Echoes of Pink Floyd, Michigan's own Pink Floyd tribute experience, brought their unique combination of classic rock hits and spectacular laser show to an enthusiastic and receptive Jackson audience last Saturday night. The historic Michigan Theatre rocked again and for the fifth consecutive year, if memory serves, and the crowds continue to come in every year to see and hear the excellent Floyd covers. This year, however, an almost entirely new line-up meant things would be different, but how?
While the songs stayed the same, the way in which they were performed, and the individual instrument solos and lead moments, especially, reflected the individual player, which made some portions of songs sound differently than they had previously with different people in those positions. New guitarists, Bob Motcyka and Aaron Holland, brought a brilliant flair and precision to their interpretations of David Gilmour's immortal solos, and the solo moments on songs like "Comfortably Numb," "Dogs," and "Money," brought those songs to the forefront of the show. The only thing that really needs adjustment with these guitarists is for them to be louder in the mix, if only during leads and solos. Those guitar parts make the songs in some cases, and they can't be buried in the mix and be as effective as they could and should be otherwise.
The song selection included a rendition of Echoes' now well-known set, The Dark Side of Oz, which includes the entirety of Pink Floyd's most successful LP, 1973's The Dark Side of the Moon and plays it against the 1939 film, The Wizard of Oz. It was clear the band was well-rehearsed on this material, and aside from some annoying equipment issues, the band played through this set of classic songs well, with dazzling laser accompaniment throughout. After a Floyd-standard intermission, Echoes returned with a mixed set of mostly hits and a few deeper cuts from Pink Floyd's 1970s peak run which included songs from Meddle, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Wall. While they were briefly mentioned, no songs from the band's 1960s, 80s, or 90s albums were featured.
The strongest moments of the night came as Echoes got into some of the emotional depth of fury in "What Shall We Do Now?" and the lingering despair of the sprawling 20-minute "Dogs," which matched up nicely with the soft delivery of "Fearless" and the fan-favorites "Wish You Were Here" and "Comfortably Numb." The band encored with "Another Brick in the Wall (pt. 2)" and a powerful "Run Like Hell" before the well-rocked crowd emptied out into the sub-freezing Jackson night. With the new additions to the band, there is no telling where Echoes might go next, but they are certainly in a position to tackle almost any track guitar-wise now that they have the twin lead attack. Perhaps bigger area Floyd fans will eventually have an opportunity to see Echoes perform other full-album sets, and perhaps they will seize the opportunity to work in more of Floyd's great music from its rich 30 year history.
Godzilla (Blue Oyster Cult) (tease)
In the Flesh
Speak to Me
On the Run
The Great Gig in the Sky
Us and Them
Any Colour You Like
Shine On You Crazy Diamond (pts. 1-5)
Goodbye Blue Sky
What Shall We Do Now?
Pigs on the Wing (pt. 1)
Pigs on the Wing (pt. 2)
Have a Cigar
Wish You Were Here
The Happiest Days of Our Lives
Another Brick in the Wall (pt. 2)
Run Like Hell