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Pink Floyd – Dark Age (Siréne-236)

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Dark Age (Siréne-236)

The Sportatorium, Hollywood, FL – June 28th, 1973

Disc 1:  Obscured By Clouds, When You’re In, Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, Careful With That Axe Eugene, Echoes

Disc 2:  Speak To Me, Breathe, On The Run, Time, Breathe (reprise), The Great Gig In The Sky, Money, Us And Them, Any Colour You Like, Brain Damage, Eclipse, One Of These Days

Following their legendary tour in the spring of 1973, Pink Floyd came back for a short tour that summer.  Beginning on June 16th in New Jersey, they played thirteen shows over two weeks and six of them have legitimate tape sources.  The June 28th show in Hollywood, Florida is the second to last show, followed by the June 29th show in Tampa (and released two years ago on the Screamer label as At The Stadium 1973). 

Hollywood was first released on silver disc in 1995 on Not A Cloud In The Sky (SIRA 185/186) on Silver Rarities.  The master cassette was used for fan produced ROIOs Into Little Pieces and Olympia, the latter mislabel as June 23rd in Detroit.  On the whole the tape is very well recorded.  The taper was close to the stage and captures the dynamic of the show and the band’s unique sound system very well. 

Some of the louder passages produce distortion in the upper frequencies and there are occasional conversations and audience disturbances scattered throughout the performance with making people standing by the recorder to shout “sit down”, similar to many 1977 tapes. 

There is a cut after “When You’re In” which fades into “Set The Controls.”  “Careful With That Axe, Eugene”, which would routinely reach ten minutes, exists in only a four and a half minute fragment with most of the middle missing.  “Echoes”, the final number of the first set, has a small cut at 15:01. 

During the second set there is tape disturbance for forty seconds in “Great Gig In The Sky” and a tape flip at 5:42 in “Us & Them”. 

This show at The Sportatorium was originally scheduled for the amusement park Pirate’s World in Dania but was switched.  They were joined on tour by the same female backing singers as the springtime but not with saxophonist Dick Parry, who had prior commitments.  The name of the replacement isn’t known.  The “Obscured By Clouds” and “When You’re In” from the movie soundtrack is perhaps the band’s greatest set opener. 

The pastoral drone of the former is a perfect foil for the heavy metal tinged latter.  “When You’re In” contains a dramatic guitar solo by Gilmour. 

“Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun” is almost ruined by the audience shouting throughout the length of the song but it sounds like another very good version, as does “Careful With That Axe, Eugene”.  It’s a shame it is so fragmentary on this tape. 

The audience calms down by the time the band reaches “Echoes”.  This version is very tight and Wright really gets into the seagull section.  The audience reacts to the opening sound effects in the second set with police whistles and firecrackers before the band crashes in with “Breathe”.  The tape effects are nicely recorded in “On The Run”. 

The sax solo is kept to a minimum in “Money” with the weight of the song falling on Gilmour’s solo.  The band jam for more than eight minutes in “Any Colour You Like” and is one of the longest recorded versions.  The tape closes with a nine-minute version of “One Of These Days” played as the encore with shouts of enthusiasm from the audience. 

Dark Age is a good document worth investigating. 

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Pink Floyd - Dark Age (Siréne-236), 2.8 out of 5 based on 2 ratings

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    aleebee says
    October 11, 2011, 6:49 pm

    From what I’ve researched, the venue should be recorded as The Hollywood Sportatorium, Pembroke Pines, FL. It was on West Hollywood Boulevard, hence the name.

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