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Aussie Floyd takes classic songs on the road

AUSTRALIAN PINK FLOYD, E Center, Friday

WEST VALLEY CITY — So, how does an audience react to a giant inflatable kangaroo, which dances to a song with just one lyric line: "One of 1/3 these days I'm going to cut you to little pieces"?

They cheer, of course.

This was the Australian Pink Floyd concert in the E Center Friday night, and the song was "One of These Days."

And what's so impressive about that? Australian Pink Floyd is the closest thing to an actual Pink Floyd concert that has come to Utah in the past decade.

In fact, the Australian Pink Floyd, a k a the Aussie Floyd, has the blessing of the original Pink Floyd to carry on the torch of taking the band's classic songs on the road.

Bassist Colin Wilson, keyboaridst Jason Sawford, drummer Paul Bonney, and guitarists Damian Antony Darlington and Steve Mac took the audience on a trip to the "Dark Side of the Moon" by playing the music of that entire album. It even began with the subtle heartbeat that leads into "Breathe."

Note for note, the songs were perfect — but they weren't merely regurgitated compositions. The band played with emotion and power.

"Time," "On the Run," "The Great Gig in the Sky," "Money," "Us and Them" and the rest of the "Dark Side" tracks, including the wrap-up "Eclipse," comprised the first half of the show.

After a 15-minute intermission, the band returned and paid tribute to late Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett with "Shine on You Crazy Diamond," and also got into later Floyd numbers with "Learning to Fly," "Take It Back" and "On the Turning Away."

A nice little surprise came with "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun," during which the band paid tribute to its homeland Australia by showing computer images of Ayers Rock from the Australian Outback.

And what would a Pink Floyd tribute show be without something from the epic album "The Wall"? The Aussie Floyd made sure the album was well-represented: "Nobody Home," complete with Wilson singing while sitting in an easy chair next to an electric lamp, and "Another Brick in the Wall Part II" and "Run Like Hell" got audience members on their feet.

Although the musicians of the Aussie Floyd don't really resemble their Pink Floyd counterparts, it didn't matter. The music, the stage design and the video images — all modeled after the original Pink Floyd's "Delicate Sound of Thunder" tour — brought the Floyd experience to Utah.

E-mail:scott@desnews.com