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Psychedelia to inspire all ages - NZ 2009

Dene Mackenzie, Otago Daily Times, Fri 1 May 2009

Another enjoyable experience was enjoyed by a nearly full Regent Theatre on Wednesday; a Pink Floyd Experience, that is.

The Experience is a regular visitor to Dunedin and long may that association continue. It was almost like a reunion at the concert, with people who attended The Wall in 2007 coming back for the Back Catalogue 2009 concert.

For nearly three hours, the audience was treated to some fine musicianship. In fact, the five members of the Experience, along with saxophonist Roger Rangitaawa, demonstrated how versatile the music of Pink Floyd was to a new generation of fans, judging by the younger audience members accompanying their parents.

One mother was desperately trying to explain what ‘psychedelic’ meant to her 20-something daughter. The swirling light patterns reminiscent of ‘that era’ had been a prominent part of the first half. In the end, the mother told her daughter to just close her eyes and let the light and music wash over her. Good advice.

For those who were not Pink Floyd devotees, there could be a ‘sameness’ about some of the music.

Lengthy guitar solos, particularly by Darren Whittaker, featured greatly. At times, lead singer Stan Gratkowski disappeared offstage for several minutes as the two guitarists, the drummer and keyboard player went to town. The music soared through the theatre, inspiring people of all ages to start tapping feet, drumming on their knees or just nodding their heads in time.

One of the exciting things about the performance was the sound effects faithfully reproduced at the start of most songs. One only had to hear the buzz of an aeroplane to know The Wall was next, or hear the cash register to know cash was king in Money. It is nearly 40 years since Pink Floyd released Dark Side of the Moon. But Money and the title track remain deeply meaningful today.

The Pink Floyd Experience accurately portray the troubled souls that made the genius of Roger Waters and Dave Gilmour so outstanding. Long may it continue.

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