From the Archives: Review: Zombie electronics from Pink Floyd


In 1975, there were 511 arrests made at a concert featuring Pink Floyd at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. As the venue is prepped for demolition, here’s a look at the original thoughts regarding the concert itself.

It can be misleading to weigh the present condition of a band against its earlier work, but since Pink Floyd itself brings up the matter of Syd Barrett with “Shine On, You Crazy Diamond,” a salute and call to action to the band’s original guiding light, it seems appropriate to point out that a few bars of any Barrett-Floyd song you’d care to name would be worth more than the hours of zombie electronics purveyed by the current outfit.

That song was the sole saving grace of the first half of the group’s show (which lumbers along at the Sports Arena through Sunday), simply because it expresses as attitude and has a point. It’s the only instance in which the band displays something close to passion. When the synthesizer softly echoes a passage from Barrett’s “The Scarecrow,” it actually becomes evocative.


Morose Excursions

The other new pieces are typically faceless and morose excursions, with no sense of purpose or dynamics. Floyd suffers from a lack of musical facility which might partially compensate for the dearth of imagination and provide at lkeast a bit of interest on some levels Nick Mason’s drumming is among the most spineless in big-time rock and the pedestrian playing of Dave Gilmour (guitar), Roger Waters (bass) and Rick Wright (keyboards) barely manages to sustain the ponderous, interminable instrumentals that comprise their “Songs.”

After intermission the group presents “Dark Side of the Moon,” which has familiarity and some decent melodies going for it and which features an excellent accompanying film on a massive circular screen.

‘Lost in Space’

Compounding the music’s blandness is the lifeless attitude projected by the group, which Wednesday night appeared to as much trouble staying awake as this reviewer. What, exactly, is the point? Pink Floyd doesn’t touch on one of the varied virtues of contemporary rock -- there is no conviction or urgency, the tunes are rarely even pretty, the band doesn’t dazzle technically, personality is nil, the energy level pathetic. It’s “Lost in Space” all over again.

Syd Barrett is reportedly in the habit of erasing his albums just before they’re finished, a concept that would be much more beneficial to the world at large were it adopted and extended by his former mates.