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David Gilmour

Tuesday, April 4, 2006

Radio City Music Hall, New York City, NY



1. Castellorizon
2. This Heaven
3. Smile
4. Red Sky At Night
5. Take A Breath
6. Then I Close My Eyes
7. On An Island (w/Crosby & Nash)
8. The Blue (w/Crosby & Nash)
9. A Pocketful Of Stones
10. Where We Start


11. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (w/Crosby & Nash)
12. Wearing The Inside Out
13. Dominoes
14. Fat Old Sun
15. Breathe/Time/Breathe Reprise
16. High Hopes
17. Echoes


18. Wish You Were Here
19. Find The Cost Of Freedom (w/Crosby & Nash)
20. Comfortably Numb

My Concert Review


Finally, I have a chance to relax. Taking a day trip to New York City is stressful enough, but doing it on a weekday, and the day before a physics midterm exam, is just brutal. But it was entirely worth it.

The venue was Radio City Music Hall, my first time. It's an impressive place. If the B.B. King Blues Club & Grill was a basement, Radio City Music Hall is a cavern. It's a giant indoor concert hall, with three levels above the ground floor. Our seats were up on the third mezzanine, second row in from the back wall - in other words, just one row shy of the farthest seats in the whole place. But we were positioned relatively close to the center. And even though we were far back, not to mention far up, it still wasn't that bad. We could see the stage well enough (it wasn't too far to make things out). And if anything, being up there was quite an experience, getting to see the show and view the hall from so high up. Plenty of lasers and fog were utilized during the evening, so that helped, too. Before the show even started, when we got to our seats (after a long climb up three flights of stairs), there was a foggy haze between us and the stage, almost giving that distance effect that made it seem like the stage was far off on the horizon. In any case, it was a very interesting experience, and being so far back and up really didn't hinder it in any significant way.

There was no opening act, but David Gilmour played two sets, with an intermission in between. The first set consisted of the entirety of Gilmour's new album On An Island, albeit, with the songs a little bit mixed around. The second set consisted of old favorites.

So the lights dimmed and the show started with the opening track from the album, Castellorizon. Immediately, jets of fog in the front of the stage started spewing upwards, effectively creating a wall of fog to hide the stage, as well as filling the entire music hall with fog (which helped the laser effects that would follow). There were colored flickering lights behind the fog, and it really gave off the impression of being on an island, with like, tiki torches and stuff. It was cool. If you don't know the song, it basically starts with some atmospheric sound effects, that oddly sort of reminds me of the Old Mill ride from my youth, eventually giving way to an electric guitar solo by David Gilmour. So I was listening to the song, eagerly anticipating Gilmour's arrival to the stage. And so it happened. The smoke screen lifted and there was David in the center of the stage with his guitar, and he played a solo. Excellent.

Castellorizon was followed up not by the title track On An Island like it is on the album, but by the song This Heaven. Then they did Smile, followed by an impressively eerie saxophone performance by David Gilmour on the song Red Sky At Night. Take A Breath was pretty rocking, and that was followed by Then I Close My Eyes.

At this point, David Gilmour stopped to introduce the band, and of the members, Richard Wright (another former Pink Floyd member) on keyboards got quite an energetic ovation. Then David explained (supposedly) the reason why they were doing the tracks out of order, to which end he introduced David Crosby and Graham Nash, who proceeded to sing harmony on the next two songs, On An Island, and The Blue. C&N then left the stage, and David introduced the next song, A Pocketful Of Stones, and I could be wrong, but it seemed like he was getting a little impatient, and anxious to finish the On An Island material and get into the second set. Maybe it's just me. But the last song was Where We Start, and then there was a brief intermission.

The second set pretty naturally opened with Shine On You Crazy Diamond (the first half). The crowd started to go wild, and also quite naturally the fog started to become intertwined with pot smoke. The song was very well done, and benefited from Crosby and Nash joining once again on harmony. Ever critical, I can tell you that there wasn't quite as much energy and precision in the song as in the past, and Gilmour did skip my favorite part of the guitar solo just before the lyrics, but even so, it sounded really good and it was really cool to hear this song.

The next song was a number from the Division Bell - Wearing The Inside Out. After that David introduced a Syd Barrett song (Dominoes) which was pretty mellow. Then David did one of his faves, Fat Old Sun, an excellent acoustic tune, and he added a really rocking electric finish to it that I really enjoyed.

Then, the band did a little mini tribute to Dark Side of the Moon, starting with Breathe, which was really cool, then cutting straight to Time (oh, the experience of hearing that song live...incredible). Then, to my surprise, Gilmour played another of my old Floyd favorites - High Hopes, complete with the drummer banging on the division bell!

After that came the climax of the evening, and it floored even me. From the briny depths, David Gilmour pulled out the perfect accompaniment to the theme of On An Island - they played Echoes. They opened from the keyboard part, which I immediately recognized, and continued through the entire song - it was outstanding! I cannot believe they played this song! And Gilmour played the 'dolphin solo', too. I remember, the entire stage was clouded with fog, and a dark silhouette stood in the center - it was David, wrenching those eerie yet somehow beautiful sounds from his guitar, like as if he was channeling the servants of Kraken himself. Absolutely incredible! Unbelievable! What an experience! Echoes! Wow!

So when the song finally reached its end, with the slowly rising pitch, which makes you feel like you're swimming quickly to the surface of the sea, getting closer and closer to the light, the band snuck off the stage behind the fog, and it ended, and the stage got dark. That was the 'end'. But shortly, David and the rest came back on stage for the 'encore'.

It was a surprisingly good encore. Started with the crowd-pleasing Wish You Were Here (just being part of a crowd of people singing along with that song is heart-wrenchingly beautiful). After that, Gilmour threw us for a loop, brought Crosby and Nash back up onto the stage once more, and gave us all a taste of their music - the three of them sang a touchingly sublime Find The Cost Of Freedom. And finally, the last song of the evening, Comfortably Numb. Richard Wright sang Waters' part. Excellent guitar solo. What an incredible song. Awesome finish to an excellent evening. Wow. I can't believe I got to see what was quite nearly a Pink Floyd concert! And the lights were impressive. One part during Echoes, I swear, the entire music hall literally exploded with green lasers. And there was this other wavy moving green laser thing that really gave me the impression of some large undersea creature, slowly gliding through the currents. Totally awesome. Definite highlight - Echoes. That'll be one for my records!

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