The music of Pink Floyd has been described by many as timeless, emotional, epic, classic, genre defying, transcending and most important, immortal. They have an almost hypnotic mass appeal to so many generations separated by years and often decades. They’re one of the few bands mom, dad and the kids can all agree on, whether they’ll admit it or not. They’ve walked the line of being rock but not loud enough to hurt the ears but catchy, bluesy and soulful enough to appeal to almost everyone. No matter what level of fandom you’re at, you know a Pink Floyd song when you hear it.
By concept, visuals and most important outstanding, groundbreaking and pioneering musical precession they’ve stood the test of time and will continue influencing bands for years to come. You don’t see Pink Floyd, you experience them, you don’t listen to them, you feel them, playing right into your inner most senses. Signs of Life: The Essence of Pink Floyd brings their stadium show into the theater/club environment. Creating the intense sonic audio bombast, intense eye popping visuals and space age, atmospheric trippy lighting that made Pink Floyd one of the greatest bands to watch, and hear, ever. Lead vocalist, guitarist Jon Stankorb plays a mean David Gilmour, putting his own vocals on par with one of music’s most iconic voices. Bass and backing vocals John Hoerr puts the same galloping, haunting sound on the four strings as Roger Waters. Rich Biondo creates the extra guitar sound and ambiance. Atmosphere master Tom Bartel effortlessly takes the legendary sounds surrounding Gilmour, Barrett, Waters and Mason created by Richard Wright adding his own intuitive interpretation making all the moods happen on keys and effects. Tony Sager fills the drum kit nicely for the one original Floyd member that appeared on every album, Nick Mason. Saxist, percussion and vocalist Dan Barger makes Floyd sound just as saxy as the original boys did. Reyna Spears and Akilah Ruiz sing out the majestic heart and soul of the band.
Their third visit to the Gilly’s stage, they emerge to a packed house In The Flesh, ready and welcome to the show. Pink couldn’t make it tonight but you definitely get the next best thing. Helicopter effects fill the room. We don’t need no education, no thoughts controlled or dark sarcasm in the nightclub. Hey teacher, leave those fans alone. The acoustics debut, Mother do you think they’ll like this song? Mother can Pigs fly? There’s one on the Wing. Yes son, they accompany the Dogs of war….welcome my son, Welcome to the Machine! So… you think you can tell, heaven from hell? (For everyone that wasn’t there) Wish You Were Here. Next up is 14 minutes of audio bliss, Shine On. The show’s first half ends with the guitar grinding roar of Sorrow.
They return with the sole intention of Learning to Fly…. One of These days. After the edgy guitar work and audio aura they calm things down and get nice and mellow. The performance is a shared experience of everything that made Pink Floyd, Pink Floyd, just Us & Them. The somber tranquility is broken by the sensory shattering sounds of alarms, chimes and grandfather clocks followed by the slow dramatic guitar crunching buildup in Time. The beginning plucked acoustic almost whispering strings and moody bass of Hey You followed. Then cash registers clanged, receipts were made and coins poured as the Money flowed. Next we took a trip back to the early 90’s and hear the Division Bell. It’s been said that Pink Floyd’s music is the closest thing to hearing the voices and sounds of heaven, this could be true but for now we’re happy to take a trip into space with the lunatic in our head for some Brain Damage and an Eclipse on the Dark Side of the Moon. Signs of Life makes you Comfortably Numb in a good way. They end with the guitar echoing stadium encore pleaser Run Like Hell.
Formed in 2009, they authentically capture the Pink Floyd live experience. They don’t just play the songs, they’ve engineered a concert going experience paying tribute, showing respect and adding their own spin, touch and take on the classics. For two sets the audience is bathed in the shimmering glow of stage lights and stimulated by Floyd’esk screen visuals and symbolism. They’ve played to packed houses and won over the most die-hard and hard to impress fans to the most casual radio fan. Their accuracy to the material is near pin-point while making it just different enough keeping their own identity. For the most part they play different sets every show, sometimes playing big hits early, doing lesser known material from the early years at different times but keeping an even balance and respect of each era and what a Pink Floyd set-list would look like. There’s little talking besides band introduction. The performance is complete delivery and respect of the music. If any band deserved a tribute it’s definitely Pink Floyd. Stankorb says hearing the sounds Gilmour made come out of a guitar inspired him to do the same. They’re not just up there playing the songs with guitars, drums and keyboards. They have multiple instruments changes, bongo drums, sax, chimes and other odd instruments that make the show uniquely their own. They’re also working on idea’s for bigger props like the physical brick wall and inflatable characters to bring an even bigger show to the fans. Indeed this is The Essence of Pink Floyd.
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