Went to the Roger Waters show last night.
Oh. My. Gawd.
The concert was billed as “An Evening with Roger Waters: Dark Side of the Moon.” The first set consisted of tons of Floyd mixed with a smattering of Waters’s solo work. After the intermission, Waters and his excellent ten-piece band played Dark Side of the Moon from start to finish. A four-song encore featuring “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2” and “Comfortably Numb” closed the festivities.
Going in, I wasn’t sure how much I would enjoy the show. I mean, really–it was just Roger Waters, right? It’s not like the Live 8 reunion of Pink Floyd. But from the moment of the first chord from “In the Flesh,” accompanied by an image of those unforgettable marching hammers, projected on an enormous video screen behind the stage, I knew I’d come to the right place.
Highlights from the opening set included “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” a fantastic rendition of “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun,” a stirring and powerful performance of “The Fletcher Memorial Home”–more potent these days, I think, than when it was written–and the set’s closer, “Sheep,” replete with flying pig (you are excused from thinking of Kids in the Hall and giggling at this point).
I suppose it’s possible that Waters’s politics–very much in evidence throughout the show–may have put off some audience members. We’re in Nebraska, after all. But if anyone was offended, I certainly saw no evidence of it.
The second set, as I mentioned, was Dark Side in its entirety. Many of you already know that it remained on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart for an astounding 15 years, or something like that. The crowd response to hearing this classic was nothing short of phenomenal. The cheers were deafening. Even Waters seemed genuinely bowled over by it. Hell, I was genuinely bowled over by it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen anything like it. By the end of “Eclipse,” we all knew we had witnessed something pretty special. And the cheers just rolled on and on, even as we were filing out of the arena.
And did I mention the visuals? Stunning. Jaw-dropping. Pyrotechnics and confetti. Trippy imagery on the video screen. The aforementioned flying pig. And the iconic prism from Dark Side, done up in a rainbow of rotating laser light. The only thing missing, I quipped at the time, was a sync-up with The Wizard of Oz.
Wow. Just . . . wow.
If this show is coming to your town, you owe it to yourself to be there.