by Renee Westbrook
Special to The Record,November 19, 2005 12:05 AM
The men of Pink Floyd may never reunite for a world tour but, then again, they don't have to. Based on the response of the mostly fiftysomething crowd Thursday night at the Bob Hope Theatre, the Australian Pink Floyd Show is the next best thing.
Opening with "Speak To Me," the first track on the classically formatted landmark 1973 album "The Dark Side Of The Moon," the five musicians turned in a true-to-Floyd performance featuring an impressive light show that filled the theater like a psychedelic lightning storm.
The band's first set was a note-for-note re-creation of "Moon." In keeping with Floyd's penchant for bizarre imagery, the band's performance of "On The Run" featured a bed-bound, computer-animated rabbit flying through an asylum. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Dame Edna were among the thousands of images viewed throughout the evening on the oversized drum head video screen.
The funky, R&B bass line of "Money" incited fans to move, but not much. Floydians have a quiet respect for their band, and there's no head banging or seizure dancing allowed.
Pink Floyd's brand of social commentary was beautifully paralleled in "Us And Them." Pictures of the working class, Third World living conditions, war and politics invaded the screen. The remainder of "Dark Side of the Moon" was smoothly played on, as the group rounded out the set with "Eclipse."
Starting with "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," the second half of the show steamrolled through such classics as "Wish You Were Here" and "Is Anybody Out There?"
"Another Brick In The Wall Part 2" came complete with helicopter sound effects and roaming searchlights.
Smoke and lights aside, the Australian Pink Floyd Show comprises accomplished musicians and skilled vocalists. Throughout the more than two-hour show, Steve Mac guitar, Colin Wilson bass, Damian Antony Darlington guitar, Jason Sawford keyboards and Paul Bonney drums matched their more-famous counterparts sound for sound.
Ten years ago, the members of this South Adelaide band had no idea they would sell out halls around the world covering Pink Floyd and receive an official endorsement from guitarist David Gilmour. But that's exactly what's happened.
Simply put, if imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then Pink Floyd should be flattered to death by this act.
The Australian Pink Floyd Show is a powerhouse tribute band, and more than 1,500 diehard fans agreed. When asked the difference between Aussie Pink Floyd and the real thing, fan Gretchen Kyes and her friends insisted, "Not much."