Everywhere you look, there are tribute acts these days, that are keeping the music of rock’s greatest legends alive. Most of them do a great job of that. Brit Floyd, however, is in its own separate category. Most tribute acts don’t have their own PBS special. Most tribute acts aren’t playing in some of the largest venues available. The attention to detail is what sets them apart from any other tribute act out there. This music certainly speaks to me and I can appreciate the effort that they put into it, allowing these iconic songs to breathe and remain relevant for decades after their release.

So it was, when the band visited Kemba Live (formerly Promowest Pavilion, The LC Pavilion, and Express Live) for their annual tour across the U.S., keeping these timeless songs alive for legions of Pink Floyd fans. Making this tour a little extra special, is that it is coinciding with the 50th year anniversary of the release of their iconic album; The Dark Side Of The Moon. It is one of the greatest selling records of all time and excitement was in the air because on the run of current gigs, they are playing the album nearly in its entirety. For a band that has no shortage of legendary records, it is no small feat to play one of them in full and still appease fans clamoring for the rest of the catalog as well. Yet, they did just that, as they do each time.

As always, they weaved back and forth through some of Floyd’s greatest anthems, while also sprinkling in some of their more obscure songs from the 1960’s Syd Barrett era as well as some of the lesser known 80’s and 90’s tunes. Led by guitarist and lead vocalist Damian Darlington, he is also their visionary and musical director, Brit Floyd keeps the show fresh each year by mixing in new songs and utilizing the effects and production that you would expect from a tribute of this magnitude. Like stated earlier, the attention to the details makes their live performances a spectacle to both be seen and heard. The lights and lasers are phenomenal and the musicianship is flawless; but the trio of backing vocalists (Eva Avila, Genevieve Little, and Chess Galea) are the piece that gives this show the authenticity that you want. Avila, in particular has the tall task of tackling the vocal solo for “The Great Gig In The Sky”; and with each year that passes, she nails it with perfection and receives a very well deserved standing ovation.

This show is worth the money you’ll spend to see it. After seeing the legendary bassist and vocalist of the original band last year; Roger Waters puts on a phenomenal show to this day, I must admit that it is always refreshing to see Brit Floyd allow the music to do the talking. Floyd can certainly be taken for a thinking man’s band, which is why Waters’ chastisement of western politics isn’t necessary between the songs as they already make those statements on their own. There is no need for us and them banter at a Brit Floyd show, and as the performance moved forward and the sun set on the Columbus skyline, the aforementioned lights and lasers took over the night sky and further enhanced the experience. Seriously, choose any colour you like, and it was represented in a storm of flickering lights and atmospheric lasers; namely on songs like “One Of These Days” and Comfortably Numb”.

I think the thing that sets the Floyd music apart from its contemporaries is that the music grew with them and their experiences. There is something in their discography  for any and everyone. I’m not what you would expect to be the stereotypical Pink Floyd fan. I’m polar opposites with Roger Waters in many ways, but as I’ve aged and hopefully became more wise, the different eras of this band resonate in different ways. That’s also why I never tire of this music. I can listen to this band at all times. When pondering the meaning of life, The Dark Side Of The Moon, is the go-to. If I want a good story that weaves through the effects of war, trauma, and brain damage, fame and fortune and its inevitable crash and burn, then I’ll put on The Wall. Angry at the world and politics in general? Animals will scratch that itch. Have a need for introspect and longing for the way things were or might have been? Throw on 1975’s Wish You Were Here. Reflecting on life, past mistakes, being present in the now, and looking to a different future? Go ahead and listen to The Division Bell. And on and on. I’m convinced that there will never be another band that will be able to eclipse what Pink Floyd’s music did. I love the blues. I can listen to straight ahead, blues based rock music with the best of them. But Pink Floyd is and was something different. Theirs is a music that you feel. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to see Pink Floyd live on their final tour, because I was eight when they visited Columbus’ famed Ohio Stadium and played to over 75,000 fans. That is still the largest, non festival concert crowd to see a band in the Horseshoe. With that being said, I’m very grateful that a band like Brit Floyd exists so that I can also enjoy these songs in a live setting and hear them the way  that they are meant to be heard. With Brit Floyd continuing to be on top of their game, I look forward to future celebration tours for some of these other albums as well. Come to think of it, 2024 will mark the 30 year anniversary of both The Division Bell and the tour that would be Pink Floyd’s last. Perhaps, next year’s trek may honor that. Whatever is next, I look forward to the experience.

Brit Floyd Setlist

  • 1. Speak To Me/Breathe (In The Air)
  • 2. What Do You Want From Me
  • 3. Yet Another Movie
  • 4. Round And Around
  • 5. Empty Spaces
  • 6. Young Lust
  • 7. Sorrow
  • 8. The Gunner’s Dream
  • 9. Time
  • 10. The Great Gig In The Sky
  • 11. Fearless
  • 12. Pigs (Three Different Ones)
  • 13. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)
  • 14. See Emily Play
  • 15. High Hopes
  • 16. Money
  • 17. Us And Them
  • 18. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
  • 19. Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2
  • 20. Wish You Were Here
  • 21. One Of These Days
  • 22. Brain Damage
  • 23. Eclipse
  • 24. Comfortably Numb
  • 25. Not Now John
  • 26. Run Like Hell

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