FloydPowR (Chat Zone 8/23 5:42 PM)
We arrived a bit late, due to traffic in Chattanooga, and in somehow (ha!) taking the wrong exit in finding our hotel, off Old National Highway (this was actually a bit of a comedy, or at least can be viewed as such now, since we made it on time.) Sorry I didn't make the Firehouse, guys--I also left early with my sister and nephew after making the happy discovery that they were at the show (my sister didn't think she would be able to make it, from the Gulf Coast), so it was family time later on. Though I did yell for Canito as the show ended, I got no response. But I don't doubt we'll meet again. Fritz already has me promised to a Texas show in 2000, if there is one, and I'm not arguing, not after last night....
I don't know what can be written that hasn't been already. The highlight for me was SouthHampton Dock--a beautifully rendered version that took my breath and sparked a tear. And the newly-muscled version of The Powers That Be was also a thrill. Roger's voice was perfect, emotive, empassioned. We were ten rows back and *directly* in front of his microphone--we could swear at several points he was looking right at us (but who doesn't think that?)--so we could clearly see every expression, every gesture. No doubt about it, Rog is enjoying this tour. And the band was tight. Musically, this crushes his two previous tours like grapes; Exhibit A would definitely be the 2nd half of Shine On. The 1st half seemed just a little shaky; Doyle and Snowy weren't improvising quite enough--leaving room for the impression that they were blowing it rather than interpreting it. (This *cannot* be said of any other of last night's numbers, imo.) But the 2nd half really kicked. By the time the keyboards signaled the final cadences and the house lights came up for intermission, I felt transformed. Overall, I was very pleased with Bramhall's playing--both interpretive and copycat--and singing. I hope Rog keeps him in the band for the album. Jeez, I'm all over the map here; the memories are like flashpoints: the HUGE opening throbs of Welcome To The Machine; the swirling, perfectly executed keyboards of Dogs; P.P Arnold's vocals on Perfect Sense put my jaw on the FLOOR and more tears in my eyes--was there ANY doubt that the audience would stand for the chorus? (This was a transcendent moment that cannot be described--I have *never* felt a rush like that at a show in my life.) Wish You Were Here: *Gorgeous*; Doyle's electric strumming to simulate the radio effect was both familiar and delightfully off-kilter. And Rog's ever-so-slight re-reading of the inflection ('What haaaaaaaave we found?') was a refreshing twist.
It was also a BLAST to hear him sing the Gilmour parts of the Time vocal (not to mention finally hearing him perform that song at last--period); that was the moment for me, as if crossing a psychic barrier, that I *felt* him reclaiming his portion of the Pink Floyd legacy in all our hearts, not just our minds.
There's little I can do to describe the ATD portion of the show (other than that above). Roger himself seemed transformed for those four songs (all too brief, really--perhaps my only "complaint"), playing the parts of the Monkey, the Submarine Captian, Andrew Lloyd Webber... leading the crowd both in cheers and in silence. It's clear he both loves and *trusts* that material; for that reason alone (not for selfish ones) I hope he does more in some future show.
At the end, someone did manage to pass around copies of the Candle Xerox, which he had clearly noticed during the show; we could see his face clearly as he was reading the bottom caption and slowly walking off stage. I think at first he didn't quite get it, but then realization dawned across his face. If nothing else, the Atlanta show told him that we are truly out here, and we are *listening*. Thanks, Doc, for helping us all make a connection. My only real regret about this show is that I didn't have a good opportunity to make a personal connection with all of you.
Random Question: Are they playing Hearts or Spades during the keyboard break in Dogs? We could see them clearly taking tricks...
And finally, a note about the Audience: The crowd was oddly mixed, though evenly energetic. There were patches of people standing here and there, oddly mixed with the sitters. I had the happy luck to be seated directly behind a patron who claimed to have smoked a "half-pound" of "shit" before the show, and who took off his shirt during intermission, thereby stinking an entire ten-foot radius with BO. He also frequently stood and said Marck's favorite: "WHOOOOooooo" but he did mercifully pass out during the crucial 2nd half of the 2nd set, which he wouldn't have understood anyway. Though he did experience resurrection for Comfortably Numb, predictably enough. But it seems I'm *always* behind this particular guy, and I'm nearly used to him by now. Even so, my apologies to those seated behind us, as when he (& his buddies) stood, so Fritz and I also had to stand--even when no-one else in the section was standing. But, I wanted to see Rog and I couldn't see through this guy's back, so what else was there to do? Overall, I give the Atlanta crowd a grade of A Minus. I don't know what was happening just off the stage at Roger's right, but it certainly got his attention, as he especially thanked them at the end. Very supportive, with some clearly visible "true" fans, singing along to Every Stranger's Eyes, etc., at least in my section.
