Since the odds of the three living members of Pink Floyd ever performing on-stage again are slim-to-none, the most fans can hope for are tours by guitarist David Gilmour or bassist Roger Waters.
While there are Pink Floyd tribute bands across the United States (indeed, both of the Americas, Europe, South Africa and Australia), Billings is not on most of their tour itineraries.
Fortunately for Floyd fans in the Magic City, there is a highly acclaimed tribute ensemble based in Bozeman. Pinky and the Floyd is a 10-member band made up of the cream of Bozeman’s professional musical crop. They are bringing their Pink Floyd Retrospective Tour to the Babcock Theater this Friday, April 5.
Most of the members are familiar to Bozeman fans, but Billings jazz fans might recognize keyboardist Chris Cundy, as well as Jake and Jeni Fleming of the Jeni Fleming Trio. Other members include guitarists and vocalists Luke Flansburg and Dustin Tucker, keyboardist Joe Kirchner, bassist Sean Lehmann, drummer Adam Greenberg, vocalist Krista Barnett and Drew Fleming on samples and percussion.
When she was still Jeni Ramseth, Ms. Fleming represented Billings as Miss Montana in the Miss America Pageant. Her performance for the talent portion of that competition was classical piano, but she has mostly made a name for herself as a jazz vocalist. She and Jake have since divorced amicably (“best guy I could’ve gone through a divorce with”) but have continued to share a revitalized musical relationship.
Jeni Fleming talked with The Outpost last week about the upcoming show. She explained that the band was founded in 2007 as an opening act for the Bozeman tribute band Doors Legacy. What started as a trio has grown to include three guitarists (including Jake, who also plays saxophone), two keyboardists, a bassist, a drummer, a percussionist and two backing vocalists.
She emphasized that Pinky and the Floyd are a tribute act (as opposed to a cover band) and that, “The music is always the focus.” Their goal is not so much to duplicate the songs note-for-note, but to perform the songs as they are inspired to play them.
“All the band members are professional working musicians who perform in genres ranging from country, hip-hop, Motown, jazz, you name it,” she said. All told, “The 10 members of this band represent 25 or 30 other bands.”
Since the band members are “still in our 30s,” Fleming said, “we are more inspired by the music itself than necessarily the nostalgia.”
Pinky and the Floyd has performed several Pink Floyd albums in their entirety, including the classics: “Dark Side of the Moon,” “Wish You Were Here,” “Animals” and “The Wall.” But on this tour, which includes shows in Bozeman, Butte and Missoula, they will be playing at least one song from every studio album the band released from its 1967 debut, “Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” through 1994’s “The Division Bell.”
The show stretches over three hours, with the entire first hour culling songs from Floyd’s 1960s recordings. The entire evening will present the retrospective songs in chronological order; a light show and multimedia effects promise to make this a most memorable evening.
Tickets for the 8 p.m. show are $18 in advance. Tickets can be purchased at Ernie November, Rimrock Mall, the Tickets300 Box Office, (866) 300-8300, or: www.tickets300.com. Doors open at 7 p.m.
For more information visit PinkyandtheFloyd.com or like their Facebook page.