Before we get started yes this is a gig review from the show last week and yes I am listening to The Wall as I write this. Anyone who is not interested in hearing about my Pink Floyd fandom or who hasn’t seen the show yet and doesn’t want spoilers LOOK AWAY NOW!!
Seriously, spoilers! and fandom!
So I got really into Pink Floyd in about mid 2009, I had heard a bit of their stuff before that but never really ‘got it’. Then I started dating a guy called Richard who was all about the Floyd and he lent me the entire discography (including some of Roger Waters’ solo stuff) and I was hooked.
When I heard that Roger Waters (bassist in the original lineup and co-writer) was touringMelbournein Feb 2012 I was stoked. I feel like I am late to the party with regards to some of the classic artists like Pink Floyd and Leonard Cohen (who I have seen twice and is amazing) and I knew this might be the only time I would see Waters perform inAustralia. I put out a call on Facebook for friends to come with me and I was joined by a fabulously musical friend Marcus, who has been a fan long enough to have seen Pink Floyd (sans Waters) play Dark Side of the Moon in 1988.
We bought the tickets about 6 months before the show and to be honest it felt like it was so far away that it would never happen so it was quite surreal turning up to Rod Laver Arena (in Melbourne) to see the show.
Essentially Waters decided to play the entire double disc album The Wall from start to finish as a live event. There were no other artists on the bill it was only The Wall. From the first moment the gig started I was enthralled; there were amazing pyrotechnics and light shows and the fact that they were playing such an iconic, beautiful, timeless album as The Wall completely blew my mind.
The set consisted of a partly completed wall, onto which they projected animations and films and photos and words and light shows. During the first half of the show the stage crew built up the wall from huge white blocks; as soon as a brick was in place the projections expanded to light up that brick. But the interval the whole stage was one massive wall the last brick was filled in as Waters retreated through it after ‘Goodbye Cruel World’.
After the interval the projections became really spectacular – they were projecting a wall onto the wall, and it was so realistic that when the projections showed the wall falling or crumbling or twisting or melting I was convinced it was real. I had been completely sucked into the world of The Wall. At the end of the show the stage crew knocked down the bricks they had so carefully built up. The effect was really quite magical. The entire crowd was on it’s feet cheering the fall of the wall; and I was so proud I was there to be part of it.
I have to admit I thought I was more familiar with the albums than I was – apparently I only really listened to the songs that were my favourite and I felt like I was discovering the music anew as I watched. The music is truly transportational, I didn’t want it to end, I felt like I had entered the world of Roger Waters and I wanted to stay there forever. I even gave into the merchandising and bought a tour shirt (which I completely love) so I could take some of the night home with me.
The crowd were a really varied range of people; there were older people who were probably fans from the beginning, there were people with their kids (both actual kids and their adult offspring), there were people like me in my mid (well late) 20s who were seeing the show live for the first time. Everyone was really into it. Everyone knew the words and many people were singing along.
The highlight of the night was Comfortably Numb – I really really love that track! I even like the weird poppy version that the Scissor Sisters did. Seeing it played live was a once in a lifetime thing and something I will not forget.
Walking home after the gig was quite surreal. There was a full moon out and there were thousands of other people who were high as kites after suspending their lives for a night. I came out feeling reborn, I had experienced something truly life-changing, something that the old Fleur probably wouldn’t have had such a strong reaction to but new Fleur wanted to go again immediately!
Throughout my journey I am trying to spend less time thinking about the past or the future or the what ifs and spend more time being present in the moment, appreciating music and art and making time for it. I have been trying to nurture myself and I keep telling myself that it’s worth it to have experiences like this. I hope that this will be the first of many more amazing gigs that will touch my soul in deep and amazing ways.