This was the only show I was able to see; I don't know how you guys who have seen more would rank it, but as far as I'm concerned, hands down, last night was the Greatest Show On Earth.
Dave from FL (Chat Zone 8/23 7:10 PM)
Well all I can say was atlanta was one of the best experiences of my life. Hooking up with Dr. Who, Pam, LotaSonata, Bill, Church Of Pink(what a trip), Sgith (gives new meaning to the word sweet. I'll never forget the warm greeting and the hug! :)), Canito, Steve, Kyle (with the brilliant idea for the candle posters), Dave Gilmour ( great job getting the pre and post show festivities organized), just everyone who came from all corners of the country(and Canito from Peru!) with the common cause of seeing Roger was just something so magical. I have never experienced such a good time.
LotaSonata, Bill( aka good little tyke), Dr. Who and his lovely girlfriend Pam, Church Of Pink, and myself shared the same floor at the Hotel and we spent Saturday night drinking beers and listening to bootlegs, and chatting about the anticipation for the show. There was just a great vibe from the get go.
After seperating into groups for Sunday afternoon, we all hooked up at The Firehouse for the pre-show-festivities where we met canito, and many other people who came from all over the country. Everybody was just class, drinking beers, and talking and getting pumped for the show.
The show was just the purest magic I have ever experienced. This was my 4th, and I was lucky enough to snag a 3rd row just to the right in front of the ladies. It was a dream come true to be that close! I was shaking while waiting on line at the will call window. I really didn't think it was true until I had the ticket in my hand!
The performance was perfect, the crowd was very mellow, except for one guy standing in front of the rail dead center in front of Rog, and putting on a one man show of slamdancing with himself. Roger seemed oblivious to him, but gave him a few queer glances occasionally which I found quite amusing. The dude was huge so no one had the balls to tell him to sit down and shut up LOL.
I was lucky enough to get a candle poster that was colored in with a highlight marker, so when I held it up it glowed brightly and Roger spotted mine first I think. I held it up early during Brain Damage, and everyone on stage noticed it, and the ladies on stage nodded to me in approval. The coolest part was when Roger, at the end of eclipse, his curiosity piqued, reached out and grabbed one from some lucky fan and read it! I couldnt believe it! he came out and said a few words about it ( i cant remember for the life of me what he exactly said), and continued on with an absolutely explosive Comfy Numb, which had me in tears.
I saw Richard Wright sitting in like the 8th row on the left. I couldnt believe I had a better seat than him!
Also, believe it or not, Rogers mother (somebody told me it was his grandmother, but I find it odd that a 57 year old man would have a grandmother alive-not impossible though) was sitting in the center, like row 6. She was just sitting there, with a VIP pass tacked to her dress, it had a little pig on it. I saw her during intermission, and casually stepped near her and said, "what's all the fuss about this guy Roger Waters?" LOL She just gave me a look, but a young lady accompanying her gave me a smile. Then as I was going back to my seat for the 2nd set, I walked by them again, and simply smiled, and said "Thank You, cheers". It was truly bizzare! She resembled him a little.
Anyway, theres more and more and more to talk about about this amazing weekend, it will come out by everyone else who attended I'm sure as the arrive home from their journeys.
Zoyd, where the hell were you? I missed ya man.
Highlights for me were EVERYTHING, but especially meeting all the great people, watching Roger close his eyes and just dig the music his bandmates were laying down, especially during the sweet Time solo. It was also great during the middle section of dogs when the blue light kept wafting over the front rows, and I waved to the backup singers, and blew them a kiss and they both smiled and waved back. They are truly special. Thank You all for the great time, and I hope to damn sure my pics come out!
Good little tyke (Chat Zone 8/23 11:19 PM)
Ok there Roger Waterians (just made that up), I thought I'd take a few minutes and go through a brief review of the Atlanta show. Not that most people will take the time to read it... hell, I probably wouldn't read it myself, but I'm just kinda high on this right now so I thought I would write.
First off... make a mental note of the friggin TIME ZONE a particular venue will be. This made me 30 mins late to the show. WOuld have been a much more pleasant experience if I had gotten there earlier and buddied up with some people and all. So like I couldn't find anybody to go so I took my sister. We had a motel real close to the park... even tho it was in the ghetto. So, we're pulling up to the park and I'm thinking why is this guy yelling at me on the side of the road? He wanted me to park I guess... how did he know I was going to the show? Because we were the ONLY white folks in that area... heheee. Ok, more on this later.
