Aside from hearing an occasional Pink Floyd song on the radio, my most memorable experience with their music was when a group of middle school classmates played "The Wall" at a school talent show.
Immediately after the show ended, I technically still hadn't heard the iconic progressive rock album itself, but it sure felt like I had. Saturday night's rendition was as close to the actual album as I imagine anything could possibly be.
To call Classic Albums Live a cover band would be, at the very least, misleading, and might even border on offensive. The intensity and passion for perfection that they bring to their performance of a classic album is clear from the first note to the last. They're not interested in bringing the audience their interpretation of the artists whose music they play. Their goal is to offer a sound that is identical to the album itself. Judging by the audience's reaction, they succeeded.
Dressed in all black and set against a black curtain, it was clear that this performance wasn't about the musicians, but rather about the music itself. From the guitar solos to the sound effects that are prominent throughout "Dark Side of the Moon," every sound and every note was captured flawlessly by the diverse and multitalented band members.
Classic Albums Live was almost businesslike in their approach to their show. There was some acknowledgement of the crowd's cheers between songs, but it seemed far more humble than most rock performances.
After going home and listening to the original album, it was remarkable to hear how closely Classic Albums Live was able to replicate what I was hearing. From the guitar solos to the special effects, it was as if they were channeling the members of Pink Floyd themselves, or had somehow gotten an inside look at their studio recording to match all of the sounds to near perfection.
The cash register sounds at the beginning of "Money," played with wood blocks, maracas and tambourines, were spot on. The wailing vocal solo in "The Great Gig in the Sky" was delivered with the same energy and soulful skill as the original.
As the band finished up "Eclipse," the final song on the album, the crowd rose to their feet to offer a rousing ovation. The album of their youth clearly had a moving effect on them.
After completing the album, there was an intermission followed by a collection of Pink Floyd's greatest hits. Despite my relative ignorance, these songs were much more familiar to me, including "The Wall," "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," "Wish You Were Here," and others.
The band seemed to loosen up a bit during the second half of the show, showing more emotion and seemingly feeling less of an obligation to deliver a precise re-creation of a specific album. They still maintained the quality and complexion one might expect from a Pink Floyd set, but were moving more with the music than they had done in the first half of the show.
During "Wish You Were Here," the crowd was nearly louder than the singer himself. After "Run Like Hell" was announced as the final song of the set, the crowd once again gave a standing ovation, this time lasting a couple minutes before the band came back on stage for an encore.
The encore was "Comfortably Numb," sending the crowd once again into a roaring ovation. In an interview prior to the show, group founder
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