The Australian Pink Floyd Show are one of the very few tribute acts in the world that have somehow seemed to move away from that genre and even though playing another bands music have turned into a band in their own right with a massive following around the world.
Not for these guys the local pub or small hall instead they can be found playing and selling out major venues and even arenas, they are adored by Pink Floyd fans everywhere and even get respect from members of the band, I particularly like the quote by Floyd drummer Nick Mason which says it all “Very good, probably better than we are,”.
This two and a half hour release available on both DVD and Blu-ray was recorded on the bands 2012 ‘Exposed In the Light’ European tour, not from one show but at various venues on this mammoth trek.
In the accompanying booklet which also includes a fantastic selection of photos by the official tour photographer the band acknowledge that this release is not a Hollywood style concert recording but simply a story of the tour, and it tells that story very well and with some style.
Rather than many concert DVD’s which have the stage footage as the main feature and backstage/interview material available as extras this has the extra material intermingled so that a live number is followed by backstage stuff then the next number and so on throughout it’s length.
For me this works really well as sometimes just watching an hour or so of extra footage on it’s own can drag a little but with this style you really see piece by piece how a top show is put together.
Filmed in classy black and white not a lot is left out of the backstage material which includes - on the music side - interviews/chats with each member of the band and the sound engineer plus footage of the guitar/drum techs in action, the practical joke constantly played on the new drum tech relating to the gong is a diamond.
Away from the music side everything else is also covered documentary fashion including back stage catering, press interviews/photo shoots, issues with the laser show and how the band spend their time before gigs and also how they unwind after.
With all this extensive extra footage you get the impression and a full picture of what great guys and girls make up this band (drummer Paul Bonney particularly comes over as a real character) and if you pardon the pun shows them all in a great light.
On to the music/concert footage itself, both sound and picture quality well up to standard for this type of release and right from the off with powerful opening number ‘In the Flesh?’ (great choice of first number) you can see both the huge scale of the stage production with the banks of blinding lights and the huge back projection screen while also hearing the quality of the bands musicianship.
There are a couple of numbers in tribute to Syd Barrett on offer in this set including a spot on ‘Astronomy Domine’ with blazing red lights and hypnotic kaleidoscope patterns whirling around on the back screen until the mood changes during the slower keyboard (stunning display by Jason Sawford) and guitar segment when the stage is bathed in blue light.
The band perform music from the entire length of the Pink Floyd catalogue all with the same skill and obvious love of this great band, also impressed with the fact that apart from lead vocalist Alex other members of the band also take lead vocals at times.
As my personal Floyd favourite I paid great attention to their performance of ‘Take it Back’ and boy do they do it justice, lead vocalist Alex McNamara’s vocals full of power and emotion superbly backed up by the three backing vocalists while the impressive laser display really enhances the spectacle.
The atmospheric ‘Set the Controls For the Heart of the Sun’ is back to the early Floyd years and includes a stunning sax solo by the eccentric Mike Kidson wearing one of his multitude of weird and wonderful hats.
Another of my personal favourites ‘High Hopes’ is magnificently performed and the back screen imagery is particularly strong, the slide guitar work is also wonderful, ‘Sheep’ really rocks and the first visit to ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ with ‘Time/Breath Reprise’ is stunning, as with everything on the DVD played to perfection and this number has the laser show firing on all cylinders also I love the clever Australian re boot of the classic DSOTM album cover.
Staying on the ‘moon’ ‘The Great Gig in the Sky’, as always the time for the backing singers to shine and take the lead and Emily,Lara and Lorelei take their solo spots in spectacular style, a change of pace next with the powerful, angry, political ‘Pigs’ which included a fantastic talkbox performance by Steve Mac.
A special mention for the fabulous cartoon imagery that accompanied ‘The Fletcher Memorial Home’, which was followed by the return of the lasers and also this time spectacularly lit front stage light boxes for ‘Keep Talking’.
‘Us and Them’ is beautiful, tranquil with breathtaking saxophone work and was followed in a complete change of pace by the full on wall of sound that is ‘One of These Days’ the stirring bass lines played to perfection by Colin Wilson and the spectacular light show was reminiscent of ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’ and what a touch the introduction of a gigantic pink bouncing kangaroo makes (even takes a bow at the end !).
The closing number could not really be anything else as a spectacular ‘Comfortably Numb’ brings the DVD to a close with the classic guitar solos perfectly executed by Steve Mac and David Domminey Fowler.
Closing credits are shown over speeded up footage of the huge stage set up being dismantled ending one of the best concert DVD’s I have seen, live footage fabulous, back stage material informative, humorous and – like the gig’s themselves – well shot, this really tells the story of a tour.
Review by Andrew Lock
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