Monday, December 13, 2010

Roger Waters - The Wall

Thanks to my buddy Lee, I had the opportunity to go see Roger Waters - The Wall on Saturday in Vancouver (Rogers Arena) and, as expected, it was fantastic.

First, a bit of background to give context on my perspective.  I've been a huge Pink Floyd fan for about 25-30 years now, own pretty much every album (still short Atom Heart Mother and Obscured by Clouds) including a bunch of unreleased/bootleg stuff, have watched The Wall the movie numerous times, read books etc on the band and their albums/tours etc, and listened to The Wall album more times than I can count.  While my 'fandom' has waned a bit in the last few years, it is mostly because I'm just so familiar with the music that there is not much 'new' I can get out of it.  Also, I've seen Pink Floyd live 3 times (Momentary Lapse of Judgement once and Division Bell twice) and Roger Waters (DSOTM) once.

I had also read about and seen pictures/footage of the original Wall tour in 1980, so  I had a pretty good idea of what to expect; however, that is _not_ to say that I wasn't looking forward to this concert.  It was more just a shock that I was _actually_ going to see this concert.  After the acrimonious split up and the subsequent lawsuit(s), after the public barbs from Roger that David G. was just 'flogging' the PF name to make money, after numerous times hearing PF folks say that doing another Wall tour just wouldn't happen/wasn't economical - here I was, going to see it.

The concert itself (detailed here) was really flawless. Musically it sounded great - the musicians were fantastic (especially  Snowy White), though I really missed David Gilmour.  Robbie Wyckoff covered Dave's vocal parts while Dave Kilminster covered most of the guitar parts.  Robbie was all right and Dave K definitely has the chops to play Dave G's solo (in fact most were pretty much note for note) but I kind of wish Snowy had taken on a bit more of the guitar work.  I find (as I did during Roger's DSOTM tour in 2007) that Kilminster is technically a fantastic guitarist and definitely does Gilmour's solo's justice; however Snowy's guitar work has much more life and soul. So, while Kilminster's solos probably sound a lot closer to the Gilmour originals, I think Snowy's come closer to matching the life/feeling of the solos while not necessarily matching them note for note.

Either way, I'm nitpicking - the concert was fantastic.  And ultimately, you just aren't replacing Dave Gilmour (or Rick Wright (RIP) or even Nick for that matter).

I believe the show also had a bit more political overtones than the original with many of the illustrations/content containing digs at capitalism, government, war etc etc.  These are all sermons that Roger has preached for years/decades, but really strike a chord today as so many of his topics are very current:  unbridled capitalism -> financial collapse/global recession, greedy corporations, unending wars, fear peddling, widespread suffering. So, with minor updates/tweaking of the message,  The Wall still works.

In fact, I was a little surprised at how well it actually did work.  I  went in thinking it would be just a wall with Gerald Scarfe and other animations projected on it - but, it really was much more than that.  The wall offers such a large canvas with so many opportunities/possibilities -  it is really an interesting artistic environment.  It serves as a massive display for projecting all of Roger's ideas, concepts, fears and opinions, a backdrop for the giant Scarfe inflatable characters, Roger's living room in Nobody's Home, and obviously, even on its own it still represents and embodies all the symbolism of isolation and hints of authoritarianism that it always did.   It was interesting to see the possibilities of what can be done when you combine more than just music and video - but also add animation, art, performance, political opinion...

Anyway, enough talk.  Here are the thumbnails - the full size pics are better:

My View
So ya, thought ya might like to go to the show
The Wall
Intermission already??
There's one in the spotlight, he don't look right to me
'cause if they catch you in the backseat trying to pick her locks
they're going to send you back to mother in a cardboard box
Waiting for the worms
The way you made them suffer, your exquisite wife and mother....
Tear Down the Wall
Tear Down the Wall

No comments:

Post a Comment