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After a decade, The Floyd shines on bigger and brighter

By Nick McCabe

The Floyd this July will perform their first outdoor concert ever while celebrating 10 years of paying tribute to one of the greatest bands of all time, Pink Floyd. 

Thinking of The Floyd as just another tribute band is like thinking of Joe Cocker as just another cover artist. Sure, it fits I guess, but it is a huge understatement. 

The Floyd is known for delivering an arena-style rock show with spectacular sound and lights in the spirit of the original, iconic Pink Floyd shows. 

The Floyd has been presenting breathtaking shows for over a decade. Their first show together was in February 2012 at the Brewery Arts Center in Carson City. They didn’t miss the starting gun – it was a sold out show. 

Today they are on a mind-numbing roll of 17 sold out shows in a row, and their July 16 show in Reno as part of Artown 2022 should be number 18. With their combined talents and commitment to getting it right, I’ve always believed they’re gonna go far.

From the beginning, their goal has been to give their fans a true Pink Floyd experience, even if they had to create their own sound effects tracks and build their own stage props. A case in point would be the round video screen that is the centerpiece of their backdrop, made by their drummer, Dean Rossi. 

Every year they have added production to the show. This year’s production includes 83 moving lights, plus I caught a fleeting glimpse of some new lighting props they have just built. Programmed to morph and transcend throughout the show, they will blow your mind. 

The Floyd. Image: Nick McCabe / This Is Reno

The Floyd has not played in Reno since 2018, in part because their show has either outgrown the venues available to them, or the places they could fit into are larger than necessary and very expensive to secure. COVID didn’t help either.

As with everybody in this business, the COVID shutdown stopped them dead in their tracks. The nature of their shows, the manpower required to bring them to the stage, and the cost to produce it negated any thoughts of a small presentation. 

However, as things started to open up again, the question of whether or not to continue was brought to the table. Can we stand up? Even though some members had other side projects going, the decision was to get on their feet again.

If we’re going to keep going, we’re going to double down.The Floyd

Rather than fritter around and waste the hours in an off hand way, they all applied themselves in their own way to bringing their games up. Whether it be by hitting the musical woodshed and honing their parts, upgrading their gear to get a more powerful and intense sound, or building a new custom drum kit with gold plated hardware, their mantra was, “Come on, it’s time to go.”

In order to ready themselves for the next chapter of The Floyd, they brought in Derek McCreavy as their new sound engineer to join Ed Collins, their existing lighting director (both from TJ’s Corral in Minden). 

McCreavy brings with him a $400,000 Meyer Sound System with a Galileo Processor – arguably the envy of many in the industry. This is more sound than they have ever had, and it allows The Floyd to present their shows in true quadrophonic surround sound. It’s designed to deliver incredible sound to an audience of as many as 1,800. 

Members of The Floyd worked with KRI Architecture to design a venue that could accommodate the outdoor show the band will put on July 16 for Artown in Reno, Nev. Image: KRI Architecture

To pull off the concert they envision they will need three full days to set up for it. Counting the band members, 13 people form the team that puts the stage, sound and lighting together.  None of the Artown venues could accommodate a three-day set-up schedule, so the only way to get it done was for The Floyd to build their own venue.

This new venue they’ve designed will accommodate 800 guests, so McCreavy’s system is more than enough sound to hit this one out of the park. Welcome to the machine. 

In further preparation for the new production, they secured rehearsal space in a large warehouse that could accommodate their full stage, lighting and the complete surround sound system. They rehearsed there for eight weeks, fine tuning their music as well as the stage setup, cable runs, rigging, power requirements, plus the load in and load out. As a result, their recent shows with the new design have been the smoothest setups ever. 

This show is co-produced by Dean Rossi (The Floyd) and Dave Madsen (KRI Architecture). The inspiration for the venue they’ve created is Harveys Outdoor Amphitheater at Lake Tahoe. Madsen’s architectural company was instrumental in bringing Rossi’s ideas to fruition. Together they designed the venue, which will be custom built for this show at 321 E. Fifth St. behind The Depot and next to KRI Architecture. 

Ample parking will be available in the lots used for Reno Aces baseball games, just two blocks away. Over 100 people are involved in making this event a success, handling everything from security to vending. Multiple food trucks will be on site as well as draft trailers with local brews. Wine and cocktails will also be available. Everything necessary to put on a great event will be on site.

The Floyd. Image: Dave Rocco

A new element to this show is a charitable giving back to the community. While conceiving and researching this show, members of the Floyd were impacted by the number of homeless people sleeping on the sidewalks within sight of the location they had chosen for their concert. The band decided to give back locally, to the exact people they were seeing in need. 

Why does anyone do anything? To share it fairly. 

One plan they are putting into play is a silent auction. They are having custom made, hand-painted Pink Floyd album cover art created by local artist Lonny Nobel. These will be 5-square-foot panels that will decorate the venue for the show, and will be a part of this silent auction. Funds will be distributed with the help of Laurie Martin and Judy Dunn and their charity, The Reno Posse.

I can’t think of anything else to say except, you do not want to miss this show. The band is just fantastic. 

Oh by the way, which one’s Floyd?

For ticket information visit: TheFloydBand.com

Disclosure: This Is Reno editor Bob Conrad plays in a different band with The Floyd’s Vince Gates.

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