Pathbreaking, experimental, and uniquely addicting, Pink Floyd is among the world’s most iconic bands whose music remains relevant to date. Formed in London in 1965, the British rock group was a trendsetter in the psychedelic rock music genre of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
During this time, Pink Floyd grabbed the attention of music lovers with their characteristic hypnotic style that included spacey sound effects, extended instrumental solos, and improvisation.
However, Pink Floyd’s worldwide popularity was largely due to the band perfectly capturing the era’s zeitgeist.
Pink Floyd last performed together in 2005. Although they did release an album in 2014, the simple pleasure of experiencing a Pink Floyd concert is bar none.
The 10 best Pink Floyd tribute bands from across the globe now fill this void. Dating back as far as 1988, Pink Floyd tribute bands have kept alive not only the music of Floyd but also their vivacious vitality that continues to enthrall musicians and music lovers generation after generation.
The original band line-up of Pink Floyd consisted of Syd Barrett as the vocalist, songwriter, and lead guitarist, Roger Waters as the bassist, drummer Nick Mason, guitarist David Gilmour, and Rick Wright on the keyboards.
Together they popularized “concept albums” and presented their music through extravagant live performances with spectacular laser shows, giant screens, and grand productions.
As the poster child for the emerging psychedelic rock scene, their music was at times defiant, deeply profound, and biographical. Simultaneously, it encapsulated ideas of free will and experiences after consuming “mind-altering” drugs.
The band’s unmatched zeal is what the best Pink Floyd tribute bands now mimic, not just in sound but also in their visual representation of the group’s legendary performance pieces.
The Top 10 Best Pink Floyd Tribute Bands
#1 – The Machine
Formed in 1988, The Machine is one of the oldest Pink Floyd tribute bands, having over 30 years of experience. The New York-based group embodies the spirit of Floyd, particularly seen in the improvisation, a Pink Floyd trademark, during their live performances.
The Machine now plays over 15 albums and a mix of songs ranging from Floyd’s obscurities to the classics and their own cover versions.
Co-founded by Joe Pascarell and Tahrah Cohen, the present-day band consists of Tahrah on drums, Scott Chasolen on keys, Ryan Ball on guitar, and Chris Deangelis as the bassist and lead vocalist.
“They duplicate the sound and hits of Pink Floyd with chilling accuracy, and they play for a hell of a long time.” – Matt Diehl – Rolling Stone.
Having received many accolades for rendering the sound faithfully, it is no surprise that most of the band’s concerts sell out instantly!
Although The Machine performs worldwide and has been to festivals like Riverbend and Bonnaroo, you can typically catch them across various venues in the US.
Interestingly, The Machine is pretty versatile when planning a setlist for a show. As a passionate Pink Floyd tribute band, they obviously play entire albums.
However, they are more than happy to take fan requests and even play the A to Z game – that’s when they pick one song from each letter.
#2 – The Australian Pink Floyd Show
Aussie Floyd is arguably the most famous Pink Floyd tribute band on the planet. Formed in 1988 in Adelaide, the group has toured over 35 countries and sold more than 5 million tickets.
Officially called The Australian Pink Floyd Show, they were initially known as Think Floyd until 1993.
Although Aussie Floyd went through a lull after early success in the late 80s, it was in 1994 that they received the best stamp of approval any tribute band can get. That was when David Gilmour asked them to perform at his 50th birthday celebration.
An unforgettable moment for any Pink Floyd tribute band, Aussie Floyd shared the stage with several original band members on this day.
Other highlights in the band’s ever-growing popularity include playing at the Glastonbury Festival in 1998 and performing the entire The Dark Side of the Moon to commemorate the album’s 30th anniversary.
The current list of band members comprises Steve Mac (Guitar/Vocals), Jason Sawford (Keyboards), Paul Bonney (Drums), David Domminney (Guitar/Vocals), Ricky Howard (Bass/Vocals), Luc Ledy-Lepine (Guitar), and Mike Kidson (Saxophone). At the same time, Chris Barnes, Lorelei McBroom, Emily Lynn, and Lara Smiles assist with the vocals.
Unlike a few other tribute bands, The Australian Pink Floyd Show “only plays Pink Floyd.” Their sound accuracy is one of the primary reasons why people travel from far-off places to see their shows.
Moreover, Aussie Floyd’s concerts replicate Floyd’s performances to the minutest detail, presenting audiences with a near-original musical and visual extravaganza.
