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Algonquin becomes comfortably numb

Algonquin Commons Theatre was taken back in time to the 1970s on Feb. 10 to experience Comfortably Numb – Canada’s Pink Floyd Show.

Comfortably Numb took the audience on a journey through Pink Floyd’s 1979 rock opera album, The Wall, with a bonus retrospective set.

The tribute band played each song true to form. The sold-out crowd of 800 fans from teenagers to seniors followed along with an interactive video as lasers and lights danced around the packed theatre for over three hours.

Founder, lead singer, guitarist and musical director, Azim Keshavjee (AK), is very passionate about perfecting his craft.

“I’ve grown up with this music,” said AK in a phone interview before the show. “So for me to perform it, I have to do it the justice that it deserves and the respect that it deserves, otherwise there’s no point. And for me, it’s the love of the music first, and that passion that drives this project forward.”

Focusing on Pink Floyd’s work from 1969 to 1983, the tribute band has been performing since 1993 and is considered one of the best in the business. In the last two-and-a-half decades they have played for over 275,000 fans.

Amid the countless rock tributes around the world, Comfortably Numb has remained a top performance for a reason.

“What really sets us aside, I think, is that we really do have something that is quite unique and quite special in the way we perform,” said AK. “In the way we present the music, the sort of visuals that we use, and the whole ambience of it too. We’re not a clone band, we are genuinely a tribute in the truest sense.”

The band uses live albums and rare recordings to piece together an image of how they believe the original members of Pink Floyd would perform on stage today.

“We don’t take liberties, we don’t add music,” said AK. “But we will take representations of everything that they’ve done in their careers and put them together in this live performance piece.”

The music of Pink Floyd has transcended time and generational differences by exploring relatable issues that many feel connected to.

“There’s just something about it that just captivates your mind and your heart in so many different ways for so many different people,” said AK.

Comfortably Numb’s Ottawa performance was the last of three shows in Ontario, having played to sold-out crowds in Toronto on Jan. 27 and Kingston on Feb. 9.


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