Live From The Dark Side (A Tribute To Pink Floyd)


ECHOES are a German PINK FLOYD tribute band closing in on two decades of existence […]
By Santiago Puyol
April 4, 2019
Echoes -Live From The Dark Side (A Tribute To Pink Floyd) album cover

ECHOES are a German PINK FLOYD tribute band closing in on two decades of existence (and a much longer history). "Live From The Dark Side" is their second live release, following 2015 "Barefoot To The Moon" (a fully acoustic album including a string quartet). This double-album was recorded from a concert as part of the Rock Of Ages Festival 2018 in Rottenburg, Germany. It features special guests Geoff Tate (SAGA), Claude Leonetti (LAZULI), Midge Ure (ULTRAVOX) and Michael Sadler (OPERATION: MINDCRIME). The string quartet appears here again adding some flavour and interesting texture work.

Just by looking at the tracklist it's clear that the band mostly covers the classic, Waters-led era, with a couple of highlights from before "The Dark Side of the Moon" ("One of These Days") and after "The Wall" ("Learning to Fly" and "High Hopes"). The set emphasizes the diversity of the source material. The album that gets most attention is "Wish You Were Here", as only the second half of "Shine on You crazy Diamond (Parts VI-IX)" is the only song not played from there.

There is a palpable love and passion for the source material here and the band gets truly close to the sound of PINK FLOYD live. This is a celebration of the band's music. That intensity bleeds particularly on songs like "Time/Breathe (Reprise)", "Hey You" or "The Great Gig in the Sky"; there is a lot of emotion on the instrumental work and the singing. The addition of the string quartet brings a great depth to the songs, which is quite noticeable on the "Breathe" reprise.

"High Hopes" - closing the first disc -puts special emphasis on the addition of strings as it helps build a hypnotic and nostalgic atmosphere; perfect for the song. The band and the string quartet do a little improvisation at the very end, resulting in an insightful and sentimental coda that brings many feelings to the forefront.

Dedicating a big section of the second disc to songs from "The Wall" happens to be a wonderful idea. The most remarkable bit has to be the back-to-back playing of "Another Brick in the Wall (Part I)", "The Happiest Days of Our Lives", and "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)". These songs are a testament to Prog pomposity and one of the most memorable stuff to come from the scene, especially in the last moments of its heyday.ECHOES infuses a bit of a tongue-in-cheek vibe to these songs, something that fits the music. One example of this are the Disco strings in Part II of "Another Brick in the Wall" or a last reprise of the chorus they add after the finishing solo.

"Sheep" ends up being the only representative from "Animals", but the band does a great job of conjuring the dark atmosphere of that album. The "Comfortably Numb" extended section at the end is another great example of ECHOES' well-placed improvisations, as is the Disco-esque coda in closer "Run Like Hell", once again punctuated by strings.

The musicianship is noteworthy, as it should be to even consider doing a tribute of this nature, but I'm mostly impressed by the vocal work. It gets quite spine chilling when it comes to the songs originally sung by David Gilmour, as the band does an amazing imitation of his timbre most of the time. All the guest spots are memorable and actually bring something to the table. Michael Unger's saxophone playing is another highpoint of the record for me, as he manages to balance improvisation and 'playing as written'.

A nice record, overall. Fun and enjoyable.

8 / 10









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"Live From The Dark Side (A Tribute To Pink Floyd)" Track-listing:

1. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (I-V)
2. One Of These Days
3. Learning To Fly
4. Wish You Were Here Strings
5. Welcome to the Machine (feat. Geoff Tate)
6. Have a Cigar
7. Time / Breathe (Reprise)
8. The Great Gig in the Sky
9. High Hopes Strings (feat. Claude Leonetti)
10. In The Flesh
11. Another Brick in the Wall (Part I)
12. Happiest Days of Our Lives
13. Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)
14. Young Lust
15. Hey You Strings (feat. Midge Ure)
16. Nobody Home
17. Sheep
18. Comfortably Numb (feat. Michael Sadler)
19. Money
20. Run Like Hell (feat. All guests)

Echoes Lineup:

Oliver Hartmann - Vocals, Lead Guitar & Acoustic Guitar
Martin Hofmann - Bass, Vocals, Bass Pedal & Acoustic Guitar
Steffen Maier - Drums & Percussion
Paul Ahrens - Keyboards & Vocals
Michael Unger - Saxophones, Vocals & Acoustic Guitar

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