Saturday, June 09, 2007

Roger Waters: The Concert

On Wednesday night I was at the Roger Waters concert.
I loved it.
And I knew I would.
I saw the same show in Montreal, last September.
The above image is of the stage, taken without zoom, from my seat.
I guess it is safe to say that my favorite music of all time is…. anything Pink Floydian, and Roger Waters is my favorite portion of the Pink Floyd phenomenon. I love David Gilmour also. It’s just that I love Waters more!

Here is probably the best photo of Roger, that I got. [Have any of you ever noticed how incredibly difficult it is to get a good concert photo from far away?]

Well, the show was superb!
The set list was as follows.
The show opened with In The Flesh, as did Waters’ last tour, of the same name.
And why not? It is the perfect opener, beginning and ending with thundering crescendos.

Then, an immediate “toning it down a notch as Chris Farley might say, with the beautiful song Mother, the solo part taken by the lovely Katie Kissoon. [shown below].

She pegged this. Her voice is incredibly clear and strong. I had shivers.

Then, they turned back the clock a ways for Set The Controls For The Heart of The Sun. In this piece, Ian Ritchie stepped forward to showcase some of the best saxophone work I have ever heard this side of, well… the sun!

Song #4 was the legendary Shine On You Crazy Diamond.

Need I even comment? It was wonderful, and followed by Have A Cigar.
Then the crowd went wild with those first few distinctive-as-hell acoustic notes of Wish You Were Here.
What an amazing song, played note-perfect.
Another toning down a notch [Waters understands dynamics better than anyone] with Southampton Dock.
“Maggie what have you done?” All that jazz. Great tune.
Followed by Fletcher Memorial Home.

Then, one of the highlights of the night, and my personal favorite songs, an exclusive Waters’ number [distinct from the collective Pink Floyd]…. his song Perfect Sense, the start of which had a gi-normous NASA spaceman fly around the stadium in a simulated space-walk. Truly incredible. A shot of the spaceman, below.

But then, perhaps the low point, and definitely not a very good song, overall…. the politically over-charged Leaving Beirut.
I did not like this song in Montreal, nor here, in Ottawa
I find it unmelodic, and over-lyric-ed!
Positively Trollopian in verbosity. It’s trying to say too much!
There is just not enough room on any one skewer to effectively shishkabob President Bush and Tony Blair and all Christians, and this song attempts to do all of that at once. It was like The Dixie Chicks on acid!

OK, but all of that is immediately redeemed with the first reverberated Roland piano notes surround-sound bleatings of Sheep, the final song of this pre-intermission set.
This is where the Flying Pink Pig now made its flight through the stadium. I loved it. Here a couple shots of Pink-Piggy, below.

I am thinking of writing an entire blog based on one portion of Pig-Graffiti. It says “All Religions Divide.”

After the intermission, the band returned to perform each song, yea, the entire album of Dark Side Of The Moon.

It is a concert experience that cannot be rivalled, in my opinion. There were moments when I was sure my skin actually peeled itself from my body, floated upwards into the rafters, looked down and felt pity for the exposed nakedness of my shivering muscles and sinew, and decided it was best to float on down and re-attach itself to me. [Mind you, there was lot of second hand ganja-smoke in the place by this time, so I may have just been hallucinating]….. suffice it to say…. I saw “God” and he looked like a right triangle, with a prism of light coming out of His Hypotenuse!

What an amazing performance.

Let me mention some highs and lows, which all good hallucinations are duty-bound to have.
Highs: The song Us And Them, with a crazy-as-hell guitar solo from the ever-eccentric, Andy Fairwether-Low. [Shown below, in the background, in cowboy hat!]

He is NUTS!
Also of note, Jon Carin’s wonderful Gilmourian vocals, in this song.

However, a disappointing aspect of this set?

In Great Gig In The Sky, I was a bit disappointed with the vocal-solo portion, perfomed here by Carol Kenyon. It just seemed….. not happening. When I heard her do this, back in September in Montreal, the solo part was much more powerful. At that time, I wept. This time, I sort of… winced.
Granted, who can really succeed in replicating what Clare Torry did in the original song, without actually DYING in the process.
And not only so, but continue to do this night after night? It is truly impossible. In that sense, Carol Kenyon’s “dying sequence” in Great Gig was actually quite good!

When the band left the stage after taking their bow [above]…. the lighters came out in full force. And the screams. I myself haven’t screamed that much since I was a toddler and accidentally shoved a two-pronged hairpin into a power outlet.
They came back on and I tell you, it was quite the finale!

For the encore they began with Another Brick In The Wall, then did a severely pyrotechnic version of Vera and Bring The Boys Back Home.
Then…….. Comfortably Numb.

And by then, I was.
Dave Kilminster, [shown below]…… his guitar solo in this song, well, there is no way that I can describe it.

And he is so unassuming, this Kilminster guy. Looks like he might have poured a cement driveway, or perhaps painted a fence just before the show, and had forgotten to change clothes for the gig. When Snowy White harmonizes with him on the guitar solos in Numb, it is simply unforgettable stuff.

All in all, what I am saying here in this review is completely inadequate in describing how wonderful of an experience it was.

If the Dark Side of The Moon tour comes to your city [tonight it is in Chicago]...
you should just GO!
Go over to the Dark Side!


Merisi said...

I am breathless. Too bad, the stores are closed by now, I need to hear that music. :-)
(I went to a Bob Dylan's concert with one of my daughters, can't say how often she tried to remind me "to act my age", she had no clue, I did).

Beth said...

Wow - great post. I wasn't even there (no kidding) but you've managed to convey the thrill of it all.
Some of those song titles bring back such memories - and make me feel old.

cipriano said...

Merisi: You know, in their early early early days [when you were young, as was I] they were called THE Pink Floyd. At another stage they were The Pink Floyd Sound. Some of that early stuff is real whacky!
But still, Dark Side & The Wall.... well, these are pieces of legendary music history. I dare say no one can rival it, nor has, nor will. [My opinion!]

Beth... I know.
We are old, sort of.
You should have seen how many like really really old people were at that concert. It was great. PLUS [and I found this sort of weird] many people brought their young kids, and by young I mean.... 11, 12 year-old kids? Like... sort of an expensive outing for kids that were not at all enjoying the music, from what I could see. Oh well, maybe tickets to Waters are yet cheaper than babysitting fees? I don't know!

stefanie said...

Wow, your camera either has a great zoom or you had amazing seats! Thanks for sharing the concert experience!

Scott said...

Hey, I don't know who you are, I found your blog by a google search, but... I saw this show on Friday the 15th in So Cal, and... you hit the description on the nail - most AMAZING concert I've ever seen. Only at the show I was at, Carol Kenyon was beautifully impressive, and got a roar of applause at the end of here solo... I can't agree more that this show is a must-experience... experience.

cipriano said...

Ahhh... a true-blue fellow fan!
It is the best music that had ever existed!
And one of the best shows, ever, anywhere.
Thank you for commenting, Scott.

Isorski said...

Just saw Waters in Oakland, California last night and posted a review on my Blog at Enjoy!

Bev said...

A flawless evening in Vancouver, enjoyed by all who were there. Pity the ones who chose not to attend, they missed an amazing concert.

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