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16.02.2020

DARK SIDE OF THE WALL - THE NORDIC FLOYD SHOW (Grieghallen, Bergen)

Anmeldt av Jens Nepper

DARK SIDE OF THE WALL poster.png

Dark Side of the Wall is a Norwegian ensemble paying tribute to the mighty Pink Floyd and these guys have gained quite the reputation for their magnificent and powerful performances and have thrilled audiences all over the country these past many years. With the timeless “The Wall” LP turning forty years old last year and the “Dark Side of the Moon” record being as popular as ever, it was only fitting that Dark Side of the Wall should lay siege to the awesome Grieghallen last night and pay tribute to the aforementioned albums as well as a number of other segments of the Pink Floyd discography. What better way to spend a windy and rain-filled Saturday night, right? There were two shows in one night – both of which were sold out – and yours truly attended the second one, which kicked into gear at 9:30 PM.

There were people of all ages present at the venue, which was great to see. Parents and even grandparent had brought their kids and grandkids along, curious teenagers turned up to check out the show, middle-aged men in suits were playing air guitar in their seats and at the bar, and some were probably just there to have a good time and relive the memories of their lost youths. The stage setup looked marvelous and there was a huge screen on stage that was in constant use throughout the performance (and to great effect, I might add). Grieghallen boasts fantastic acoustics and last night was no different as the sound was crisp and pristine, but it had punch aplenty to it too. Now, the line-up itself is utterly skilled and they are ridiculously good at what they do, but as an added bonus, sax player Ian Ritchie (Roger Waters Band) made several appearances on stage also, which obviously drew huge applauses from the crowd.

There was a palpable sense of purpose and determination to the entire affair. Musically and visually, it was impressive and at times mesmerizing. What truly pleased me was that Dark Side of the Wall managed to put their own stamp on the the tunes and leave their own mark on them so to say. In other words, their own musical identity and personality was injected into the tracks, which elevated the concert considerably. The videos and images that were projected onto the screen were also current and up-to-date and yet they merged perfectly with the lyrics and subject matter of the song material. Highlights included “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” (the entire suite, mind you) where the inherent beauty of the composition really came to the fore and a playful and entertaining rendition of “Money”. Other standouts were “Another Brick in the Wall Pt I” (complete with the zombie children's choir), “Us and Them”, “Comfortably Numb”, and “Run Like Hell”. Not being a fan of “Wish You Were Here”, the encore was not quite the dramatic climax that I had been hoping for, but at least it got people out of their seats and had them clap and sing along. If I had to be a sour ass and complain about something, it would be the male vocals in that there were a few places where they sounded slightly weak and off the mark, but this was a minor issue (and I do mean MINOR) and besides, a live concert experience is not really about perfection, is it?

Dark Side of the Wall paid a wonderful homage to Pink Floyd while simultaneously conjuring up a unique atmosphere inside the walls of Grieghallen, and it was a fabulous display of stellar songs that have stood the test of time well and amazing musicianship. It was a memorable and confident 2-hour show and one can only hope that they will stage something akin to this one next year as well.


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