Tuesday, July 24, 2012

CLASSIC ALBUMS LIVE PRESENTS: Pink Floyd's "Dark Side of the Moon"

Pink Floyd's 
Dark Side of the Moon
Hard Rock Live / Orlando, FL 

 "The world's greatest classic
rock albums (recreated) live
onstage, note for note, cut for
cut" — hmm, a tall order, to
be sure. But that precisely
was the vision of Canadian 
concert promoter Craig
Martin when he debuted 
the Classic Albums Live 
series in 2003. And although
the "note for note" claim
may be somewhat debatable,
Martin's assertion that he
presents "the world's best
musicians" is, in my view,
pretty gosh darn accurate.

More than 1,000 spirited classic rock enthusiasts piled into the Hard Rock Live on July 21st to witness the concert recreation of Pink Floyd's landmark 1973 concept record, Dark Side of the Moon — courtesy of Classic Albums Live.

To say that "Dark Side" is musically a complex record would  be like saying that Justin Bieber is merely popular. Hence, it required no less than ten top notch musicians to take on this timeless masterpiece — and the ensemble delivered — in spades!

With his long straight hair and twanging a classic Fender Strat, the tall and lanky Rob Phillips channeled David Gilmore "note for note, cut for cut" throughout and brought a unique level of  authenticity to the production.  Additionally, the sax work on such stand-out tracks as "Money" and "Us and Them" was absolutely superb.

Okay, so Rob Phillips isn't
playing a Strat in this pic,
but you get the idea.
(Photo: Classic Albums Live)
But "Dark Side" is an equally intricate vocal recording. And aside from the powerful male performances, female singers Carlia Alderman and Michelle Jones delivered impeccable vocal recreations. In fact, the petite Alderman received a thunderous response, bringing fans to their feet as she passionately nailed the iconic vocal on "Great Gig in the Sky."

As is the Classic Albums Live tradition, following intermission, the show takes a "Greatest Hits" Live approach — offering additional fan favorites from the particular group's catalog. This night's second-half featured a mini set from the 1979 multi platinum-selling album The Wall, including "Young Lust" (w/ "Collect call to Mr. Floyd from Mrs. Floyd" back-up vocal), "Mother" (w/ roaring crowd sing-along) and the show-stopping  "Comfortably Numb." Also included in the second-half  was 1975's Wish You Were Here and  1971's (23-minute) encore, "Echoes."

I was delighted to meet rock powerhouse 
Carlia Alderman following the Orlando
Dark Side of the Moon performance.
A Classic Albums Live performance is an all 'round, rip roarin' rock show. And possessing state-of-the-art sight and sound production, this event looked as spectacular as it sounded. In sum, it was an amazing concert experience and a heckuva lot of fun!

-Christopher Long
(July 2012)

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  1. caught the show in Orlando. awesome! Carlia always kills the audience with Great Gig in the Sky! the only thing I would change is to end the show with "Numb" then "Run Like Hell" and hit the mirror ball in the middle of solo 2 on "Numb" to make it more Floyd-ish

    1. Holy cow -- you know the show pretty darn well! Good points, for sure. Thanks for dropping by and saying, "Hi."

  2. I always wondered how TRUE these shows actually were! After seeing The REAL Pink Floyd 2 times i thought I would be disappointed! BUT since you gave it such a glowing review Chris I might just check it out!

    1. Hey Ray. Be sure that this wasn't a campy/cheesey tribute-type show. The focus of CAL is to faithfully recreate the MUSIC. Is it Floyd? Nope. Did it look like Floyd? Nope. However, it was an awesome evening's worth of brilliantly performed classic music. Much fun and enjoyment, for sure. And at $25 per ticket, it's a great value,