only I can witness it for the first time, but also for older generations to reminisce on some of the best nights of their lives. The great thing about Brit Floyd is the emphasis they put on the music. With no screens projecting live videos of them performing, relatively dim lights on stage and no between songs banter, it’s clear Damian Darlington and his band want the spotlight on the music, not themselves. Once again, they are the ultimate tribute show.
Last night’s performance, a stop on Brit Floyd’s Space and Time Pt 2 Continuum World Tour, was split into two 75 minute sets, with a half hour intermission. No opening act needed, the six-man core band and their three backup singers played a mix of hits and deep tracks from Pink Floyd’s extensive back catalogue. Notable highlights include Wish You Were Here‘s 13-minute opening track “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)”, “Time” & “Money” off of The Dark Side of the Moon and “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2” from the 1979 classic The Wall. Each track was accompanied by an intricate light show and psychedelic visuals projected onto the stage’s rear screen. With long stretches of detailed instrumentation, it was easy to get lost in the guitar riffs, bass licks and drum solos.
The second set finished off with an amazing rendition of “Comfortably Numb”, before a two-song encore including my personal favourite “Wish You Were Here”. It’s clear the group’s musical director, Damian Darlington, has dedicated his life to paying respect to one of the world’s greatest bands. Trust me when I say, he has done a fine job doing so. Brit Floyd don’t just cover Pink Floyd songs. They embody Pink Floyd. From the music, to the stage production, there is no closer representation of the British rock group. If you’re a fan of Pink Floyd, progressive rock, or just all around great music, I highly suggest checking out Brit Floyd next time they’re in town. And, if you’ve seen them before, you don’t need me to tell you about the out of body feelings I had last night, because I’m sure you’ve experienced them yourself!
Watch Brit Floyd perform “Have a Cigar” from their Live in Amsterdam DVD, recorded last November