PanicDawn (Chat Zone 8/14 2:36 PM)
It's 4:30 am. Just got back from Rog's show at Montage Mountain. It's been quite an evening.
I left home (NYC) at 3 PM. Supposed to be 2 1/2 hours to Scranton. I couldn't make the Jones Beach or New Jersey shows so I figured I'd make the trek to Scranton. Haven't seen Rog since '84 (my first concert ever.) So immediately I run into traffic - to be expected leaving NYC on A Friday afternoon. Takes forever to cross the bridge. Finally I'm on I-80 to Scranton. But there's a tractor-trailer overturned. More traffic. Finally get to the Montage Mountain exit at 6:45 with more traffic. Slowly, I follow the guys directing traffic to a parking lot on the way up this hill - outside a minor league baseball stadium. So I assume that's the venue. But it's not. We have to load school buses to take us further up the mountain for the show. And there's not a lot of buses. Finally get on a bus - hot as hell - that's stuck in traffic going up the mountain ... the same traffic as all the other people driving in who weren't forced into this other lot. The clock is ticking, 7:50, 7:55. I know Roger goes on promptly at 8. I'm cursing myself for not leaving earlier, or leaving yesterday. How can I miss any of this show? We get to the top of the mountain and I dash out of there looking for the entrance. There's a huge line of people and not enough entrances, and it's taking forever because they're being pretty strict with checking you out, making everybody show their wallet. I hop a fence to cut the line. I know this isn't a Roger friendly thing to do but I just had to get in on time. Ran around like crazy trying to find my seat, couldn't believe no one else was running. They didn't seem to care if they made it in on time or not. Noticed an unbelievable number of people on the lawn - I'm guessing 15-20,000 at the show.Got to my seat, luckily Rog was a bit late because 30 seconds after I sit down (luckily, a great seat. 4th row way on the right) the band starts walking out. And then Roger came out and held up his hands and it was just unbelievable.
The first few songs were amazing. Just like everybody has been saying. His voice was as good as ever. And the band was great. The crowd was cool - I could sit down or stand whenver I wanted, no seats right in front of me. And then, it started to rain.
Just as the rain picks up hard, Roger stops the show during the guitar solo at the end of ABitW2 and says we're gonna have to stop cause it's dangerous. Have fun in the rain and we'll try to come back out in a little while. And the band takes off. And it rains. Just fucking pours. I'm sitting there soaking wet and thinking he just has to come back out. After like twenty minutes Roger comes back out and says it's still to dangerous, but he was genuinely touched that all these thousands of people were standing and sitting out in the rain for him. He said if you stick around, we will finish the show. So an hour goes by, rain just pouring down, lightning all over the place. And Rog comes back out again and says how much it means to him that we're all still here and that he will finish the show. Meantime, people with lawn seats keep piling their way up front. So all of a sudden, it's wall to wall people at the front, people standing on chairs that aren't their seats, people standing all over the place. Drinking more and more beer, just crowding the front section. It was like Woodstock. And we're all just completely wet and freezing with nowhere really to go for cover. I'm now forced to stand on my seat to see anything - the entire front of the crowd is standing on their seats (or somebodys seats) hoping for the show to start again.
Finally, after more than 2 hours, they come back out. The odd thing was it was still pouring and there was still tons of lightning. But they come out anyway and picked right up with the guitar solo at the end of ABitW2 and continued on. The crowd pissed me off at this point because people were so excited for the show to continue, and excited about their suddenly great "seats" and drunker, so there was more singing along to songs and whistling and fists in the air. Pissed me off a bit. But the show is so amazing it's easy to overlook. And even though that kind of stuff is not what Roger likes in an audience, he was so thrilled that we all hung in there in the rain for him and had so much energy that I don't think he minded like he might normally.
Quick notes on the actual show. The set list was the same as all the others. I thought Bramhall was great. A nice combination of mimicing Gilmour's stuff with just enough of his own style to keep it interesting. And I thought his voice was great. The female singers are fantastic. Carin was great. Snowy was mostly excellent. Roger was everything I hoped for and more. His singing, his bass and guitar playing. He was so into it, making hand and facial gestures. And Perfect Sense is the highlight. The crowd didn't even seem familiar with the song but Roger is so into it and P.P. Arnold does such a great job that it gave me chills (besides the ones I got for being wet and cold.) They skipped intermission and the leave/come back for the encore and just played on. He said we've already our break and it's "too fucking wet." He also said "We'll never forget this night." Before the last song, Fairweather-Low hugged Roger while looking and pointing out at the crowd. Seemed like a congratulatory gesture for having this many thousands of people sit that long in the rain to see him perform.
So then came the walk back up the stairs, back on the buses, and on to the 2 1/2 hour drive home in the rain. Now I'm just warming up, still a bit wet and hungry. Gonna climb into my warm bed next to my wife. I may even reach out my hand just to touch her soft hair. It's been that kind of night.
