New York Times, July 1977 - Concert Review - New York |
Dreamy Rock and Nightmare Words
July 3, 1977 - By John Rockwell
Let the Kraftwerks and Tangerine Dreams of this world come and go; there can
doubt that Pink Floyd is the premier mind- blower hypno-rock
ensemble of our time.
The British quartet (occasionally augmented to
a quintet or a sextet by extra guitar and
saxaphone players)opened a
four-night run at Madison Square Garden Friday night,
and wove a coldly
perfect program of multimedi psychedelica.
Well, almost perfect: the group's climactic flashy double mirror wheel, with
revolving the opposite direction from the layered; outer rim,
and the whole meant to
cast myrad beams of light, misfired when it
couldn't be coordinated with the spot light.
everything worked with sovereign smoothness.
What Pink Floyd does is blend mostly instrumental progressive rock with
unusually mustering a coherence that escapes most such bands,
and distinguished by
Rick Wright's rich, exotic keyboards, Dave
Gilmour's sometimes arresting guitar,
Roger Waters's compulsive bass
lines and Nick Mason's solid drumming.
Sometimes Mr. Waters sings
(as does Mr. Gilmour, to lesser effect) and the words are
The movies on Friday were nightmarish, too, in the second part devoted to
"Wish You Were Here" album.
The first half of the concert was given over to music from the band's latest
"Animals," which is rather less spacily evocative than its
Still, the final coup de theatre, and the symbol for
this entire tour, was impressive: a huge,
lowering pig, at least 50 feet
long, lurched out over the crowd (suspended on a wire),
its glowing eyes
shooting evil beams into the smoke-filled air
(Pink Floyd had provided
smake a few minutes before).
There is a certain manipulative naivete about all this, to be sure, and some
might find it suspect that a band would devote its energies to
providing diversions for an
audience blitzed on drugs and liquor.
On the other hand, mind-clouders are part of our times, and people who
choose to cloud their
minds probably have a right to be entertained just
like real people.
More to the point, Pink Floyd's music and
multimedia work far more
convincingly for those of us who haven't
indulged than those of most mind-blower bands.
It's a focused,
effective show, if not the most celebratory or exalting one, and for that
Pink Floyd makes legitimate claims to artistry.