Friday, November 16, 2007

Concert Review: Australian Pink Floyd at the Uptown Theater

I went and saw Australian Pink Floyd with my little brother Wednesday night at the Uptown Theater, which is now located a convenient block away from my new apartment. I'd never been to the Uptown before and I was surprised how beautiful it is on the inside, considering the outside sets me up to think it will look like a faux-carnival inside (although I guess if I looked at more than the marquee, I would have noticed the dome!).

Instead, I found elaborately painted wooden panels, statues and and a layout that all made it look like something that wanted to be from 1700s Italy. It was gorgeous.

Unfortunately, its old layout meant that the front half of the audience had to sit on plastic folding chairs and, if you were me and your seat mysteriously didn't exist where it was supposed to, partially behind a pillar as well. Needless to say, the concert wasn't what I'd describe to my museum geek friends as "an optimal flow experience."

But who the hell cares? I got to hear faux-Floyd played live! When we came in (late) they were playing "Time," then the back-up singers carried us away with some incredible vocalizing. The first half was difficult to enjoy or pay attention to because of the whole disappearing chair issue and my anxiety that they would not play the one song I wanted to hear, but I was somewhat settled down after a disgusting drink and a cigarette during the intermission.

The second and longest part of the show started with "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and then, wouldn't you know it? The song I'd been waiting for and my favorite Pink Floyd song evar: "One of These Days." I know that's a weird song to have as my favorite, but Meddle is the only P.F. album I really listen to regularly so it's my favorite. Plus, I think "One of These Days" is a perfect stream of sound. I love the double bass line and the crescendos of brighter sound exploding over it (if this song was a person I'd have sex with it). Plus, I love growling "one of these days I'm going to cut you into little pieces." I love it so much that I often automatically say that line when someone trails off a sentence with "one of these days..."

Okay, but back to the show. Next Aussie Floyd played a a few songs from The Wall, of course, and Animals. Watching the crowd stand, shake their fists, and scream "Teachers! Leave Those Kids Alone!" was an incredibly moving experience. And then, of course, everyone also sang along when they encoured with "Comfortably Numb."

The images that flashed on the screen now and then were often amusing as kangaroos were inserted into the graphics as often as possible, but for the most part I found them boring. Once or twice they were really impressive, like when the backup singers were keening like crazy over images of gigantic waves. That was amazing.

Of course, it wasn't like actually listening to Pink Floyd but it was close enough. I enjoyed how Aussie Floyd made the experience their own and the excitement and joy of the crowd - parts of which were composed of seriously old people - made this one of top two shows I've ever seen.

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