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Thursday, May 20,2010

Dead Floyd stitches together the best of both worlds

By Gene Ira Katz




If you’re among those who have never heard of Dead Floyd, a very innovative and very talented double tribute band, you might be asking: Huh? Whatizzit? An homage to Pink Floyd, the original psychedelic arena prog-rockers or devotees of the Grateful Dead, progenitors of jam bands from the hippie era and beyond? Well, those of you who have seen and heard this dynamic Fort Collins-based quartet know how easily they can morph from one sound to the other, with significant stage razzle-dazzle and musical prowess. And, yes, Dead Floyd pulls it all off quite well, as you’ll be able to witness for yourself when they perform on the Hill at the Fox. Indeed, this is where the Dancing Bear meets the Flying Pig.


Collectively, the members of Dead Floyd performed over 1,000 performances across the USA in various combinations and incarnations, through a wide variety of original music enterprises, such as The Grippe, Hot Gazpacho, The Maji, Wooleye, Holy Moses and the High Rollers, Orooni, and many others. Since coming together in this unique and high-energy incarnation just over a year ago, the four members — Charlie Humphreys (guitar, vocals), Josh Miller (bass, vocals), Stu Crair (drums, vocals) and Matt Goldberg (keys, synth) — have played The Aggie Theatre, Mishawaka Amphitheatre, Owsley’s, Quixote’s, Ullr’s Tavern, and many more, including the Fox. As audiences have already recognized, Dead Floyd draws on jazz, funk, and rock to bring a high level of musicianship to the catalog of both classic bands, while still maintaining a very distinctive take that stands on its own. In other words, these guys are not so much imitators, as they are ardent interpreters of the material.

As the sheer volume of songs generated by both the Dead and Floyd is so enormous, audiences at Dead Floyd shows always ask, “What will they play next?” In addition to the well-known, even iconic tunes, Dead Floyd also manages to explore lesser known, obscure and even rarities from both groups’ early days. The unpredictability of their set list, and the modern translation of classic, beloved songs bring an element of surprise to every Dead Floyd show.

In addition, these dudes know how to put on a show, in case you were wondering whether this was all just an exercise in copying some old recordings. To be sure, beyond the honest title of “tribute band,” this is a unique, inventive, and very contemporary group full of surprises, even for those who know the original material by heart. The love of the music of both bands inspires Dead Floyd to present the songs in a way that allows the music to timelessly live on and passes the legacy of both bands to the next generation of fans.

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On the Bill

Dead Floyd plays the Fox Theatre on Friday, May 21.

Doors at 8:30 p.m.

Zobomase opens. Tickets start at $5. 1135 13th St., Boulder, 303-443-3399.

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