Courtesy of Aaron Schaffer / Photo Editor

To begin this much-anticipated performance of Pink Floyd’s seminal album,“The Dark Side of the Moon,” Music Professor John Covach came out to introduce the show, the first in the Institute for Popular Music (IPM)’s new In Performance series.

Before his band performed the album proper, Covach picked up an acoustic guitar and invited two student guests on stage — junior Tom Perrotta and senior Brian Giacalone. They proceeded to play a cover of “Wish You Were Here,” one of Pink Floyd’s most well known tracks.

The subsequent prelude to “The Dark Side of the Moon” featured some spot-on tandem guitar work between Perrotta and Covach as Giacalone sang with just the right level of earnestness.

After this introductory performance, Heroes for Ghosts, hailed as Western New York’s best Pink Floyd tribute band, assembled on stage. It did not take long for the band to prove that their fame was well earned. Not only did the entire group nail the melodic, harmonic, and rhythmic aspects of the album, but they were also able to accurately replicate the tones of the guitars and keyboards, which is no small feat.

A particularly strong example of this virtuoso musicality came during “Time.” The band synchronized their playing with the pre-recorded sounds of clocks. Moreover, they were able to switch between the more biting section sung by David Gilmour to the lyrical, legato sub-section “Breathe (Reprise)” without a hitch in their step. Junior Allison Eberhardt joined the group for the final portion of the song, providing integral, yet unobtrusive back-up vocals.

After “Time,” Heroes for Ghosts carried their energy into the second half of their set, beginning with “The Great Gig in the Sky.” This is a song that requires quite a feat of vocal gymnastics that many are afraid to even attempt. However, sophomore Yang Yang pulled it off admirably, captivating the audience for the entire song, all the more impressive when you consider that the track is entirely wordless, relying solely on the raw power of the vocals.

Immediately following “Great Gig,” the group moved on to “Money,” where they rocked out in a tight 7/4 groove. Heroes for Ghosts was then joined by UR conductor Bill Tiberio, who provided an impeccable tenor sax solo.

The group finished the set strongly if slightly less memorably when measured against the soaring standards set by some of their opening performances.

After the band finished playing “The Dark Side of the Moon,” it became apparent that the audience wanted to hear more from Heroes for Ghosts, so they returned to the stage to perform a few more of Pink Floyd’s greatest hits.

One of the most notable of these was their version of “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2,” featuring all of the student vocalists returning to the stage to perform the iconic chant of “We don’t need no education.”

The auditorium was packed, and the audience included a mix of students and music-loving members of the greater Rochester community. Indeed, the IPM has many opportunities to link the University to the community at large, opportunities which they will surely capitalize on in semesters to come.

Saxton is a member of the class of 2016.

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