Story and Photos by Nick McCabe
Scroll down for a gallery of images from the show.
The Floyd, northern Nevada’s premier Pink Floyd tribute band, pulled off a first Saturday night as the first local band to sell out Reno’s Cargo Concert Hall. SOLD OUT! Two magic words that every band likes to hear. They did it, and they put on a hell of a show in the process.
As they do for every performance, The Floyd pulled out all the stops for the show. They had a full set of riggings behind and above them with roughly 20 sets of LED lights. There were lasers at the corners of the stage plus fog machines and sound effects, as well as the obligatory round video display with a ring of movable flood lights. Not to mention they set up speakers around the room providing a surround sound presentation to the devoted crowd of local fans.
Tyler Stafford, winner of three 2016 Forte’ Awards, opened for The Floyd with a beautiful three-song set on acoustic guitar ending with Pink Floyd’s “Pigs on the Wing.”
The Floyd subtly brought the room to life with the hypnotic “Echoes” followed by “Fearless,” both off of 1971’s “Meddle,” – a nice nod to early Pink Floyd (post Syd Barret, but still early).
Next up they touched on a little album called “Dark Side of The Moon.” By ‘touched on,’ I mean they played the whole thing. This was an absolutely amazing performance by all members. “On the Run” was a solo performance by whoever was working the lasers.
Especially worth pointing out was Lisa McCuiston’s vocal solo in “The Great Gig In The Sky.” You all know what it is. You might not know it by its name, but no Pink Floyd fan is unmoved by this solo. Not only does she kill it, but she does so on a vocal solo that was actually performed by three separate singers during Pink Floyd shows.
Guest artist Tom Gordon of the University of Nevada and Inspired Amateur Productions played the Roto Toms solo in “Time.” The end of the performance of “Dark Side” brought them to a 10-minute break.
The second set started off with three selections from “Wish You Were Here”: “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” “Have A Cigar,” and “Wish You Were Here.” I really did lose track of which songs had which amazing performances, but it goes without saying (except right here, right now) that Curt Mitchell blew everybody away countless times with his mastery of the Fender Stratocaster.
Tom Gordon made three more appearances during the show: during “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2” he came out with a megaphone and did the “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding…” condemnation, and played Roto Toms on “Happiest Days of Our Lives,” and the trap set on “Learning To Fly.”
A couple of the hard-working guys who get buried in the back are Rob Lawrence on keyboards and Jeff Laasko on additional keyboards, guitar, and saxophone. Rob has the gift that a lot of musicians these days don’t have – he reads sheet music. These guys are putting a lot of the magic in the music that is like the canvas on which the front players paint the picture. Without it, it wouldn’t be Pink Floyd.
A show like this involves a whole lot more time than what you see at the show. I’m sure you all understand that it takes time to set up and tear down. But aside from the obvious planning that takes place days, weeks, and months before the gig, game day is all day. Arrival and unloading at the venue begins around 10 a.m. Set up has to be done in time to do a sound check around 1:30 p.m. After the show there’s no time to party and unwind. It’s time to strike the stage (pack up) and get out. That is done by around 1 a.m. More often than not, this is done for what breaks down to less than minimum wage. Musicians are absolutely nuts about what they do.
For hundreds of years orchestras have been playing the works of masters such as Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Brahms, and many more. These classical compositions live on thanks to the written music and the ongoing education of musicians who keep it alive in live performances. Today we have the added advantage of recordings, both audio and video, that give source material and inspiration to new generations of musicians to carry on and keep the music of our masters alive.
The Floyd is just one of those groups of musicians keeping the work of the masters of our time alive. Make no mistake about it. In a hundred years the music of bands like The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and many more rock musicians will be looked back on in awe and will continue to be performed by the orchestras of the future.
If you were there for this show, The Floyd thanks you. If you loved it, you are not alone. If you missed it, there’s always next time. In closing let me share this sentiment best expressed by Pink Floyd:
Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find ten years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun”
“TIME” – Pink Floyd
Don’t miss the next show. Go out and hear some live music.
The Floyd is:
Vince Gates – Vocals, Bass, Guitars, Sound Effects
Dean Rossi – Drums, Percussion, Show and Tech Direction
Lisa McCuiston – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Percussion
Curt Mitchell – Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, Vocals
Rob Lawrence – Keyboards, Vocals
Jeff Laasko – Sax, Keyboards, Guitars, Percussion, Vocals
Tom Gordon – Percussion, Drums
Todd Rold – L. Sound Tech
Justin Bell (Cargo)
Ed Collins / Kathryn Raffery – Laser Directors
Jennifer Miller – Video Director
Vince Gates / Dean Rossi – Quad Sound
Frank Brock – Stage Manager
- On The Run (Lasers)
- Great Gig In The Sky
- US and Them
- Any Colour You Like
- Brain Damage
- Shine On You Crazy Diamond
- Have A Cigar
- Wish You Were Here
- Another Brick In The Wall 1 / Happiest Days of Our Lives
- Another Brick 2 / We Don’t Need No Education
- Goodbye Blue Sky
- Young Lust
- Is There Anybody Out There / Comfortably Numb
- Run Like Hell
- Learning To Fly
- On The Turning Away
- Hey You
Nick McCabe is a Reno-based photojournalist and musician. He’s been shooting concerts in the Reno-Tahoe area since 2006 covering major touring acts as well as keeping up with local artists. He’s been writing articles and reviews since 2012, as well as doing interviews on occasion. His musical education and playing experience goes back to 1967. He is a founding member of the Reno Tahoe Forte’ Awards, and he still plays music locally for enjoyment. First concert: Jimi Hendrix. Last concert: we’ll see.
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