Pink Floyd Experience April 2, 2011
Pink Floyd Experience: Very Close to the Real Animal
By Glen Creason
Cover bands may always be the source of hipster and hater ire since they are not the original of whoever they cover. Even if that “whoever” is dead and gone or refuses to perform the popular music there are always those who hold their breath waiting for the return of their heroes. In some cases that will be a long wait and often the actual hearing the music performed live is the greatest compliment to the artists who are not willing or able to do the same anymore. So, there will always be skepticism about such groups and the
The key to the success of “the Pink Floyd Experience” who performed a dozen gems from the 1970’s songbook was the fact that these guys are terrific musicians who really seem to worship the tunes they brought back to live life. On this night it was a spirited send-up of “Animals,” the strangely appropriate concept album of 1977 and some greatest hits that were presented in a colorful river of sound accompanied by an old-fashioned psychedelic light show and multi-media extravaganza that took you back to the carefree days of your misspent youth. Considering the current struggles between labor and big capital the album Animals makes perfect sense but most in the Cerritos crowd seems to be focusing on the lush organ platform, the huge baselines, a truly exceptional drummer, the occasional wild sax outer voyages and at the center the wondrous guitar solos once played by the incomparable David Gilmour.
Actually it is fair to say the Gilmour may be incomparable but the playing of Tom Quinn of “the experience” was absolutely astounding and created a Pink Floyd reality that made the show all about music and not memory. Quinn is the star here but the others in this band are excellent: John Cox on keyboards, Gus Beaudoin on a really big bass, Howard Pattow on difficult vocals, young Jesse Malloy on saxophone and John Staten, one of the best drummers heard in this hall in any show. The technical folks made the hall a changing, multi-colored phantasmagoria but the music was just a full, flowing river of sound, curving around the hall and sometimes raging to high points that made you completely forget what year it was and who was playing what. There was also a gigantic, inflated pig floating above the sometimes mind-boggled crowd that punctuated the three Pigs songs of the Animals set. There was more treats in the second half including “Money,” “Run Like Hell,” “Comfortably Numb,” “Brain Damage,” and even a brick from “the Wall.” All in all, the “ Pink Floyd Experience” did Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright, Nick Mason and even Syd Barrett proud.