Few bands did as much to push forward the visual experience spectators could enjoy at arena shows as Pink Floyd—the very phrase “a Pink Floyd concert” conjures a very specific idea of an arena show as a kind of hallucinogenic mass orgasm, an event not to be experienced without some form of pharmaceutical enhancement.
In the 1970s the Floyd periodically worked with a filmmaker named Ian Emes. For the 1974/1975 Dark Side of the Moon tour they hired Emes to make some suitably mind-blowing short movies to be projected on the back of the stage while the band went through the comparably mind-blowing songs “Time,” “Money,” “Speak to Me/Breathe,” and so on.
Dark Side of the Moon is one of the few albums where the band toured the material extensively before fans could buy the album in March 1973. That long tour began in January 1972—more than a year before the album was released—and lasted through the early summer of 1973, technically coming to an end in London on November 4, 1973. Emes’ films were unveiled for Floyd’s 1974 tours of France and England and the 1975 Wish You Were Here tour of North America.
The French/England tours of 1974 saw Floyd’s use of a circular screen onstage for the first time, a facet for which the band would become renowned. The only non-American date on the 1975 tour was the closer, at the Knebworth Festival on July 5, which was the last time that Floyd would perform “Echoes” and the entire Dark Side of the Moon album with Roger Waters.
The sights and sounds of the Pink Floyd, after the jump…