Having said that, Aussie Floyd constantly changes setlists and adds their individual touch to keep the concerts fresh and updated.
In 2023, Aussie Floyd will again impress Pink Floyd enthusiasts around the world. Starting with Europe in March, they will tour the USA from June to September. Following this, the show will play in Canada and later across different venues in the UK through October.
#3 – Brit Floyd
Just over a decade old, Brit Floyd came together in Liverpool under the leadership of Damian Darlington, who previously was with Aussie Floyd.
Damian’s fascination with Pink Floyd goes back to when he discovered concept albums and how each song tells a continuing story.
In the eyes of audiences, Brit Floyd and Aussie Floyd are the biggest competitors for the top spot on the best Pink Floyd tribute bands list.
Both are popular across the globe and offer truly magical recreations of Pink Floyd arrangements that match their hallmark sound and show technicalities.
Someone just needs to organize a battle of the bands between these two and put the rivalry to a conclusive end!
Passionate and detail-oriented, watching Brit Floyd is a musical spectacle that will take you back to the hay days of Pink Floyd.
It’s also worth mentioning that Brit Floyd isn’t the talk of the town for no reason. Besides impressing ardent Pink Floyd fans, they have also enjoyed performing with Pink Floyd studio line-ups. Guy Pratt was on stage with them in Liverpool in 2013 and Scott Page in 2015 during an LA performance.
After a management change in 2022, Brit Floyd is preparing for a world tour in 2023. This time they will celebrate the 50th anniversary of Pink Floyd’s most successful album, The Dark Side of the Moon.
A moody and atmospheric concept album written by Waters, it’s a reflective journey that builds upon the themes of conflict, mental illness, death, and angst.
An endearing aspect of Brit Floyd is that they mention their sound engineer and visual designer as band members – something only a handpicked number of top Pink Floyd tribute bands do.
Brit Floyd presently consists of Damien Darlington (Music Director/Vocals/Guitar), Gareth Darlington (Sound Design), and Eva Avila, Roberta Freeman, Jenn Kee for Backing Vocals. Then there’s Ryan Saranich (Sax/Keyboard/Guitar), Arran Ahmun (Drums), Ian Cattell (Bass/Vocals), Matt Riddle (Keyboards/Vocals), and Edo Scordo (Guitar/Vocals).
#4 – Pigs On The Wing
The Portland-based Pigs On The Wing has been performing immersive concerts since their conception in 2006.
As recently as 2022, they played the entire The Dark Side of the Moon album during their shows. While the group plays mostly locally, they have a strong following that places them among our list of the best Pink Floyd tribute bands.
The group’s name comes from the two-part Pink Floyd song, Pigs on the Wing, featured in the album Animals. This 10th studio album has a legendary cover showing Battersea Power Station and a flying pig. The latter refers to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, a theme that runs through the length of the concept album.
It’s exciting to note that Pings On The Wing is unlike other tribute bands trying to emulate the originals. Instead, they have a somewhat punk rock edge to their music. Furthermore, the band is fearless when experimenting with sound in the proper temperament of psychedelia.
Band members of Pigs On The Wing are nuanced musicians having deep roots in Portland’s Northwest District.
The group’s line-up includes Eric Welder (Bass/Vocals), Holly Brooks (Vocals), David Limdenbaum (Guitar/Vocals), Bryan Fairfield (Drums), Matt Jones (Keys/Vocals), Jason Baker (Guitar/Vocals), and Matt Sulikowski (Saxophone).
#5 – In The Flesh – Echoes of Pink Floyd
Tribute bands don’t always have to duplicate. They can and should bring their own spin to the performances. A bit of originality helps them stand apart, especially when performing Pink Floyd, a band famous for their improvs.
Chicago’s In The Flesh is not just “another cover band.” They are an all-out theatrical show that undoubtedly stays true to Floyd’s music. Simultaneously they create an energy-filled live act that will have you grooving in no time.
Those in the knowhow will quickly note that In The Flesh is the song from Floyd’s 1979 album The Wall. The band’s best-selling album, its songs are often a part of every Pink Floyd tribute band’s playlist. The Wall is a biographical rock opera by Roger Waters about a rock star struggling with his father’s death.
With equal importance given to the visuals and stage performance, the band’s three-hour-long concerts are every Pink Floyd fan’s dream come true. Sadly, time seems to fly away fast when you’re having so much fun.
Because In The Flesh plays mainly in the state or nationwide, their concerts have a more intimate feel, allowing the audience to lose themselves in the soulfulness of Pink Floyd’s mesmerizing tunes.
