LIVE: Run Rabbit Run (Pink Floyd Tribute) @ Jive Hive, 05/15/2022
The excitement surrounding the Run Rabbit Run show at Jive Hive Live had been mounting for weeks. It had all come to a sudden stop when Carl Blackwood, who had assembled the group of all-stars collectively known as Run Rabbit Run tested positive for Covid a week before the show. He did his quarantine and while he had a terrible time, he made a stunningly fast recovery and was able to make it to the show. So there was no “Pink isn’t well, he stayed back at the Hotel” situation.
I arrived at the Hive around 5:30 pm with my good friend Evan Parks in tow. Evan is a sound engineer and will be engineering my band ShortWave RadioBands live album, which will also be recorded at the Jive Hive this July. Evan wanted to come along to get a feel for the equipment at Jive Hive, but Evan, like myself, is also an enormous Pink Floyd fan. Literally, some of my earliest memories are of Evan and I as 8-year-olds, listening to Meddle, Animals, and The Wall.
When we first walked in, there was a slightly frantic energy in the air. Everyone was getting themselves situated, running wires and tuning instruments. Mikey Baish, Alec Lewis, and Tom O’Conner, who is hosting the shindig, all had calm demeanors, but with a steely determination in their eyes. This was to be the first live stream at Jive Hive Live. An important show, as I expect many great things will be buzzing out of the hive soon.
Carl and the rest of band the began running through some warm-up songs, while Alec played with the sound, trying to dial everything into each performer’s needs. Just a few notes in and I realized that Sean Fortune was going to be a stand-out in the ensemble. Not only was his bass guitar powerful and flawless, but his vocals were incredibly good. At times it felt like he did Roger Waters better than Roger Waters does. Not only that, but he appeared to be triggering samples from a pad in front of him while playing and singing. Which is no small feat.
Rick Rothermel on the keys played so effortlessly in the warm-ups that I felt like these songs were ingrained in him. He sounded exactly like the album, but with embellishments that clearly had a personal touch.
When Dali Soto showed up and joined them in the warm-ups, she did a run-through of Great Gig In The Sky that commanded the attention of everyone, even those trying to work to get the show ready. Everyone, at some point during her warm-up, stopped and listened to her.
Once Vocalist Lady T showed up and the gang was all there, they ran through a few songs and when they stopped, the air shifted to one of ease. They know they had an amazing show, the in-person crowd knew they had an amazing show and the viewers were about to find out.
The in-person event was private, as the Jive Hive is a stand-alone building at a private residence, so there were only around 30 people at the venue. It was so intimate, that not only did I feel incredibly honored to be there to witness it, but I kept thinking of all the different shows that will eventually be streamed there. The sound is great and such a small crowd of mostly family and friends is sure to bring out the best in any band that comes through the hive.
The scheduled time of the stream had been 7 pm but was changed to 8 pm to sync with the lunar eclipse. There were a few people that had joined the stream at 7 and were wondering why the show hadn’t started, but that was the only glitch of the evening.
Once the band took the stage at 8, Carl said a few words of thanks and they launched into the song Astronomy Divine from the album Piper at the Gates of Dawn, which is an ambitious choice, to say the least. The Syd Barret-lead days of Pink Floyd may not get as much recognition as the Waters/Gilmour years, but Run Rabbit Run played the song with such care and admiration that I would dare say it can stand up to the original recording of the song.
Once the unmistakable delay and tone of Another Brick in the Wall pt one filled the room, the crowd came alive. A quick survey of the room saw those of us behind the cameras dancing, singing, and nodding our heads to the beat. That energy continued as they played three more songs off the 1979 album The Wall (The Happiest Days of our Lives, Another Brick in the Wall pt 2, and Mother) and What Do You Want From Me off of the 1994 album The Division Bell. Then they capped off the first set with what is arguably Floyd’s biggest hit, Comfortably Numb.
The band took a short break and everyone mingled and talked about how great it was sounding. There were a few people outside, trying to witness the eclipse, but it was fairly cloudy.
Run Rabbit Run then came back and did Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety. Being that it is one of the most listened to albums of all time, I don’t feel like I need to go through each song, but rather give what I think are some of the highlights.
Cody Bingham on drums was so tight in every song. Not only did he keep the groove locked, but the tone and timing of almost every tom hit was an absolute dead-ringer for Nick Mason’s sound. He also added some vocals, that were great and like his drums, in a really nice tune with songs.
Having seen the warm-ups, I knew that Dali Soto was going to bring the house down with her solo, but I was unprepared for just how hard she would bring it down. I looked around the room to see that some were wiping tears and some were just standing in stunned silence. The explosion of applause that came forth when she ended her solo, was certainly one of the biggest of the evening.
Chris Russel on the saxophone filled such an important space, as a lot of the songs on Dark Side rely on the sax and Chris absolutely delivered. His skilled Sax on the song Money really elevated the song in a way few bands could do.
Lady T was a scene-stealer. She was responsible for some very important moments throughout the performance and not only is her voice amazing, but she was clearly having the best time the entire night. She is an absolute superstar.
Carl Blackwood did an amazing job holding everything together, especially when you realize that he was just a few days out of Covid quarantine. His work on the synthesizer and steel guitar was incredible. It is obvious that he spent hours upon hours with the material. When asked by Nippertown Mayor Jim Gilbert what inspired him to do this, Carl responded “A life-long love of this music”.
It shows, Carl. It really does.
You can watch the entire Run Rabbit Run performance on the Jive Hive Live youtube page: