I’ll open by saying that I’m at least glad I’m not one of those flaky chicks who sorta kinda loves everything all the time, ‘cuz for a minute there, I was pretty certain. I try not to call art and music and such “bad”, but rather “not to my taste” (exceptions include when people hang a solid color canvas and tell me that shit’s meaningful, and dub step, the majority of which makes me ragey and nauseous). Still, you can’t like everything, and well, this I didn’t like.
Pink Floyd’s always been on the peripheries of my awareness: people I know like ‘em, people who like some of the bands I like often like ‘em, but I never paid any attention beyond recognizing their biggest hits when I hear them. A while back it was determined that I simply had to hear Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety and how on Earth had I managed to go so long without hearing it? Well, I was nonplussed, but I maybe I don’t like concept albums. So, I was a fairly clean slate going into the show, and I was actually kinda hoping that I’d be impressed, maybe even so impressed that I’d pick up a T-shirt. I do like me some merch. It wasn’t long before I realized the plain fact: I don’t like Pink Floyd, and I can barely pretend that I do.
To be fair, these dudes are a cover band, albeit a cover band with a lighting tech and required gear to put the fun in funeral if necessary. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen such a great light show: what appeared to be simple beams splaying kaleidoscope rainbow stained glass in motion across the ideal architecture of Salle Sir Wilfred Peltier (still modern and distractingly gorgeous every time despite being designed in 1963) The sound, as to be expected, was also perfectly on point, which perhaps didn’t help, as I didn’t feel the musicians to be exceptional. Now, I’m totally throwing stones from my glass house, because I can’t play a lick of anything, but the last shows I saw being the grand Mr. Cohen, and the inspired brilliant freak show that is Vai, my ears are currently tuned, if I do say so. Minute musical complaints aside, I couldn’t help but think that maybe if these were their own songs, they would have mustered the passion to make it compelling.
And then of course there were the little movies playing in time with the songs. I kind of knew what I was getting into here, but I was sorely disappointed by the lackluster animations and petty symbolism. Flowers penetrating each other are too close to a poignant blue canvas entitled “The Moment In Between The Breaths of Angels” or some nonsense on the scale of petty things wrapped in meaningful ribbons. I asked my Official Music Man about the vids: why not use the full force of modern technology? Why not make it all that it could be? They’re the originals, plain and simple, and they stand as they stand, no room for criticism (I’ve advised him not to read this piece, by the by). Really, the movies smacked of straight laced tweens thinking they’re high on placebos and really looking at their hands, man. And I will not accept the argument that it was cutting edge for the time, because though Floyd was formed in 1965, their big hits came out starting with Dark Side of the Moon in 1973. For those who may not remember the good ol’ 19s, , that was the year Jim Morrison died, Jimi Hendrix met the Foxy Lady in the Sky the year prior, and Janis Joplin had been dead for 3 years. Woodstock was old news, LSD was already passe, the Haight-Ashbury had lost its lustre, psychedelia had had its say, and I just don’t get what Pink Floyd brought to that table.
It reminds me of those kids in high school who were totally anti-drug and made fun of the pot kids (once again, back in the 19s) until right at the end of high school they decided drugs were just the coolest, and made loud, grand gestures of inebriation to be assured that everyone was aware just how very high they were while we rolled our eyes, sober and over it. In my heart of heart, this feels like that. Still, art is subjective, so I will say I simply don’t get Floyd.
The crowd dug it like crazy, screaming, and giving ovations of the standing variety, and I felt left out like the last kid to the bus, trying hard to get on this ride with them, and then finally, tired of chasing the impossible, giving in to pout alone by the curb. I did Sun Salutations in my head, and grabbed a quick nap, which was lovely; quite like falling asleep to CHOM when I was a kid.
All in all, I can’t hold my Floyd grudges against these Brit Floyd folks. They brought out a crowd with a pretty interesting age range, with a few millenials sticking out in the chic lobby in their toques, and it’s nice to see people still aim for cutting edge by looking back at what brought the edge to here in the first place. Kudos to those kids; may they keep digging, and may their discoveries bring them joy. People seemed to leave between satisfied and thrilled to bits, with my Official Music Man admitting to me that good though he thunk it, having seen Australian Pink Floyd twice, he deems the Aussies a better experience overall.
I’ll take his word for it; if the Aussies come to town, I’m making other plans.