So, we finally get up there to the show and I pay $15 for TWO beers... and I asked them "What is this, Woodstock?" And just got a frown. So, I finally get in the amphitheatre... there are a LOT more people than what I thought. Lawn was a good 4/5ths the way full even. I was then glad that I did actually have seats... right in the middle of the isle none the less. This is where I will go into another topic, the Roger fans:
Ok, I was expecting like a 50/50 crowd of young and old people... it was really MUCH more of a younger audience. Another thing, there seem to have been a high ratio of psycho type guys at the concert... dont think it was a coincidence. I always thought I would have a lot in common with people at a Rog concert since it seems I connect with him very well. The thought of this kind of freightened me after seeing his fan base... ha. Ok, so anyway, I get there half way through the first song. After that song, the guy beside me LEAVES. what a fruit cake. The guy to the other side of me was kinda an asshole to me and my sister. THe people on down the row were stoned out of their mind... heh. There was always the smell of green tobacco in the air... not that I minded, in fact I was breathing very heavily at most times.
So, it didn't seem like any time at all before we reached the half-way point. The sound was great, the music was on target. The only complaint from me was when they would play the pre-recorded sounds (Such as Marv Albert or damn... cant remember.. the guy from the beginning and end of ATD) that it had very serious echo and wasn't understandable. P.P. Arnold was kickin... I just like her because we have the same last name, but she sounded great nonetheless. I got my sister to go get a $29 shirt.. yeehah. I went and took a wee-wee right before Every strangers eyes (which I wish I had'nt have).
But overall it was great... didnt have a single positive relation with another fan tho... that kinda sucked. The guys in the section to Rogers left hand side were standing like the WHOLE time. I was glad I wasn't over there cuz I'm lazy like that. Of course we all did stand for the faked encore of Comfortable Numb. There was this like TALL chick standing about 3 rows in front of me... that was about the only view blockage I had, and honestly I could look at her all day instead of Rog so, no harm done there at all. I couldn't actually see Roger well anyway... doh
So, the show ends... everybody was hyped. Then the mad race for the vehicle. On the way out, I find somebody selling t-shirts... for $10... so I get another one. Finally we walk back to the car and are on our way out... we're like the ONLY peope not going to the interstate to leave. We head back to the ghetto motel. The funniest part is on the way we stop by Krystal for some food (it was the only thing open... yuck). And while waiting in the drive through... a guy drives by and stops and askes "Did you guys go to a concert tonight?" we reply with a puzzled yes... "You want to buy a t-shirt?" he asked... I started laughing... once again, I guess we were the only white folks around. So, he had shirts for FIVE bux and Im thinking I could have saved a LOT of money and bought some weird looking one from him for the hell of it. From there we accidentally passed the turn and went on up to buy some beer. There was no beer for sale since it was still Sunday and there are Blue laws in Atlanta I guess. So, needing to wet our whistle we go to this not-so-great looking bar called 'Charlies' or some first name like that. It was amusing watching 40yr old rednecks sing kariokie for a while... then it was midnight and we got beer from the store next door and headed back to the hotel. I dont remember too much after laying down on the bed... lights out for Davie. The funny part was my sister said somebody knocked on the door about 2:30am.. and she woke me up and told me... and I yelled out "We dont need anymore T-shirts". pffhhhtt... I guess it was some kinda dream I was having. Kinda glad I wasn't coherant or that would have made me nervous. It didn't comfort her too much at the time tho... we laughed about that all day today.
Other than that.. not too much to mention on the way back. My sister insisted that we stop and get some BOILED P-NUTS on the way back.. and I'm like I would have to be a total redneck for that to happen. But I'm an open minded guy so I stop and get some. Note to self, those things are worse than CRACK! I ate them until I got sick.
So, to overview... the show kicked arse. The people didn't seem to be the best, but I did get there late and all and didn't have time to mingle much. The sound was great, the sync was great, Rog was singing to his capacity. He didn't realy talk as much as I had thought (my first time seeing Rog live). The only thing I can remember him saying was something about thanking the crowd for touching him in the way he hasn't felt for a long time. In short, it was worth the 6 hour drive!
Dr Who (Chat Zone 8/24 12:42 PM)
Sitting in from of my computer listening to ATD and reading ALL the posts about the Atlanta show and I can't seem to get enough! I just love hearing all the differant perspectives of the show. I'm finding out more and more with every post.
I wasn't going to any more shows, but following FloydPowR's lead I too went to ticketmaster and got great seats 4 days before the show! ( A tactic i will try again sometime! ) Then in a few hours with some research on-line; a plane ticket, hotel and rental car were purchased. All planned on the web and there were NO snags anywhere on the trip! I think this internet thing might be big someday!
A sure highlight of the trip to Atlanta from Rochester,NY was meeting a bunch of the posters here! One party Sat. night was in the hotel room of (church of pink.) It was great meeting the night before in a strange city with people you kinda knew from their posts. Putting a face to the name was cool. Then on Sun. following the perfect directions to the firehouse that dave posted was the perfect meeting place! Loved your banner! I met a lot of great people. Wish I looked at the meeting site for the other shows.
