By TOM CHESEK
Roosevelt Stadium, June 1973. A capacity crowd in this Jersey City deco landmark is getting its first real look at a “new” band that’s somehow navigated below U.S. radar for some six years and eight LPs.
As a full moon rises in a smoggy pink sky and a specially trucked-in quadrophonic sound system beats out the tattoo of a familiar heartbeat, Pink Floyd lapses into a full-length, lip-to-label, LIVE recreation of its instant-classic new album THE DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, while flaming model planes spark and sizzle overhead and thousands of Boone’s Farm-stoked brains scream “This… is… our… WOODSTOCK!”
Other Floydian milestones would ensue, from treks into the city to catch “Laser Floyd” at the planetarium, to nights spent trying to sync up DARK SIDE with “The Wizard of Oz.” There were WISH YOU WERE HERE and ANIMALS; THE WALL and all of its horse-flogging spinoffs. There was the 180-gram virgin vinyl DARK SIDE reissue and the 5.1 channel DSD Surround Sound 30th Anniversary Super Audio CD. And, eventually, there were the afternoons spent minivanning the kids to their Paul Green School of Rock all-Floyd rehearsals.
With the definitive four-piece Floyd lineup of Roger Waters, Dave Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright having long since splintered into little more than competing oldies acts, however, what’s been missing from your life has been that definitive recapture of what you felt that night in the toxic Turnpike haze. You need the Pink Floyd experience, or at very least a reasonable simulacrum.
Enter, as if on cue, The Pink Floyd Experience, “a celebration of the music, the themes, and the theatrical experience of a truly innovative band” that makes an encore appearance at the Count Basie Theatre on Saturday, March 1.