Clowes Memorial Hall
No, it wasn't Pink Floyd who performed Monday at Clowes Memorial Hall. But with the exception of Roger Waters' tour for The Wall album (coming to town June 11), you likely won't find a better approximation than Brit Floyd.
They lived up to their self-billing as "The World's Greatest Pink Floyd Show," mainly because they had every nuance of the legendary band's psychedelic blues rock and visually stunning stage show down cold.
In many ways it was a copy of Floyd's last tour, in 1994 behind their final recording The Division Bell. Brit Floyd had the same circular screen ringed with lights as a backdrop. It displayed a heady mix of well-known Pink Floyd animation and other kaleidoscopic visions, including the same graphics for songs "High Hopes" and "Time" that the real band used on their last tour.
Two guitarists, Damian Darlington and Bobby Harrison, played David Gilmour's memorable parts. They didn't just rehash them though. They captured the exact sounds and textures that permeate these classic songs. That included Darlington nailing the locomotive wail on "Echoes" and Darlington reaching stratospheric heights of emotion and release via lap steel on "High Hopes" and "One of These Days."
Likewise, keyboardist Rick Benbow duplicated Floyd's eerie layers, particularly on the early gem "See Emily Play." There were other obscure tracks in the set list - the aforementioned "Echoes" (all 23-and-a-half minutes of it) and a couple songs from the mostly forgotten The Final Cut (the last record with the lineup intact but really more a Waters solo affair than anything).
Perhaps most impressive of all was the suite of Wall songs Brit Floyd played to close the show. They were choreographed to the sound effects heard on the original album. Using members of the Indianapolis Children's Choir on "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2" was an obviously nice touch as well.
This being Brit Floyd's first time performing in Indianapolis, I doubt much of the too-small audience really knew what to expect. It was mostly light applause when the band opened with "Shine on You Crazy Diamond." By the time they wailed on "Pigs," complete with a giant inflatable one on stage left, to close the first set the crowd was buying into what they were seeing. Closing the two-and-a-half hour show with spirited versions of "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell" garnered them standing ovations.
As the guy sitting next to me put it, "It's an insult to call them a cover band. They're a recreation band."