The Best Buy Theater, (formerly the Nokia Theater) hosted two full shows worth of Pink Floyd fans for Paramount’s famous Laser Spectacular last night. Best Buy’s multiple bars, slick layout, and generous general admission seating policy make it a great venue for any show, and the Friday night laser performances were no exception.
Coming on the heels of Roger Waters’ epic The Wall concerts, which played two shows at Madison Square Garden last week and another two at Nassau Coliseum this week (read my in-depth review of The Wall concerts here), New York has definitely been in a Pink Floyd state of mind. And what better way to kick off the weekend than the low key, 3D laser and light show? Both an early show and later, 11:30 pm performance ensured that there was plenty of seating available at a convenient time for Friday night revellers.
Now touring for 24 years, ‘Laser Floyd’ remains as fun as ever for fans as combinations of lasers and video become psychedelic, all-encompassing visions through 3D glasses. The imagery turns holographic when viewed through the plastic frames, with all colors of the rainbow shimmering around any light source. The show plays a recording of Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety, with glowing characters and images seemingly hovering in space against an ever-changing backdrop of lasers and strobes, as well as video corresponding to the iconic rock album which blasts in full quadraphonic sound.
Dark Side was followed by select tracks from The Wall, whose music and imagery was strikingly familiar to those of us who witnessed one or more of the Roger Waters’ performances this week or last, Comfortably Numb in particular feeling like a special encore to the historic concerts. The laser show fully browsed through all of Floyd’s critical discography, hitting earlier songs like Wish You Were Here as well as later, post-Waters material from the Division Bell record, before finally wrapping with the instrumental One of These Days. Fans cheered and oohed and ahhed at the dazzling light show, and by the end even venue security had donned the cheap plastic glasses to fully appreciate the glowing laser images.
While paling in comparison to the raw energy of a live Pink Floyd show, whether Waters’ epic The Wall or even local tribute The Machine’s high intensity sets, last night’s laser show felt like the perfect cap to weeks of live Floyd. The 3D video and lasers, along with Floyd’s greatest hits, is simply fun on every level, and the sparkling clean Best Buy Theater made it an overall pleasant experience from entrance to exit. With more The Wall dates upcoming in New Jersey and a final Madison Square Garden encore, plus local shows by both The Machine and the also laser-loving Australian Pink Floyd show, it’s never been a better time to be a Pink Floyd fan in New York City.
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