From Dr Who (Chat Zone 6/20 2:34 PM)
I didn't think that arriving in las vegas on thursday night at 12 am with the temperature at a balmy 101 degrees would be an omen for In The Flesh 2000, but it truly was.
The MGM Grand arena is a average sized arena amongst an expansive hotel/casino that is a monster. The crowd in general seemed a little more laid back than the 3 shows I went to last year. The space cadet glow was most apparent. My seats were 17 rows from the stage -- pretty much dead center. I didn't bring any recording equipment to this show so as soon as I hit my seats I was kicking myself.
The show started around 8:20. Roger recieved a warm response and that set the tone for the evening. The first set was played near flawless with only projection technical problems. The band sounded well rehearsed as was rogers vocals. I was blown away how his voice sounds even better than last year. He stil lip synchs every strangers eyes imo, but thats besides the point. I had my binoculars which also gave me some cool closeups of the band. I noticed the bottle of booze that was of choice for the card game during dogs was Johnny Walker black label. I got a kick out of that and the whole card game thing. The whole band actually acts out the scene. I would bet Roger could do a little actng on the side if he wanted to. Although I thought that the first set was as good or better as last year, the second set is imo the icing on the cake.
Set the Controls was incredible. Hearing it played live was a special treat. It was played again near flawless. As much as I've heard the dsotm songs, they were the best I've ever heard them performed and in a way the best part of the 2nd set. The sax player just wailed. Money had an incredible solo by Fairweather-Low. I was very impresssed. Bravery of Being Out of Range played live takes a different tone than the album version and was stunning, as was the rest of the show. I liked the revised version of Each Small Candle better also. Roger's band deserves the credit too. The band is a wonderful compliment. I can't wait till Minneapolis as the show seems to progress each stop.
From Steve(WI) (Chat Zone 6/20 8:42 PM)
That is how I will start my review next year at this time, for Europe is right around the corner and now:
I plan on jumping around with this so hopefully I can follow, the reader will just have to deal with it.
Where to begin, Thursday 5:01 AM, can't sleep, getting revved up. SGITH came in Thursday in full smile. And the T-Shirts rock. Thanks for making 'em, and thanks anti-for the design. You would have got a kick of how many people looked or pointed at them, especially after the show, when a lot of folks heard the song for the first time.
Friday morning 5:06 AM, can't sleep, getting revved up. Church of Pink arrives in phoenix at 7am, we get back by 7:30 AM and mass begins. Sgith is bouncing off the walls.
Friday 11:00 AM, matt and mark pull in, drove from Indy, very cool couple guys hitting the road with Roger.
Couple local friends come over. Simon and DragonDigger make it in. A fellow named JammerB comes by. Vinard comes by. Pam gets off early we are rocking. Patsy and I recalled the ampf experience. Simon shot some incredible looking video footage, too bad he only has 17 minutes of it. Simon thanks for those CDs, me and Church were checking out the P&C live vid, and wow, I never saw that before. Now I know what that puppet is in the Tour Programs. The pic of the Melting Beer Drinking German Walking Bratwurst kind of sort of thing, very cool, thanks a lot Simon, uncalled for and totally appreciated.
Anyway, during the show, Church had the most unfortunate experience of sitting next to a complete idiot. We were both on the verge of Violence, but our peaceful ways persisted. He must have been Rogers Cheerleader, for he kept turning around, yelling at the audience, trying to get them to do his drunken version of the wave, or something like that. And telling us this is our idol so stand up and act like an idiot. This goes on all show, and at intermission he had some most ridiculous theory of the Beatles and Floyd, when they were both recording at abbey road. I told the guy simply no, what you were saying is bullshit. I had no clue what he was talking about, so I just gave him my bias opinion after having listened to him for the first set, knowing full well I have another set to go with this guy.
The show, you know, was the show. ESC is truly incredible and the goosebumps were there. And Bramhall. When the new studio album comes out we will really see this guys contribution. During ESC you could see where Bramhalls style of playing and sound shined. This guy fits with Roger. It fits the music. Though ESC is only a bit of what will be on the album, I think we have a Dave Gilmour replacement, out doing Clapton and Beck. This guy is fresh. During the show as well Bramhall rocked, just really too good to put into words. And I can see Roger feeding off this young talent and making it work. Did I ever think ATD would be outdone? Not until now.
blah blah blah, phoenix, done with, me and Church were let down, oh well you win some and lose some
Vegas. 5 hour road trip. Days Inn. Vegas strip. Ricardos. Great get together. Heather pulled up her red dress to show us her hammer/wall tattoo that rests on her lower back. Speaking of the women at these shows. They like Bramhall. Not just like, but like like. Pam, who calls him Doy-lee was awe struck my his charming good looks. As well as every other woman I met that night.
