From the very first note, Pig Floyd fans know that they are in for an interesting night.
Complete with banners, lasers, lights and a giant inflatable pig with red eyes — not to mention a note-for-note recreation of some of Pink Floyd’s top albums — the Fort Myers-based band brings Pink Floyd’s music into the 21st century with an edge that is unmatchable to other tribute bands.
On March 2, Pig Floyd will bring the spirit of the legendary rock band’s music back to life at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center in Punta Gorda.
“The entire band, every member of the band, have been lifelong fans of Floyd,” said John Conrath, who plays saxophones, lap steel guitar and percussion. “Not only is every member a professional musician (in their own right) but ever since we were young, that’s really what our dream was always to be … in a Pink Floyd tribute band.”
Pig Floyd recreates the audible and visual experience of “The Wall”, “Dark Side of the Moon”, “Animals” and “Wish You Were Here” at every show.
“The main focus of what we want to present is before 1983,” Conrath said. “To us, those are the most important albums that we feel Floyd had produced and those are the albums that are the most recognizable. Having the ability to get together musicians like this to be able to play Floyd the way it’s meant to be played is simply phenomenal.”
Lead vocalist Ron Howard grew up in Rhode Island where he was a fan of The Machine, a well-known Pink Floyd tribute band based in the Northeast U.S. Howard used that experience as inspiration to create his own take on the Pink Floyd Tribute band with the goal of touring the world; ergo, he created Pig Floyd, a hand-picked group made up of the most talented musicians and dedicated Pink Floyd fans he could find.
There’s two different ways to look at Pink Floyd, according to Conrath. One way could be considered the typical presentation — a big light show and static performers on stage, playing the album in the way that Pink Floyd had originally portrayed it.
While all that is well and good, Pig Floyd upgrades the experience.
“We take a little different approach to how we interpret that performance,” Conrath said. “What we present with our show is not just musicians standing on stage. The level of energy that we bring has been called ‘crunchy’, some called it ‘metal.’ We still are very true to every note, every riff and every lyric so we aren’t altering the songs, but when we play we bring an edge that we’ve been told this is the way that Pink Floyd fans want to hear the music. “It’s a very hard-driving, non-stop show. We are putting an entire stage performance on, much like a Broadway performance; it’s very engaging. It’s not just watching a band, there’s a lot of interaction between us and the crowd.”
Pig Floyd faithfully recreates the sounds of Pink Floyd. The members spend countless hours practicing technically accurate renditions of the albums but with an unmistakable edge that
transforms the 40-plus, year-old music into something magical with a modern edge.
“We have a 2500 sq. ft. studio we practice and perform in weekly, if not multiple times per week,” Conrath said. “We go over every nuance of every song to make sure that the rhythms and the tempos — that change frequently throughout the songs on the album — that it flows organically. The time that we put into our performances is almost mind-blowing. The level of dedication is incredible.”
While there is a large financial commitment necessary to bring the Pig Floyd experience to life, it’s all worth it when it comes down to sharing Pink Floyd’s music and artistry together with their audience.
“Not only are we providing a pretty impressive light and laser show, from our stage backdrops, to our banners, to our spotlights, to our advertising, the cost to put a show or performance on is extraordinary in venues that we can seat 1,000 to 1,500 people,” Conrath said. “We could do smaller venues (300 to 400 seats) and sell them and have the
crowds come in but that visceral experience of a massive performance hall … there’s nothing like it once you experience it.“
The Fort Myers-based band takes the stage at the Charlotte Harbor Event and Conference Center, located at 75 Taylor St., Punta Gorda.
The show begins at 7 p.m. Ticket prices range from $22 to $49. For tickets or more information, call 941-833-5444 or visit www.sunevents.com. Tickets can also be purchased at the center’s box office Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.