The Floydian Slips are no mere cover band, and the cannon that they focus on is quite deep to say the least. This Oregon based eight piece ensemble recreates a Pink Floyd experience with tremendous accuracy and intensity. Having formed more then ten years ago, you would think a Portlander such as I would have had ample opportunities to check them out, but they play so infrequently that this night was truly a special treat.
They opened with a rousing run of the first section of The Wall, which had the sold out Aladdin Theater in a jubilant groove. At this point in the show I really didn’t know if they would proceed through the entire Wall album, but a smooth shift to Dogs off of the legendary Animals album, answered that question with a powerful response.
Throughout the night they weaved through interconnecting sections from The Wall, Animals, and Dark Side of the Moon with ease and abundant skill. I was pleased to find that they were shifting between songs and albums because it left a little mystery to what songs were coming our way next.
The first set ended with an inspired version of "Great Gig in the Sky, "and vocalist Nicole Campbell owned this haunting vocal composition. She even leaned down to the folks in the front row before this song, and whispered something to the effect that we were going to really like this one. During set break I overheard many fans discussing her vocal prowess with admiration.
The second set started off strong with the Pink Floyd anthem "Shine on you Crazy Diamond." They were on point throughout this composition, and in reality throughout the show. The second set was as inspired as the first, and they virtually tore down the place, when they closed the set with a powerful "Brain Damage/ Eclipse" medley.
All of the musicians handled their roles well, and it was clearly a team effort to recreate the sound just right. Paul Lesinski handled the majority of the singing duties as well as rhythm guitar, and was a strong front man throughout the night. Another standout performance came from lead guitarist Al Toribio, whose lead guitar playing was able to recreate and be true to David Gilmore’s classic guitar riffs, while still adding a little flavor of his own to each solo. As always Portland local Asher Fulero was a true maestro behind the keyboards, as he added so much of that classic Pink Floyd texture and sound that made the songs feel authentic to the albums. Plus he is one of the most positively animated musicians on the scene today. We were also graced with a timely performance by Cherry Popping Daddies saxophonist Sean Flaherty, who seemed to just materialize from back stage when a sax solo was needed, and added just the right touch.
I for one would like to petition the Floydian Slips, to make shows in Portland more than just a semi-annual occurrence. Now that I’ve gotten a taste of what they have to offer, I don’t want to have to wait so long for the next Floydian party.