REVIEW: Brit Floyd – 40 Years of The Wall Tour – Queen Elizabeth Theatre Vancouver

Brit Floyd - Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver - July 2019

Queen Elizabeth Theatre – Vancouver

It seems incredible to me that The Wall is now 40 years old. I am old enough to remember the controversy that the video that Another Brick in the Wall Part 2 provoked in the UK..I am not sure what the issue with kids and meatgrinders is 😊. I am also of exactly the right age to remember kids walking around in the schoolyard chanting out the chorus – good times indeed.

Tonight’s show was Brit Floyds third trip to the Queen Elizabeth Theatre in four years, and given the size and enthusiasm of the audience, I am sure they could keep coming back yearly for the foreseeable future.

This time around the focus was on the Wall, although over the 2+ hours of music there were plenty of other treats in store for die-hard Floyd fans. The band alternated sets of songs from The Wall with other classics, all backed by their always phenomenal light show. This combined with the retro-style animation really gave the feel of a concert from the 90’s which set the tone perfectly.

Brit Floyd - Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver - July 2019
Brit Floyd – Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver – July 2019

It only took a few bars of In the Flesh? before the audience were already cheering, and joining in with band, something that would continue all evening.  The fans of this band are not shy when it comes to audience participation. Having two great singers in Ian Cattell and Damian Darlington allowed for a lot of flexibility in the performance – especially later in the show when we enjoyed some “theatre”.  The pair traded off singing duties on the earlier tracks from The Wall, as we made our way across The Thin Ice, all the way through to the very familiar tones of Another Brick in the Wall Part 2. The last song in the first part of The Wall was Mother, which included some impressive vocals from Jacquie Williams, one of three incredibly talented backing singers touring with the band.

After Mother we were taken back to the album that for many people was the introduction to the band, with a couple of tracks from Dark Side of the Moon.  Time (a personal favourite of mine), was followed by The Great Gig in the Sky, which singer Eva Avila absolutely nailed. The stand ovation she received was long, and very well earned, her soaring powerful voice is off the charts.

A chill rendition of Fearless, from 1971’s Meddle had the audience joining in on “You’ll Never walk Alone”, not doubt making any homesick Liverpool fans happy.

The first part of the set closed out with Us and Them, Keep Talking and a particularly raw version of Sheep, with Ian Cattell giving the song an almost heavy metal feel.

After a short break the band took the stage to Yet Another Movie which was an unexpected and delightful.  We were than taken back to The Wall for a couple of tracks  Empty Spaces, and Young Lust, before launching into Shine on You Crazy Diamond.

Brit Floyd - Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver - July 2019
Brit Floyd – Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Vancouver – July 2019

Returning to The Wall with Hey You, Is there Anybody Out There, and Nobody Home, we saw the first of the hotel room stage set, which saw Cattell seated at TV belting out these classics. This theatrical element of the show really helps this band stand out from other tribute acts, as they really go the extra mile to pay homage to the original works.

It would not be a Brit Floyd show without the giant inflatable pig, with laser eyes which turned from white to an angry red during One of These Days.

Following this it was time for the last track of the second set, not surprisingly, the amazing Comfortably Numb. This would see Cattel return in the guise of the doctor trying to raise Pink from his stupor, and one attention to detail that was amazing to me was that the TV show on stage tv screen was perfectly synchronized with the projection screen. The song featured extended solo’s from almost every member of the band and was a fitting end to the main performance.

The encores were almost like another full set, with the band bring on the last five tracks of The Wall. Including some more additional theatrics as we had appearances by the judge and the school principal.

All in all, it was another amazing show by the band, and a fitting tribute to an album that over the last 40 years has gone from sacring people into complaining to the BBC to a true rock classic.

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Thanks to Andy Kettle at CMP Entertainment.

Gallery: Stewart Johnstone