I've gone to several Pink Floyd concerts over the years (including the recent Wall staging by Roger Waters), and in a way all of them were cover bands.
David Gilmour's Floyd lacked the acerbic wit and caustic delivery of Roger, and Roger’s band lacked the sympathetic and restrained guitar of David to bring balance to his anger. So I don't reflexively turn away when I hear of a new PF cover band, and I headed to The Orange Peel on Friday to see The Black Jacket Symphony tackle the album Dark Side of the Moon. Not your typical "homage" band, the group recreates classic rock albums, and brings together different configurations of musicians for each album.
The Orange Peel had seating for this show, with some standing room around the perimeter. The band consisted of 10 players, including an actor who voiced the interview characters heard throughout the album. The first set, the entire Dark Side of the Moon album, was done well, albeit a bit timid. Floyd itself performed the album to a click track to keep synchronized with their projections, but it felt like the BJS were so concerned with hitting their marks that they never quite gelled. They had the sound design nailed, though, and there were a few interesting moments sprinkled throughout the set. From time to time the rear projection would show clips from the Wizard of Oz, a nod to the silly stoner theory that there is some synchronicity between the album and the movie. (In fact, the guy sitting next to me admitted to spending many college weekends stoned or tripping, watching this pairing over and over.) And the female singer acquitted herself quite well on Great Gig in the Sky.
But the band came back after the intermission, and with the restraints and the pressure of performing a whole album lifted, they performed a much more energetic (and much better received) set consisting of picks from The Wall and Wish You Were Here, ending with an encore of Another Brick in the Wall, with the actor returning to play the role of headmaster, and a chorus of local grade-school kids in crisp whites with an air of disaffection singing the chorus.