Trusted local news leader for Prescott area communities since 1882
Sun, March 24

'Great Gig in the Sky' tribute band puts its spin on Pink Floyd's epic oeuvre

Courtesy photo<br>
Jennifer Taber belts out vocals during a Great Gig in the Sky performance.

Courtesy photo<br> Jennifer Taber belts out vocals during a Great Gig in the Sky performance.

PRESCOTT - Some semi-rabid Pink Floyd fans probably don't remember that the fifth track on 1973's Dark Side of the Moon album, the one with Clare Torry vocalizing over the piano lead, is titled "The Great Gig in the Sky."

If you knew that already, then you've probably already bought tickets to go see the band The Great Gig in the Sky perform.

Since 2001, the five-piece group - with guest performers - has been playing venues of all sizes around the southwest, and now they're coming to Prescott for the first time.

Chris Forenz, who plays guitar and has been with the band since it was started, said the band tailors its show to the size of the house. It can play an intimate setting, or, as they will on Friday, Jan. 24, an arena: Tim's Toyota Center, one of the biggest venues the band has played.

The Tim's performance will include a full light and video show while the band plays the entire "Dark Side of the Moon" album as well as songs from "Wish You Were Here," "Animals," and "The Wall."

The larger shows, which feature multi-tiered staging, projection, and moving lights, are run by production manager Mick Treadwell, who was the lighting director and photographer for Pink Floyd's "The Wall" tour in 1980 and 1981.

"Every show is different," Forenz said. "A lot of the time we center the show around a particular album. You can close your eyes and think you're listening to the album."

Unlike many bands, this one got off to a pragmatic start. The band's members decided that doing original music wasn't the way to go if they wanted to make money, so they pitched the idea of the Pink Floyd show to a promoter, who liked it.

"He booked us a gig, and we had to learn all the songs real quick," Forenz said with a chuckle.

But this isn't the usual cover band - they play the music faithfully while making it their own.

Forenz said, "We don't look at it as much as 'we're a tribute band that tries to look like Pink Floyd,' because we don't.

"We think of ourselves as a small orchestra that's performing some very well-written and recorded music for a live audience," he said.

The audience is surprisingly broad for a band that plays music from the 1970s and '80s. "Every single show, I see people from the teenage years all the way up to 60 or 70 years old," he said. "It's really kind of a cool throwback for them."

One of the band's favorite things about performing well-known music is watching the people in the audience singing along with them.

"It's such a neat feeling to see the whole crowd singing, say, 'Wish You Were Here' with you," Forenz said. "You can totally tell they're getting pulled back to what it's like to experience a live band like Pink Floyd."

Follow the reporter on Twitter @AZNewsguy


This Week's Circulars

To view money-saving ads...