Brit Floyd brought their epic stage show to enthusiastic fans in Portland as if channeling the very spirit of Pink Floyd from the 1970’s to the present day.
Portland, Oregon’s Keller Auditorium is host to a wide variety of performances. Formerly the Civic Auditorium, Built in 1917, the stage Broadway productions, operas, the ballet and a number of other performances with the assistance of a most friendly and helpful security and staff. On June the 7th, Brit Floyd owns the building!
Nostalgia can be a dangerous thing, especially when memories are from a time when attending concerts with altered consciousness was the norm. Re-creation of the thematic music of Pink Floyd is a delicate walk along the line from being maudlin, through hopeful, onto exulted. This Brit Floyd concert at Portland, Oregon’s Keller Auditorium succeeded quite well in this balance.
Much of the audience was of an age to have seen the original in concerts in the 70’s and early 80’s, and listened to Floyd on dorm or frat house mega-stereos. However, quite a few attendees were younger 20 and 30-somethings who were clearly appreciating the well-presented musical story-telling of this earlier era, as well as the performers and the stage effects (produced with technology that the earlier ‘Floyd production designers would have given their cash and prizes for). This is good music, after all; those that favor today’s Trance can relate to thematic prog rock.
The stage was set throughout with effective use of classic Pink Floyd imagery and digital animations thereof (Thanks! Bryan Kolupski). Projected date reminders on the screen were a nice touch and an amusing prompt for audience excitement, noise, and anticipation of the next piece. The modern sound system provides more low-frequency punch than I remember in the concerts I attended years ago – but that should appeal to younger audiences accustomed to today’s music. (Hey maybe that’s just me – I’ve got older ears now :-). The vocals during the 1st half could have been crisper and clearer, but that was not a problem in the 2nd half.
The three gals doing vocal backing and solos – Roberta Freeman, Angela Cervantes, and Ola Bienkowska – were fabulous, especially on The Great Gig in the Sky. Wow. Carl Brunsdon’s sax was memory-triggering, very pleasing, but interpretive; not slavish reproduction. I enjoyed Bobby Harrison’s guitar, and would have liked to see more spot on him while playing – though the laser and LED sillouette effects behind him were excellent.
Lap steel guitar playing was outstanding – thanks, Damian Darlington.
A classic indication of audience appreciation occurred several times: the sing along! There were lots of closed eyes reminiscing. One encore, then the band had to pack up and head to BC for their next date.
Many Thanks to James Howard for his input, and assistance with this most excellent review!
Shine on you crazy diamond (parts I-V)
Learning to fly
the happiest days of our lives
Another brick in the wall part 2
The great gig in the sky
Pigs (three different ones)
Take it back
Fat old sun
Set the controls for the heart of the sun
The gunners dream
Any colour you like
Wish you were here
211. One of these days
Shine on you crazy diamond (parts VI-IX)
Run like hell
National Rock Review has covered Brit Floyd in concert several times previously. Be sure to take a moment to read those article and enjoy the concert photography:
Brit Floyd at the Budweiser Gardens in London, ON 07-Apr-2014
Brit Floyd at Detroit Opera House in Detroit, MI on 18-Mar-2014
Brit Floyd at The Midland Theater in Kansas City, Mo on 11-Mar-2014
Brit Floyd tour dates:
Sun 08 June Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre Abbotsford BC Canada
Mon 09 June McCaw Hall Seattle WA USA
Tue 10 June CenturyLink Arena Boise ID USA
Thu 12 June Red Rocks Amphitheatre Morrison CO USA
Fri 13 June Ice and Events Center Cheyenne WY USA
Sat 14 June Maverik Center Salt Lake City UT USA
Mon 16 June Orpheum Theater Omaha NE USA
Wed 18 June Washington Pavilion Sioux Falls SD USA
Thu 19 June State Theatre Minneapolis MN USA
Fri 20 June Morris Performing Arts Center (on sale 9 May) South Bend IN USA
Sat 21 June FirstMerit Event Park Saginaw MI USA
Sun 22 June Overture Hall Madison WI USA