Excellent show, me and Church had a much better time. But before the show we charged into PLS's room, some 15 of us. I don't know if he was ready for it and I hope he wasn't pissed off. phil w and chris (i think that's the names) are awesome. Chris had such a thick accent I kept having to say 'what?'. Sorry chris.
So FP, Church, me and Pam are all sitting together for the show. At the intermission we asked Lyc and Sgith to join us cause we knew that being on the floor was just terrible and sgith couldn't see a thing, so we got them to join us and get a bit elevated. At one point during the show a guy asked us to be quit, during Shine On I think. Now this is a first. Pretty darn cool too. The guy wanted to hear the music. I was just talking to someone and he turned around and said shh. That is good to see. Other fans who don't yahoos standing the whole show and talking and singing all the lyrics.
I will never sit on the floor again, unless it is a really awesome ticket. Anything further than 10 rows can be pointless. The sound is also much better a bit further back too, you can tell the difference with the Quad sound.
So we had a much more enjoyable show in Vegas, roger sounded even better, it was just really good.
After the show. We told everyone to meet by ricardos and quite a few of us did. Sipping on drinks and giddy. So about 30 minutes later Grahm Broad, Snowy White and the other keyboard player, (not carin) all walk by. But we see them a little late, so I was able to just say 'Thank You' and waved to them, they waved back. Plus who cares about those guys, right? I only had 2 stubs and maybe something held me back from getting them signed by either one or 3 of those folks. blah blah
Doyle walks out with Wife and a small group. Fuck it. Lets bug him. So, everyone of us, and the guys, those being, Steve(WI), philw, Chris, Church of Pink, FloydPowR, (sp?), and maybe others, its fading, quietly and politely walk up to him. Quitely and politely my ass! We are like a bunch of starving monks ready to pick bugs out of Doyles hair. I will speak for myself, I was ridiculous, I asked the most stupidest of questions and made the most idiotic comments. But do I care? hell no
So we all get autographs, and people (not saying who :0 )are calling him the Dog Man, and we are all fawning over him, and I say he is the 'personification of Gilmour' (unsure if that even makes sense) I mean technically we are grown men, but in these moments we turn to little 11 year old Spears fans. It is these moments where I hope I never meet Waters. What would he possibly think after I drool all over him with my witty comments.?
This is where the girls are all cool. They were like the only one playing like it was no big deal. Pam is talking to DOyle's wife and telling her nice dress, and Pam asked if she was going to go out drinking, she said that she was going home to cause her feet hurt. I asked her what it was like to work with Roger, if it was hard. She said no. Than I made the comment that Roger put them on both ends of the stage. She said they were the perfect book ends. Arrghhh, looking back what a waste of conversation. Do I learn from this, not really.
Anyway they leave. But we wait on. 15 minutes later these 2 girls walk out of MGM Arena and I ask them if the worked inside. They both took me back stage and me and Andy Fairweahter Lowe had a little somethin' somethin' with them. What the hell is wrong with you, I hope you didn't believe that! That is some kind of writing technique where I draw you in and well whatever.
I ask these 2 women if they worked there, no they didn't, they walk on. They come back 15 minutes later and ask me why I asked that. You know the awnser. They showed me their comp pass's from MGM that Roger signed. I told them Doyle just walked by a short time ago. They take off after Doyle! Women and Doyle again. I just don't know what they see in the guy. ;)
So we are all milling around some more, some folks leave and we are really getting to just the core members of the board and such.
So lo and behold I spotted Carin and some person coming down the hall. I tell everyone and Sgith who I am forcing to get my ticket signed is looking all over for her ticks. Thanks Sgith for doing the dirty work for me.
So Carin stops by us and is smiling. He was really nice to us rabid fans. Starts talking with us and such. He even grouped us together to take our picture on his camera. I guess they plan on making fun of us later. :) So I say to Carin who do you like to work for better. He plays it all striaght. 1 guy from this band and 3 guys from the other band. Whatever! So we are all asking questions, I think SGITH figured out he was a Capricorn or something. Than somebody asked who the other guy was, (yeah I know you've seen all the other posts) and it was James Guthrie.
Guthrie was taping the show in Phoenix the night before and he said it was the loudest crowd yet. I think he was correct without a doubt. Also said they have to have the live album done by christmas. (please leave Waters out of that so that can happen). Carin also said it will be a while for the new solo album but he has been playing on it. I would say over a year away still by the way he was sounding. Anyway these 2 guys were cool. Church gave Carin his Candle shirt he bought from SGITH. Carin said they looked cool. But both these guys took thier time with us, answered all our moronic questions, and we had a good 15 minute hanging around time. And of course SGITH kissed both Carin and Guthrie on the lips full tongue, ooops, I mean on the cheeks. They were very cool. And they also got the ingsoc web address for future posting of the group pic Carin took of us. And church has the other pic too.
