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On Aug. 21, 1988, Pink Floyd played the third show in a five-night run at New York’s Nassau Coliseum. The band was in the midst of their triumphant Momentary Lapse of Reason tour, rivaling huge arena acts like Michael Jackson and U2 for ticket-sales supremacy. And why not? By 1988, Pink Floyd had amassed a collection of undeniable concert crowd-pleasers, including “Wish You Were Here,” “Us and Them,” “Money” and “Comfortably Numb.”
Check out our ranking of the 20 Best Pink Floyd Songs.
On most nights during the tour, Floyd—which was performing without bassist/mastermind Roger Waters for the first time—filled the first of two sets with new songs from 1987’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason. But they almost always opened the show with their masterpiece, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”—at least, parts 1-5 of it. On this night on Long Island 29 years ago, Pink Floyd lifted off with an epic, 12-minute rendition of the song suite, which was written in honor of erstwhile compatriot Syd Barrett, who had slipped into the throes of mental illness in the years since the band’s ‘70s peak. (You can find his name in the title: Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”)
David Gilmour’s guitar part is perfect as always, and the band slips into and out of the song’s multiple chapters with virtuosic ease. Enjoy!