March 25, 2K19
In a vacuum, calling Nick Mason “the heartbeat of Pink Floyd” seems just a bit too on the nose. He's the drummer, yes, and drum beats are close to heartbeats, but the phrase itself feels a bit like forced poetry. But then you see his Saucerful of Secrets band live and you realize it's actually the perfect nickname for him. Nick Mason has always been the constant, the guy was there at the start and at the end, the only one to play on every Pink Floyd record, and the one who actually thinks a reunion tour wouldn't be the worst thing in the world.
And you can't blame him for that. When the man sits behind a drum set, he can still bring the thunder, and his playing remains sharp as ever. But alas, when the rest of your band doesn't want to play anymore, you have to take matters into your own hands.
And for the first time in decades, the music of Pink Floyd has a proper steward in Mason. He's dug deep when putting together the setlist for this tour, and along with some powerhouse performers he's proving that the blockbuster Pink Floyd records might not have all the great songs. The show is filled with some incredible set piece performances, from the blistering opening of “Interstellar Overdrive” to an earth-crumbling “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” to a version of “One of These Days” that will make you feel like you're in the last act of 2001: A Space Odyssey if you close your eyes while it unfolds.
And unlike the other living members of the group, Mason looks like he's having an absolute blast performing. A Roger Waters' show has its levity – depending on where you fall on the political spectrum – but it's still a show full of dark material. Meanwhile, Mason is ending his shows with the cheeky “Point Me at the Sky” which is pure delight.
There's a reason every review of this show goes on at length about how it feels like a miracle or a revelation because this is a show that many fans never thought could exist. Some of these songs Pink Floyd themselves never touched live. But here they are, alive and vibrant, ready for their time in the spotlight. It's all well deserved. Nick Mason's Saucerful of Secrets shows off what made Pink Floyd interesting and special, all without a single brick in the wall or trip around the moon. The heartbeat goes on, for now at least.
Personal Bias: While Roger Waters' Us + Them Tour remains my favorite concert experience of all time, I loved this show about as much just in a different way. There have been multiple times in my life where I've gone through heavy Pink Floyd phases, and while sometimes I forget just how much they mean to me, it's never a bad day when I'm reminded of that.
The Crowd: Well, I've never smelled pot in the air at Jones Hall before this.
Overheard in the Crowd: “She's just got to be in the front row of that Phil Collins show,” a man explained about a friend, with perhaps just a hint of disdain in his voice. Come now, friend, Phil Collins is going to sing “Invisible Touch” and it's going to be amazing.
Random Notebook Dump: It's kind of hilarious to me that this show exists with so many “Wow, I never thought I'd get to hear that song live” deep cuts and yet there are still some people out there upset because certain songs didn't make the cut. Have you considered that maybe they're holding back “