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floored by the wall

June 5, 2012

Roger Waters performs The WallThe concerts I usually attend can hardly be described as “theatrical” – Bob Dylan and his band usually wear matching outfits, Tom Petty always has Persian rugs on stage, and I’m pretty sure I may have seen Bruce Springsteen do a somersault once… Needless to say, I wasn’t fully prepared for the grandiose spectacle that is Roger Waters’ The Wall Live.

I bought tickets as a birthday gift for my boyfriend who is a much bigger Pink Floyd fan than I. Though I always dig it when I hear it, Pink Floyd isn’t ever a go-to band for me. So admittedly, I wasn’t as familiar with The Wall as I probably should have been. I obviously know the album, and I’ve been to more than one Laser Light Show set to the tunes. We have a friend in Austin who told us that he helped to “build the wall” for Waters’ show down there. I thought he just meant that he was a hired local hand who helped construct the set before the show, but his job was so much cooler than that. During the course of this powerhouse concert a physical wall is erected (and eventually destructed) on stage and serves as a backdrop for a dazzling array of projected imagery.

There is nothing subtle about the images or the messaging of the show. Waters places a heavy emphasis on the anti-war bent to the album. But every theme the music explores is magnified by the imagery.  From onscreen biographies of fallen soldiers to 30-foot tall nude women gyrating along with “Young Lust” the projections illustrated nearly every note of the double album. I’ll admit to my own cynicism at the outset, the theatricality struck me as so heavy handed that I thought the message was being lost in the spectacle. But by the time we hit the emotional crest of “Vera”/Bring the Boys Back Home” with its images of soldier and child reunions and Dwight Eisenhower’s ever-powerful “theft” quote I was completely overwhelmed. And though my boyfriend won’t admit it, he definitely wiped a little something out of his eyes during that number.

Taking the show as one cohesive unit, the way it’s meant to be taken, it’s an extremely powerful presentation. It gave me a much deeper appreciation of The Wall as the rock opera/thematic concept album that it is. It’s an exhausting show to watch, let alone perform, and 68-year-old Waters didn’t lag for a moment. If you can make it to any of the remaining dates of this uniquely compelling tour de force, I highly suggest you do.

Roger Waters - The Wall Live

2 Comments leave one →
  1. alanstix permalink
    June 6, 2012 1:00 am

    Reblogged this on Pinkfloydiana.

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