Courtesy of G4orce Studios
For Eric “Eroc” Sosinski, the music of Pink Floyd is timeless and something that should be experienced live.
Sosinski plays bass and lead vocals in Wish You Were Here: The Sight and Sound of Pink Floyd, a Cleveland-based Pink Floyd tribute band, that will give Columbus classic rock fans a chance to relive the Pink Floyd experience and its “timeless” music this weekend.
Wish You Were Here is scheduled to perform at 8 p.m. Saturday at the Newport Music Hall. Doors open at 7 p.m.
The band formed in 1987, when Sosinski teamed up with guitarist and vocalist, Jim Tigue to create the original band, Harvest. However, after realizing that audiences responded strongly to its Pink Floyd covers, it started performing Pink Floyd revues and thereafter decided to tribute the band exclusively.
The group became Wish You Were Here in 1995.
“We found that people really liked it when we covered Pink Floyd in the days of Harvest, and we found that we did it well, and that if we added a show to it, people enjoyed it even more so,” Sosinski said. “Pink Floyd didn’t play that often, so there was a need that we were fulfilling. People want to celebrate the music by hearing us live in concert, it’s part of what’s been our success as a band.”
The group consists of nine members, seven of which are vocalists, and features a full theatrical performance, including props, fog, sound effects and a light show.
“We got some of the props like the flying pig and what we strive for is to recreate a lot of the details because that’s what makes you really feel like you’re listening to something that’s closer to Pink Floyd rather than just a cover band,” Sosinski said. “Of course we also put our own stamp on it, our own signature style, but we try to keep it very much within the spirit of Pink Floyd.”
To Sosinski, the most difficult part about recreating a Pink Floyd show is holding back.
“It’s often not what you play, but what you don’t play,” he said. “In other words, you can’t overplay it, then it doesn’t sound like Floyd. There’s space there that’s the whole part of the Floyd experience.”
Mary Mierzejewski, a student at the University of Dayton, said she grew up listening to Pink Floyd because of her dad. She saw Wish You Were Here last year at Newport and thought it did Pink Floyd justice.
“Last year, I had never heard of them before, but I was like, ‘Oh well, I really like Pink Floyd so I’ll give them a chance,’ and they’re a great band. I just love how they weren’t trying to be the band, but they were being respectful and how they had a love for the music,” she said. “Me and my dad decided we would go to this one for his birthday just because he’s the reason I got into the music.”
Chris Adams, an Ohio State alumnus and Pink Floyd fan, is also attending the concert Saturday although he had never heard of Wish You Were Here.
“I saw the real Pink Floyd in concert twice in ’95, and they’re just musically unbelievable,” Adams said. “And that’s the main reason I’m going is because Pink Floyd doesn’t tour anymore and this is the closest you get to actually seeing them.”
Wish You Were Here will perform the album, “Animals,” and other classic songs Saturday.
“Animals” is basically three long songs and one short song, Sosinski said.
“It’s a treat to be able to stretch out and play some of these longer songs,” he said.
Sosinski also said he hopes fans get the full experience of listening to a Pink Floyd live show when seeing Wish You Were Here perform.
“The crowd gets the emotions and the intensity of what the Pink Floyd concert experience is about,” he said. “And hearing the music live, performed by a live band, can draw you in so much closer to it than just listening to it on a recording.”