Friday, November 5, 2010

ROGER WATERS The Wall Live Concert Review

Roger Waters
The Wall Live
Wednesday, October 27, 2010
Xcel Energy Center, St. Paul, MN

Roger Waters came through the Twin Cities midway through his mammoth tour to play Pink Floyd’s The Wall in its entirely. Expectations were high for the sold-out crowd, and significant buzz was built up a couple days prior when Roger Waters was spotted having dinner with his entourage at Bar La Grassa in Minneapolis. Rumors flew throughout the local media that Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour had accompanied Waters to Bar La Grassa, raising hopes that St. Paul would be the city where Gilmour joined Waters on stage as he promised to do on one show of the tour. The dinner rumor proved to be unfounded, unfortunately, and Gilmour did not appear at this show. Nevertheless, this was a show of epic proportions that left no one disappointed.
Click to hear Roger Waters perform “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)”.
The Wall was performed in the album’s running order, and Waters was greeted with thunderous applause as he strolled the front of the stage while the band launched into “In The Flesh?” A partial wall was already constructed several feet back from the front of the stage, and the band was set up towards the back. While the band seamlessly worked their way through the early part of the album, including “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)”, “Mother”, and “Goodbye Blue Sky”, the crew was kept busy as they gradually added bricks to the wall. The ever-enlarging wall was used as a video projection surface, and a circular screen was suspended behind the band. The circular screen was used to great effect during “Mother”, showing vintage live footage of Waters performing in sync. Speakers suspended throughout the arena were used to achieve a surround sound effect for many of the recorded sound effects during the show. Giant props were also brought out at times, such a giant marionette, an inflatable pig, and a suspended airplane that crashed into the wall at the end of the “In The Flesh?” By the time the first half of The Wall ended with “Goodbye Cruel World”, the wall was completed and was a sight to behold as it stretched from one side of the arena to the other at a massive height, probably about 15–20 feet high.
Click to hear Roger Waters perform “Goodbye Blue Sky”.
Click to hear Roger Waters perform “Young Lust”.
Following a 20 minute intermission, “Hey You” kicked off the second half of The Wall, and it initially seemed strange to have the band performing out of sight behind the wall. The band wasn’t entirely invisible, as clever tricks were used to showcase Waters and the band during this part of the set. A section of the wall was knocked out to show Waters lounging in a room setting while he sang “Nobody Home”. One of the more dramatic parts of the show was when one of the guitarists was perched on a scaffold atop the wall for the solos in “Comfortably Numb”. Towards the end of the show, the band rose up through risers in the floor so they could play in front of the wall. The show reached a climax with “Waiting For The Worms” as Waters yelled into a megaphone as the cacophony was built up into “The Trial”. At this point the crowd was in a frenzy, shaking their fists while chanting “tear down the wall!” The entire wall structure collapsed, and the band returned amidst the rubble to play the closer, “Outside The Wall”. Band members left the stage one by one as the dying notes faded until Waters was left standing to thank the audience.
Click to hear Roger Waters perform “Comfortably Numb”.
Click to hear Roger Waters perform “Run Like Hell”.
Roger Waters defied all expectations this night, and this show will go down as one of the most memorable for all who attended. The band executed The Wall to perfection, and the lavish production was on the level of what you’d expect from a Broadway or Vegas show. Some critics have complained about the guitarists aping David Gilmour’s work, but what do you expect? More people would feel let down if the music was altered simply for the sake of making it different. In fact, the was allowing to stretch the songs at times, notably during extended guitar and keyboard solos during songs such as “Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)”, “Comfortably Numb”, and “Run Like Hell”. No other band can put on an arena-sized production at this level, so this was a concert for the ages.
Check back soon for a posting of the audio from the entire show!!

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