What started as a one-off tribute to a well-liked but underappreciated Beatles album a couple of years ago has morphed, inadvertently, into something of a franchise, and the latest iteration is the biggest yet: Sat., Nov. 29, Touchfaster and The Ruckus Bros. are presenting a live rendition of Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon, synced with The Wizard of Oz.
"Honestly, we were back and forth whether we even wanted to do a third one," says Pierce Marotto of Touchfaster, a local media-and-entertainment company. "We weren't sure how we were going to top Thriller," the live tribute show the group presented last October at Mr. Small's. The Thriller show was a follow-up to an earlier show The Ruckus Bros. — a local supergroup of sorts headed up by musician Diego Byrnes — put together in which they played The Beatles' Magical Mystery Tour.
"We sat down and shot some ideas around on what album we could do — that was around June of this year — and somebody said, 'Dark Side,'" Marotto recalls. "And we all just said, 'Yep. Yep, we're gonna do that one.'"
In addition to a cast of local musicians ranging from Small's co-owner Liz Berlin to Giuseppe Capolupo, of Gypsy and His Band of Ghosts, and Jessica Zamiska, of Velvet Heat, Touchfaster has a team of designers and animators working on visuals for the show. Rather than try to sync the live performance exactly to the movie as it runs, they're editing the film into scenes — but it's still no small task to pull off live.
"The band will be playing to a click track, so it will be all timed," Marotto explains. "But the same animators we worked with last year for Thriller are working with us on this, and they'll be chopping up the movie — mostly because there's that 45 extra minutes of the movie after the album is done.
"The album itself is iconic and pretty hard to pull off, but we needed something more than just the music."