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Roger Waters
The Dark Side Of The Moon

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Post-Gazette Pavilion, Burgettstown, PA


Set 1
1. In The Flesh
2. Mother
3. Set The Controls For the Heart Of The Sun
4. Shine On You Crazy Diamond
5. Have A Cigar
6. Wish You Were Here
7. Southampton Dock
8. The Fletcher Memorial Home
9. Perfect Sense Parts 1 And 2
10. Leaving Beirut
11. Sheep

Set 2 - Dark Side of the Moon
12. Speak To Me/Breathe
13. On The Run
14. Time/Breathe Reprise
15. The Great Gig In The Sky
16. Money
17. Us And Them/Any Colour You Like
18. Brain Damage/Eclipse

19. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives/Another Brick In The Wall (Pt 2)
20. Vera
21. Bring The Boys Back Home
22. Comfortably Numb

My Concert Review

(9/25/06) It wasn't quite a Pink Floyd concert, but I suppose it's about as close as you're gonna get in this millennium, unless you catch David Gilmour in concert, which I was lucky enough to do last Spring. Now I can say that I have seen 3/4 of Pink Floyd live in concert (Rick Wright was playing with Dave when I saw him). Between Dave and Roger, Dave would be my favorite, being the guitarist and all, but Roger is great as well. His vocals and his social sense are unique and strong, and it was a treat to get to see him perform live. The only two songs he played that I didn't recognize were also the only two songs he played that were not from the Pink Floyd catalog, but they were enjoyable as well.

Upon entering the pavilion area, Neil Young music could be heard coming from the direction of the stage - an agreeable choice for pre-performance grooves. Then, the music changed to Chuck Berry for awhile, which was a treat. The stage was empty but the huge video screen at the back had an image of an old-school radio, with some liquor and cigarettes sitting nearby (on-screen). After awhile, the Chuck Berry subsided, and a number of various vintage tunes were played (possibly including some Vera Lynn), while the radio was switched between stations on the video screen by an unidentified arm, which also grabbed the liquor and cigarettes from time to time. The smoke filling the room on the video screen was accompanied by actual smoke created on stage to enhance the realism of the image.

Eventually, the real performance started with the opener to The Wall - a song called In The Flesh, and it was the version that occurs the second time on The Wall, if I remember correctly. A spotlight scanned the audience in the seats closer to the stage, and stopped at appropriate times in the song, as Roger picked out all the riff-raff, as the song goes. It was an exciting and energetic open to the evening's live entertainment.

Roger stuck to The Wall theme for the next song, a mellow [mostly-]acoustic tune called Mother, which was nice and crowd-pleasing. The third song really got my attention, as it was an earlier track, in fact the only pre-Dark Side track played that night - Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun. It started off with an awesome image on the video screen of the upper arc of a dark circle rimmed by a fiery photosphere. The song wasn't quite as ominous as it was in the 60's, but there was an excellent, riveting guitar part that I enjoyed.

Next, Roger started a mini-set from Wish You Were Here, with the beautiful Shine On You Crazy Diamond (the first half). It sounded great, although the guitarists skipped out on my favorite part of the song, which unfortunately seems to be a common choice these days (even with Gilmour himself). The song was accompanied by some moving images of Syd Barrett, the founder of Pink Floyd and who the song was largely written about. It was particularly poignant considering that Syd Barrett just passed away over the summer.

The mini-set continued with Have A Cigar, with Roger Waters on vocals. That was pretty cool, as I recall recently reading in Nick Mason's book Inside Out that Roger Waters was a little disappointed that he didn't sing the lyrics to the song himself (they got Roy Harper to fill in on vocals at the time). It's a great song, and the lyrics were as meaningful as ever, especially the line "if we all pull together as a team". Roger Waters and David Gilmour played together for the first time since 1983's The Final Cut at Live 8 last summer, but there's no sign of a full Pink Floyd reunion, as much as fans would love to see it happen.

The end of the song utilized the surround sound speakers that were set up at the back of the lawn, to give the same effect that the end of the song on the album has. The next song was Wish You Were Here, and just like the album, it started off with a radio switching between stations, this time utilizing the video screen radio from before the performance started. The song started up on the radio and then the band joined in, it was just like the album.

After the Wish You Were Here mini-set, we heard a couple from The Final Cut, which sounded great. Then there was the two songs I didn't recognize - Perfect Sense and Leaving Beirut. I remember there being an image of an astronaut on the video screen accompanied by an astronaut prop floating back and forth above the stage. Leaving Beirut was very good. Roger explained that it was about an experience he had once while hitchhiking, when a family took great care of him. Comic book-like pages were displayed on the video screen to tell the story behind the song, and it was very interesting and moving.

The first set closed with a song from the album Animals. It was the song Sheep. During the song, the infamous inflatable pig floated across the stage, and then floated out over the audience and halfway up the lawn section. The pig's hide was adorned with various politically-minded messages, such as "Impeach Bush Now", "Don't Be Led To The Slaughter", and "Cut Along Dotted Line", among others. The pig was eventually freed from its constraints, and floated up to the heavens. As the spotlight followed it, on the belly of the pig, the phrase "Free At Last" could be read. It was a very moving experience.

The band took a break, and in the meantime, a small image of a moon (the dark side visible) slowly expanded to larger and larger size. The band hit the stage, and proceeded to play the Dark Side of the Moon, in its entirety, in true quadrophonic stadium sound. It sounded great, loyal to the album, even the vocal solo in The Great Gig in the Sky. Overall, I don't think it had quite the polish or intensity of the album recordings, but it was a great experience to hear live. Any Colour You Like was particularly good for me, with an exceptional guitar solo. I was a little bit disappointed with the conclusion (Eclipse) though, as it didn't quite build up as much as I would've liked. I was also expecting to see an image of a total solar eclipse on the video screen, which I would have thought to be really cool, but it didn't quite go that route. Still, a great experience.

For the encore, Roger pulled out some more favorites from The Wall. Another Brick Pt. 2 sounded good, and it was cool to hear Vera and Bring The Boys Back Home (complete with war-type explosions). But of course, the creme de la creme was Comfortably Numb. Even without David Gilmour, this song is spectacular. It wasn't as good as when I saw Dave play it last Spring, but it did have its own appeal - dual guitarists. Throughout the show, Roger had a couple friends on lead guitar - Snowy White, long-time friend of Pink Floyd (and who also played on Peter Green's original comeback album In The Skies in 1979), playing a Les Paul; and the younger Dave Kilminster, playing a Telecaster. They switched off lead guitar duties throughout the night, and were able to nail all the classic Gilmour-leads. Kilminster especially was good at nailing the leads, but I have to say, I could hear in the playing that it was a guy playing somebody else's licks rather than a guy playing his own licks, and in that sense it lacked some conviction. Snowy was a little more original, which I liked. But ultimately, they were both great at playing the songs they played. And for Comfortably Numb, it was phenomenal. The two of them switched off during the solos, and even soloed simultaneously at the end, playing the same and different licks. This is something you don't see very often. When you have multiple guitarists, usually one guitarist will play the rhythm while the other plays the lead, and sometimes they'll switch, but you hardly ever have more than one guitarist playing lead lines simultaneously, and when it's pulled off effectively, it's an incredible effect. It was like Hotel California, or Mike Bloomfield and Johnny Winter playing It's My Own Fault. It was really cool and I wish I could hear that more often.

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