“Yeah, yeah, yeah man. I’ve been to a lot of Pink Floyd shows in my time and these guys were dead on.” In so many words, Columbus resident and long-time Floyd fanatic Dan Charnas perhaps best summed up what members of the Pink Floyd tribute band Wish You Were Here have been emulating for years.
Hailing from Cleveland, the undisputed rock and roll capital of the world, Wish You Were Here delivered a mind-numbing tribute to one of rock’s most legendary groups in a special Halloween gig packed with plenty of tricks and treats on Oct. 27.
From the moment the lights dimmed in Columbus’ historic Newport Music Hall, until the last triumphant riff echoed off the storied walls, Wish You Were Here treated the audience to a magical, mystical journey of musical bliss that matched the sight and sound of a live Floyd show to a ‘T’.
The band set the tone early on, opening with a mesmerizing performance of "In The Flesh" followed by an equally intoxicating version of "What Do You Want From Me." Young and old alike bobbed their heads and swayed in rhythmic harmony as lead singer/bassist Eroc Sosinski’s pulsating lyrics and phat bass grooves sliced through the macabre maze of fog and lights that encased them.
After an electrifying version of "Have A Cigar," which featured masterful guitar and sax solos, the band kicked it old-school style with a riveting, almost hypnotic, take on "Interstellar Overdrive" from the days of Syd Barrett.
Set One reached a climactic midpoint with a bevy of fan favorites from Dark Side Of The Moon, including "Breath," "Time" and "Great Gig In The Sky" – each masterfully executed with near flawless perfection. The band’s female, back-up vocalists Jennifer Lee and Marla Zahorsky were breathtakingly awesome as they wailed away during "Gig," while guitarist/vocalist Mark Brennan nailed the "Time" solo – a signature which many Floyd aficionados in the audience said distinguished this band as not only good but great.
Soulful versions of "Mother" and "Goodbye Blue Sky" led up to a captivating and riveting "Hey You" which inspired more than a few air guitar solos from the crowd as Brennan and guitarist Scott Langston, making his band debut, lead the aural attack.
After a stirring jam on "Is There Anybody Out There" and dazzling recreation of "Nobody Home" that featured a distraught Sosinski sitting in a chair belting out the lyrics while taking his frustrations out on a helpless phone, the band closed out Set One with a crowd-pleasing "Run Like Hell" and a promise that Set Two “would really blow everyone away.”
Following a short break, the band delivered on its promise, getting the crowd rocking with a jamming rendition of "One Of These Days" followed by a stellar "Sheep" and blistering "Shine On You Crazy Diamond."
After a grooving "Young Lust," the band dropped the big one on the crowd with a stunning rush of Floyd concert staples. Bathed in blinding white light, audience members joined in the singing as band members nailed their namesake, "Wish You Were Here," and continued its unrelenting excellence with "Fearless" and "Another Brick In The Wall 2," before toning things down a bit for a chilling "Us & Them," featuring the silky smooth saxophone styling of Bob Barno.
From there, the journey was just getting going as the band segued into an arousing "Any Colour" and finished off the set with a frenzied "Brain Damage" that brought out the lighters. Band members saved the best treat for last as they delivered an unbelievably skillful encore performance of "Comfortably Numb" that left a hungry crowd, begging for more.
Though billed as a “cover band” Wish You Were Here far transcended the traditional boundaries of cover bands on this night, delivering a killer tribute truly worthy of the Pink Floyd name. At times, it felt as if Roger Waters, David Gilmour and co. were on stage wowing fans in their accustomed fashion. Anyone who missed the lights, the sound, and the song selection will wish they were there.
Eric R. Wandersleben
JamBase | Ohio
Go See Live Music
Check out WYWH’s next gig on December 22, 2001 at the Odeon Concert Club on the East Bank of Cleveland’s Flats, where they will be performing Pink Floyd’s “Meddle” album in it’s entirety along with a host of other Floyd favorites.
For more information visit www.floydtribute.com.