Pink Floyd Niagara: The Pulse Grows Stronger
By David DeRocco
The enduring legacy of Pink Floyd has helped spawn a lot of tributes, but none so rooted in the creatively fertile soils of the peninsula as PINK FLOYD NIAGARA. The ambitious recreation of the Pink Floyd live PULSE album ended its spectacular run in the Falls over five years ago, but two shows scheduled for The Sanctuary this June have helped bring the pulse back to the heart of Niagara’s best Floyd tribute.
“We’re going to have a run at her one more time,” suggests keyboardist and Pink Floyd Niagara’s creative force, Larry Swiercz. “Not quite like before, but the spirit of the thing is absolutely there. This is just a kick start.”
In its first incarnation, PINK FLOYD NIAGARA delivered a stunning quadrophonic recreation of Pink Floyd’s legendary live Pulse album, which was recorded during the European leg of their 1994 Division Bell tour. The local staging including incredible quad sound, Floyd-worthy lighting and a stage full of passionate musicians whose painstaking efforts to honour the music produced an incredibly loving tribute. Unfortunately, the cost of staging such a lavish production made the project unsustainable, and after four final sold-out performances, the band packed it in in 2013. However, Swiercz says requests from fans of Pink Floyd Niagara have continued to pour in, and the shows at The Sanctuary June 22nd and 23rd provide a great opportunity to stage a test run of a leaner, stripped down version of his original vision.
“Before when we staged this we always took control of the venue and brought in all the production,” said Swiercz. “We used to be in quad, with a light show that strived to emulate as close as possible the Pulse tour. That show cost a lot of money to stage. Production costs killed us, we couldn’t sell enough seats just to pay production costs. With the smaller venue, we’re still bringing the circle and the projection stuff and some moving lights. But it’s more about the music. We spend a lot of time trying to really dissect the music and make it sound as much like what people remember it.”
Even with the stripped down production, Swiercz says the new staging of Pink Floyd Niagara – ‘The Delicate Sound Of Thunder’, features eight musicians including a sax player and female back-up singers to compliment the core group tasked with recreating a set-list full of Floyd classics. And while The Sanctuary stage may be a little tight, Swiercz says the venue will be a perfect place for fans to enjoy an intimate experience with the music.
“Our standards remain high. We’re not relaxing our standards. If anything we’re trying to refine them.”
As for the reason why the music of Pink Floyd continues to attract new generations of fans, the life-long Floyd loving keyboard player says there’s simply something magical about the band’s art.
“Dark Side of The Moon still holds me in awe when I listen to it,” said Swiercz. “ Every time I listen to it I hear something I haven’t heard before or didn’t notice. It strikes a chord in people’s hearts. It’s relaxing and powerful. If you’ve been to a Floyd show you just see people and they’re happy. The subject matter may not be happy, but you just feel good about it. I don’t know how to explain Floyd. You just feel high when you’re listening to it even when you’re not.”
Tickets for PINK FLOYD NIAGARA at The Sanctuary are available now at https://www.thesanctuaryarts.org/.