Whether you’re a die-hard Pink Floyd fan, have a casual relationship with “Dark Side of the Moon” or have never heard of “The Wall,” Saturday night’s concert at the Dillon Amphitheatre is for you.
The Machine, billed as America’s top Pink Floyd show, will bring the band’s iconic music to life with state-of-the-art lighting, elaborate stage displays and multimedia accompaniments. The band — with Tahrah Cohen on drums, Ryan Ball on guitar and vocals, Scott Chasolen on keys and vocals and Adam Minkoff on bass and lead vocals — has been playing together since the late ’80s.
“There were no other bands at the time doing Pink Floyd,” Cohen said. “It was a very natural decision to lay Pink Floyd; the whole band loved Pink Floyd.”
Focus on the music
Despite the stage theatrics that go along with the show, Cohen said the focus is still on the timeless music of Pink Floyd.
“There is dramatic lighting, but the focus is on the band, music and our musicianship,” she said. “While it’s visually entertaining, it’s focused on the music of Pink Floyd. We’re skilled at improvising, but at the same time, we’re being true to the original recordings.”
Cohen said The Machine has been playing this repertoire for so long that the band members know exactly who’s in the audience.
“There are die-hard Pink Floyd fans who have never seen anything performed from ‘The Piper at the Gates of Dawn’ live, so we’ll play things that are old and obscure, but we’ll also play ‘Dark Side of the Moon’ and ‘The Wall,’ for people who are more casual Pink Floyd fans,” Cohen said. “So, die-hard Pink Floyd fans, casual fans and those who are just going to the show to enjoy a night out.”
The goal is to satisfy everyone in the audience, regardless of their level of familiarity with the music.
“We know the cross-section of who’s there, and we know what to play and what not to play,” Cohen said.
Draw of a smaller venue
The Machine has played all over Colorado, but this will be the first trip to Dillon.
“It’s always great to play music outside,” Cohen said. “That’s always a really fun experience for the band on a beautiful night, and the band is always looking forward to simply performing.”
Cohen said the music is so powerful and timeless that the experience can affect the audience in a really positive way. The energy transfers from the band to the crowd and creates a connection, whether it’s a 500-seat theater or a stadium of 20,000.
“This isn’t out of the ordinary at all,” Cohen said of playing the smaller venue. “We’re used to going up and down for the amount of people we are playing for, depending on the venue we’re at. I think most of the bands would say the same, unless you are Dave Matthews or Bon Jovi.”
The Machine adapts well to more intimate shows. Cohen said huge shows are fun, but smaller ones can make it easier to establish that connection between the band and the fans.
“You have to channel your energy differently when you are trying to reach someone who is a quarter of a mile away from you,” she said. “You have to try harder. It’s more difficult to play to an audience that’s over 15,000 people. With 3,000, you can see every person in the audience; you can make eye contact with a lot of people. When you are playing to people you sometimes can’t even see, you still want to reach the person who’s all the way in the back and give them the chills.”
Concert-goers can expect an array of music from the Pink Floyd catalog, with older material and songs from the latest records that have been put out, Cohen said.
“You can expect a very nice mixture of all of their music,” she said. “We’re really looking forward to coming out there. It’s going to be a beautiful night, and we’re very excited to be there.”