Shine on: The Floyd does Pink well, sells out show

The Floyd rocks the sold-out Cargo Concert Hall on April 1.
Tahoe Onstage photos by Nick McCabe

The Floyd pulled off a first Saturday night by being the first local band to sell out Reno’s Cargo Concert Hall. Sold out! Two magic words that every band likes to hear. They did it and they put on a hell of a show in the process.

The Northern Nevada band pulled out all the stops for the show, as they do for every performance. They had a full set of riggings behind and above the band with roughly 20 sets of LED lights. There were lasers at the corners of the stage plus fog machines and sound effects, as well as the obligatory round video display with a ring of movable flood lights. Not to mention they set up speakers around the room giving a surround sound presentation to the devoted crowd of local fans.

Nick McCabe

“The Dark Side of the Moon” lights a pair of concertgoers.

Tyler Stafford, winner of three 2016 Forte’ Awards, opened for The Floyd with a beautiful three-song set on acoustic guitar that ended with Pink Floyd’s “Pigs on the Wing.”

The Floyd subtly brought the room to life with the hypnotic “Echoes” from 1971’s Meddle, and then moved right into “Fearless,” also off of Meddle — a nice nod to early Pink Floyd (post Syd Barret, but still early).

Curt Mitchell

Curt Mitchell on lead guitar.

Next up they touched on a little album called “Dark Side of The Moon.” By “touched on” I mean they played the whole thing. This was an absolutely amazing performance by all members. “On the Run” was a shining performance by whoever was working the lasers. Especially worth pointing out was Lisa McCuiston’s vocal solo in “The Great Gig In The Sky.” You all know what it is. You might not know it by its name, but no Pink Floyd fan is unmoved by this solo. Not only does she kill it, but she is killing a vocal solo that was actually performed by three separate singers during Pink Floyd shows. Guest artist Tom Gordon, representing the University of Nevada and Inspired Amateur Productions, played the Roto Toms solo in “Time.” The end of the performance of Dark Side brought them to a 10-minute break.

They started the second set with three selections from the album “Wish You Were Here”: “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” “Have A Cigar” and “Wish You Were Here.” I really did lose track of which songs had which amazing performances, but it goes without saying (except right here, right now) that Curt Mitchell blew everybody away countless times with his mastery of the Fender Stratocaster.

Tom Gordon made three more appearances during the show: during “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2” he came out with a megaphone and did the “If you don’t eat your meat, you can’t have any pudding” condemnation, Roto Toms on “Happiest Days of Our Lives,” and the trap set on “Learning To Fly.”

A coupe of the hard working guys who get buried in the back are Rob Lawrence on keyboards (Rob has the gift that a lot of musicians these days don’t have: he reads sheet music), and Jeff Laakso on additional keyboards, guitar and saxophone. These guys are putting a lot of the magic in the music that is like the canvas on which the front players paint the picture. Without it, it wouldn’t be Pink Floyd.

A show like this involves a whole lot more time than what you see at the show. I’m sure you all understand that it takes time to set up and tear down. Aside from the obvious planning that takes place days, weeks and months before the gig — game day is all day and night. Arrival at the venue is around 10 a.m. when the unloading begins. Set up has to be done in time to do a sound check around 1:30 p.m. After the show it is not time to go party and unwind. It’s time to strike the stage (pack up) and get out. That is done by around 1 a.m. More often than not, this is done for what breaks down to less than minimum wage. Musicians are absolutely nuts about what they do.

Nick McCabe

Rob Lawrence knows the score. Have a cigar, pudding, too.

For hundreds of years orchestras have been playing the works of masters such as Bach, Handel, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Brahms and many more. These classical compositions live on thanks to the written music and the ongoing education of musicians who keep it alive. Today, we have the added advantage of recordings, both audio and video, that give source material and inspiration to new generations of musicians. The Floyd is just one of those groups showcasing the work of the masters of our time. Make no mistake about it: In a hundred years, the music of bands such as The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, and many more rock musicians will be looked back on in awe and continue to be performed by the orchestras of the future.

If you were there for this show, The Floyd thanks you. If you loved it, you are not alone. If you missed it, there’s always next time. In closing let me share this sentiment best expressed by Pink Floyd in the song “Time” —

“Tired of lying in the sunshine staying home to watch the rain
You are young and life is long and there is time to kill today
And then one day you find 10 years have got behind you
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun”

-Nick McCabe


Nick McCabe

  • The Floyd
    Vince Gates – Vocals, Bass, Guitars, Sound Effects
    Dean Rossi – Drums, Percussion, Show and Tech Direction
    Lisa McCuiston – Vocals, Guitar, Bass, Percussion
    Curt Mitchell – Lead Guitar, Slide Guitar, Vocals
    Rob Lawrence – Keyboards, Vocals
    Jeff Laakso – Sax, Keyboards, Guitars, Percussion, Vocals
  • Special Guest
    Tom Gordon – Percussion, Drums
    Technical Support
    Todd Rold – L. Sound Tech
    Justin Bell (Cargo)
    Ed Collins / Kathryn Raffery – Laser Directors
    Jennifer Miller – Video Director
    Vince Gates / Dean Rossi – Quad Sound
    Frank Brock – Stage Manage
  • SET LIST
  • Echoes
    Fearless
    Breathe
    On The Run (Lasers)
    Time
    Great Gig In The Sky
    Money
    US and Them
    Any Colour You Like
    Brain Damage
    Eclipse
  • Intermission
    Shine On You Crazy Diamond
    Have A Cigar
    Wish You Were Here
    Another Brick In The Wall 1 / Happiest Days of Our Lives
    Another Brick 2 / We Don’t Need No Education
    Mother
    Goodbye Blue Sky
    Young Lust
    Is There Anybody Out There / Comfortably Numb
    Run Like Hell
    Learning To Fly
    On The Turning Away
  • Encore
    Hey You
    Pigs

About Nick McCabe

Nick McCabe is a musician, photographer and writer from Carson City, Nevada. He is the editor of the music website Front Row Photo

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