This was a tribute show best-suited for the casual Pink Floyd fan - the person who knows a handful of the songs thanks to the frequent airplay they receive on classic rock stations, the person who likes the music but not enough to drive down to Clowes Hall and cough up $30+ to see it performed.
Pink Droyd is of the "budget" variety of Pink Floyd tribute bands. Fewer lasers, fewer backup singers, smaller venues. But does that mean the show was any less enjoyable?
I guess that depends on what you're looking for. If you want a close approximation of the Pink Floyd concert experience circa 1994, Pink Droyd may not be for you.
But for those who are less fanatical about the music of Pink Floyd and are just looking for some good live music to unwind to, a massive production may not be such a good thing: the elaborate synchronized animations, the theatrical interludes, a venue with plush seats and perfect acoustics - these things lend themselves to a more subdued concert experience, which is great when the audience is mainly older concert-goers who were interested in seeing a true recreation, as was the case with Brit Floyd on Monday.
But on a Friday night? The vast majority of people want anything but subdued, and if they're going out to see a Pink Floyd tribute in Indianapolis, the biggest concern is that it's at a place where beer is readily available and served in a bottle. (Clowes Hall, with it's red-lidded sippy cups, does not fit the description.)
And this is the scale at which Pink Droyd operates most effectively.
They performed exceptionally well this past Friday night at The Vogue, covering all the songs that the most casual listeners would want to hear - "Wish You Were Here," "Comfortably Numb," "Young Lust," and of course, "Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)" - but also venturing into some of the more ambitious material from the Pink Floyd catalog.
Unlike Brit Floyd, they aren't beholden to the timing of a pre-programmed animation, which means they can play to the energy of the crowd. As a result, they can build the momentum needed them to play some of the more sprawling jams like "Dogs" and "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" without killing the mood. The highlight of the show, however, was a show-stopping version of "The Great Gig In The Sky" at the end of the first set.
True, it wasn't a perfect show. They didn't play "Echoes" as promised on the handbill. They missed some notes. They took some liberties with the material. The musicians weren't British. It certainly wasn't a recreation, but that didn't seem to be their goal in the first place.
So who wins the showdown when the bands are so completely different?
Seeing the internationally-acclaimed Brit Floyd on Monday was like watching a symphony or visiting a museum, but with a ton of stoned baby boomers. I loved it. However, purely as a measure of best bang for your buck, Pink Droyd wins the award for last week's Best Pink Floyd Tribute Band, and not because they're the underdogs or because they're from Indiana. They put on a spirited performance, and they earned it.