Weekender

The Machine takes Pink Floyd tribute to The State Theatre

The Machine have toured the globe with its Pink Floyd tribute. The band will return to The State Theatre on March 18.
The Machine have toured the globe with its Pink Floyd tribute. The band will return to The State Theatre on March 18. Photo provided

The New York-based Pink Floyd tribute band “The Machine” will arrive at The State Theatre on March 18.

The band will play Pink Floyd’s double album epic “The Wall” in full.

“That happens to be my favorite album of theirs. Also, it’s very demanding to sing and play that music. It’s very emotional music,” said singer and guitarist Joe Pascarell. “By the time I’m done with a ‘Wall’ show, I’m always a little more tired than I am from a regular show. I love that record. When you play the whole album, you sort of get deeper inside of it than you do when you run from song to song. It allows me to get deep into it, which is wonderful.”

The Machine faithfully reproduces the music of Pink Floyd, but the band has no interest in playing the roles of Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour, bassist Roger Waters, drummer Nick Mason and keyboardist Richard Wright.

“Honestly, I know I make my living in a cover band, but it always weirds me out when I see (people in tribute bands) try to look like the artists,” Pascarell said. “It’s just odd and maybe a little creepy. We don’t do that.”

Pink Floyd’s music has remained relevant through new generations for 50 years. Pascarell believes that the music has remained popular because it is so well done.

“I think the fact that I’m making a living playing their music all these years later is a great testament to how well it’s held up,” Pascarell said. “People want to hear it. I have an interesting vantage point, too, I’ve been doing this for 30 years now. There’s always a 15 or 16-year-old kid in the audience, always. So, I know that people of every generation are discovering that music the same way I did. I think that’s what happens with real quality art. It just keeps being rediscovered as time goes on. It’s not a fad or a fashion thing. I think it will be around for a really long time.”

Pascarell found music at a young age. His origins may be in pop music, but Pink Floyd profoundly changed his love for music.

“I’m very fortunate to have an older brother who took me to see Pink Floyd in 1974 when I was 12,” Pascarell said. “My whole world was two and a half minute pop songs by the Beatles, and then my brother brings home ‘Dark Side of the Moon.’ All these sounds and people talking and songs running in together — it was pretty incredible. (My brother) gave me my first guitar, too. He brought a guitar home from college and left it when he went back. So, then I just kind of figured out how to play it.

When Pascarell isn’t covering his favorite band’s music, he loves something a little “geekier.”

“I’m an avid chess player,” he said. “All of us also do our own music in one way or another. I’m a writer, so I’m always writing something. I keep a guitar in every room of my house. I think for the most part, other than music, it’s chess or the stock market for me. I love trading.”

Pascarell believes the price of a ticket is well worth it to experience this classic music.

“You can listen to recorded music, or you can go see live music,” he said. “To me, there’s such a huge difference between hearing music performed live and listening to recorded music. I think in this era of streaming, downloading, iPods, MP3s etc., sometimes that’s lost. Music experience is a human thing of human beings making it and reacting to it. You don’t get that when you listen to (recorded music). But, when you’re there in the moment and it’s being made; I always think that’s a worthwhile thing. And, I’d like to think we’re pretty good at what we do. So, if you like Pink Floyd, and you’re in that room, I think it’s money well spent.”

IF YOU GO

  • What: The Machine Plays Pink Floyd
  • When: 8 p.m. March 18
  • Where: The State Theatre, 130 W. College Ave., State College
  • Info: thestatetheatre.org
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