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LIVE: Australian Rock Collective – Dark Side of the Moon, Perth – 9 July 2023

| 17 July 2023 | Reply

LIVE: Australian Rock Collective – Dark Side of the Moon, Perth – 9 July 2023
Perth Concert Hall, Sunday 9th July 2023
Reviewed by Peter Gardner

The Australian Rock collective supergroup, comprised of Darren Middleton (Powderfinger), Mark Wilson (Jet), Davy Lane (You Am I) and Kram (Spiderbait) are possibly four of the most daring musicians in Australia.

Taking on such an iconic piece of work as Dark Side of the Moon to celebrate 50 years since its release – an album every person in the auditorium has listened to more times than can be counted, where every note, every nuance of this seminal album is committed to a memory engram – is one hell of a brave move.

Yes, there are a million Pink Floyd tribute acts out there, but the ARC are some of the best musicians Australia has ever produced and as such proved their worth in a masterclass of How It Should Be Done.

From the moment the house lights went down and that famous introductory heartbeat began, Perth Concert Hall was transported to another plane. Middleton’s guitar was absolutely on point, and Kram shone on the drums and vocals, especially nailing the intro to Time. There are very few drummers that can play and sing this well at the same time, Kram couldn’t have made the task look any easier.

Any performance of Dark Side will rise or fall on the vocal on Great Gig in the Sky, the benchmark of course set by Clare Torry on the original recording, and only possibly slightly surpassed by Sam Brown and Durga McBroom performing live during the post-Roger Waters era of the band. Any vocalist taking this challenge has big shoes to fill and as Talei Wolfgramm stepped in to the spotlight it was immediately obvious she was up to the task. Wolfgramm delivered a stunning rendition, hitting the top notes with incredible power and sustain. Hers was a brilliant performance probably worth the entry fee by itself!

Money, Us And Them and Eclipse were all flawless, Davy Lane taking the lead on much of the guitar work, accompanied by Middleton on Moog duties, and Kram again delivering most of the vocals along with exemplary work on the kit, and as the final closing heartbeats faded and the houselights came up for the interval, it was as if the audience resurfaced out of a collective shared trip, cold reality rushing back with a jolt.

If I could give any criticism to the sound, it was a little harsh in places, losing a touch of the subtlety of the original, but this may have been more down to the mix, or even the acoustics in this venerable venue.

Mark Wilson kicked off proceedings for the second half of the show with the unmistakeable bass line of One Of These Days. The next hour was a collection of highlights from the Floyd back catalogue, Fearless and Arnold Layne being surprise inclusions, along with many expected classics. Kram took a few moments to talk about the influence of those lads from Cambridge on his own musical life, before giving a solo acoustic version of Pigs On The Wing.

Shine On You Crazy Diamond was absolutely sublime, and Middleton again excelled on the solo for Comfortably Numb, giving in my opinion the best performance of the night as he exquisitely channelled the subtlety and emotion of Gilmour’s original.

Wilson again hit the mark with the bass riff for Run Like Hell as the rest of the band cut loose, with Lane and Kram alternating the vocals, both spitting appropriate venom, to close out the second set.

It wasn’t long, however, before the band returned for encores, encouraging a singalong for Another Brick In The Wall Pt 2, then settling down again for a wonderful version of Wish You Were Here, before closing out the show with In The Flesh?

This was the last night of the tour, but Kram hinted at some return dates later in the year – I along with many others will be waiting patiently.

Set 1
Dark Side of the Moon:
Speak to Me
Breathe (In the Air)
On the Run
The Great Gig in the Sky
Us and Them
Any Colour You Like
Brain Damage

Set 2
One of These Days
Arnold Layne
Pigs on the Wing
Shine on You Crazy Diamond
Comfortably Numb
Run Like Hell

Another Brick in the Wall Pt 2
Wish You Were Here
In the Flesh?

Category: Live Reviews

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