LIVE: Pink Floyd Experience @ the Palace Theatre, 2/16/12

Review by Steve Nover

I’ve been a long-time fan of Pink Floyd, but the truth is there are only a few albums by them I love. I saw them twice before Roger Waters left and once after in 1988, and have resisted seeing tributes of them until last October 29, when the Australian Pink Floyd Show rocked the Palace Theatre. That concert and light show was so fine and loving a tribute that I could not help but use it for comparison when the Pink Floyd Experience landed at the Palace on Thurday, February 16.

PFX’s complete first set was my personal favorite album “Wish You Were Here,” and it was unsurprisingly the highlight of the whole night. I don’t wear a watch, but the album/cd clocks in at just over 44 minutes, so I’ll go out on a limb and say that’s how long the opening was.

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The theater was about half-full downstairs (I never ventured up) with about 90% male and to my eyes a lot of under 25 and over 40’s in attendance; but it was a week night and the band’s second visit in just under a year – plus the more recent APFS on a Saturday night. The band’s personnel was as you’d expect; rhythm section, bass, keyboards, two guitarists and a saxophonist who also played a small keyboard (as did one guitarist) along with percussion and backing vocals.

The second set was a good overview of Pink Floyd with one Syd Barrett song (“Astronomy Domine”), “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” (the screen behind the band could have been used more creatively, but on this song I liked the feeling of being on a spaceship going faster than the speed of light) and a short version of the 20-minute-plus “Echoes.” On “Money,” the saxophonist Jesse Molloy was the standout and on most of his solos he got more of a response from the crowd than any of the countless guitar solos. They also performed the post-Waters “Learning to Fly” and from “The Wall” both “Comfortably Numb” and “We Don’t Need No Education,” but they lacked soul and felt too by-the-numbers.

It might not have been the best idea to open with “WYWH” since they were at the peak, and it made the next set pale in comparison (as well as to APFS) and wasn’t appreciated by the people who arrived late. On the plus side, it’s great to hear a concert at the Palace, and the sound quality was fine – though the first couple of minutes were too loud.

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