It can be misleading to weigh the present condition of a band against its earlier work, but since Pink Floyd itself brings up the matter of Syd Barrett with "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," a salute and call to action to the band's original guiding light, it seems appropriate to point out that a few bars of any Barrett-Floyd song you'd care to name would be worth more than the hours of zombie electronics purveyed by current outfit.
That Song was the sole saving grace of the first half of the group's
show (which lumbers along at the sports arena through Sunday), simply
because it expresses an attitude and has a point. It's the only
instance in which the band displays something close to passion. When
the synthesizer softly echoes a passage from Barrett's "Scarecrow,"
it actually becomes evocative.
The other new pieces are typically faceless and morose excursions, with no sence of purpose or dynamics. Floyd suffers from a lack of musical facility which might partially compensate for the dearth of imagination and provide at least a bit of interest on some levels. Nick Mason's drumming is among the most spineless in big-time rock and the pedestrian playing of Dave Gilmour (guitar), Roger Waters (bass) and Rick Wright (keyboards) barely manages to sustain the ponderous, interminable instrumentals that comprise their "songs."
After intermission the group presents "Dark Side of the Moon," which
has familiarity and some decent melodies going for it and which
features and excellent accompanying film on a massive circular screen.
Compounding the music's blandness is the lifeless attitude projected by the group, which Wednesday night appeared to have as much trouble staying awake as this reviewer. What, exactly, is the point? Pink Floyd dfoesn't touch on one of the varied virtues of contemporary rock - there is no conviction or urgency, the tunes are rarely even pretty, the band doesn't dazzle technically, personality is nil, the energy level pathetic. It's "Lost in Space" all over again.
Syd Barrett is reportedly in the habit of erasing his albums just
before they're finished, a concept that would be much more beneficial
to the world at large were it adopted and extended by his former mates.