The story of Pink Floyd’s The Wall is well documented. For that reason, I won’t go into much detail about it. This has been my third time seeing Roger Waters in concert. I’ve also seen “Gilmour’s” Pink Floyd the same amount of times, but in comparison to Thursday’s show at the Garden, the latter shows were nearly forgettable. Then again, it could have been the shrooms, or whatever substance of the week I may have altered my mind with in the late 80’s and early 90’s. We sat in our loge seats with the stage not far left of us and a partially-built immense white wall. I noticed a near actual size World War II fighter plane hanging high up in the rafters in the back. The excitement was building. We introduced ourselves to our neighboring concert goers who were equally enthusiastic about the show. We then decided to load up on refreshments that would last until intermission, since no one wanted to get out of their seats during the show. We didn’t want to miss a thing.
The show was set to start at 8:00 PM, with no opening act. We anxiously sat and watched the crowd and noticed what seemed to be a homeless person with a sign that said “Need money for booze and hookers” with clothing and God knows what else stuffed in the carriage he carefully maneuvered through the audience. Security was just moving out of his way as he walked through the crowd. We suspected him to be part of the show, or ever Roger Waters himself. I didn’t get close enough to the strange scene to find out. At about 8:15 the homeless man made his way to the front of the stage and pulled out the dummy known as Pink to avid Wall fans and threw him on stage in a clump. Then the lights went out. The Surrogate band was playing “Outside The Wall”, as Waters approached and stepped over the gaping hole in the middle of what was being constructed by stage hands. “So ya thought ya might like to go to the show,” he said. The crowd went nuts. The show was both visually and acoustically stunning. The crowd sang along to most every song. The show was an up to date version of the 1980’s American tour. With the 21st century technology, the inflatables were bigger, badder, and more full of life than anyone could have ever expected. I’m guessing these characters brought to life from The Wall were 50 feet tall or so. There was the school teacher, the mother, and the wife.
At one point the fighter plane appeared to crash through the wall in flames and there was video projected on the wall at all times. Most messages were anti-war and anti-government. Lots of stuff was happening with and on the wall itself as it was being constructed. At one point, a piece of the wall opened up to reveal Waters sitting watching tv in a hotel room, much like the character played by Bob Geldoff in the movie the Wall, as he sang “Nobody Home.” The just-turned 60 year old Waters looked great; thin, and very much still in shape, his voice sounded wonderful.
Gilmour’s parts were mostly sung by Robbie Wyckoff, who completed a passable Gilmour impersonation. Like the other times I’ve seen Waters, I wish I could have heard Roger himself sing those parts. Surely he could pull it off, and it would be very interesting at the least.
As the show went, the wall was being completed, and was fully built at intermission. Before this, Waters sang “Goodbye Cruel World.” Brick after cardboard brick were put into place until one empty space remained in the wall. Waters could be seen in the final space and said the final word to the song “goodbye.” The stage hands put the last cube into place and everything went dark. “Intermission” flashed on the giant, now completely built wall, that stood between the audience and the band.
In Act II, you would think the 230 foot wide wall would be an obstruction from the show, however, it implemented itself as a gigantic movie screen. Waters appeared in front of the wall, this time sans tennis sneakers (replaced with combat boots), donning shades, and a long leather trench coat, the kind you’d see an S.S. officer wearing. He used the megaphone to address the audience as he did back in 1980, before Scott Weiland knew what a megaphone was.
The trial went on. The crowd chanted, “Tear down the wall! Tear down the wall!” When the wall went down, bricks plummeted, row by row. It seemed from my vantage point that they would land on the audience, but just stopped short. Phew! The roar of the crowd was intense toward the rubble of cardboard, which was once the wall. The band played “Outside The Wall” before walking through the rubble and joining Roger to bow in front of the audience.
There were three shows all together at the Garden. Given the chance, I would have attended all three. Roger Waters The Wall 2010 is more than a concert, it’s a mind blowing experience that shall be remembered and cherished for years to come.
OUTSIDE THE WALL
IN THE FLESH 1
THE THIN ICE
ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL PART 1
THE HAPPIEST DAYS OF OUR LIVES
ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL PART2
GOODBYE BLUE SKY
WHAT SHALL WE DO NOW?
ONE OF MY TURNS
DON’T LEAVE ME NOW
ANOTHER BRICK IN THE WALL PART3
LAST FEW BRICKS
GOODBYE CRUEL WORLD
IS THERE ANYBODY OUT THERE?
BRING THE BOYS BACK HOME
THE SHOW MUST GO ON
IN THE FLESH 2
RUN LIKE HELL
WAITING FOR THE WORMS
OUTSIDE THE WALL