Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets
2022-Oct-28, Fox Theater, Oakland, CA, USA
Echoes Tour 2022
1. One of These Days - Pink Floyd - My YouTube Channel
2. Arnold Layne - Pink Floyd
3. Fearless - Pink Floyd - My Youtube Channel
4. Obscured by Clouds - Pink Floyd
5. When You're In - Pink Floyd
6. Candy and a Currant Bun - Pink Floyd
7. Vegetable Man - Pink Floyd
8. If - Pink Floyd
9. Atom Heart Mother - Pink Floyd
10. If (Reprise) - Pink Floyd
11. Remember a Day - Pink Floyd
12. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun - Pink Floyd
13. Astronomy Domine - Pink Floyd - My YouTube Channel
14. The Nile Song - Pink Floyd
15. Burning Bridges - Pink Floyd
16. Childhood's End - Pink Floyd
17. Lucifer Sam - Pink Floyd
18. Echoes - Pink Floyd - My Youtube Channel
19. See Emily Play - Pink Floyd - My Youtube Channel
20. A Saucerful of Secrets - Pink Floyd
21. Bike - Pink FloydReview
: Pink Floyd great delivers a show for the ages for Bay Area fans
Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets thrills at Fox Theater in Oakland
The Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets show on Friday night at the Fox Theater in Oakland was like a Pink Floyd history lesson.
And Mason might have needed the refresher course as much as anybody in the house, having recently bombed an online Pink Floyd quiz that one of his kids persuaded him to take.
“The score, I’m afraid to say, was 56 percent,” the drummer told the audience. “It was a pass – I guess – but only just.”
Of course, the history lesson at the Fox was intentionally incomplete, as Mason and his great band – consisting of Spandau Ballet guitarist Gary Kemp, longtime Pink Floyd touring bassist Guy Pratt, guitarist Lee Harris and keyboardist Dom Beken – gleefully focused their musical might on Pink Floyd’s often-overlooked early material.
What truly distinguishes Mason’s project from the solo treks of former bandmates Roger Waters and David Gilmour – as well as the zillions of Floyd tribute acts – is the strict focus on pre- “Dark Side of the Moon” material.
Of course, a lot of fans, as well as classic rock radio programmers, operate as if the Floyd story begins with that career-altering blockbuster from 1973.
But those folks are missing half of the story.
“Dark Side” was the 8th offering in the band’s 15-album catalog. So, in other words, it marked the halfway point for Pink Floyd’s recording career. Sure, what would come after that point – especially “Wish You Were Here,” “Animals” and “The Wall” – was vastly better received than what came before. Yet, those early albums are still such compelling pieces of the catalog.
Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets – on its second tour of the U.S., following the excellent inaugural outing in 2019 – did a fantastic job in showcasing why this music matters so much.
Kicking off the first of two roughly hour-long sets with the walloping “One of these Days” – the lead track from 1971’s mighty “Meddle” – the five-piece band conjured up music that felt equally potent and poignant, melding psychedelic and prog rock styles, with a touch of pop, in a fashion that seemed both wonderfully familiar and boldly avant-garde.
The result, of 21 brilliant songs played over 2 ½ hours (minus intermission), felt so alive. And that’s how it made the listeners feel as well.
Mason fed the crowd little tidbits of information and background about the music as the band continued through such songs as “Arnold Layne” (“a song that was thought to be going to take Pink Floyd to the very top of the charts, which it might have done if the BBC hadn’t banned it”) and “Candy and a Currant Bun” (“It’s real title was ‘Let’s Roll Another One’”).
He also took the time to touch upon the band’s lengthy history in the Bay Area.
“I’ve been coming here for a very long time,” he explained to the crowd. “I was thinking about it the other day – (the Bay Area) is where Pink Floyd did their very first American tour, very first gig (in 1967).
“As usual, we were late. So late, in fact, due to trying to get our work visas or whatever it was, that Bill Graham had to find someone else to put on at Winterland. And he found a guy named Richie Havens. We were basically on the bill supporting Big Brother and the Holding Company.”
The Fox show was great from start to finish, with nary a weak (or even less-than-great) song in the bunch. Highlights from the first set included the intense title track to 1972’s “Obscured by Clouds” – the Pink Floyd album that, more than any other, deserves vastly more attention than it gets – as well as a heady blend of “If” and “Atom Heart Mother.”
The musicianship was (inter)stellar throughout the night, with Pratt showing that he’s as comfortable as anyone – including Waters, Gilmour and Mason – in the Pink Floyd songbook and Beken doing amazing work on those Richard Wright keyboard pieces, which never got enough credit for what they really were – the heart and soul of Pink Floyd.
Kemp is best known for the warmly romantic works he did with Spandau Ballet – most notably “Gold” and “True” – but he’s also an absolute beast on electric guitar. And Harris is at least as good, forming an impressive one-two punch with Kemp that did a remarkable job conveying the power and feel of the great David Gilmour.
The second set opened with the masterful “Astronomy Domine,” which also kicks off the 1967 debut “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn,” and then proceeded through such glorious winners as the rough and rowdy “The Nile Song” (from the 1969 soundtrack album “More”) and the moving “Burning Bridges” (from “Obscured by Clouds”).
The second set closed with the highpoint of the show – as well as one of the best moments that this critic has seen at any concert this year – as the five musicians put everything they had into a 22-minute-long version of “Echoes,” the mesmerizing epic that runs the entire second side of “Meddle.”
And Roger Waters’ latest tour – as wonderful as it was – didn’t feature a single note of any of this material.
Thankfully, we have Nick Mason’s Saucerful of Secrets to tell the other part of the Pink Floyd story.
By JIM HARRINGTON | firstname.lastname@example.org
| Bay Area News Group
PUBLISHED: October 29, 2022 at 10:28 a.m. | UPDATED: October 29, 2022 at 4:21 p.m.