While the fireworks go off and the coals burn out on the grill, the Bangor Waterfront will light up on the Fourth of July with the technical wizardry of The Machine, the world-renowned Pink Floyd tribute band, who are set to take the stage starting around 8 p.m. Monday. During the day, performances from local bands including Smells Like the Nineties, Restless Groove and Rock Revelation will be offered, starting at 2 p.m. Seated tickets for the concert are $15; general lawn seating admission is $5, and children under 5 are admitted free.
For 20 years, The Machine has performed all over the world, including the stages of Bonnaroo and with full orchestras, bringing the music of Pink Floyd to life. The members of The Machine include founding members Joe Pascarell on guitar and vocals, and Tahrah Cohen on drums; and longtime stagemates Ryan Ball, bass and vocals; and Scott Chasolen, keys and vocals. Pascarell answered some questions we posed to him about Floyd and what the music means to him and the band’s millions of fans.
Q: Pink Floyd has remained one of the most popular bands of all time even after they broke up 15 years ago. What keeps them exciting and relevant after all these years?
A: I can’t speak for everyone else, but for myself, I think this has to do with the fact that their music seems not to be fad or fashion, but rather some real quality art. High-quality art will always stand the test of time because each generation can find themselves in it.
Q: What songs always get the biggest crowd response when you play them?
A: It varies, but I would say “Comfortably Numb” is a pretty safe bet for an enthusiastic response.
Q: What’s the hardest Pink Floyd song to play?
A: For me, Joe the singer-guitarist, it is without a doubt, “Dogs.” On the original track there are four distinct guitar parts and covering them all while singing it is quite difficult, but rewarding.
Q: What’s more fun to play — big outdoor arenas or theaters?
A: I don’t prefer one or the other. They are different enough that it makes the experience of playing each one quite different, also. The way that the energy dissipates in an outdoor setting is completely different than what happens indoors. I feel lucky to be able to do both.
Q: What kind of response do you get from die-hard Floyd fans?
A: Usually a positive one. After all, I am a pretty die-hard Floyd fan, too.