Echoes of Pompeii
Echoes of Pompeii Makes Pink Floyd’s Greatness Feel Brand New
11-member tribute band brings light show, deep catalogue to Atwood Fest’s Main Stage on July 26
By Adam M. Benavides
Regardless of who their favorite band is, most people can agree there’s one band that creates a certain atmosphere and emotionality that no other can quite achieve. That band is Pink Floyd.
The band is huge. In every sense of the word. They’ve become such a fabric of our culture that those two words have come to represent an entire galaxy of music, love and art that you almost forget they’re just a band. They represent a spirituality; a way of life; they’re FLOYD! But when it comes down to it, their true greatness is the feeling their music provides to fans across across the world. Simply put, bands with that level of following often lead to cover bands, created as a musical collective out to provide audiences something we all know and love.
But a Pink Floyd cover band? Is that possible? How can you emulate such inimitable art? Well the answer is most bands can’t. But if you come to Atwood Fest on Saturday, July 26, you’ll realize that most bands aren’t Echoes of Pompeii.
When you see an EOP live performance or YouTube video, you immediately understand (and respect) the difference between a cover band and a tribute band. After speaking with band founder Jeremy Andrews, you also begin to understand why his Floyd tribute band is so damn good. It’s because Pink Floyd wasn’t just a great band to him. They helped him understand life, like only certain music (and art) can.
While his father didn’t pass away like Roger Waters’ did, Jeremy Andrews sympathized with the Brit’s lyrics after his parents divorced at a young age and Jeremy’s dad wasn’t always around. That sacred gift of understanding pain through art anchored him to a little-known album called The Wall and would go on to ignite a much larger passion for the band and music altogether.
Jeremy and his twin brother, Jason, began playing music together over 30 years ago, picking up bass and guitar, respectfully, at age 13. The duo quickly formed a trio with a nearby cousin and since Jason sang the best, they gave him lead vocals—a position he’s held ever since.
Starting out as a reliable cover at your local bar that that could play anything from U2 and Stix to (you guessed it) Pink Floyd, the band soon realized from the crowd reactions that focusing on the Floyd songs was something worth exploring.
Starting the band with just five members, Andrews also realized he’d need more musicians if he was going to match the incredible sound Floyd brought to their records. That was almost 20 years ago. Today, Echoes of Pompeii is an 11-piece tribute band that lives, breathes and performs the music of one of Britain’s best arguably better than anyone else out there. Couple that dedication with the beautiful music they’re playing and audiences can’t help but appreciate the past and love the present when they hear Echoes of Pompeii do their thing.
The band’s lineup features Greg and John on keyboards; Bob and Andy on guitar; Allison, Jessica and Marissa singing background vocals; Mike on percussion, Shea on saxophone and the aforementioned Jeremy on bass and Jason on vocals. With its vast ensemble, the group is able to create a level of authenticity and respect to Floyd’s catalogue (which they can fully play) that simply isn’t matched by other Floyd tribute bands in the country (and there are more than a few of them).
There’s a story about a recent Echoes of Pompeii show that kind of says it all. After playing most of their shows in the Midwest, the group was fortunate to book a headlining gig in El Paso, Texas. Outside of their comfort zone—perhaps literally—the group brought their usual mix of deep cuts and fan favorites and, to their surprise, didn’t have to sing the words on either. Not everyone would guess that the crowd of a small El Paso club would know the words to Pink Floyd’s most-revered songs AND the deep cuts, but the fact that they did is a testament to both the music they wrote for the world and the way Echoes of Pompeii has dedicated their time and talents to continue its legacy.
After hearing the El Paso story, you also realize that Madison’s Atwood Fest is the perfect place for a band like Echoes of Pompeii to perform. It has become a storied musical tradition of our capital city that for years has been anchored around the ideal of bringing a community of people from all places together in celebration and joy.
It’s a gathering that has become a cornerstone of the current Atwood community and a symbol for the spirit that makes Madison, Madison.
The tribute that Echoes of Pompeii brings to Madison this month is going to showcase what both Atwood Fest and Pink Floyd do very well: bring people together.
There are going to be big sounds and big lights. There are going to be thousands of people singing to songs you know and crying to songs you don’t. There is going to be a feeling that’s worth experiencing for yourself, hearing up close and damn sure seeing live in the flesh.
From what I’ve heard and seen, you’re just going to want to get there early for a decent spot.(5541) Page Views Echoes of Pompeii Online: