Review Summary: A spellbinding performance that will leave the listener breathless.
The Pink Floyd performing in this album is not the familiar Pink Floyd that is known to most of the world, the legendary group that wrote acclaimed classics like; The Dark Side Of The Moon
and The Wall
. No, this album better acquaints us with a band that was just beginning to define themselves and their music. A band that had become a shadow of its former self after being stripped of their identity at the hand of its former leader, Syd Barrett, and spending an extend amount of time in their career rediscovering themselves. This performance consists of tracks from albums like Meddle
and A Saucerful Of Secrets
, ironically this is an era that today is often overlooked by fans and even Pink Floyd themselves. But it was within these albums that we saw Pink Floyd beginning to develop the unique sound that would later define them.
Songs like "A Saucerful Of Secrets"
display the more experimental side of their earlier efforts. An avant-garde piece that explores new dimensions within their music, while pushing themselves to even stranger realms. "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun"
is another track from the same album and even shares a similar fascination with astronomy, but the two differ in sound. "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun"
, with its cosmic sounds of ambient psychedelia, is orchestrated to mimic the experience of an astral voyage through the vast distances of outer space. This performance displays an emphasis on atmospheric textures than typical rock music as most of the compositions contain lengthy instrumental passages. But that is the beauty of this performance, to hypnotize the listener into a trance while having them descend deep into their mind as they lose themselves in a musical haven.
"Careful With That Axe, Eugene"
displays a more traditional musical structure, but it's a haunting piece of music. It has an almost irresistibly alluring quality, Inducing an ominous yet delicate atmosphere before revealing its more aggressive side. For the most part, this composition is an instrumental piece but throughout the track there are various vocal deliveries, menacing in tone so as to add to its gloomy ambience. "One Of These Days"
projects a similar aesthetic, but reveals a more different agenda. This composition is very reminiscent of a horror scene, as we resume the role of a character walking alone in a dark place. We advance, timid yet cautious. The tension begins to rise because we know that the murderer is just waiting for that perfect moment of opportunity to strike. It's an exciting piece because as the song progresses, we feel like it's building-up to something, and it almost teases us because we're succumbed with paranoia just waiting for that moment of release. And then, just when everything is slowly calming down, a sudden warning arises; "One of these days, I'm going to cut you into little pieces."
- The song erupts into an intense delivery, reflecting the inevitable turmoil where we meet our demise at the hands of our antagonist.
But now let us move on to the highlight of this performance, "Echoes"
. This song is composed of everything we love about Progressive Rock- the ambient decorations of Psychedelia, and of course those long musical voyages of mesmerizing musicianship. This song is an odyssey through time and space, descending through a multitude of instrumental realms as we discover just how far these musicians can go. Every member displays a phenomenal performance in this piece, whether it's Roger Waters carrying us along with his basslines, Nick Mason who keeps the song alive with his rhythmic drumming or Richard Wright's touches of hypnotic ambience throughout, but this song would be nothing without David Gilmour's contribution. He just erupts with a set of relentless solos, his performance is truly incendiary with the roaring bursts from his guitar as it cries for mercy. This version of "Echoes"
is divided into 2 parts in the album, both as the opening track and the denouement. As a great admirer of this song, I feel the division disturbs the hypnotic quality of this truly beautiful piece of music. But even still, it's an enjoyable work of art. This album is often the ignored one of Pink Floyd's Live discography as it doesn't contain most of their well known songs. It is composed entirely of their earlier work, the ambient and the experimental; music that is not suited for the average listener. But I encourage fans of Pink Floyd, and any admirer of Progressive Rock, to give this album a listen as it will be sure to satisfy if given the attention and enthusiasm it requires.