Roger Waters “The Wall Live” Rose Garden, Portland, OR May 23, 2012
Roger Waters, of Pink Floyd, is on tour revisiting Pink Floyd’s classic piece of experimental rock; “The Wall”. In 2011 Waters “The Wall Live” tour got subpar reviews due to its pompous imagery; Waters himself was criticized for a strained voice and corny stage presence, last year’s tour left a sour taste in his mouth, he’s back this year for redemption, with a band consisting of 10-15 brilliant musicians.
Waters appeared on stage energized, and ready to execute rebuilding “The Wall Live”. The wall itself was half way built at the beginning of the show, as the show progressed so did the stature of the wall. At the end of the second set; during the last song “The Trial” the crowd started chanting “tear down the wall!” By the end of the song, it came barreling down! The whole show was a thing of beauty; throughout the night, the stage was filled with spectacular lights, explosions, airplanes, helicopters, soldiers, a children’s choir, oversized blow up props, and a 35foot tall uncanny teacher that appeared out of nowhere during “Another Brick In The Wall Parts 1-2”. Utterly satisfying entertainment! Then towards the end of the show they unleashed Pink Floyd’s notoriously large pig; with its red eyes glowing, it putted through the dense smoky haze above my head. He flew throughout the stadium as the crowd went wild.
This was a wonderfully well executed and complex show, I had no idea how much effort went into “The Wall Live”, and I was amazed with how smoothly the whole operation ran. Surprisingly there wasn’t a dull moment throughout the show, there was always something outrageously awesome going on; it truly was a prolific experience. Waters was composed and full of energy, he’s passionate about music and performing; it was clear that he and the band gave it their all. Usually shows of this magnitude require a large venue that can leave you as the viewer feeling cut off and isolated from what’s happening on stage, a recipe for disaster. Fortunately that wasn’t the case, I’m not sure whether it was the vast amount of special effects or the fact that I’ve grown up listing to Pink Floyd, but even in such a large venue I felt well connected to the performance and left on quite a high!
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