This was the fourth show for me and it still blew me away if anything even more so! Of the four shows the first set at Lakewood was to me the cleanest! It was a TOTAL pleasure for me when SGITH came down to my seat during south hampton dock. To see the expresion on her face was to see the essance of what Rogers' music does to his fans! I'm so happy you came down SGITH. Seeing your face put me into a total giving of my emotion to the music! Once again it was Perfect sense that started the tears of total happiness down my face! There was NO other place I would of rather been than right there! That group hug was the perfect end for me! Thank you SGITH,FloydPowR and Lotasonata!! I'm gettin chills right now remembering it!! I'll NEVER forget it!
Some final thoughts from the weekend: Ate at my first IHOP ! Not big news to most probably but I loved it! Was that a rough landing in ATL or what! I got a little clammy on that one. I can attest Rick Wright WAS there! Let me tell you how i know! I stood in a very short line for his Autograph between the 2 sets and as I was handing the stubs to him THE LIGHTS WENT OUT! It was so dark I couldn't even see him! All I could do was walk away and mumble "Wowsie Wowsie woowoo!" The worst part was i wanted to sincerly THANK him for being there tonight! It really meant a lot to me that he was there! After the show the ATD people that came back to the firehouse signed one of Kyles candles that were glowing so perfectly during eclipse. I have scanned it and will send it to whoever wants a copy! Please E-mail me for one!I will try my hands at a humble web site soon and post the pics that I still have to get developed on it! There are some neat surprises in store if they come out! Mainly I took several of the group! BobNJ I'll send you them as well!
Special thoughts: Dr. Who thanks for the gift!! Send info so I can send a proper thank you! Church of Pink thanks also for the generous gift!! You too please send me your info so i can send you what we talked about! By the way Church, I'm still lookin for that pink pig!! FloydPowR ...... You know how i feel ! It was a special 2 weekends bud!
And Lastly, THANK YOU ROGER!
Canito (Chat Zone 8/25 6:28 PM)
Truly surpassed my deepest wishes.
I flew into Atlanta from Phoenix with my girlfriend on Saturday. Met a couple of people at the airport who I only know of online, then we headed over to the hotel. Had dinner and some drinks, back to hotel room to listen to bootlegs and get totally psyched for the show. More folks came by that I only knew over the internet and the magic was gathering.
Day of the show. The Meet Me in The Flesh web site allowed us internet junkies to meet up at a bar and grill called the Firehouse. People started arriving at about 2:30 in the afternoon. We were close enough to the venue to hear some guitars being tuned and played a bit. Man were the chills running through my body even then, 5 hours before the show.
I was handing out portraits of Roger to everyone at the Firehouse and more at the venue itself. More on that shortly.
I had come up with an idea a few weeks prior to the show to hold up pictures of candles after Brain Damage/Eclipse. It was after a whiskey and coke and I thought, ‘well maybe this would work, would Roger just ignore it, is it a stupid idea’, etc. The point was to get him to play a new song that he only just rehearsed so far. The song is called ‘Every Candle’. So I made about 200 copies of a candle from clip art. Another poster on another message board did the same. Though his were colored with fluorescent green, mine were only B&W copies, needless to say the green one’s really stood out.
So I get in the venue at about 7:20, go to my 12th row center seats on the floor. I start handing out my Candle pictures and was glad a lot of people were receptive to the idea. Also handed out some artwork as well, trying to make this a happening, and event, like the old days, magic. So I am running around handing out the candles, sweating my ass off, giving my spiel on when to hold them up. Finally got some help from a friend, and she was awesome.
5 minutes before show time and I’m jumping out of my skin, I head back to my seat. In The Flesh starts and I start to cry a bit with excitement. My girlfriend did too I was to find out later. At this point I could care less about the set list (I wanted more ATD), could care less if the guitarist suck, Bramahall did not, he smoked Dogs like one could not believe, could care less about anything, there was Roger Waters.
During the show, I am going to run off in tangents now. A guy 3 rows in front of us had to stand the whole show. A really ugly dude with a real ugly girlfriend, the guy really need to shave. Raising his arms and dancing. Dogs comes on and the guy is still standing, nearly everyone is sitting. Carin begins to sing Dogs and Roger is playing bass and lip synchs along with the opening lines of dogs, while staring at this kid standing up. “You gotta be crazy, you gotta have a real need,’. I told my girlfriend later on what the lines were and she got it right away. That this guy must have a real need to stand, that Roger was telling this guy he was an idiot. Later people threw Ice at the guy. He thought I did it and tried to stare me down. My girlfriend was ready to kick his ass. I wasn’t worried about it. Meeting all these people before the show we all touched off good but short conversations and I would have had 20 people defend me. I told my girlfriend to forget, lets enjoy the show. We did. The guy would sit when everyone stood, and left before the show was over. I was looking for him, but I did not want this magic to turn negative. LOSER.
