Nov 16 2013 – Saturday night I had the chance to catch Eclipse, the Pink Floyd tribute based out of New Brunswick. We all know how Pink Floyd fans can tend to be extremely critical when it comes to other people covering their material live, and in my opinion, rightfully so. Anyone that has been lucky enough to experience Pink Floyd live was treated to spectacular musicianship, visuals, and lighting. To pull off a tribute of this magnitude will be no easy task and I have to admit that I went in to the show feeling somewhat skeptical.
Guitarist/Vocalist Heath Foley was originally from Ontario. In 1990 he moved to New Brunswick and in 1996 Big Easy was formed. Big Easy ended up lasting for 13 years until 2009. To date this is the longest run Foley has ever spent with a band.
Bruce Barber looks after the bass as well as singing lead vocals on a number of songs during the show. Barber was influenced by players like Chris Squire, Geddy Lee and Sir Paul McCartney. Barbers setup consists of Fender, Rickenbacher and Schectar bass guitars powered by Carwin and SWR amps.
Keyboard player and vocalist Mike Boyer received his first modular synth at the age of 17 and has been heavily involved in the New Brunswick music scene since the early 80’s. One highlight of Boyer’s career was winning a CBC Maritimes song writing contest back in 1985. His keyboard playing combined with his strong vocal ability makes him a valuable asset when covering some of the more complex Pink Floyd arrangements.
Paul Mortimer was born in Cape Breton and started playing guitar when he was 13. He lists bands like Steppenwolf, The Beatles, Yes, and Paul Simon as a few of his major influences on the Eclipse website. Mortimer adds background vocals, plays guitar and keyboards adding to the versatility of this talented group of musicians.
Kevin Shephard got his first set of drums when he was 16. In April 2012, Shephard was approached by Barber about joining the Eclipse lineup. Playing the songs of Pink Floyd professionally fulfilled one of his long time musical desires.
Montes Bar and Grill is probably my favorite local venue when I want to see a good rock show. The house PA and lighting can’t be matched in a club in the Halifax/Dartmouth area so when I found out Eclipse was playing, it was pretty much a no brainer for me. The band Eclipse has a large number of Pink Floyd songs in their current repertoire and on this night they broke it up into 3 sets because there was no supporting act. Visually Eclipse added a circular video screen, a couple small lasers and additional fog machines to complement the top notch house system.
Eclipse took to the stage just after 10:00 PM and their first set included many of the classic songs like Breathe, Time, Money, Us and Them, Brain Damage and Eclipse. The circular video screen displayed Pink Floyd animated scenes that were synced to the music as Eclipse worked their way through the set. I have to say that Eclipse now have a new fan. While they may not be the calibre of Brit Floyd or The Australian Pink Floyd show yet, they are a very good live tribute to rock legends Pink Floyd.
Their second and third sets were equally as impressive as the first. The sound was bang on, the visuals worked well but I don’t feel that the house lighting tech made the most of the tools he had available. The stage was often quite dark and band members were left in the shadows and hard to see. This issue does not reflect negativity towards the band or their musical performance but it did take away from the potential of the visual production.
Verdict – 4/5
I think the video footage should give everyone a good indication of how well Eclipse does with their tribute. Musically and vocally they are very strong but could use a little work on the harmonies to tighten up their show even more. They play an interesting selection of material from Pink Floyd’s catalog which made for a very enjoyable night of music. The performed all the “hits” that people would expect as well as other songs like “Pigs” that surprised us. I would go see this band again without hesitation, so when you see them advertised in your part of town it is well worth the effort and we don’t think you will be disappointed.
Article and Photographs – Stephen Ruxton T-Mak World: Toronto’s Site for Music, Movies and Culture www.tmakworld.com | Twitter | Facebook Get the T-Mak World Toolbar below to get all the info you need