Celebrate New Year’s Eve on the ‘Dark Side’

Darkside of the aina cropped

As 2018 comes to an end, revelers and fans of classic rock can celebrate together as Big Island musicians pay tribute to the music of Pink Floyd.

This article was originally published in the Hawaii Tribune.

All That is Now, a group of a dozen Big Island musicians, will present a live tribute to Pink Floyd’s classic 1973 album “The Dark Side of the Moon” during the Palace Theater’s New Year’s Eve Costume Ball.

The group, whose name is taken from a lyric from the last song in the album, is comprised of members of Big Island dance band Leche de Tigre — self-described as a “Latin gypsy funk” group — and other musicians from around the island, brought together to fill the unique instrumentation requirements of the album.

“People love the album,” said Dan Brauer, vocalist and guitarist for Leche de Tigre. “It didn’t take a lot of convincing to get people to join the project.”

Brauer said he had the idea to cover Pink Floyd last December, but learning and composing the final performance took the better part of the year. While many people were eager to join the group, Brauer said finding a keyboardist and organist was a challenge.

“I always wanted to dissect a great album like this,” Brauer said.

After hearing “The Dark Side of the Moon” when he was 15, Brauer said the album stuck with him ever since. Working on the performance for most of a year has given him a new appreciation for the artistry of the album, he said.

“It’s weird, it’s given me a different kind of nostalgic feeling,” Brauer said. “Now when I listen to the album, instead I remember back to working on the instrumentation for this song or that song. It feels new again.”

While there is no direct thematic connection between the new year and the album, Brauer said the titular moon of the album could signify “new beginnings” and is appropriate for a performance at the transition between the old year and the next.

Despite the differences between Leche de Tigre’s typical musical style and the psychedelic and experimental “Dark Side,” Brauer said he tried to stay as faithful to the original performance as possible.

“It’s really like two different shows,” said Alicia Maher, backup vocalist for the group, and lead vocalist on the song “The Great Gig in the Sky.” “You have (Leche’s) upbeat kind of dance music, which you have to have for New Year’s, and then you have this very psychedelic concept album.”

Leche de Tigre has performed New Year’s Eve shows at Big Island venues for the better part of a decade, but Brauer said he wants to make All That is Now a recurring element of those shows.

“It took so much work to put together, it’d be a shame to throw all that out after one year,” Brauer said.

The group had their first performance of the album in November at the Kahilu Theatre in Waimea, where Brauer said it was very well received.

“I think that was one of my favorite performances,” he said.

The New Year’s Eve Costume Ball will take place Monday, New Year’s Eve, at the Palace Theater. Doors open at 8 p.m., while music starts at 8:30 p.m.

Tickets are $30 in advance or $35 at the door, and include a complimentary glass of champagne or kombucha for a midnight toast.