The Pink Floyd Experience
Grand Opera House, York
Reviewed by Emma Wasson
When we arrived at the Grand Opera House in York to see The Pink Floyd Experience our tickets were waiting for us at the box office, the lady behind the desk found them immediately and was very polite.
All encounters with staff were positive. A member of staff was located at each entrance to the theatre and pointed us in the direction of our seats, the bar and the toilets. We arrived early for the performance so my friend and I had a drink before the show. The drinks pumps weren’t working so we had to have lemonade from little bottles, however it didn’t seem to bother anybody being served. The venue was clean and tidy and toilets were clean and tidy.
When we arrived at the auditorium we entered by the opposite door to our seats, so we had to walk across the front row passing the stage, which gave us a clear view of the stage and all the bands equipment and it was clear immediately that this was going to be a serious performance by a band who knew their stuff, as nestled amongst the drums, keyboards and various other technical equipment were roughly 15 guitars of all shapes and sizes lined up waiting to be used.
Excited we took our seats and soon after a short message opened the performance reminding the audience to turn off their mobile phones, but also stated that the band had permitted photographs but with no flash.
You could sense immediately that the audience were hungry for the performance to start, but were serious about their music as apart from an initial cheer the audience remained fairly quiet during the majority of the performance and in their seats soaking up the music.
I wasn’t sure what to expect as I must admit I don’t really know many Pink Floyd songs, however it was clear as soon as the performance started that this really did not matter at all, as the 9 musicians/singers that make up the band were extremely talented and all you needed was a love of music in any form to appreciate the songs.
From the very start of the show we were hooked and pulled into this performance through the shear talent of the performers. My friend and I were mesmerised as the performance progressed and became almost entranced by the music. All of the songs were very complex and involved many guitar changes and working together as a band and I believe that most musicians would not have been able to pull off these complex songs. However the UK Pink Floyd Experience did this with ease and flair, to provide a thoroughly enjoyable experience for the audience.
The stage itself was ingeniously designed with a huge screen located at the back middle of the stage, and the band used this very cleverly with different lighting tricks to play video clips at appropriate intervals during the songs, often at the start during the instrumental parts, and then going back to abstract visual effects using bold alternate colours, when the musician started to sing. The video clips, together with the lighting added to the overall experience complimenting the musicians’ talents.
They played a variety of different songs, mostly with the 3 backing singers/dancers, one of which also doubled up as the Saxophone player as well. Each artist at different stages during the show got to present their individual talents to the audience through a solo rendition, which was a joy to watch. Also the backing singers/dancers got to show off their amazing voices towards the end as they each sung to the music with no words just altering the tones of their voices, it was marvellous.
Paul, the lead, was absolutely amazing what a talented guy, with all the guitar changes and different sounds that he had to replicate, he managed it all effortlessly. It’s clear that he has a real love and passion for the music which it not only lovely to see but great for anyone going to see the band as this love is passed onto the audience through his performances.
Another Brick in the Wall was the song that lead us into the interval, and really got the audience up and going. Paul’s personality started to shine through as he encouraged the audience to join in and had everyone singing the chorus by the end, and had everyone fired up and hungry for more after the interval. Paul also said that this was their favourite part of the show as well, and you could see why.
When the band finished their rendition and said goodnight and exited the stage, the whole audience were clapping and cheering for a good few minutes before the band came back on to give us another two songs. The last of which was incredible the light show was stepped up to another level, and became very showman like, which encouraged audience participation with people standing up out of their seats and joining in the songs, and left everyone leaving on a real high.
What a treat at the end of the show, all the band members were lined up by the exit to the Opera House, shaking everyone’s hand and having a chat. My friend and I felt like teenagers again, and quickly shook Paul’s hand and ran off in excitement, it made our night!!!
Wow, what an amazing group of highly talented musicians who were clearly born to perform and share their skills with others. Watching the band perform, especially the solo guitar instrumental pieces was completely mesmerising and really makes you not only enjoy but appreciate music and what can be achieved through hard work and dedication. It was a very enjoyable night, one that I would definitely recommend to others and love to see them perform again. Even if you aren’t a Pink Floyd fan you really could not help yourself but enjoy this performance.
The Pink Floyd Experience are currently on a UK tour, for more information or to book tickets click here.
For more information on other shows at The Grand Opera House, York click here.