Roger Waters' disgust with a lot going on in the world today hasn't abated with age. At one point in time he, the band backing him and the music were in danger of disappearing in an overkill of messages being displayed all around, while a pig (a pig drone?) flew through the hall. What Waters' thinks of Donald Trump was already clear listening to his latest album, 'Is This The Life We Really Want?' (read on here: http://wonomagazine.blogspot.com/2017/06/is-this-life-we-really-want-roger-waters.html). I certainly have my opinions and somehow never seem able to just expect the next salvo and keep being surprised, shocked, amazed. Reading a few dozen of statements made by the president of the U.S. one after another, there's simply no denying of this man's true intentions and stupidity. He's after the whole world with a wrecking ball, with a vengeance. In search of admiration and personal glory. All better prepare, or "resist", as Roger Waters' message to us all was. If there ever was a musician who still thinks he can change the world, I saw him yesterday. 60s activism returned with a vengeance as well. There is a missionary streak in Roger Waters as well, as well as a hint at fascism in his theatrics and grand gestures. So I'm not always certain of what his messages convey.
Surrounded by a pool of fantastic musicians, e.g. the ladies of Lucius on background vocals, drummer Joey Waronker and "hippie" Jonathan Wilson, only recently mentioned on this blog as producer of Dawes, played the songs perfectly. As the core of the stage band also made 'Is This The Life We Really Want?', on stage it must feel more like a true band than a set of hired hands. This was a machine, executing the music 99,9% perfectly. Yes, there was a duff note a few times, showing this was live or at least mostly. I'm never 100% certain with Roger Waters having read in the past that a lot of the music came from tape. It's all of no consequence. It was perfect.
The long and drawn out 'Pigs' had a whole theatre show accompanying it, signboard messages, masks and all. A contraption as long as the venue descended over the length of the hall, slowly recreating Battersea Power Station. So there was a wall among us anyway. One that became overwhelming during 'Money'. There it started to outlast its welcome, no matter how impressive. Luckily it was slowly dismantled, bit by bit after 'Money' was nearly overkilled by messages and pictures. The music became detached from the videowall, while the band became inconsequential it seemed. It did not do the show any good, while in the long intermezzo of 'Pigs' it worked perfectly, Trump vomiting vileness and all. So even one of the best songs ever made can be humbled by an overkill of visual impressions I've found out.
And the new songs, how did they do? Well, about as to be expected, if you've read my review you know what I mean. I still think 'Is This The Life We Really Want?' is a fine album, with one person missing: David Gilmour (or Jonathan Wilson playing his parts), that would have made it the best Pink Floyd album since 'The Wall', now since 'The Final Cut'. Luckily we got no songs from that album.
After having a Palestinian student biker for a good cause on stage, the encores, with a Roger Waters who visibly was getting tired and couldn't stop coughing, gave us 'Wake Up And Smell The Roses' and the biggest tip of the hat to David Gilmour possible 'Comfortably Numb'. Pink Floyd as a communal singing exercise, time changes everything. No there was no 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond', but then one can't have everything. Roger Waters gave it his best and at 74 that still is a tremendous lot. I'm so glad I went again this time around.
|And the final surprise|
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