Gunner (Chat Zone 8/15 10:16 AM)
Friday, August 13 lived up to all of the renowned bad luck affixed to this notorious day. Having been in a severe drought here in Northeastern Pennsylvania for months, who would have expected a deluge from Mother Nature to impact a superb performance? Needless to say, that is exactly what happened. Midway through "Another Brick in the Wall, Part II" the sky opened up with a fury and vengeance not seen in these parts since last winter. Here, Roger stopped the performance and personally announced to the crowd of approximately 10,000 avid fans that it would be dangerous to continue. Profoundly stated, I must point out because lightning and thunder continuously provided the special effects while rain raged out of the sky in windswept sheets. We licked our wounds and sought warmth and shelter. Then, at approximately 9:30 PM Roger again made an announcement that, in contact with the local airport, the rain was supposed to have been over in about twenty minutes and that the show would resume at 10:00 PM. "If you are staying, we are too!" he announced to the audience followed by an enormous eruption of cheers not even outdone by the rumbles of thunder from overhead. Wet, cold and patient, most of returned to the scene of the battle from the warm confines of the adjoining ski lodge (Montage is a beautiful ski resort to be appreciated in the Winter season) to yet another announcement from Roger himself. With the rain yet unabated, Roger approached the Microphone again. By this time, most of us were anticipating a complete cancellation of the show. But to our surprise, Roger proclaimed, "F___ the rain! We're going to play anyway!" and proceeded to blow us away with a combined song list, sans intermission. "We aready had our break!" Roger patiently intoned to us at that juncture. Even at the end of the show Roger made a reference to where bands usually walk off the stage in anticipation of the encore, but this band remained and minutes later we were treated with a sensational rendition of "Comfortably Numb."
Most of the material was performed nearly exactly as on the studio recordings. I was happy to see "Brain Damage" retain it's original sound because Roger tweaked this tune and several others in the Radio KAOS tour of 1987. My only disappointment was the revved up, jazzy rendition of "The Powers That Be" from the Radio KAOS album. My preference would have been for a more original version.
By far, the monumental evening was unsurpassed by three songs from "Amused to Death", namely "Perfect Sense", parts I and II, "It's a Miracle" and the title track from ATD. Most poignant was the inclusion of the tape loop of Alf Razzel commenting on his elation of seeing his old friend Bill Hubbard's name on that war register memorial.
With disbeief and a perfect evening dampened only ever so slightly by the weather, we strolled to our vehicles with "Can't you see, it all makes perfect sense . . ." imprinted on our brains. It was now 1:15 AM, Saturday morning, August 14. Thank goodness Friday the 13th was over!
Bob(NJ) (Chat Zone 8/15 11:14 AM)
Okay, I just got back from the Poconos and have been so anxious to post my review. Well it was very much like what others have posted 'bout it...WET! It truly was the best show I've ever seen! After Roger came out and they started to play, THEY JAMMED!
In Camden I was unimpressed with Doyle but, on the mountain with lightning branching out close overhead, Doyle was electrifying! I too, could envision Roger saying backstage, that us hearty-souled fans deserved something special. I envisioned their appreciation, and they played most inspired!
Highlights for me were...
- "...glancing up through the rain." The crowd went NUTS! I knew the lyric was coming and could barely contain myself as I glanced.
- shortly thereafter, on the first guitar wail in "Dogs" a bolt of lightning split the sky into a dozen hectic shapes. Blinding!
- getting my lighter to *finally* light! Those around me also found it exciting. Now if we only had a DRY cigarette :( The cheeba stayed dry tho! :)
- the venue. As I sat/stood in the rain I took in the surroundings. Woods all around the hillside. Seemingly a niche in the trees on top of a mountain.
- Roger's enthusiasm! He was sooo appreciative and not only will I never forget that show but, I doubt he will either!
- the rain. I climbed scaffolding that was the platform for the left-side speakers! I sat there, over everyone's head and took it in...the shafts of colored light projected to the stage, captured the heavy rain in cones of blue and green and violet. it was truly surreal.
- my dry shirt and a cold Heinekens back in the van. The beer vendors ran out of beer before Roger re-took the stage. All that rain and I was sooo thirsty. I did drink cups of rainwater.
I managed to save my soaking and fragile ticket stub. I plan to frame it. I met Bob(NJ) and we grooved on the scene. Happy birthday Mrs. Bob.
Friday the thirteenth was the luckiest day of my concert life...wooo hooo!!!
MONTAGE SUCKS: There really is no other way to say this. Without a doubt, the absolutely worst venue on the tour. Why? It took like 90 minutes from the highway exit to the entrance. There is one road up to this place, and it cannot handle the traffic. Itís uphill all the way, and after about an hour my car began emitting some really noxious fumes from under the hood. (When I pulled off & talked to a cop he said there were tow truckS (plural!) at the bottom of the hill -- no surprise, really, considering the extreme conditions cars were being forced to operate under.) They really have no business scheduling shows of this size at this little spot tucked away as it is in the mountains. But of course, it all makes Perfect Sense.
IíM AN ASSHOLE: Not for taking an unreliable car, cause I had it checked out before the tour began (had no problem going home; Iím having mechanic look at it, but Iím convinced I was another victim of the Montage Torture Track). No, I was an asshole for not planning and packing for rain. My wife and I got so soaked it wasnít funny. My SLR got wet, even though I kept it inside a (non-waterproof) knapsack, and may need expensive repairs as a result. And when I noticed my wife shivering just before Every Strangers Eyes, well she took me up on the idea that maybe we should leave (this was the only show sheís going to, so it was her call ;-)
ROGERíS GREAT: Iím sure there was alot of empathy on his part for the audience, who really had nowhere to go. His announcements about "if you stay, weíll stay" seemed very genuine and heartfelt and off the cuff. There was something special about being there, and, looking out on people that were getting just absolutely fucking drenched (the rain stoppped for like 5 minutes just before they came back out, but very soon it was as bad as it ever was), well I think everyone just recognized they had to try & give this audience their best performance. I regret having to leave (but know it was the right thing to do), and especially for having missed Andy hugging Roger and anything else that came out of a memorable performance like that.
THANKS GUNNER: Soon as I saw you and we IDíd each other, the first words out of your mouth were "Whereís your wife?". Thanks for remembering to wish her a Happy Birthday!