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Fort Wayne-based Pink Floyd tribute act Pink Droyd is partnering with Purdue Fort Wayne in a performance on Feb. 13 at the Embassy Theatre.
In 2006, Pink Droyd lead vocalist and guitarist Kevin Quandt had the opportunity to see Roger Waters of Pink Floyd perform Dark Side of the Moon in Noblesville. Quandt went along with one of his best friends, who was a fellow musician.
“We were both blown away with how well he performed live,” Quandt said in an interview with Whatzup. “You know, you hear the album and it sounds great, but to see him perform it live was just so impressive. We looked at each other and said we have to play some Floyd.”
13 years as a tribute
Following that concert, Quandt and his friend teamed up with other bands and formed a tribute show. While their first performance lasted only half an hour, they decided it was something they wanted to continue. They performed a second time, but played a while longer.
“Then we just said, ‘Let’s do this thing for real,’” Quandt said. “From there, I just kept interacting with amazing musicians that had the same mindset.”
Shortly after that realization, Pink Droyd was born.
“This is our 13th year,” Quandt said. “Lucky number 13, I guess.”
According to Quandt, the number of fellow Droyds is deep. With being a tribute act and weekend warriors, they’ve had the opportunity to play with many different musi-cians over the years.
“Every one of them has been a great experience,” Quandt said.
Just as any group of people working together, Quandt said bands can have personality and vision struggles.
“They’re not clones of yourself,” Quandt said. “With that really does come amazing growth if you can keep yourself from getting angry with the conflict of opinions. Then, you can make it work and come together on it.”
When doing a tribute band, Quandt feels that scenario is less of a battle because the creative vision is centered around a central hub, and they all have a common thread.
Members love performing in this tribute band because they truly get to play the music they love. Quandt thoroughly enjoys being able to deliver his emotion of Pink Floyd while playing.
“I put what the songs mean to me in every note I sing and every note I play,” Quandt said. “Every time I take a glance at an audience member it’s like that’s what I’m feeling in that moment. That’s why the song makes me feel the way it does.”
To make their performances special, Pink Droyd sneaks Easter eggs, or hid-den references, into their concerts. However, Quandt said few people have had the opportunity to recognize them and bring them to light.
“I guess that’s a guilty pleasure,” Quandt said. “We try to integrate and have fun while still trying to deliver a high-grade product.”
Examples of Easter eggs they’ve incorporated before include having both Quandt’s wife and brother on stage as living props, and slipping an audio bite of Quandt’s then 4-year-old son talking in one song.
Built-in fan base
Because people love Pink Floyd, Pink Droyd has a large fan base. The tribute band wants to give their fans a new experience each time, so they reinvent their show often to keep it fresh.
Over the years, however, the tribute act has found that taking the massive show that is Pink Floyd and inserting it into something actually feasible for them is tough.
“There are so many great aspects of Floyd’s show that you try to integrate,” Quandt said. “Some work, and we’ve tried some that didn’t work so well. You say, ‘Oh, that failed, that failed in a spectacular way, live.’ So you have to figure out your way around that.”
Their upcoming show at the Embassy Theatre will feature the album Dark Side of the Moon. Being the album that inspired Quandt to start this band, he said it’s kismet that they’re now performing the album.
The artists have arranged and scored the music so Purdue Fort Wayne’s Symphonic Wind Ensemble and University Singers can perform the entirety of the show with Pink Droyd.
Purdue Fort Wayne desired something different for this performance, and realized the potential of a Pink Floyd show.
“We started talking about what the different material could be,” Quandt said. “An album that would really lend itself great to this kind of treatment would be Dark Side of the Moon.”
Pink Droyd has played this album before, but now, they’re looking at it differently.
“This is pretty spectacular,” Quandt said. “Part of the challenge is giving it another treatment. I think this is something in the vein that Pink Floyd would do.”