By Tyler Allen Explore Big Sky Associate Editor
BOZEMAN – Pinky and the Floyd has paid tribute to one of rock’s most influential bands during more than 50 live shows in the last six years. The Bozeman-based Pink Floyd cover band played two more exceptional nights of music on their home turf March 6 and 7, at the historic Emerson Theater.
The theater run, entitled “Cubed: An Odyssey of Sound and Vision,” incorporated a giant cubed projection screen suspended over the stage where illustrations, video and live images of the band were shown throughout the night.
The band debuted four new songs to their devoted Bozeman fan base: “San Tropez” off the album “Meddle;” “Coming Back to Life” from “The Division Bell;” “Two Suns in the Sunset” from “The Final Cut;” and “Free Four” from “Obscured by Clouds.” The set lists were identical each night, save for the omission of “Free Four” on Friday.
They played every song from “Dark Side of the Moon,” peppering cuts from the seminal album sequentially throughout the set list, as well as select cuts from “The Wall,” also in chronological order. The band worked hard in the weeks leading up to the Emerson performance to focus on the transitions between songs, and it was apparent in the seamless changes.
“It was the tightest [show yet] on multiple levels,” said saxophonist and acoustic guitarist Jake Fleming, who put the Emerson set list together. “We set our intention toward it. I think it paid off. The way the show was designed, our transitions were tighter.”
Dave Walker and Jerry Mullen, of the Fossils, joined the band both nights for “Dogs of War” and the “Comfortably Numb” encore. Walker lives in Virginia City and was a vocalist for rock legends Fleetwood Mac and Savoy Brown.
“I got to sing some of my favorite Pink Floyd tunes, and got to ad lib,” Walker said after the first night’s performance. The energy he and Mullen brought to the stage wrenched many of those still seated out of their chairs. Mullen ripped searing solos while Walker – with his gray ponytail, rose-tinted glasses and long leather coat – belted out the Floyd classics while shaking his fists in the air.
Friday’s show closed with rhythm guitarist Dustin Tucker throwing high-fives and fist bumps to the zealous fans up front, as lead guitarist Luke Flansburg thanked the Emerson, and the sound and light technicians as if accepting a Grammy.
If the Recording Academy gave out awards for tribute bands, Pinky and the Floyd would clean up the golden gramophones for these latest performances.
Look for a feature article on Pinky and The Floyd in the next issue of Explore Big Sky.