Wish You Were Here, presenters of The Sight and Sound of Pink Floyd, will be back in Columbus tomorrow night. As usual, they will be playing an album in its entirety and many other Floyd classics. This time, however, you won't be witnessing Dark Side of the Moon nor will you be seeing the entirety of The Wall. Instead, the band has decided to venture into one of Floyd's lesser known goodies and are bringing Live at Pompeii back to life at the iconic Newport Music Hall. To preview the evenings festivities, the band's bassist/singer/co-founder Eric Sosinski took some time out of his day to answer some questions of mine.
Me: Eric Sosinski, not only are you the bassist and vocalist in the Pink Floyd tribute band Wish You Were Here, but you also play with Michael Stanley and are involved in a wide range of music. When, where, and how did you decide to pick up playing and making music?
Eric: I was turned on to many of the great classic rock artists of the 60' & 70's by my older brother & sister... and encouraged by my parents to learn the fundamentals of music at an early age. I was into the Beatles, Monkees and classic AM pop radio by kindergarten/1970, and it just evolved from there. Toy drums to piano lessons to trumpet in the school band to acoustic guitar and finally - bass. I was in bands by the time I hit high school.
Me: I've had the privilege of checking you guys out four times. The sights and sounds are legit. How did this whole WYWH idea come into play?
Eric: The bar band I was in with WYWH co-founder Jim Tigue, Harvest, did classic rock & originals. We noticed the Floyd material went over especially well, and our keyboardist at the time could sing it decently. Nobody was really doing tribute bands at that point, and we started performing a 'Pink Floyd Revue' as part of our gigs, with some added lighting. Still very small scale though. We toured that amalgam of originals, classic rock & mini-Floyd show for 5 years throughout the Midwest & East, took a break, then formed Wish You Were Here, adding musicians & a theatrical focus. At that point the Sound was more important to us than the Sight, which evolved a bit more slowly.
Me: If I had to pick a favorite album, it'd probably be Animals, which I've seen you guys do twice. Which would be yours and why?
Eric: That's a tough call, since each of their albums has something special about it. Overall, I would have to go with the penultimate classic - The Dark Side Of The Moon. The sonic perfection. The emotion in the performance and arrangement. The universal themes, especially the madness. I will never tire of listening to it from start to finish.
Me: Tell me how you guys came to decide that Live at Pompeii was ready to come back to life?
I thought it was a great angle, as we're always looking for a new theme to explore, and I think our fans appreciate that. No two shows of ours are the same. They may be similar for a tour run, but the set list changes, at least a little bit, for every show. There were a few classics we had yet to conquer, such as the complete Saucerful Of Secrets. So it's fun for us as well.
Me: As a Floyd fan, what does that album mean to you?
Eric: It's an important point in time for the Floyd, when they were on the cusp of it all 'coming together' with Dark Side. It was like a summation of what they had achieved to that point... and with songs like Echoes, the beginning of a whole new chapter. Plus it featured some great iconic imagery that helped define what a 'midnight movie' was about, at least for some of us who got to experience it that way.
Me: Having already performed it in Cleveland; how was the crowd reaction?
Eric: The crowd was awesome. We were concerned we may lose some of the more casual Floyd fans, but everyone was attentive and grooving along with us, and knew when to react, and when to chill.
Me: Is Echoes the most challenging track to pull off?
Eric: We've been doing Echoes since 1988 - and even though you think you may know it... there always seems to be something that still drives us to take it further... It's hard to explain if you're not in the middle of it, if that makes any sense.... I think it really is one of Floyd's most challenging tunes. Is there ever really a 'definitive' version of it? Discuss among yourselves...
Me: Which song is the most rewarding to play live?
Eric: I think that's a personal play that all of us have different answers to... For me personally - Dogs is probably my favorite song to play live. That can change from show to show - but consistently, that would be my final answer.
Me: Each time that I've seen you guys, you've been performing a monster album in its entirety with other Floyd classics sprinkled in there as well. I love The Division Bell and find it to be an extremely underrated record. You guys have been known to play tracks off of that album. Is there any scenario where you could see the band playing it in its entirety?
Eric: Yes, one of my goals is to tackle that whole album. As they say...'One of these days'...
Me: Talk to me about The Newport.
Eric: What a great funky vibe this venue has! The rock history is just overwhelming, the acts that have graced this stage. We love it, and we appreciate everything that PromoWest Productions have done to keep this venue alive. The improvements they've done just over the last 3 years are incredible....they've brought an aging concert hall back to life, and it inspires us every time we play there.
Me: What can the Columbus fans expect on Saturday night this time around?
Eric: Our 1st set will be the greatest Floyd set of hits & classics we can put together. The 2nd set features 'Live At Pompeii' in its entirety plus more classics. In my opinion, it's one of the coolest shows we've ever done. Based on the reaction from our recent House of Blues show, people dig the Classic 1st set, and the 2nd set sends our fans over the edge and into FLOYD NIRVANA! As a fan myself, that's where I would want to be...and it seems we've been able to achieve that!
So, there you have it folks. Come check the band out Saturday night after the game. The doors open at 7:30 and the gig starts at 8:30. This show will be over three hours of Floyd music and tickets can be purchased for just $15 at Ticketmaster or for $20 on the day of the show! You won't regret seeing this band if you dig Pink Floyd.