Band members of In The Flesh are Paul Willaert (Guitar/Vocals), Mac Willaert (Keyboard), Dan Patten (Keyboard/Vocals), Jeffery Money (Drums), and Meg Thomas (Percussions).
#6 – Pigs
Pigs call themselves “Canada’s most authentic Pink Floyd tribute.” A band from Victoria, British Columbia, formed in 2008, they have been a regular act on the country’s music scene, delighting fans with their Floyd recreations.
The seven-member group focuses on Pink Floyd’s music primarily from 1967 to 1994, with a penchant for the albums that came out in the 70s.
Having received glowing reviews for sounding closest to Pink Floyd, Pigs is an act you must catch should the opportunity arise.
Their versions of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and “Us and Them” are especially soul-stirring. Shine on You Crazy Diamond, in particular, is a cult classic, released in the 1975 album Wish You Were Here. The song is a homage to Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett, who left the group in 1968 due to mental issues.
Band members of Pigs take on the personas of the original group. Josh Szczepanowski (David Gilmour) is the lead guitarist, vocalist, and perfectionist leader. KC Hinglay (Roger Waters) plays bass and is also a founding member. At the same time, you’ll find Adam Basterfield (Richard Wright) on the keyboard or organ.
Mike Quirke is the group’s drummer, whereas Jon Baglo (Terence “Snowy” White) plays the bass, electric guitar, and keyboard. Anneda (Clare Torry) provides the background vocals. Her “Great Gig in the Sky” performance is among Pigs’ most admired songs.
#7 – In The Pink
Portland’s In The Pink is no casual Pink Floyd tribute band but rather a serious attempt at recreating the sheer dynamism of the entire Pink Floyd experience.
A homegrown local band, In The Pink, tries and succeeds in delivering performance after performance, doused in the originality of Pink Floyd’s music from the early vinyl years.
The group plays across varied venues, from private parties and clubs to mostly local arenas. Still grounded in their roots, In The Pink takes their concerts with all sincerity, using lasers and classic Pink Floyd visuals to create the right ambiance.
Furthermore, they play complete albums, like Wish You Were Here and The Dark Side of the Moon, as every best Pink Floyd tribute band should.
In The Flesh consists of Ash McKee (Vocals/Drums), Will McKinney (Vocals/Guitar), TM Laing (Guitar), and Chelle McKee and Lisa Atwood for vocals. Moreover, there’s Kyle Christofunkafanelli (Keyboards), Brian Bowles (Bass), Matt Sulikowski (Saxophone), and James Vermillion managing the lights.
#8 – Beyond The Darkside
A massive theatrical “multi-million dollar production,” Beyond The Darkness is among the best Pink Floyd tribute bands originating from Australia.
Boasting the best in quadraphonic sound, it offers a remarkably authentic visual musical that leaves audiences in awe of the band members and the scope of the show.
The first seed of Beyond The Darkness dates back to when frontman Kevin Hunt was 13 years old and listened to Wish You Were Here for the first time. Mesmerized by the music, he quickly became a die-hard fan of Pink Floyd over the following years.
Finally, in 1989, Floyd The Concept was born when Hunt teamed up with Brisbane production company Acoustic Technologies. Together, they produced a show with 18 digital fixtures and a 20,000-watt quadraphonic sound system, unheard of at the time.
It was in 1995 that the band changed its name to the present moniker, growing its fan base ever since and performing in notable locations like the Sydney Opera House.
Beyond the Darkside consists of a rather extended group of seasoned professionals. Kevin Hunt played with Robert Plant, whereas bassist Mark Dole was previously a member of another Pink Floyd tribute show. Matt Northeast and UK native Raymond Oliver have decades of music experience. At the same time, keyboardist Rebecca is a teacher, songwriter, and lifelong music student.
Completing the band are Jason Mayers on drums as well as Wendy and Amber Green providing background vocals. When it comes to the show, Alan Lahey, Simon Cook, and Craig Schimming are collectively responsible for sound and light.
#9 – Pig Floyd
As far as American Pink Floyd tribute bands go, Pig Floyd is undoubtedly unique. The band debuted in Englewood in 2017 and has slowly accumulated a niche following among Floyd fans over the past few years.
Led by founder and full-time musician Ron Howard, Pig Floyd is an eight-member group from South West Florida. Ken Freeland is the lead guitarist, and Janis Smith is on Keys, whereas both David Delli Paoli and John Conrath play the saxophone. Additionally, there’s vocalist Jenny Foster, drummer Johnny Keesling, bassist Jason Collings, and Ron Howard Jr managing the lights.
