Working to uphold their pledge to offer audience’s the most psychedelic Pink Floyd experience in Canada, tribute band Comfortably Numb has sold out the Algonquin Commons Theatre every time they’ve played it since it opened in 2016.
The band’s sell-out show on Jan. 28 was no different.
“The band is honest just about what it does,” said the band’s founder Azim Keshavjee. “We know were not Pink Floyd. We’re playing our music. We love what the fans feel about the music. We love the music.”
And from the cheers resounding in the audience in between songs, there was a lot of love to go around.
Their palpable chemistry was especially clear through textbook instrument switches and when the background singers and lead vocals aligned perfectly. Their polished performance conveyed the how comfortably the well-seasoned performers have developed their show over three decades.
The band recently passed its 30th anniversary since they began serving the music of Pink Floyd in 1993. Over their time performing all around Canada, Comfortably Numb has been critically acclaimed, won awards and was even endorsed by Pink Floyd themselves.
Between the audience’s energy, immaculate guitar and resounding vocals, its clear adherence to the original otherworldly sound is top of mind for the tribute band.
The immensely talented ensemble consists of Azim “AK” Keshavjee, on main vocals and shredding the lead guitar. Geneviève “Gin” Bourgeois is on the keys and supporting lead vocals. Paul “Otis” Oatway backs the vocals and bass. Chris Houle sets the tempo on drums, while Brent Hultquist accompanies backing vocals with his keyboard playing and standout sax solos.
The set casted countless lasers and panned lights and lasers throughout the dimly lit theatre, but each song introduced a new scene and graphic on the projector screen. The graphics showed a series of trippy sequences, including but not limited to people running, various burning buildings, a moon and disco ball.
One bandmate operates the lights show while the other works the lasers. Respectively accountable for the video screen projections, psychedelic lights and multicolour beams eclipsing the band. One member is also responsible for the sound.
“It’s an awesome place here, very professional,” Oatway said. “The crew here is great. We get treated great. The venue itself, the sound system, the atmosphere is awesome.”
On tour commemorating the release of Pink Floyd’s Animals 45 years ago, the show also celebrated Pink Floyd’s albums, Wish You Were Here and The Wall.
“We have a really good relationship with the theatre and the staff here,” said the band’s lead guitarist Keshavjee. “They treat us impeccably. Any time we come, they treat us with respect, the sound is right on the money, it’s very professionally run. It’s clinically clean, ya know, very well done.”
Selling out for no less than A-class venues with theatre-level standards, the band collectively expressed positive reviews of the ACT.
“The backstage area is so much nicer than other venues,” Bourgeois said. “You have no idea.”
The main reason the proudly Canadian band is pleased to sell out shows here is being able to return to their hometown of Ottawa afterwards.