Last Saturday, Pink Floyd tribute band Wish You Were Here performed live at the Akron Civic Theater to raise money for Akron Children’s Hospital. I was fortunate enough to attend the event, and they put on a fantastic show.
Upon entering the auditorium, I was awe-struck by the grandness and scale of the stage. The architecture is breathtaking, with both Greco-Roman and European Renaissance inspired walls, all the way down to the statues. The ceiling is designed to look like the night sky, with various lights forming constellations.
The room was packed with fans of both Pink Floyd and the tribute band themselves. One woman behind me said it was her 20th Wish You Were Here concert. She was very passionate about her love of them and Pink Floyd and was excited for me to get to experience Wish You Were Here for the first time.
The concert began a little after 8:00 P.M., and they started their set with “Shine on You Crazy Diamond.” (The woman behind me informed me that they start every show with that song.) For the first hour, Wish You Were Here continued to play various Pink Floyd hits, as well as obscurities only diehard fans would know. The highlights of the first half were “Another Brick in the Wall Pt.2” and my personal favorite Pink Floyd song, “Breathe (in the Air).”
After the 20-minute intermission between sets, Wish You Were Here returned for their second half of the show. During this set, Wish You Were Here performed the entirety of Pink Floyd’s album, “Animals.” After they concluded “Pigs on the Wing 2,” however, they announced they still had plenty of songs left to perform. The three biggest highlights were “Money,” “Wish You Were Here” and “Comfortably Numb.” The most surreal element from the musical performance was when the lead vocalist would turn the singing over to the crowd. I joined in with the numerous fans in attendance to sing the choruses to various Floyd hits.
Besides the music, Wish You Were Here had a memorable visual presence as well. The light show was unreal: beams of light would flash in various patterns, lights would flash with the beat of the music and one of the guitars even reflected a spotlight through the audience. Besides the light show, various inflatables floated across the stage as they performed. Most notably, a giant pig floated across the stage as they performed songs off the “Animals” album.
No matter how much detail I give, however, no amount of description can do justice to the live atmosphere of the show. I highly recommend any fans of Pink Floyd or classic rock in general to attend a Wish You Were Here show. To quote the fan sitting behind me, “You’re mind’s gonna be blown!”