Intermission. Met Rick Wright, Carin came down and they talked a bit. Family in front of me pointed him out and asked if that was Rick Wright, I said it was, in total astonishment. I told my girlfriend. Told her the history, she is no where near the Roger fan I am, but after the show she is now a huge fan. So I was staring at Wright like a complete moron. Thinking of going over there and getting the autograph, no stupid I idea, leave him alone. Run back and tell some friend in the back rows that Wright is here, point him out. Autograph seekers started gathering, not too many though.
Ok, so I decide against better judgement lets got my Roger Waters ticket stub signed. I will never have an opportunity like this again. So I go over there, to the row in front of him. The pen he was using was about to be taken away. I ask for just one more, say ‘sorry, sorry sorry’. Give him my ticket then turn to his wife and ask.
"Are you Rick’s wife?" ... who the hell else could it have been. She says, "Yes" ... he is signing my stub now. I ask "Is Broken China about you?", yup sucking up, they both say yes together in unison. I say, stupidly, ‘Cool’. Oh I wish I said something more profound. Got it signed on the front of the ticket, it will be framed. The Magic continues.
So Brain Damage / Eclipse begins. The show was incredible so far. I see my candle pics starting to be held up and the glowing ones are being held up too. Somebody came up with a great idea to put his or her lighter behind it to make it glow, I followed suit. Eclipse ends, they take a bow, a good 100 candles (out of 400) are being held up. Roger grabs one of the glowing ones from someone in the 1st row, I’m in 12th row. I start jumping up and down; he is walking off the stage now, but reading the message at the bottom of the page. “After Brain Damage/Eclipse please hold up to get Roger to play his new song, Every Candle’. We see him give a broad smile. We are all cheering.
He comes back on stage, we are still holding up the candles, he says he can’t play Every Candle, not rehearsed enough. Proceeds to talk a bit about it,
‘the candles are great, it will be a song, oh I don’t want to get into it, oh what the hell’
And describes that this will be a title on his next album, if not the title of the album itself. My girlfriend wants to see my candle idea on the album cover. He then went into comfy numb.
But my idea more than worked and I am so thrilled about it still, and for many days to come.
The people I met from South America, to New York and Maine, from Florida. So many online personas I was able to meet in the flesh. All this added to the magic, we created a happening, we created energy like I have never felt at a concert before.
Zoyd (Chat Zone 8/25 10:36 PM)
Perhaps it is better to write this only today, after 3 days from Atlanta are past, feelings are becoming memories and thus they can be more or less be organized. Well, now about that day. It is funny how my feelings about the show and about the pre-meeting are somewhat similar. What I mean is, in both cases it was a wonderful experience, but also not complete, not full (don't misunderstand me, I have absolutely no complaints about either, I hope I can express it more or less well...) As for the Amused people, it was quite weird, as I said that day, to put faces to the words I had been reading for so long; weird and wonderful. And finding out instant symphaties, which were of course not instant really, since most of us "knew" long before how each one was. So it was a great afternoon... but, ... TOO SHORT! And that was something one could expect. I mean, meeting people that you have lots of things to talk about just for 2 or 3 hours is not at all enough. Only some short chats with the Dr. Who, FloydPwR, a bit longer with Roland of Gilehad, then Dave etc. ... and then it was 7pm!
The show was all what I expected. Well fitted and I got the chance to see Mr. Waters in person for the first time in my life. I didn't had the time to write this before, but for me the show was not so much "going to see Waters" but more like "going to have Mr. Waters see me"; it was, if you don't mind, kind of a sign of appreciation from me to the man; I was going to see him and hear him, but, even more, I was going to _applaud_ him; to make him hear at last, mixed with so many others, my clapping and my thanks. And for that, and for listening to the music and watching the show, sunday seemed to be and was perfect. But, then again, short of course, and not only because of time, but also because my personal and special relationship with the man's music. I always listen to Floyd or Waters alone, I try to find the seldom and brief silent moments that late Lima nights offer, in order to hear what he has to say. I imagine and receive what the guy felt when he wrote and sang, and it is just as if he is writing and singing _to me_, you know?. Well, a concert is a completely different thing; while it's great to see the man in person, the atmosphere, even in Mr. Waters concert, is not "one to one" really. The songs are the same, the execution very good if not perfect, feelings are expressed by the performer, but it is much more difficult _for me_ to become into the music and the ideas there; that was specially noticeable by me i.e. on Every Strangers Eyes. Once again, I am not complaining. I knew how it was going to be, and I knew it was going to be like that, and that didn't at all shorten the inmense joy that I had by being lucky enough to be there. This is just to re-explain why my feelings about the meeting and the show are somewhat alike: all I am saying now would have been impossible to say to any board member on sunday night, but now I am not physically with them; all I will feel next time I hear the whole Amused to Death in my room could not be acomplished surrounded by screaming people, but then again, I will not be able to "see" Waters there.
