Pink Floyd did for progressive rock what the Beatles did for rock ‘n’ roll. They elevated it. It isn’t merely that Pink Floyd made some of the best albums of the twentieth century (they did), or redefined popular music in the 1970s (they did that as well). It’s that Pink Floyd did the impossible: they made music that is impossible to marginalize. They created entire albums of obtuse poetry and sonic landscapes that managed to somehow resonate with a mainstream audience.
The band performed its last concert on July 2, 2005, as part of Live 8, and was broadcast around the world. In 2008, founding member Rick Wright passed away and made experiencing a Pink Floyd concert part of history forever.
Canada’s foremost and most authentic tribute to this lost concert experience, Pigs: Canada’s Pink Floyd Tribute, was formed that same year. They have been garnering rave reviews from audiences full of Pink Floyd fans ever since. They bring the music of Pink Floyd to the Georgian Theatre on Oct. 24.
”When you come see us, it’s the real deal,” says founder and guitarist Josh Szczepanowski. “We put on an actual rock and roll show from top to bottom.”
Pigs’ claim to fame is their authenticity. They take the band in their 1970s heyday and try to present a Peter Pan-like version of them. They look and sound like the band did then and use this aesthetic to perform material from throughout their career.
“We play the songs as if we wrote ‘em,” said Szczepanowski. “We take ownership and it shows.”
To help achieve this authenticity, the members of Pigs each perform as a specific member of the Pink Floyd touring band from 1977. That includes the main four members of the band, as well as as the second guitarist, backup singer and saxophonist that were on the road with them at the time.
“We’re each an individual member of the band and do what they did onstage,” says Szczepanowski, Pigs’ answer to David Gilmour. “We have very carefully studied what they did as a band on stage and we tend to favour these arrangements.”
Audiences can expect a pyschedelic jam on Shine on You Crazy Diamond as well as impassioned performances of emotional material like Comfortably Numb and Us and Them alongside radio friendly material like Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 and Money.
The show includes many of the projections and even lasers that Floyd used back in the seventies too.
“It’s not like going home and putting on the record,” says Szczepanowski. “It’s important to us to really play everything the way Floyd would have been played it at their best.”
The result is a rarity in tribute bands. A Pigs show becomes a tribute to the live experience of seeing Pink Floyd at their peak, in performance, rather than on record.
“We don’t play a single note that the band didn’t play at some point. We’ve just done our research to find the best possible versions.”
A good example of this is during their version of one of the band’s biggest hits, Comfortably Numb. The Pigs’ performance combines four different versions of the iconic ending solo from four different eras to make, perhaps, the ultimate version of the solo. That is the goal of Pigs, in a nutshell. A timeless, perfect version of a Pink Floyd concert.
Pigs: Canada’s Pink Floyd Tribute plays the Georgian Theatre on Oct. 24. Tickets are available by calling 705-739-4228 or by clicking here.