Syracuse honors Brit Floyd lead singer and bassist at homecoming concert

Syracuse honors Brit Floyd member at homecoming concert

Ian Cattell and fellow members of the Pink Floyd tribute band once again took fans on a musical journey Tuesday.

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Justin Dalaba
Brit Floyd, dubbed “The World’s Greatest Pink Floyd Experience,” performs Tuesday during their 2024 P-U-L-S-E World Tour at the Crouse Hinds Theater in Syracuse.

In what has become a spring tradition in Syracuse, thousands of Pink Floyd fans welcomed Brit Floyd back to The Oncenter Crouse Hinds Theater on Tuesday night.

The long-running tribute band that Rolling Stone has hailed as “The World’s Premiere Pink Floyd Experience” has performed at the Crouse Hinds Theater nearly every year outside of when the pandemic curtailed all concerts.

Adding to the excitement for Brit Floyd’s latest Syracuse stop for the 2024 P-U-L-S-E Tour was a pair of honors for its members.

Before the show began, the band was honored in an award ceremony led by Pat Gesualdo, President/CEO of the Metal Hall of Fame. Gesualdo presented the members of the band with the International Envoy Award for their extensive work and success as one of the world’s greatest rock tribute bands.

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Justin Dalaba
Brit Floyd singer and bassist Ian Cattell is honored for his contribution to music before Tuesday’s show.

Lead singer, bassist and Syracuse native Ian Cattell was also honored in the award ceremony for his role in Syracuse history as an international touring artist with the band since 2011. Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh and Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon proclaimed that March 26 is now known as “Ian Cattell Day.” Cattel was given a key to the city along with a video montage from fellow friends and musicians congratulating him. 

Philadelphia resident Helen Areny said she has been friends with Brit Floyd’s members for years having regularly followed the band and wouldn’t miss Cattel’s special day “for the world.”

“I saw them twice last week in Bethlehem, today in Syracuse, and then I’ll go to Atlantic City on Friday and Saturday,” Areny said.

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Justin Dalaba
Brit Floyd’s 2024 P-U-L-S-E World Tour celebrates the 30th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s “Division Bell” album on Tuesday night in Syracuse.

Following the recognition ceremony, the lights dimmed and the theater went black as an audio-visual journey through the Pink Floyd universe began. The first set featured several songs from The Division Bell to honor its 30-year release. The band began with “Astronomy Dopamine,” followed by “Learning to Fly” and “High Hopes.” 

The visuals took the audience on a unique journey, changing with each song. Rolling hills, clear blue skies, canyons and mountains transported the audience down rivers, placed them inside of an animated cartoon, city landscape and even took them through the stratosphere. The opulent laser show combined with the classic circular screen paid homage to Pink Floyd’s iconic final Division Bell tour.

Along with the visuals, the band’s ability to replicate the ethereal tone of the legendary British classic rock band’s voices and instrumentals was uncanny. The extended guitar riff in “Sorrow” brought the crowd to their feet, and the somber melody in “High Hopes” had everyone entranced in the melody. In addition to the surreal instrumentals and main vocals, the backup singers possessed the ability to perfectly mimic the resounding voices in songs like “Keep Talking.” 

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Justin Dalaba
Colorful imagery flashed on stage throughout the show, calling back to iconic Pink Floyd symbols.
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Justin Dalaba
Merchandise stands in the Crouse Hinds Theater saw a steady stream of dedicated fans Tuesday.

The second half of the nearly three-hour show featured some of Pink Floyd’s greatest hits from their classic albums The Wall and The Dark Side of the Moon.

The band was met with a standing ovation after their encore performance of “Run Like Hell,” and fans exited the building with a different kind of energy then when they entered.

Reflecting on the performance, Areny said her favorite part of every concert is when the band plays “Wish You Were Here” from Pink Floyd’s ninth studio album.

For this particular show, Areny brought along a good friend to experience the magic of Brit Floyd. Bill Bolin, who was seeing the band for the first time, was not disappointed. 

“It was just perfect,” Bolin said. “I’d seen Pink Floyd in 1974 and they weren’t this good.”