Northampton Press

Friday, July 20, 2018
CONTRIBUTED PHOTO“The Machine: America’s Premiere Live Pink Floyd Experience,” 8 p.m. April 6, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown. CONTRIBUTED PHOTO“The Machine: America’s Premiere Live Pink Floyd Experience,” 8 p.m. April 6, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

The Machine more than Pink Floyd tribute band

Friday, April 6, 2018 by CAMILLE CAPRIGLIONE Special to The Press in Focus

The Machine, a Pink Floyd tribute band in its 30th year, has sold out theaters and clubs across North and Central America, Europe and Asia, and appeared at music festivals, including Bonnaroo, Riverbend, Gathering of the Vibes, and Germany’s “Rock of Ages.”

“The Machine: America’s Premiere Live Pink Floyd Experience” stops at 8 p.m. April 6, Miller Symphony Hall, Allentown.

Expect to hear a mix of Pink Floyd’s extensive 16-album repertoire, including faithful renditions of popular hits and obscure gems. States Spin magazine: The Machine “sounds exactly like Pink Floyd.”

In a phone interview, The Machine original member, Joe Pascarell, says, “I grew up 15 miles north of Manhattan, in Rockland County.” The band was formed there in 1988.

In 1989, the group was approached by a talent agent who suggested they perform Pink Floyd’s music full-time. The band garnered a positive response from audiences and the reputation grew. Soon, they became one of the forerunners of the tribute band phenomenon.

The Machine has had six album releases from 1999 to 2011.

“We’re playing Pink Floyd’s music longer than they did,” says Pascarell.

The quartet has shared the stage with full orchestras, such as the Atlanta, Detroit, Pittsburgh and San Diego symphonies.

In addition to Pascarell, vocals, lead guitar, The Machine includes Scott Chasolen, keyboards; Stephen Bard, bass, and Tahrah Cohen, drums.

Despite the label, Pascarell doesn’t consider The Machine to be a tribute band: “We don’t try to act like them or dress like them onstage. We just play the music.

“Tribute bands carry a certain stigma, much of which is deserved. But there are exceptions, and I believe that The Machine is one. We began playing this music when the term ‘tribute band’ wasn’t even in the vernacular. We began playing it because we loved it, and we still do.”

Pascarell considers himself fortunate to be able to do what he loves full-time.

“I get a bird’s eye view of the demographic that is passionate enough about this music to go see it performed. When we first started in the late 80s, [the audience] was mostly mid-20s young adults. Now, they’ve grown up and those same people are coming to our shows, now [in their] mid 50s. A lot of the time, there will be parents along with their children coming as a family.

“I think it’s safe to say that the music keeps finding a voice and a resonance in each generation as quality art is prone to do.”

June 30 is the 30th anniversary show for The Machine in Rockland, N.Y.

“I believe [Pink Floyd’s music] is real, honest, and genuine. The way it resonates with the human condition never changes. Fad and fashion change, but the fundamental characteristics of human beings do not. Real art endures. I don’t think I’d be able to climb deep into it 30 years later if that wasn’t the case.

Pascarell’s message to audiences is candid: “If you’re staying away because you think we’re just another tribute band, I suggest that you give us a chance. If you love Pink Floyd’s music as much as we do, I am fairly confident that you will be pleasantly surprised.”

Tickets: Miller Symphony Hall box office, 23 N. Sixth St., Allentown; allentownsymphony.org; 610-432-6715