A "Pink Floyd Laser Spectacular" doesn't sound like something that exists in the year 2008. Pink Floyd hasn't released an album since 1994 and, let's face it, the words "laser spectacular" conjure up '80s flashbacks. But the show isn't just existing, it's been touring for more than two decades.
Show producer Steve Monistere, who has been involved with "Laser Spectacular" since its beginning in 1986, credits a big part of the show's endurance to the lasting appeal of Pink Floyd's music.
"It's not a fad, it wasn't just a one-trick pony where it was just popular in its time," says Monistere. "It's quality music that spans generations, and will probably continue to do so for a long time."
Monistere says this timelessness leads to a surprisingly diverse crowd at the "Laser Spectacular" shows - not just those who came of age during the heyday of Pink Floyd hits like "Money" and "Wish You Were Here."
"At our show, you see a 15-year-old sitting next to a 50-year-old," he says. "The music continues to be an attraction as the generations roll on." (The "Laser Spectacular" isn't the only evidence of this; Roger Waters' performance of the seminal Pink Floyd album, "Dark Side of the Moon," headlined the last day of April's traditionally youth-oriented Coachella music festival in Indio, Calif.)
Fittingly, Monistere says the other main reason for the show's success is the other half of the name - the laser light show itself, in which lasers are used to project images accompanying the band's songs.
"There's this fascination with technology, and has been for the last 20 some-odd years or more," says Monistere. "Going to a multimedia laser show - where you're seeing things that you've never seen before, seeing imagery created in ways you've never seen before, tricks played on your eyes the way you've never seen before - makes people think that they're living in modern times."
Technology has obviously changed quite a bit, though, since "Laser Spectacular" was first staged in 1986. Monistere says that technological advancements have influenced the show's visuals, and have also made it much easier to produce.
"Back in the '80s and the early '90s, for us to create an animation - say, a guy playing a guitar with lasers - that had to be drawn, by hand, like cel animation," Monistere says. "Now, we can take a video of a guy playing a guitar, click a few buttons, and it'll create the laser animation for us."
As you might expect, Monistere sees Pink Floyd as the perfect band for such a show.
"What really makes the visuals work with their music is that their music really is quite visual," he says. "You can close your eyes, put yourself in a dark room and put on some Floyd, and kind of visualize things yourself without any help."