It’s hard to believe that slightly more than 22 years ago Pink Floyd stopped touring. Aside from one-offs and CD reissues of the entire catalog, the band really hasn’t existed beyond that legendary 1994 tour. Luckily for Windsor music fans there are tribute shows like the sold-out show one at Olde Walkerville Theatre on Saturday, April 15 featuring London, Ontario’s Wish You Were Here.
The show was also a fundraiser with proceeds benefiting the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.
The 10-piece band, which included a pair of female backup singers, staged an incredibly tight performance of Pink Floyd favourites and album cuts wrapped around a Dark Side of the Moon themed intro of Speak To Me, Breathe and Time. Throughout the two-plus hour show, almost every song from Dark Side of the Moon was played, including a cool mini-set featuring the entire second side of the LP back-to-back at the end of the final set. As expected, the show also featured a number of tracks from The Wall as well.
While the band was extremely tight and the vocals were on the money, the stage show and sound production really set this show apart from an average tribute show. With a bight background lighting wash set around an octagon-shaped screen, the show captured the essence of Pink Floyd’s 1994 Division Bell tour and somehow fit it into the Olde Walkerville Theatre stage space.
The video screen flashed bizarre Floydian film clips, footage of the band and even animations throughout the show. Unlike Pink Floyd who usually teased the crowd with a few songs before unleashing the full potential of their laser light spectacle, Wish You Were Here hit hard right from the beginning, holding nothing back. If one got hit with one of the stage lights head on, they would have certainly “seen the light.”
The crowd was obviously stoked right from the start and ready to hear the music of Britain’s kings of prog-rock. Dressed in colour-faded Floyd shirts, they drifted back and forth with the sound of the music. And if one was actually mid-drift and feeling the music deep down, there would be almost no difference between the real Pink Floyd and Wish You Were Here, which explains why this wasn’t the first time the band has been to Windsor. They even received a standing ovation at the end of the final song, which is rare in a classic rock concert setting.
Wish You Were Here is a band worth seeing at least once, whether you’re a Pink Floyd fan or not, if just for beautifully executed light show. For fans, they’re a great representation of what The Division Bell tour would have been like. The only thing that could possibly make this better would be for Wish You Were Here to dig back in time and select a few original Pink Floyd set lists through the years and execute those shows in their entirety.