LIVE: Into the Floyd @ Jericho Drive-In, 7/15/2020
Synchronicity (noun) the simultaneous occurrence of events which appear significantly related but have no discernible causal connection.
The pairing of Pink Floyd’s classic record The Dark Side of the Moon with the classic film “The Wizard of Oz” has been around for several decades. I vaguely remember trying it out with friends in college around 1998. The first known mention of the practice dates back to 1995. The theory goes like this. Start the recording of Dark Side of the Moon when the MGM lion roars for the third time and certain lyrics in the music will correspond with the action on screen.
Some examples; During the song “Time” Dorothy starts running on screen when the lyrics “No one told you when to run” are sung. When the fortune teller tells Dorothy to go home, “Breathe” is playing with the lyrics “home, home again.” What song is playing when the “If I Only Had a Brain” scene is playing on screen? “Brain Damage.” The lyric “gotta keep the loonies on the path” is sung while the characters dance on the Yellow Brick Road to Oz. As Dorothy’s house is picked up and thrown into the air in a tornado, “Great Gig in the Sky” provides the soundtrack to the chaos. The house crashes to the ground and Dorothy opens the door to see Munchkinland, in all its Technicolor glory, just as the cash registers start the intro to “Money.” Most people see this as a nod to the fact that “Money” needed to be spent to film a movie in color in 1939. The classic album ends with the sound of a heartbeat, you guessed it, as Dorothy listens to the Tin Man’s heart.
Pink Floyd and those involved in the recording of Dark Side of the Moon have repeatedly denied any connection whatsoever. Some have pointed out that the similarities may be a form of confirmation bias. People seeing what they want to see while ignoring things that don’t fit their beliefs. If Dark Side was recorded to run with Wizard of Oz, why is nothing of note happening in the music during the “Somewhere Over The Rainbow” scene? Either way, it makes for an entertaining time.
This pairing of the two has been done countless times, but what I witnessed at Jericho Drive-In was something else. On Wednesday night, Proctor’s Theater, Blue Raven Entertainment and the Jericho Drive-In brought INTO THE FLOYD to the Capital District. Into the Floyd is an 8-piece Pink Floyd Tribute band, with members from Ireland, Scotland, Russia and the United States. Once the action began on screen, the band synced up and took the crowd along for the journey. The music was note-for-note accurate. From that distinctive “David Gilmour” guitar tone to the various sound effects that Alan Parson added to the project, everything was there, and it sounded and looked glorious. Pairing a world class band, the classic 1939 film and a state of the art light show, Into The Floyd brought the 150 or so carloads of people on a trip to Oz. The highlight of the show for me was multi-instrumentalist Inna Dudukina’s rendition of “Great Gig in the Sky.” She matched and quite possibly exceeded Clare Torry’s vocals on the original track. As Dorothy’s house came to a stop in Munchkinland the crowd at Jericho gave Dudukina a new kind of ovation. They laid on their car horns and flashed their lights.
Dark Side of the Moon runs for 43 minutes. Once Into The Floyd finished “Eclipse” they weren’t finished playing. They proceeded to run through a Pink Floyd greatest hits package including Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Welcome to the Machine, Wish You Were Here, Happiest Days Our Lives, Another Brick In the Wall Part II, Learning to Fly and Run Like Hell. They closed the show with a blistering rendition of Comfortably Numb.
Prior to the show I walked the parking lot with Nippertown photographer Nick DiCocco and spoke with some of the patrons. All were excited to be out and seeing live music again. What Proctor’s and Jericho Drive-In have come up with has been a game changer. In a world starved for live entertainment, they found a way to make it work. Not only does this format work, it excels. As one of the patrons Chuck put it, “Jericho found a way to make chicken salad out of chicken feathers.”
There are several more of these type of events coming up in the next few weeks. I encourage anyone looking for great live music to come out to Jericho and give them a shot. Troy Music Hall is bringing the Grateful Dead tribute “The Wheel” to Jericho Drive-In on Tuesday, July 21, 2020. The next night, July 22 is a family night with “The Little Mermen” a NYC based band that plays hits from Disney movies, followed by a showing of the live action version of “Beauty & The Beast.” Blue Raven Entertainment artist “Tusk” will bring a Fleetwood Mac tribute to the Drive-In on July 29, followed by the 2000 Cameron Crowe film “Almost Famous.” On August 5, 2020, an All-Star band made up of local artists known as “Reflections: A Motown Tribute Ensemble” will bring the R&B classics to life. The 1972 Diana Ross film “Lady Sing the Blues” will close the night out.
There are plenty of entertainment options out here in Nippertown, we just need to broaden our horizons. Just like anything else, live entertainment will evolve. See you out there.