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Which one’s Pink? Embracing the simulacrum

In the first case, the image is a good appearance: the representation is of the order of sacrament. In the second, it is an evil appearance: of the order of malefice. In the third, it plays at being an appearance: it is of the order of sorcery. In the fourth, it is no longer in the order of appearance at all, but of simulation.

Jean Baudrillard. Simulacra and Simulations. Jean Baudrillard, Selected Writings, ed Mark Poster. Stanford University Press, 1998, pp.166-184.

http://www.egs.edu/faculty/jean-baudrillard/articles/simulacra-and-simulations/

In November 2012, I was lucky enough to see The Australian Pink Floyd Show at the National Arts Centre. Promoted as “The best tribute band in the world,” they performed a full setlist which encompassed the range of the Pink Floyd catalog, including songs from the Barrett, Waters, and Gilmour-led periods of the band.

The musicianship was dead on, right down to the monster guitar parts played by guitarists Steve Mac and Dave Domminey Fowler in a note-for-note recreation of David Gilmour’s masterful playing.

The band even recruited Lorelei McBroom as a backup singer for the tour, one of the orignal backup singers from the Gilmour-led 87-90 tour.

The show was so good, and so close to the “real thing”, that I couldn’t help but to ask myself, “What is the real thing anyways?” and “What difference does it make whether I see this cover band or the ‘real’ band?”

If I closed my eyes, there was no audible difference between the Australian Pink Floyd Show and the concert I attended in Winnipeg during The Division Bell tour in 1994. Even with my eyes open, the stage setup was close enough to the Gilmour-led Pink Floyd shows, with the only difference being that it was scaled back to fit within the NAC stage.

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