‘The Wall’ to be performed in Beaver Creek on Wednesday | VailDaily.com

‘The Wall’ to be performed in Beaver Creek on Wednesday

Charlie Owen
Beaver Creek CO, Colorado
Special to the Daily'The Wall' will be performed on Wednesday at the Vilar Center in Beaver Creek.

BEAVER CREEK, Colorado ” When Jason Sawford responded to an ad he found in a music store 20 years ago, he had no idea what he was getting himself into. The ad was placed by Lee Smith, a Pink Floyd obsessed man seeking like-minded musicians to form a Floyd cover band. Sawford auditioned for keyboardist, made the cut and now tours the world with The Australian Pink Floyd Show. Sawford never imagined the band would become this successful.

“When I started, I just assumed it would be a small band, do a few pubs around Adelaide … I never expected I would have made a career out of it,” Sawford said during a phone interview while he prepared for a show in Nebraska.

But over the years, the band’s stage production and performances have become the stuff of legends ” even earning the band the endorsement of David Gilmour, former lead guitarist for Pink Floyd. The 11-member ensemble cast of musicians have played all over the world, including England’s Royal Albert Hall and Glastonbury Festival and The House of Blues in L.A.

Now The Australian Pink Floyd Show can add The Vilar Performing Arts Center to that list when it makes a stop in Beaver Creek Wednesday night.

“We’ve had the Pink Floyd laser show a couple times at the Vilar Center and this is not that. This is a full-scale band. They’ve got a huge stage set, they’ve got these crazy inflatable stage props, they’ve got lasers,” said Sarah Dixon, marketing manager for the Vilar Center.

Known for playing entire Pink Floyd albums from front to back, The Australian Pink Floyd Show has been performing “The Wall” ” Pink Floyd’s iconic concept album and most famous work ” during their U.S. tour this year.

“It’s a very ambitious project,” Sawford said. “It’s a big album to do. There’s a lot of music in it, there’s a lot of production involved in it. It’s a very focused, quite intense album.”

“The Wall” was released in 1979 and has remained one of the most popular albums ever made, and No. 87 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time in 2003. Maybe that’s because its paranoid themes of personal isolation, war and rebellion against authority still ring true today.

“It’s got some great tracks on it … like ‘Comfortably Numb.’ … It’s got a certain mood and atmosphere, certain great moments in it, as well as some strange tracks on it,” Sawford said.

And because it’s a concept album/rock opera, the only way to fully appreciate “The Wall” is to listen to it as a whole. The Australian Pink Floyd Show brings the album to life, much like the movie of the same title did, with bizarre and intense images that move the music along.

“It’s so cool to hear (‘The Wall’) in its context. There’s so many great tunes on that album but it tells a story. It’s like a Broadway musical. It’s cool to pick out tunes from a Broadway musical, but to see it all in the context of the whole is just the way it was meant to be done,” Dixon said.

High Life writer Charlie Owen can be reached at 970-748-2939 or cowen@vaildaily.com.

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