Pink Floyd revolutionized concerts with laser shows and large set pieces. Pig Floyd integrates the same into their arrangements, replicating the authentic enthusiasm of the band.
However, Pig Floyd’s identity lies in their emphasis on Floyd’s war-themed albums rather than the early “hippie” sounds. As a result, the band pays tribute to Pink Floyd by wearing war costumes and gas masks for a faithful presentation.
And yes, you’ll likely notice the floating pig early on!
Pig Floyd performs across the country, and their The Wall and The Dark Side of the Moon concept shows are quite simply the ultimate.
#10 – Pinky And The Floyd
Bozeman, Montana group Pinky And The Floyd started performing in 2008. Today, their musical repertoire consists of over 80 Pink Floyd songs and seven full albums.
Now, the sheer technicality of Pink Floyd’s sound and concert productions means not everyone can play their music. Even distinguished musicians must practice to reach a level where the audience is excited to see them.
Pinky And The Floyd can capture the distinctness of Pink Floyd’s music purely because the band members have diverse musical backgrounds. Between them, the group members are part of 20 bands that play everything from Jazz to funk and American swing.
The award-winning Pinky And The Floyd comprises Luke Flansburg, founding member and co-owner of Jereco Studios and Peach Street Studios. Dustin Tucker (Guitar/Vocals) is the other founder. John Sanders is the bassist, while Drew Fleming comes with 25 years of experience playing the drums.
Other band members include Jake Fleming (Saxophone), self-taught musician Tyler Schultz (Organ), Kali Amstrong (Vocals), and Krista Barnett (Vocals). However, the most eccentric of the group is keyboardist Joe Kirchner, who wears a pink beehive wig gifted by his mother during all performances.
The Need for Pink Floyd Tribute Bands
Demand for Pink Floyd’s music continues to grow. Every generation leads to new fans, music enthusiasts captivated by the intricacies of their sound and vision.
The best Pink Floyd tribute bands are now the bonafide torchbearers responsible for carrying forward the brilliance of Pink Floyd while enabling audiences to discover the nuances of what made the band iconic.
Most importantly, these Pink Floyd tribute bands are not just “another brick in the wall.” Instead, these musician-led passion projects honor the creativity of Pink Floyd’s music and bask in its undying glory.
Fun Facts About Pink Floyd and Pink Floyd Tribute Bands
- The origin of the band’s name is a combination of Pink Anderson and Floyd Council, two of Syd Barrett’s favorite Carolina bluesmen.
- When Pink Floyd first started, they mainly played in the Brit underground scene, with Syd Barrett leading the group.
- The band was named The Pink Floyd initially but dropped “The” after Syd Barrett’s departure.
- Other names that Pink Floyd went by, in the beginning, include The Tea Set, Leonard’s Lodgers, Sigma 6, and Screaming Abdabs.
- The band’s first studio album is The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn. The 1967 album gets its name from the children’s classic Wind in the Willows.
- Pink Floyd’s first hit was “Arnold Layne” in 1967. The name is that of someone Roger Waters knew in real life.
- It was after Syd Barrett left in 1968 and the release of Atom Heart Mother in 1970 that Pink Floyd started to focus more on their hyper-flamboyant live shows.
- The cow on Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother was named Lulubelle III.
- Pink Floyd’s final album was The Endless River, released in 2014.
- Pink Floyd’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame happened in 1996.
- One of the top 10 Pink Floyd tribute bands, Brit Floyd often includes children from local schools to sing the background vocals of Another Brick in the Wall.
- Easy Star All-Stars released a reinvented version of The Dark Side of the Moon as Dub Side of the Moon. Their album is an all-out reggae tribute to the original.
- Luther Wright and the Wrongs did something similar when they released Rebuild the Wall. Released in 2001, the album is a bluegrass country rendition of Pink Floyd’s The Wall.
- Singapore-based Welcome to the Machine is possibly the only true Pink Floyd tribute band in South East Asia. They take pride in performing full-length shows at various venues, big and small, playing songs from The Dark Side of the Moon and Pink Floyd’s ninth album, Wish You Were Here.
- The Indian Jam Project released, in 2020, a mashup of Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb. This Pink Floyd tribute, arranged by Tushar Lall, reimagines the songs using classical Indian instruments like the tabla, sarangi, flute, and sitar.