But, now, memories come. Roger Waters faces still in my head, and, well, hell it's a night I will never in my life forget. A perfect day.
Well, enough abstractions. About the events that night:
Highlights for me: final part of dogs, beautifully rendered and sung; Perfect Sense of course, amused to death and brain damage.
The worse: ZOYD what happened???? I still haven't read the board as I write this (notepad) so I don't know anything, but it was quite a letdown not meeting you. But, to make you "feel better" _everybody was asking about you! you are quite a star around here man!_
Also bad: some asshole sitting just in front of me (between me and Gary from FLA), loudly talking and getting drunk with her girlfriend and friend all night, specially during Mother, Southampton Dock and Amused to Death (this guy is responsible for my highlights in the concert not coinciding with my favourite songs: I like quiet ones better). But then... A MIRACLE: I had been having violent fantasies about the bastard all night... and they came to be true! during I don't know which song of the second part, this fella sat on the back of his chair, drinking, and, suddenly, he fell back, just besides me! It was even better than a piano lid man!. Absolutely funny, this was a big guy, and he ended up curled in less than 1/2 m3, he didn't know what was happening, and couldn't get up because the space was too small for him, hilarious! Of course I didn't help him at all; as a matter of fact I didn't even laugh at the motherfucker as everybody else around did (me and some guy who got soaked in beer were the only ones staring at him with killing eyes). It was great, the only bad part was that we had to suffer all his apologies and loud embarassment during yet half one song more. HELL!!
The weirdest part: discovering, along with Gary from FLA, Rick Wright sitting 3 rows in front of me and slightly to our right. Dave Gilmour from Atlanta was the bravest, asking before no one else, him and Jon Carin (who was responsible for the discovery), for autographs. I didn't; perhaps being extremist, because I didn't feel good about having his signature on the shows program or ticket, which were the only papers around!. I kept thinking, though, trough most of the second part, what Mr. Waters - and Wright himself - were feeling about the situation, and haven't figured out yet how a good or bad movement it was (I'll have to read the board now)
Most sensible moment: GREAT DR. WHO's and Kyle candles!! Great idea man, I think it almost succeded, and indeed it succeeded, if you think about it: Mr. Waters must have thought about the idea of playing the song, and it sure was appreciated by him: more and better than flowers or any other sign of recognition, actual comunal action was great!
Well, that's it for now. I told you it was long, and it's nothing compared to what I've been feeling and thinking these last days.
Great night, better memories.
I know I already posted something, but an old girlfriend and *huge* Waters fan who went with me to the KAOS show in 1987 wanted to know what the new show was like. I had intented to be brief, but I got carried away. And I just wanted to share it with the rest of you guys:
Um, about that show in Atlanta...
It was pretty good.
Actually, I don't have enough words for exactly how 'pretty good' it was. But maybe a blow-by-blow description of the show will help.
I'll start with our seats. As Fritz said when it was over, making me promise that we would see a show in Texas should Rog tour that side of the country in 2000, "Now that I've flown first class, I can't go back to coach". When we found our seats and sat down, I laughed for 3 straight minutes, I was so happy. We were 11th row, and undoubtedly only 30 or so feet from the stage--and dead center. Rog's microphone was *directly* in front of us. Not an inch or two to either side, *directly* in front. Fritz will back me up on this--during the show, Roger made eye contact with both of us which was really something else. Rod Serling is dead, I'll never see Pynchon, but Roger Waters was right there in front of me, making eye contact. I could see every gesture, every facial expression, the light glinting off his rings, the face of his Rolex, the whites of his eyes--everything. (He started in his traditional uniform of black suit, black t-shirt but after the first 6 songs he removed his jacket.)
The production of the show was pretty simple, and incredibly effective. A few colored spotlights, nothing fancy. The crux of the imagery was in the screen behind him--a huge sheet of scrim spanning the entire width & height of the stage. Onto this, still images were projected (or scrolled in some cases) by panning projectors (the kind used to light up the sides of skyscrapers) although at certain points he did use an oil slide projector for those groovy bubbly images associated with the late 1960s. The stage itself was simple, with a couple couches, coffee tables and lava lamps here and there. There was also a television set, which played Stanley Kubrick films: for the first half "Paths of Glory" a war movie from the 1950s and for the second half "2001".
