Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Welcome to the Machine

Paul Green's School of Rock plays the music of Pink Floyd 8/13/05 @ The World Cafe Philadelphia, PA

Although I don't usually like cover bands or attend shows like these, this is a notable exception. After hearing much about the recent movie about music teacher Paul Green and his students (I still haven't seen the movie in question), we decided to check out one of their performances. Admittedly, it wasn't my idea, but since this was an early show and The Knitters show was a late show (see review elsewhere), I accepted the proposition. To their credit, they did a fantastic job with a difficult catalog and covered just about everything from 1967's excellent Syd Barrett composition "See Emily Plays" to "Hey You" from 1979's double album The Wall, with many interesting midway points such as the opener, parts I-IV of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", "Pigs on the Wing" (from the often-overlooked Animals) and about half of Dark Side of the Moon, including "Time" and the show closer, "Brain Damage/Eclipse". I have to say that it's a really interesting experience to hear a drummer who didn't look above the age of 11 mimic Nick Mason's drum parts so well or 3 teenage girls singing the female lead vocals in "The Great Gig in the Sky" so perfectly that it almost gave me goosebumps. There must have been about 30 kids or so during the performance with musicians alternating song by song and all were uniformly excellent musically on their instruments, though a few were a bit weak vocally. That's a very minor complaint, though, since overall they played the Pink Floyd catalog with skill, care and feel and that's not an easy accomplishment.


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