On Saturday, July 26, Wish You Were Here, the Cleveland-based Pink Floyd tribute band, will perform a three-hour set that includes the classic double-album The Wall in its entirety, with a scale recreation of Floyd's legendary, elaborate stage production.
"It truly is one of the greatest concept albums of all time," says frontman-bassist Eroc Sosinksi. "The variety of musical styles combined with the elaborate production and [bassist-singer-songwriter Roger Waters'] unique method of storytelling takes the listener on their own visual journey."
After years of routinely selling out the biggest local clubs, the band is playing the Time Warner Cable Amphitheater (351 Canal Rd., 216.241.5555) for the first time. The three-hour show will start with a set of Floyd favorites, followed by an intermission, then a complete performance of the album, then an encore.
With costumes and giant props, the theatrical stage show will feature 24 performers — extra musicians, actors, some surprise local music-related celebrities, and a children's choir of students from the Paul Green School of Rock — backing the core sextet.
Over the course of the show, stagehands will build a wall 40 feet long and 12 feet tall. The stack of big white bricks will eventually obscure the band, then crash down at the finale. Sosinski based the production on video of Floyd and Waters concerts, and added some new elements. The bandleader says it's the last time Wish plans to perform the Wall show in town.
Wish launched in 1987. Sosinski, a Michael Stanley Band alum, formed the group with Jim Tigue, as an offshoot of classic-rock tribute band Harvest. It's been the most popular local group for a decade, having performed 40 sold-out shows at the 1000-plus-capacity clubs House of Blues and the Odeon. Sosinski says Floyd has become an integral part of Cleveland culture.
"[Floyd] have played here on almost every American tour they've done since 1971, and their music fit well on the eclectic and growing FM-radio movement of the early '70s," he says. "Floyd is the kind of music that people tend to take personally, in that it means something much more than just songs — it becomes the soundtrack to people's lives."
Mr. Gnome is planning to shoot a video for "Night of the Crickets." The mesmerizing track is emerging as the most popular track from the manic rock duo's new LP, Deliver This Creature. Drummer Sam Meister has a background in video production, and he'll co-direct with Zack Kelly, drummer of If These Trees Could Talk. The video sounds like an adaptation of the record's hallucinogenic cover art. "We're leaning toward a surreal, dark imagery and characters," says singer-guitarist Nicole Barille. "[Like] Pan's Labyrinth or Wizard of Oz, minus any sort of budget. Performance-based, with a story underneath. Basically, a cricket character rescues us from captivity."
Cleveland singer Cali Miles is one step closer to achieving diva status. Filmed all over Cleveland, the video for "Snowbunni" is now online at YouTube. If you don't think she's hot, at least it'll make you laugh.
Ex-Rebel Girl frontwoman Rose Kuhel is now fronting Black Market Kids. The power-pop trio plays the Beachland Ballroom (15711 Waterloo Rd., 216.383.1124) on Saturday, July 26.
Keelhaul is still sidelined, but the rock crushers are closer to returning to the game. "Still hammering out material for the new record," says drummer Will Scharf. "We have 12 new songs and are assembling two more. Just practicing to get it tight to record. Maybe a show or two this summer will coax us out of the basement."
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