Tribute bands, by and large, are something of a joke to serious music lovers. Why listen to impersonators when you can hear the real deal? Every so often, though, a tribute group captures the spirit of the originals so well that they also capture the imagination – and hearts – of fans. Generally speaking, this phenomenon occurs when the original band is no longer accessible.
Jason Sawford, a member of the wildly popular Australian Pink Floyd Show, conceded, “I completely understand that thinking.
“But on the other hand we can’t deny that there are a lot of people who wish to come and see what we do. And, obviously, Pink Floyd themselves aren’t out there doing it anymore, and it’s unlikely that they will be either. Yes, Roger’s out on the road doing The Wall, and David (Gilmour) might go back out on the road. But they’re unlikely to do the entire Floyd show which is what we do our best to replicate”.
Indeed, the Beatles tribute RAIN has turned into a Broadway success story and, now, the Australian Pink Floyd Show is taking the world by storm. With a truckload of talent and effects, TAPFS has managed to sell more than three million tickets to the shows across the globe. Apparently, they're just getting started.
Word on the street has it that TAPFS's 2011 tour is even more ambitious and spectacular than shows past, and will incorporate a new quadraphonic sound system plus 3D stereographic technology – a first.
The Australian Pink Floyd Show's bassist/vocalist Colin Wilson explained, “For us, of course, the music has always come first. For the new dates we’ll be putting the Pink Floyd catalogue under the spotlight, breathing life into some material that would otherwise not get heard and ensuring that our audiences are just blown away by the show.
“We have a lot of planning, work, and rehearsals to get through before the Exposed In The Light shows and we’re keeping the specifics under wraps for now. If you’ve enjoyed previous tours, then let me assure you, this new one won’t disappoint. We’re really excited about this next step.”
It's not just fans that are gushing about the Australian Pink Floyd Show. Critics, too, have many kind words. The Sunday Times dubbed them "the best tribute band in the world" while The Times claims they are "setting the gold standard." Scotland's Sunday Mail added, “If you closed your eyes, you would believe you were listening to the real thing.”
Even members of the actual Pink Floyd have fondness for the Aussie mimics. Drummer Nick Mason once enthused that TAPFS was “very good, probably better than we are,” and guitarist David Gilmour hired the group to play at his 50th birthday party.
The Australian Pink Floyd Show has even recruited former Pink Floyd sound engineer Colin Norfield. As Prog magazine noted, “The presence of Norfield seems to indicate that a desire for authenticity that is very much key to TAPFS existence.”
The Australian Pink Floyd Show 2011 U.S. Tour Dates:
10/07/11 – Paramount Theatre – Denver, CO
10/08/11 – USANA Amphitheatre – Salt Lake City, UT
10/09/11 – Morrison Center – Boise, ID
10/11/11 – Warfield Theatre – San Francisco, CA
10/12/11 – Club Nokia – Los Angeles, CA
10/13/11 – Humphrey’s – San Diego, CA
10/14/11 – The Grove of Anaheim – Anaheim, CA
10/15/11 – Mesa Arts Center – Mesa, AZ
10/17/11 – Verizon Theater – Grand Prairie, TX
10/19/11 – Uptown Theater – Kansas City, MO
10/20/11 – Orpheum Theater – Minneapolis, MN
10/21/11 – Fabulous Fox Theater – St. Louis, MO
10/22/11 – Rosemont Theatre – Rosemont, IL
10/23/11 – Riverside Theatre – Milwaukee, WI
11/04/11 – Mohegan Sun Arena – Uncasville, CT
11/09/11 – Ruth Eckerd Hall – Clearwater, FL