THE GILMOUR PROJECT
The Gilmour Project continues in 2023, scheduling 50 shows to celebrate the March 15, 1973, US release of Pink Floyd’s masterwork, ‘The Dark Side of The Moon.’ In 2022, the band pivoted to Pink Floyd’s ‘Eclipse’ 1972 US Tour, where the DSOM material debuted, but the album was not released until 1973.
There are Pink Floyd tribute bands … and then there is The Gilmour Project. The 5-piece, All-Star ensemble, quickly gained a reputation for flipping the ‘Tribute Band’ script on its head, with exploratory performances of iconic and deep cut Pink Floyd classics, David Gilmour-centric and solo compositions, and pulling other surprise classic rock masterpieces out of their hats. Their version of (David Gilmour ‘discovery’) Kate Bush’s ‘Running Up That Hill’ appeared nightly in their sets, weeks ahead of its ‘Stranger Things’ buoyed resurgence to the top of the charts and worldwide press … making the band appear spookily prescient. Not satisfied with laurel resting, they immediately began adding geographic / historically prerogative selections … Grateful Dead’s ‘Dark Star’ in San Francisco … Patti Smith’s (Van Morrison’s actually) ‘Gloria’ in Detroit … The Band’s ‘The Weight’ in Ontario … The Allman Bros. ‘Jessica’ in Atlanta … Tom Petty’s ‘Breakdown’ in Florida … Santana’s (Peter Green composition) ‘Black Magic Woman’ in Mexico City.
Their original multimedia, ‘Floydian’ spectacle, eschewed poaching Floyd/Gilmour production assets and imagery – relying instead on visuals created by acclaimed (Blondie and Todd Rundgren) LD Hans Shoop and quadraphonic sound design and special audio FX by The Duke of New York (producer of Paul Simon’s ‘Graceland – The Remixes’). Each show was live streamed, modernizing a page from Grateful Dead’s nihilist marketing playbook, and making the performances available for free around the world for those unable to attend due to Covid concerns, or just unable to attend by being on the other side of the planet.
The Gilmour Project is:
o Jeff Pevar (lead guitar with CSN, David Crosby/CPR, Joe Cocker, Ray Charles, Bette Midler, Blue Floyd, Phil Lesh & Friends, Ricki Lee Jones, Marc Cohn),
o Kasim Sulton (bass & vocals with Todd Rundgren’s Utopia, Meatloaf, Blue Oyster Cult, Hall & Oates, Cheap Trick & Joan Jett),
o Prairie Prince (co-founder of The Tubes, original drummer with Journey, drums with Todd Rundgren, Blue Floyd, Jefferson Starship, Phil Lesh & Friends, XTC, George Harrison, Chris Isaak, Dick Dale),
o Mark Karan (guitar & vocals with Bob Weir, RatDog, The Other Ones, The Airplane Family, Live Dead ’69, Tom Constanten
o Scott Guberman keyboard & vocals with Phil Lesh & Friends, Live Dead ’69, Keystone Revisited, Englishtown Project
The music of Pink Floyd has remained an open work, a myth in constant rewriting from generation to generation like all those that once sustained the modern world. The Gilmour Project, an American supergroup born within classic and progressive rock, has taken up the pen to be one of its most passionate narrators.
The Gilmour Project is and is not a tribute band. It is rather an original ensemble, made up of five musicians with a career in rock since the 1970s and an interest in taking classics from the beloved British group to the fields of jazz and improvisation. The prism of the Dark Side of the Moon, an album whose 49th anniversary brought together several thousand Floyd fans in this place, projected new refractions of his music, as did the legacy of Animals (1977), Meddle (1971), Wish You Were Here (1975) and A Saucerful of Secrets (1968). From the beginning, The Gilmour Project made it clear that it was going all out in the tribute to Floyd’s atmospheres with the chords of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”. Nothing was saved in the first set; It was a journey through each facet of the history of David Gilmour’s group, beginning with “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun”, the theme of their second album, to pieces such as “There’s No Way Out of Here”, popularized by that solo musician. Along the way were “Echoes”, “Dogs” —whose interpretation blew our minds due to the neatness of the guitar solos by Jeff Pevar & Mark Karan— and the first surprise of the night: a cover of “Running Up That Hill”, original by Kate Bush, who at the time of writing these lines sounds endlessly among a generation of tiktokers and lovers of ‘Stranger Things,’ although it did not come off at all in a set focused on connecting both with fans of the music of late century as with new music lovers.
It was in the second set that Dark Side of the Moon was revived in all its splendor… with a few minor additions. The group performed the work from start to finish and made it clear that the 1973 album has come down to our time with the respect of a Mahabharata or a Bhagavad Gita, that is, a text that stands the test of time and, despite having been translated by a lot of pens, it preserves the essence of a historical piece. This is how the reinterpretations of “Breathe”, “Brain Damage”, “Speak To Me”, “Money” were heard —of the public’s favorites— and “Any Color You Like” —the favorite of who writes these lines, of course. In the middle, The Gilmour Project left us with their very personal reimagining of Fleetwood Mac’s “Black Magic Woman,” where Scott Guberman’s acid old-fashioned organs came to the fore more than ever. By then, the five members of The Gilmour Project had put to rest all doubts about their versatility as musicians and their integration as a band—also, it is worth saying, about their vocal prowess. But it was in the encore with “Comfortably Numb” where they also made clear their power to revive the spirit of listening to the original Pink Floyd live. It was at that moment, with hundreds of raised cell phones, full-throated choirs and a couple of giant balloons jumping from hand to hand, when the purest energy of a rock concert was finally revealed.
Tickets: $29.75, $39.75, $59.75 (additional cost day of show)