Being front & center, Fritz & I enjoyed the quadraphonic sound as I have never before been able. Stuff came from the sides and behind us, and the music swirled everywhere. Speaking of which--musically, this tour crushes his first two like grapes. With Doyle Bramhall, the Texas blues guitarist and prodigy of Stevie Ray Vaughn, he's created the backbone of a new band that I hope he keeps (though he does still have Snowy White and Andy Fearweather Low) for the album he'll supposedly record in February. Bramhall filled in admirably for Gilmour on both guitar and vocals. Jon Carin also did a tremendous job on keyboard; much of the PF material sounded dead-on.
When the lights went down and Roger stepped out, I was dumbstruck again at how close we were, and how much we were able to see. They opened with--are you ready?-- the *entire first side* of The Wall. From "In The Flesh" (actually the longer, 'Pink isn't well' variation) straight through "Mother". Images from the Berlin show and from the album art were projected behind, with pieces of the wall slowing dissolving into place. Rog's vocals were precise, strong. Then a stool was brought forward and Rog sat with an acoustic guitar for the next 3 songs: "Get Your Filthy Hands..."/"Southampton Dock"/"Pigs on the Wing"; the Southhampton was beautifully played and sung--brought a lump to my throat. Image of the Wall audience holding up those pink masks faded into a field of poppies--quite striking. Then, of course, pictures of the Flying Pig which drove the audience crazy.
Next: "Dogs". That's right. All of it, too. Jon Carin played the opening acoustic and sang the first set of lyrics; Bramhall sang the second set and *nailed* the guitar parts, even *improved* on them as far as I'm concerned. For the weird middle passage, Carin sat back at the keyboards and created a truly creepy atmosphere that swam all around the amphitheater while Roger and his three guitarists sat on the couches and played a hand of cards. Ha! It was either Hearts of Spades; Fritz & I could see them taking tricks. Then they got back up for the closing stanzas, which Rog sang, as on the album, and very well. His voice was in peak form all night--he sounded much better than he does on Amused to Death. Some of the images projected during the vocal parts (during the keyboard solo/card game there were only spotlights, most of which roamed the crowd) were of the 'family' balloons Pink Floyd used during the Animals shows, and of imagery from the album--Battersea Power Station, etc.
Following this was a heavy hitting version of "Welcome to the Machine" that rattled the overhead roof with the opening vibration. Projections were stills from the scary cartoon Rog usually has for this song. Then, a version of "Wish You Were Here" that stuck more to the album version than to his previous, piano-based interpretation. This song was another highlight for me--from Bramhall's fuzzy-feedback strumming on the opening notes to approximate radio static to Rog's slightly different inflections ("What haaaaaaaave we found?"). A pixilated image of Syd slowly faded into view. It was really a gorgeous version.
Syd faded back and forth on the scrim throughout the next song, appearing in a fog of the blue and yellow oil-slide bubbles: "Shine On You Crazy Diamond". And, with only a few clever edits, Roger again performed this song pretty much as you'd want it, in an 18 minute (or so) version. (The sax solo was missing, for one thing--as Rog has no sax player!) As the third stanza began, up popped a large spinning star-shaped disk which reflected rays of white light onto the amphitheater walls, roof, and into the audience. This continued through the extended jam and as the final keyboard cadences signaled the end of the first set, the disk stopped spinning and slowly sank from view.
"We'll be back in 20 minutes."
Continuing to present songs in big chunks from the albums, set #2 started with pulsing red lights and that heartbeat we all know and love. The screen started scrolling a white line... connecting to an upside down prism... refracting colored beams... that form a heartbeat... Doyle Bramhall bested David Gilmour, as far as I'm concerned, with his bluesy, stoned-guy vocals on "Breathe". But better yet was "Time" when *Roger* sang the first and third stanzas, normally associated with Gilmour (Bramhall and the backup singers sang the Rick Wright parts); it was great to hear *him* sing those lines--some of the best he's ever written--himself, and reclaim some of that Pink Floyd legacy that Gilmour has tried to steal. And during the solos he was really nailing the basslines--leaning into it, even. Then came a rip-roaring all guitar version of "Money" that, once again, Bramhall burned to the ground. For "Money," coin images, gratuitous sexual images and other stuff from the old Pink Floyd concerts was projected--I was so into Roger singing "Time" that I honestly don't remember what was projected during that song.
Enter the Solo Material. Only one song each for his first two albums. He again sat down to do "Every Stranger's Eyes" while, oddly enough, tanned kinescope images of the Old West and of American Indians were projected. Then both Fritz and I jumped for joy as the KAOS tower popped up on the screen and the voice of Jim Ladd boomed over the PA, announcing a newly-muscled, kick-ass version of "The Powers That Be"--probably my least favorite from KAOS (which isn't saying much--you easily remember how much I love KAOS), but now lent a new lease on life; this too was one of my favorites in the show.
