Comfortably Numb – Canada’s Pink Floyd Show Concert Review February 1 2013

Comfortably Numb – Canada’s Pink Floyd Show in Toronto Feb 2013

February 2 2013 – Let us start this review with the conclusion. HOLY CRAP. Every fiber in our body is still buzzing from a Pink Floyd experience unlike any other. Rewind.

 
Tonight was the first of three shows from Ottawa based tribute band Comfortably Numb. If you missed this show may we strongly recommend you run to the Opera House today for one of the two remaining shows. Located at 735 Queen Street East, the shows are at 3pm and 8pm and they will be packed. If you are not familiar the venue is General Admission and we recommend getting there early to stake out a good spot in the front of the stage.

Comfortably Numb – Canada’s Pink Floyd Show in Toronto Feb 2013
 
The band is Azim Keshavjee (AK) (lead guitar and vocals), Solveig Keshavjee (vocals and keyboards), Ahenk Ozakpinar (bass and vocals), Matt Babineau (drums) and Charles McInnis (keyboards). We had the privilege of interviewing AK here, and the one thing that stood out for us was this statement:
 
We take the time to really connect with the audience and to deliver a show that is unique in every way. We don’t just ‘play’ the music, we really ‘feel’ the music and for us as a band, it is a privilege to be able to share our passion with all our audiences – AK December 2012
 
Tonight that statement was put to the test and truly there was a connection between a thousand people and the music of Pink Floyd as presented by the conductor AK and his band. It is rare for such a bond between audience, a band and the music to occur but tonight it happened from the first moment. The combination of the music plus the lasers and smoke machines set the tone for the night. 

Comfortably Numb – Canada’s Pink Floyd Show in Toronto Feb 2013
 
First and foremost is the music. This is one musically talented band that has obviously spent countless hours rehearsing together, but make no mistake this is AK’s show. The man is one of the best musicians I have ever seen including guys in the big commercially successful bands. He is laser focused on his music and I can swear he is transcending to a different plane when he twangs his guitar as he closes his eyes and embodies both Gilmour and Waters (and on occasion Barrett). His solos and riffs left the audience speechless and on a few occasions I witnessed groups of friends looking at each other and shaking their heads in disbelief.

Comfortably Numb – Canada’s Pink Floyd Show in Toronto Feb 2013
 

Of course every band is a team effort and AK would not shine so bright without the help of his band. They all kept pace and set the foundation for an incredible evening of Pink Floyd. One thing to mention is that you definitely get your money’s worth with Comfortably Numb. The setlist focused heavily on Pink Floyd’s run of 4 massive albums from 1973-1979 (Dark Side of The Moon, Animals, Wish You Were Here, and The Wall). The cool thing about the setlist is that it was presented in chronological order exactly as Pink Floyd released the songs/albums (except for one song that was out of order Echoes). To put things in context here is what was played last night.


Astronomy Domine
Arnold Layne
Breathe
Time (includes Breathe reprise)
Great Gig in the Sky
Brain Damage
Eclipse
Echoes
Dogs
Pigs

 Intermission
Shine On You Crazy Diamond parts 1-5
Wish You Were Here
In the Flesh?
The Thin Ice
Another Brick In The Wall Part 1
The Happiest Days of Our Lives
Another Brick In The Wall Part 2
Mother
Goodbye Blue Sky
Young Lust
Comfortably Numb

Encore 

Run Like Hell

Comfortably Numb – Canada’s Pink Floyd Show in Toronto Feb 2013

The first set was 80 minutes and the second set was 60 – almost two and a half hours of Pink Floyd bliss.As mentioned before the band shone musically and impressed everyone in attendance  The packed Opera House was bobbing and singing along (especially on Wish You Were Here and Another Brick In The Wall Part 2). As everyone knows though, a good Pink Floyd show is not just about the music, because the visuals are very important to the experience. In that regard Comfortably Numb came through with the big oval screen on top of the drum set, massively synchronized lights, and lasers – oh the sweet lasers! Green lasers were a highlight of the experience as they blanketed the audience at the appropriate time and framed the musicians on stage. I found myself at times zoning out of the band on stage and being hypnotized by the lasers and music – which is a good thing for a Pink Floyd experience. The only thing missing from the visuals of this show was a flying pig, something that would have fit perfectly the end of the first set when the band played the Animals songs.

Comfortably Numb – Canada’s Pink Floyd Show in Toronto Feb 2013
 

The song selection was excellent and appeased casual Floyd fans as well as hardcore fanatics like ourselves. Major highlights was the powerful rendition of Great Gig In The Sky by Solveig, a trance like Pigs that sucked the audience in, and the raw power of In The Flesh. The only song that I really missed was my favorite Pink Floyd song Us and Them.  I was actually glad to not hear Money, nothing wrong with the song but I have heard it 1000’s of times. The opportunity to hear some of the Animals cuts was much more rewarding for a Pink Floyd fan like myself.

Comfortably Numb – Canada’s Pink Floyd Show in Toronto Feb 2013
 

Verdict: 5+ out of 5. It sounds silly to give more than maximum marks but that is how good this show is. The surreal journey that Comfortably Numb took us on was emotional, raw and rewarding. AK is a machine and if Nick Mason and Roger Waters ever needed a guitarist to play with them AK will be the prime candidate. This show is virtually guaranteed to be on our year end Top Concerts of 2013 list. My only complaint is that Comfortably Numb does not come to Toronto often enough. We leave you with a YouTube video of Pigs.

PS. GO SEE THEM TONIGHT!!!

 
Comfortably Numb – Canada’s Pink Floyd Show Backstage in Toronto 2013
The crew and band of Comfortably Numb with the T-Mak World crew
T-Mak and AK
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7 Responses to Comfortably Numb – Canada’s Pink Floyd Show Concert Review February 1 2013

  1. Toronto Jim says:

    First off, thanks T-Mak for the tickets, my step son and I had a great time.
    We went to the Sat. afternoon show. The first two songs we could hardly hear the vocals which surprised me because they had played on Friday night and had a sound check on Saturday. Set list was a little different as they played Careful With That Axe, Eugene early on I think the third song. Again a little glitch when they started the Dark side of the moon segment as either the bass or guitar was out of tune which made for a strange sound to the first song from this part. After that everything was great. Echoes was fantastic and the second set was a surprise after they had already played over an hour. All in all a great afternoon of quality music. One of the best light shows for a venue this size. Really complemented the show. Thanks again for being able to see this great band.
    PS Maybe see you at The White on Sat. night.

  2. T-MAK says:

    My pleasure Jim, glad a true rock fan won the prizes. Hope Comfortably Numb made it on your must see list.

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