Fillmore Miami Beach
Thursday, July 16
Better Than: Waiting around praying that the surviving members of Pink Floyd tour again.
In case you haven’t noticed all your favorite classic rock stars are dead or old as dirt. Of the surviving Beatles Paul McCartney is 73 and Ringo Starr just turned 75. While it might seem like the Rolling Stones will be able to start themselves up forever, Mick Jagger’s about to turn 72. So in about a decade tribute bands that devote themselves to playing note to note renditions of your favorite artists might be the closest thing we have in the year 2025 to seeing the immortals in a live setting.
Brit Floyd gave the packed crowd at the Fillmore a positive impression on the tribute genre last night. The band picked an artist in Pink Floyd that doesn’t have any iconic members whose images are etched in our collective memory. While a Led Zeppelin tribute band is required to have a singer with long curly locks to play Robert Plant and a Doors tribute band better have a singer who will take off his shirt, Brit Floyd didn’t have to waste energy on embodying the looks of Roger Waters, David Gilmour and gang. Rather they were able to concentrate on emulating the brilliant psychedelics that is the music of Pink Floyd.
They also brought a lot of lasers.
The ten members of Brit Floyd played in front of a giant circular screen as it flashed old photographs of Pink Floyd that corresponded with the songs they were playing. For history buffs, the screen also projected the year that the songs were released. The time machine took us from 1967 with the Syd Barrett era “See Emily Play” to a cut off 2014’s album, The Endless River, with nearly fifty years of mostly timeless songs in between. Of course, with fifteen albums of music to choose from, there’s always one more song fans would wish to hear. There was no “Mother” or “Us and Them," but Brit Floyd managed to master most of Pink Floyd's biggest hits — from “Comfortably Numb” to “Wish you Were Here” and, of course, “Another Brick in the Wall.” They closed out the night playing the entire fourth side from the double album The Wall.
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While some tribute bands out there tend to be literalists, there were a few songs where Brit Floyd changed things up slightly. The trio of female backing singers were given room to show off their pipes during a stretched out version of “Money,” and often times the singers enunciated the words with much clearer diction than Pink Floyd ever did. But for the most part, the night was like watching your old records come to life. The visual aspects stood up to the music.
Dark Side of the Moon rainbow prism lasers drew “oohs” from the crowd. Spotlights that looked like they were coming from a helicopter fit in nicely with the chopper sounds from the beginning of “Another Brick in the Wall” and as “Have a Cigar” abruptly ended the house went black as the stage transformed into a night sky.
While it would be an unbelievable treat for the remaining members of Pink Floyd to reunite, that looks unlikely. Brit Floyd might be one of your best chances to simulate what a Pink Floyd concert would be like — unless of course computer programmers can perfect a Pink Floyd version of that Tupac hologram that showed up at Coachella a few years back.