Aside from the encores, the final 30 minutes of the show were dedicated to Amused to Death. My only "complaint" about the show is that he didn't do *more* from this album as he obviously loves and trusts the material. You may remember from seeing him in 1987 that Rog wasn't much of a showman, just stood there thumping at the bass and tapping his feet; at least I don't remember him pacing the stage much or working the crowd. I must admit--this is exactly what he did in Atlanta, *especially* for the 4 songs from AtD, pantomiming along with the lyrics the parts of the Monkey, the Submarine Captain, and Andrew Lloyd Webber. He started with "What God Wants Part I" of course, as the sound effects built in volume around the amphitheater. The projections here, and at other parts, were interesting. On the left hand side of the screen was a television and on the right hand side a cartoon gorilla in a red velvet chair, watching. The weird thing was that the images on the TV screen and the overall background images were different and changed, sometimes scrolled past (soap opera actors, political cartoons vs. clouds, a field of stars, etc.)
Next was "Perfect Sense" which was another fantastic moment, and unlike any other I have *ever* experienced in a concert hall. This started with, instead of his fabricated weird breathing and backwards voicing as heard on the album, HAL's dying monologue from 2001: "Dave... I'm afraid..." (as he'd originally wished.) I should say that P.P. Arnold was one of the backup singers with him; she's the one who sings on Amused to Death. And her vocal treatment on this song was even better than the recorded version, making the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. Just incredibly powerful. The background image here was a telescope sighted on an oil rig with scrolling water; Rog, with his back to us, was miming the Sub Captain preparing to torpedo the rig but on the PA voice prompt from Marv Albert he swung around and waved for the crowd to stand and sing the Global Anthem. Which we did. I get chills just remembering how everyone took to their feet at once, at Roger's beckon, and he & PP Arnold led us in singing--she belting it out like she believed every word, he aping it out so that you saw how empty it all was. If you think this doesn't sound like much--I suggest you go listen to that part of the album again and imagine yourself in the midst of 18,000 people, all singing along. I mean... words fail me. There was a girl a few seats away wiping tears out of her eyes. I know you're a big enough fan that this doesn't sound stupid. It was a true instance of artist/audience connection, and a terrifically powerful one at that, when we are all part of the song, part of the moment.
For parts of "It's A Miracle" he paced the stage, clasping hands with people in the first rows, singing the entire Andrew Lloyd Webber stanza over at stage right (where I've since learned Richard Wright was in the audience!--I wonder if the "Then the piano lid comes down/And breaks his fucking fingers" line--which was delivered with a lot of venom--was directed at him?!). During this song and "Amused to Death" which closed the second set came the moments when Fritz and I experienced several instances of Eye Contact. The shouted final lyric was really something--I am certain he was looking right at me. I probably looked like a slack-jawed moron.
Then came the band introduction (big cheers for Carin, Arnold, and Bramhall) and a moment where Roger thanked everyone for bringing back the fun and magic of live performing for him. With Pink Floyd, he said, the fun was finally "crushed beneath the weight of numbers" but that he was enjoying reconnecting with his audience. That said, he swung right into the first encore: "Brain Damage/Eclipse". Again, this was a more faithful rendition than the goofy, country-twinged version he did on his 2 previous tours--this one sounded more creepy, less funny. Projections were of a bombed out looking cityscape (again, from the Berlin show) with a solar eclipse that slowly phased in.
Now I should tell you that there is a website I frequent that has a Roger Waters message board, a kind of virtual community for the regular posters (like myself). And a lot of people from that message board were concentrated at this Atlanta show, from all over the country--one guy even flew up from Lima Peru! Anyway, a fellow from Arizona who posts as 'Dr Who' came up with a plan to get Rog to play a new song he's mentioned in a couple interviews, a song with the line "Each small candle lights a corner of the dark". Before the show he passed around flyers with a big picture of a candle, and instructions for everyone to hold up the flyers so Rog could see them when the band finished "Eclipse".
It certainly got his attention. "I like these candles," he said. And as the band was departing the stage, he reached down and took one of them. I could see his face as he read the bottom of it, a little confused at first, and then you could see it dawn on him. He did leave the stage, but when he came back he addressed us, saying he'd like to play it, but they hadn't rehearsed it. Then he explained to the rest of the audience about the new song, and that his concept for the new album was about "Personal Responsibility".
Then, again with the blue and green oil-slide bubbles grinding in the background, the band scorched their way through "Comfortably Numb". Snowy White and Bramhall "duelled" the concluding solo, which absolutely blew the roof off the place; both solos were precise and angry, just what the doctor ordered.
And then it was over. I was stunned, drained, incredulous. I thought I was blown away after the Pros & Cons show, and again after KAOS; I still remember how you described the end of the KAOS show to Justin, when we got back: "It was like the end of a long-running Broadway production! So much energy! I feel like I was there forever!" Believe it or not, this was even better. I hope he tours out that way in the spring. Get a baby sitter--if you don't go, you'll never stop regretting it.