May 13 2015 – Have you circled Wednesday July 22 on your calendar yet? If not, let us tell you about a very big musical highlight of your summer that we consider a must see show. The Australian Pink Floyd Show (TAPFS) is headlining a summer night show at Toronto’s Molson Canadian Amphitheater. Along for the ride is Led Zeppelin 2 – a wicked Zep tribute band from Chicago which we have previously reviewed here.
Tickets for this show are available here so don’t hesitate, get a good seat and enjoy a warm summer night with a musical backdrop of Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. In order to get you ready for the concert we took the opportunity to speak to The Australian Pink Floyd Show keyboardist Jason Sawford about the band, the upcoming show and at the end we have a very special bonus for our readers – a contest for 2 tickets to the show in Toronto.
T-Mak World: Jason thanks for the time, The Australian Pink Floyd Show is coming to Toronto at the Molson Canadian Amphitheatre. It is not often that a tribute band takes on that venue, so we applaud you guys for making this happen. Tell our readers what the show promises to deliver?
TAPFS: Essentially we strive to reproduce a ‘Pink Floyd’ show: In other words-a big, spectacular show in which we perform great Pink Floyd songs note for note complete with a special effects lighting show, lasers, inflatables and interesting visuals projected onto a circular screen.
T-Mak World: On T-Mak World we have discussed previously that for a tribute show 3 things matter. The music, the visuals, and the experience. The music is a given – it must be a faithful reproduction of the original. The visuals usually are fairly consistent with the original Pink Floyd experience albeit with some interpretation. The intangible for me is the experience – the feeling of tricking my mind into believing that I was seeing Pink Floyd in a very hypnotic sort of way. Does the band consciously make every attempt to lead the audience to a Pink Floyd experience?
TAPFS: We strive to get the sound of Pink Floyd as close as possible to the great albums and recordings of Pink Floyd. We’ve spent a lot of time and money to reproduce the sounds, to use the right equipment and work with other skilled professionals in the industry, some of whom have even worked with Pink Floyd themselves-people such as Colin Norfield who has just done a European tour with us and is now off to work with David Gilmour and even one of our backing vocalists, Lorelei McBroom toured with Floyd and she brings her experience to the show. The visuals that we use evoke imagery associated with Pink Floyd as well as other themes that are relevant to the music .
The combination of the right production and music played as it should be naturally gives rise to that distinctive atmosphere that Pink Floyd shows seemed to have.
The songs themselves are often very evocative and powerful and it can be an emotional experience for people to see such a production and music played live. I think
it comes as close as you can get to a Pink Floyd show without seeing the original band
T-Mak World: Speaking of the experience, the Molson Amphitheater is a huge venue with a capacity of 16,000. Hope you brought lots of lasers.
TAPFS: Yes, we’ve being using some great coloured lasers and special lighting effects on our tours. They look fantastic.
T-Mak World: And of course no Pink Floyd show would not feature flying pigs. You have flying pigs as well?
TAPFS: We have several inflatables we use. We do in fact have the Pig that was used by Pink Floyd during the Division Bell tours. We also have our own huge, inflatable pink Kangaroo-. -sometimes when I’ve on some stages it blows up and cramps everyone out on stage. We have guys make it jump up and down and it’s funny to see the expressions on people’s faces as it emerges from the darkness, It adds a bit of humour to the show. We also have an inflatable teacher for ‘Brick In The Wall’.
T-Mak World: What is the most fun song for you personally to play on stage with The Australian Pink Floyd Show and why?
TAPFS: It varies from tour to tour. I’ve always enjoyed doing some of the epic pieces like Echoes or Dogs or Shine On 6-9 but sometimes ‘Money’ is a fun song to play mainly because our sax player does a very distinctive dance in it that usually raises a smile
T-Mak World: Aside from The Australian Pink Floyd Show what are you involved with (musically and otherwise)?
TAPFS: Several of us are involved in other projects or have done other things but TAPFS tends to take up the bulk of our time so it’s hard to find the opportunity to do other things outside of this show. I have been working with our guitarist David Domminey Fowler and some other musicians to write and record some original tracks under the name of “Audial” and we recently released an original album that is now available on itunes.
T-Mak World: One thing I like to talk about is the longevity of classic rock. I don’t think a perfect storm will ever exist again to bring us bands like Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, The Who all at the same time. The riches these bands enjoyed commercially are no longer available to young rock bands. Having said that I believe rock will exist for a very long time through tribute bands and The Australian Pink Floyd Show is setting a very high standard for cover/tribute shows. Do you believe the music of Pink Floyd will be played 100 or 300 years from now (assuming humanity exists) and if so why?
TAPFS: I think the music has definitely started to attain a ‘classic’ status now. Albums such as ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ are considered to be masterpieces in their own right. There are lots of younger people who are getting into the music so it speaks to more than one generation. To perform the music requires using the right techniques-so much so that it’s a comparable enterprise to performing classical music, so I’m confident that the music will still be enjoyed for decades if not centuries to come.
T-Mak World: Have you met any members of Pink Floyd? How do you think they feel about your show?
TAPFS: I’ve personally met David Gilmour, Nick Mason and Rick Wright. David Gilmour has seen us play about 3 times and we were invited to play for his birthday party a few years back now. They were very complimentary and really nice people.
T-Mak World: How does the setlist get chosen for each tour, and can we expect to hear Pink Floyd from the Barrett days all the way through the non-Waters days?
TAPFS: We like to change the set list every year and rotate songs in our repertoire but there are always song that we simply have to do because they are the songs that Pink Floyd are known for-Another Brick in the Wall, Comfortably Numb and Wish You Were Here for example. There are songs that are less well-known but are classic Pink Floyd songs-songs such as Pigs or Sheep or even Echoes-which are great to play but they do tend to be rather long and take up a lot of the time available-but we try to include one ‘epic’ if we can and maybe we’ll also include at least one early or Syd Barrett song as he was so essential to the early Pink Floyd story. We strive for a well-balanced set that representative of the entire body of work but sometimes, if we concentrate on an album then some periods don’t necessarily get represented because there simply isn’t enough time to do everything but that’s why we like to change it every year so that we cover as much as we can within the time limitations we have
T-Mak World: Speaking of Roger Waters – we saw The Wall tour multiple times in various cities across the world (sample review from Athens Greece is here). I am sure you have seen it, can you speak about the experience to you personally of seeing this show?
TAPFS: I saw the Wall performed in London at the O2 Arena. It was fantastic and I really enjoyed the approach to the show and the interesting use of projections. A couple of us also went to see the show again (unfortunately I wasn’t there myself) and actually got to see the moment when David Gilmour and Nick Mason joined Roger on the stage. It was an emotional moment for many in the audience
T-Mak World: Hey I was there as well! Check out my video of that night here. Jason, thank you so much for your time. We have a pair of tickets to give away to the Toronto show at The Molson Canadian Amphitheater on July 22 2015 (entry details below) with Led Zeppelin 2 so thank you for that! Any last words for our readers?
TAPFS: We are really looking forward to playing in Canada again , we have some great memories of playing in Canada and performing this show as well as having some Led Zeppelin being added to the evening promises to be a great night for anyone who enjoys good music.
Wow that sure was cool and we are so looking forward to catching the band – as promised we have a pair of tickets to give away to the Toronto show at The Molson Canadian Amphitheater on July 22 2015. To enter simply email your name and favorite Pink Floyd song to contests (at) tmakword (dot) com and include OZFLOYD in the subject. Bonus entry if you like the T-Mak World Facebook page. Good luck you shiny diamonds – winner will be notified July 12 2015 and the tickets will be available at the box office the day of the event.