LYNN — Brit Floyd? A Pink Floyd cover band? Swell. That’s gonna be a lame waste of my time … WRONG!
Monday night, Brit Floyd wowed a close-to-packed house at Lynn Auditorium with a nearly three-hour immersion into all phases of the iconic band’s history, including the early spacey Syd Barrett years. I went expecting to be underwhelmed. Instead, I had the time of my life.
Is Brit Floyd the same as seeing the real thing? No, of course not. Don’t be daft. But the band — five musicians, three female vocalists — was sensational and the accompanying laser light show/ videos barrage was spectacular.
And let’s face it, Roger Waters, David Gilmour and the boys aren’t ever going to perform together again as Pink Floyd, let alone in a 2,100-seat venue like this.
Here’s the reason I enjoyed the show so much. Brit Floyd’s cover of “Brain Damage”/”Eclipse” brought me back to my youth, sitting under the black light in my bedroom, ripping the cellophane off of a new copy of “Dark Side of the Moon” and playing the record on my crappy stereo. Their version of “Wish You Were Here” transported me to the days music blared from the cassette player of my Ford Maverick.”Us and Them,” aided by baritone sax and also from “Dark Side,” brought to mind all the times my best bud and I saw the Floyd in concert, at the old Garden and Providence Civic Center, and Waters’ solo gigs at the Centrum, Great Woods and even a couple of years ago at the Newport Folk Festival.
That’s what makes music so special and important. It can surprise you, and bring you back to a specific time and place. It can even save your life.
Brit Floyd is powered by two killer guitarists, Damian Darlington and Edo Scordo (dressed in a black muscle T-shirt, the kind Waters favors these days), who split lead vocals and axe solos. The early focus was on 1994 album “The Division Bell,” a mostly Gilmour-Richard Wright effort conceived long after Waters jumped ship. That album’s “Cluster One,” a jarring instrumental, and “What Do You Want from Me” kicked things off in splendid fashion.
The pre-intermission set’s highlights were the three “Dark Side” tunes and better-knowns “Welcome to the Machine” and “Another Brick in the Wall Part 2.”
“Astronomy Domine,” the first song on the first Pink Floyd album, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” which, yikes, came out 50 years ago, started the second set in splendid psychedelic fashion. “Pigs on the Wing” and the explosive rocker “Dogs,” both from “Animals,” continued the momentum and led to the “Dark Side” four pack of “Time,” “Breathe,” “Money” and “The Great Gig in the Sky,” which featured astounding Joplin-like singing by Angela Cervantes that earned her a standing ovation and loud applause.
“Wish You Were Here,” “Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Parts VI-Vii)” and an insane “Comfortably Numb” that found the band cooking on all burners under an enormous disco ball were all glorious and immaculately played.
The groovy laser lights, which darted and hovered over the audience like the inflatable pig did at Floyd concerts back in the day, were blindingly impressive. The constant videos, different films on two screens, with a smaller circular one eclipsing a wall-sized back screen, were brilliantly conceived and executed by Bryan Kolupski. They supported the music (the “Dogs” video is remarkable) and added plenty to the show’s pleasure quotient.
I’d be remiss to not mention that the strong scent of pot in the venue could’ve knocked lightweights on their keister.
One should never go in expecting to see a second-rate show. Just a momentary lapse of reason on my part, I guess. This was one great gig in the Auditorium by one exceptional outfit. They’re at the Orpheum in Boston April 7; check ’em out.