Posted: 03/02 @ 04:03 amPinky and the Floyd takes on The Wall
If the performances of the entire “Dark Side of the Moon,” last year’s sold-out show at the Emerson Center for the Arts and Culture, and increasing popularity around the Northwest weren’t enough, Bozeman’s 10-piece Pink Floyd tribute band, Pinky and the Floyd, is tackling a new challenge for their growing repertoire: “The Wall.”
Thursday, March 8, the first of back-to-back performances at the Emerson’s Crawford Theater will feature Pink Floyd’s rock opera in its entirety, with sets, a choir, actors and live visual mixing on stage.
“I’m pumped,” said bassist Sean Lehmann. “It’s a performance like we’ve never done before.”
Then Friday, March 9, Pinky will again take on “Dark Side of the Moon.”
To complete “The Wall,” Pinky and the Floyd learned more than a dozen new tunes to fill in the gaps. Favorites such as “Another Brick in the Wall” and “Comfortably Numb” had long been a part of their repertoire which now includes more than five hours of Pink Floyd music.
Four years ago, when the band was formed, the group would all bring their own experiences of the music to the table, all playing as much as possible. Now, however, when they learn songs, they actually sit down with the sheet music and go through each note. This allows the band to know what should be included in the performance of each song, as well as what to leave out.
“There are a lot more moments where there will only be two or three people on stage,” said rhythm guitar player and vocalist Dustin Tucker. “There’s beauty in the simplicity.”
In this way, “The Wall” is different than much of what Pinky and the Floyd has focused on in the past.
“We’re not just hitting them with rock star moves,” Joe Kirchner said. “There are really soft, poignant moments.”
Pinky will again be joined by the Bozeman High School Concert Choir, but this time they’ll have to have parental permission to perform. Jake Fleming, who plays guitar and saxophone and is also a music teacher, went over the lyrics with representatives from the schools, saying he wanted to be “upfront and honest” about the content of the material.
“This is not rated G,” he said. “We’re dealing with real themes here.”
In the story of “The Wall” Pink Floyd, based on Roger Waters, distances himself from the world and the pain and suffering in it, building a mental wall brick by brick with each blow life deals him – the death of his father during World War II, the cruelty of his school teachers, and even his overprotective mother.
As Floyd grows older and becomes a rock star, he deals with other issues related to his fame, his failing marriage and the drugs he takes to release his mind from it all.
“It’s totalitarian, all sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll,” Jake Fleming said.
Though “The Wall” is dealing with adult themes, it is a classic piece of rock history, and should be dealt with the same way as other classic works that have very adult and sometimes shocking situations, like “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Jesus Christ Superstar,” or “any opera,” Jake Fleming explained.
Much of the school’s music curriculum is taught from historical perspectives, whether it be the history of religious music or the history of rock ‘n’ roll, according to Renee Westlake, music supervisor for the Bozeman Public Schools.Westlakesaid she often hears from parents about themes portrayed in music.
“We take a lot of risk in education,” she said.
The songs where Pinky and the Floyd are joined by the choir are all lyrically appropriate for their age group, Westlake said. Other songs, however, have mild profanity coupled with political statements and sexual references. Plus, alcohol will be served at the event.
“It’s not a school event, but it’s a great historical experience for the kids,” Westlake said. “I’m glad our kids are being given the opportunity.”
The high school students have been rehearsing diligently and are excited for the performance.
“I just keep thinking about what it would have been to have a choir experience like this in high school,” singer Jeni Fleming said.
The students learn real-life experience that is extremely valuable if they want to pursue music, Jeni Fleming said. They see the practice and the tech rehearsals and the 90 percent of the job that is very unglamorous.
“Then, they also get to experience why we do this, because those moments on stage are so satisfying,” she said.
For more information, visit www.pinkyandthefloyd.com.
Rachel Hergett may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 582-2603.
Pinky and the Floyd performs “Happiest Days of Our Lives” into “Another Brick in the Wall” at the Emerson Theater on March 10, 2011.
Pinky and the Floyd
EmersonCenterfor Arts Culture’s Crawford Theater
March 8, 7:30 p.m. – “The Wall” and more
March 9, 7:30 p.m. – “Darkside of the Moon” and more
Tickets are $20 for one night or $30 for both nights and are available at Cactus Records inBozeman.
Food and drinks will be available in Emerson Ballroom at 6:30 p.m. each night, sponsored by the Emerson Grill. All proceeds go to Hand Me Down Some Silver.