Now. Once again what made these shows so great was the get togethers. Thus the need for another one next year. STOCKHOLM 2001 BABY!
I am pretty convinced that once a core group of folks from this board get together, magic really happens.
From springbok (Chat Zone 6/23 12:44 PM)
Well, I too must start out by saying how wonderful it was to see Church of Pink, FloydPowR, Doc and Pam, SGitH, and Gary from FLA once again; and how equally wonderful it was to finally meet PLS and Jenine, Lycurgus, Wiltwatcher, Troy, Springbok, Phil W , Simon, Ben, Roger V and Heather, Billy from Toronto, and I know I'm forgetting at least one or more wonderful person (my apologies for that).
A big thanks goes out to PLS for inviting us up to trash his room and mooch his beer. If I would have known, I would have brought a 6-pack or so to contribute.
The sound quality was very very nice. Very clean and tight. I'm not sure how much of this was the sound system, how much was the mixer (my new pal James Guthrie), and how much was the venue's acoustics. It definitely sounded better than any of the five shows that I attended last year. Should make for an awesome release.
The band was very tight too (as others have already noted) - especially Doyle and Snowy. Set The Controls and Money - yes Money - were awesome with the sax player. I had the binoculars up during Money and Roger gave the sax player a smile and nod at the completion of his solo. Even Andy F-L's jam was impressive this go-round. I'll have to say that I wasn't particularly impressed with Bravery, however. There was a long pause after PS-2 and Bravery started out really slow and subdued. I thought it should hit with more impact like it does on the album. Roger seemed to be experimenting with different effects at various times as well which I personally didn't really like for the most part; but hey, what do I know???
The crowd seemed to be on the older, more laid back side with quite a few people leaving their seats for whatever recess and the usual crowd participation during ABitW2, Mother, BD/Eclipse, C.Numb just wasn't there. Of course, the corresponding whistling and screaming was diminished accordingly. I had mixed emotions about how Roger would react to the almost nonchalant audience; but at the conclusion of C. Numb, he said "Thank-you all for coming??.REALLY??.and thank-you for listening." Most people stayed for the Candle Encore, which was cool.
After the show a few of us returned to the entrance of Ricardo's for a bit. This turned out to be an ideal place to hang out because it is located right at the intersection of the 2 main corridors leading away from the arena. I was standing out there enjoying a beverage and talking to Church Of Pink when I noticed Snowy White walking down the hall. I yelled out "Snowy" which was ignored. Once again I yelled out "Snowy". This time he looked over then looked back ahead. I don't know if he was being shy or didn't have time for us. Then I noticed Graham Broad was walking next to him. I yelled out "Graham". He stopped in his tracks and his head snapped over and he put forth a huge smile. I thought by this time some of the guys by me would have been dashing over there, but nobody did. Then they just continued to walk off into the casino.
Now we're on the look-out. We figure if Snowy and Graham are still in the building, odds are the rest of the band is as well. Sure enough, about 10-15 minutes later, Doc spies Doyle and Susannah. This time we jump on him like vultures. We were getting kind of wild and crazy so one of the security guys that was with them said that we should get into a single file line. So we settled down a little. We were really laying it on him though. I kept calling him "Doyle My Man" or "Doyle The Dog Man". I told him this was because I really enjoy watching and listening to him perform Dogs. I told him "man, I thought you guys were good last year, but you are even better this year. You must have been practicing." To which he just kind of shrugged his shoulders and gestured "naw, not really." Up to this point, he seemed to be pretty reserved and businesslike so I told him that I had Jellycream and liked it too. His entire demeanor changed when he heard that. He popped up his head and smiled at me and said "really?". After that, he seemed to be more friendly and approachable. Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do (brown nose). SGitH told Susannah how good she was to which she replied "No, not me. PP's got it." Then SGitH told her that at least she had the best legs.
