Sunday, 15 May 2011

Roger Waters - The Wall Live

I have grown up with the music of Pink Floyd thanks to my Dad. In 1994 we missed the opportunity to see Pink Floyd play at Earl's Court, and I've always regretted that - so when tickets came up to see Roger Waters playing The Wall live at the O2 I jumped at the chance. In some ways, this was better than seeing Pink Floyd - The Wall is such a visceral and personal album, and has such an association with the man who wrote it that I would far rather see him produce the stage show and play it.

We had a few hiccups getting to the O2 last night (namely, the fact that apparently my brother's obstinate sat nav refuses to recognise the O2 exists) and arrived only a short time before the show started. We were right up in the rafters, and this was our view of the rest of the arena. Vertigo ahoy!

Both my dad:

and my brother:

were *painfully* excited *grin*

So, The Wall... This is one of Pink Floyd's concept albums, and was written as a result of Roger Waters' increasing disillusionment and isolation during the 'In the Flesh' tour. It involves the protagonist Pink, based on Water himself, who suffers through the early death of his father, a controlling mother, the bullying of teachers and sexual inadequacies. As he suffers, the metaphorical wall builds around him. Fantastically, during the course of the live show last night, an actual wall was built across the stage and images projected onto this - showing the horrors of war, dark images about corporate greed and various pictures that demonstrate the sheer isolation of this troubled singer.

I found so, so many of the songs last night to be fiercely relevant today, either personally or societally. There were jeers from the audience as Roger Waters sang the line: "Mother should I trust the government?" from the song "Mother", and applause when the words "Bring the Boys Back Home" appeared across the wall. Personally, the song "Comfortably Numb" says everything to me about the darkness and despair of depression. This is a vital album, a very relevant set of songs.

Last night was far more, however, that just a set of songs being played, as is the case with most concerts. This was a stage production. As I say, the wall appeared gradually as Waters sang each song. There were military flags, children singing to "Another Brick in the Wall Part 2", and fireworks. My favourite part was when an enormous flying pig hovered over the audience. It was surreal and perfect.

It was, simply, one of the best nights out I've had. As I said on Twitter: "FUCK! Roger Waters still has it in SPADES!" It was simply amazing. And all of you *have* to listen to The Wall.


  1. Looks like a fantastic show. I'd have loved to have been there on Thursday when Gilmore turned up! I'd have love to have been at any of the nights to be honest, but didn't get the opportunity.

    Still, I was there at the Earls Court gigs in '94. :D (It was the actual one broadcast on the BBC and later released on the Pulse videos/dvds.)

    And it was such an amazing experience, especially when we twigged they were playing the entire Dark Side of the Moon album for the second-set. :D

    Ah, the memories!

  2. Wow, you lucky girl! What a cool experience! Do you happen to know who else played with Waters?

    I know The Wall album is sort of a Roger Waters solo album with the Pink Floyd guys playing instruments, but do you think live performance suffers from not having Dave, Nick and Richard on their respective instruments?