Monday, February 22, 2010

Floydian Slips & The Eugene Ballet -- Videos

First up, apologies to those who have seen this in other places on the Web, as this has been flying around a lot this week.

But for those of you who are more casual followers of all things Isorski, I have been in a Pink Floyd tribute band called The Floydian Slips for about 13 years and we had a really cool milestone weekend the weekend before last.

This all started as a lark, playing off of an idea I and two college buddies had way back in 1988 to possibly play The Dark Side of the Moon live.

We realized that while sonically killer and obviously classic, the music was not that hard to play -- and I have tape somewhere of us doing Breathe, Time and Money (I think - it's been a long time).

Anyway, that project died on the vine after one rehearsal. Fast forward to 1997 when I was in between projects/bands. My buddy played bass and also happened to book The Wild Duck, a music venue in Eugene Oregon that held about 450 people and hosted nationally touring acts and local bands alike.

We put a group of local ringers together -- great players from other bands, and our friends too, and rehearsed Dark Side for real. The gig was booked and that was that.

Needless to say, the first show was a hit. We did all of Dark Side, Have A Cigar, One of These Days and Pigs and that was all we knew! For an encore we just winged it and jammed some songs.

Over the next 13 years we augmented the band, and tackled Dark Side and The Wall in their entirety, along with most of Animals, Wish You Were Here and Meddle, along with a smattering of pre-Meddle and post-Wall stuff (Set The Controls for the Heart of the Sun, Learning to Fly etc).

The venues got bigger and we started selling out the Cuthbert Amphitheater and McDonald Theater in Eugene, The Aladdin Theater in Portland and the Triple Door in Seattle. We only play a couple of times a year to keep it fresh and kept the same core sound and lighting crew for most of the time.

New Years Eve and a summer show at the amphitheater were our usual big shows, though we did play on Main Street in downtown Eugene one summer (they closed the intersection so the stage could be set up there), as well as the Oregon Country Fair, a big hippie fest that happens every year outside of Eugene.

To avoid things getting stale, we kept pushing the musical boundaries, and recent musical additions include Dogs, Sheep and the epic Echoes.

But after every show, the feeling is, what's next? Do we keep doing this? How do we keep this from getting stale? The answer this year was easy -- The renown Eugene Ballet approached us to perform The Dark Side of the Moon. We would do the music live and they would dance in front of us.

The shows would be at the ornate and gorgeous Hult Center in Eugene, a concert hall that holds 2,500 and we'd do a evening show and a matinee.

Well, the gigs were last weekend and far exceeded everyone's expectations. The choreography was unreal and playing that big stage was a hell of a kick (we were on risers behind the dancers -- see the videos).

Saturday's show was to 2,100 people and we had 1,700 the next day at the matinee. Seeing dance interpretations of the lyrical and musical passages that make up Dark Side were very emotional for me and there were times I had a hard time singing.

I also was terrified I'd mess up the words or lose count in one of the instrumental passages but overall we put in a flawless performance. I was telling people that the last 13 years have been a dress rehearsal for these gigs! Hopefully there will be more. In the meantime, enjoy these videos from the shows:

Any Colour You Like - Brain Damage - Eclipse


Time - Breathe

1 comment:

Bob K said...

Nicely done - I like it a lot.