So they depart and we're hanin' out some more when Doc notices Jon Carin and a couple of other guys coming down the hall. So we ambush them too. They turn out to be totally cool and seem to not be in a hurry at all to brush us off. Not knowing what else to say, I told Jon that I saw him in 1994 with "Dave and the boys" to which he replied "Which one's better?" I started to say Roger then I said "I don't know, you tell me." He would not answer this question. We asked who he liked playing with better and he said "I like one of these and three of those." Hey, it was worth a try. Then Doc (I think it was) said something about the crowd being much rowdier in Phoenix and what not and this up-to-this-point unknown individual with Jon said something about how he recorded Phoenix and Vegas and that should give them a good mix to pick from as the louder crowds can supply some nice atmosphere to the recording. I asked him if they were recording all of the shows and he said no, only four of them (Phoenix, Vegas, Portland, and Seattle). I said that I had read one of Roger's interviews where he said that they were going to record all of the shows to make an album. He said that he couldn't do that because he had a deadline to get the album out by Christmas. It finally started to dawn on me whom this individual most likely was so I said "Hey, what's your name?" He replied "James." I said "Guthrie?" He replied "Yes." Then I went schoolboy. I go "James Guthrie?..Qsound?.excellent" or something like that and he just loses it. He slaps Jon on the back and tells him "Hey, this guy asked me who I was and when I told him he goes "Qsound!" And they just started cracking up. I go "Hey, that's great stuff man. I love the way the genie swirls out of the bottle and the crickets and the dogs barking?." And he was just rolling. Then I said "Hey, I'm really sorry I didn't recognize you - you're a legend."" He did the "no I'm not gesture to which I replied "hey, to me you are. I should have recognized you from your picture in the ITAOT Deluxe Edition booklet." Then I grabbed James by the arm and pulled him over by Debbie and go "hey, this is James Guthrie - the guy that makes those Floyd albums sound so good!" He was loving it. Then I turn my attention to Jon and they're checking out the ESC shirts and Jon told SGitH that if she gave him one he would make sure that Roger would get it so Church Of Pink graciously donated his shirt. These two guys were waaaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyy cool with us taking pictures and laughing.
That's about all I can say right now. Perhaps I'll think of more later.
From Lycurgus (Chat Zone 6/26 3:14 AM)
After Doc and Steve did such great reviews of the Las Vegas show, I thought there was no need for me to write anything, ah... but what the heck. Here's a Roger Waters Vegas weekend through my eyes.
Saturday June 17th, I got on the 6:10 AM flight out of Chicago's O'hare. I had to switch in Houston where the plane sat on a runway for two extra hours, and finally arrived at the MGM Grand at 1:15 PM. I was 15 minutes too late to bet on the Cubs, but I had 15 minutes to bet on the Sox. I didn't like the spread on the Sox, so I bet the over which was 10.5. By the fifth inning the Sox were beating the Yankees 9-3, so I had won already. Then they went into a rain delay. I asked what it meant for my bet at the window. They said if they don't finish all 9 innings it's a null bet. I had to leave to meet everyone at Ricardos, so I had to come back later to see what happened. I met up with around 30 of the coolest folks at Ricardo's in the MGM. It was a lot of fun. We hung out, had some drinks, some food and an all around good time. I came ticketless so it worked out for me that a guy at the restaurant had extras. He didn't join us. He came in and out with tickets and I never knew who he was. I sat next to db and Billy From Toronto and across from Phil W. I loved putting names to faces and getting personal glimpses into the lives of other Waters fans. Sgith joyously went about dispensing T-shirts. Finally, Doc mentioned folks were headed up to PLS's room. So the hoard all wandered up there as the restaurant waited with baited breathe to reset the tables for fresh income. I remember chatting with FP about New York, Billy about his vacation in Morocco, and PLS about the new job when we were upstairs at the MGM. I enjoyed it all a ton. At the show, there were some real derelicts sprinkled in with the decently behaved fans. I sat near a few of the problem children. I was next to the ritalin brothers. They were like 12 and 14. One had a visor with flashing lights on it and a glow in the dark collapsable erector ball (the kind they sell at the WTTW Store of Knowledge in Chicago). The younger guy had a marching band leader type baton. They spent the whole show looking around so they wouldn't get caught smoking pot. Then they got caught 3/4s of the way through. I had interpretive dance boy two rows in front of me who must not have gotten much attention from mom and dad growing up. He had three open seats with which to prance and sway and turn to everyone to try and get them to follow his lead. Also blocking my view for awhile was a fat dude. Fortunately his weight finally worked against him and he eventually had to sit down like the rest of us. The show itself was fun and there's no need to rehash the music side. At the intermission I went back to the sports book to find out that the Sox had won 10-9 in a full game and I won my only wager of the weekend. I got back to my seat a couple of minutes before Roger announced the start of the second set with, "And now we journey back into the mists of time..."
As already described in detail we were hanging out in the MGM as band members drifted by. I was facing the other way and only caught a glimpse of Snowy, Graham and Andy when they came by. When Doc spotted Doyle and Susanah I watched Sgith skip over to them and I reached into my pocket to find my ticket stub for Doyle to sign. When the bouncer looking dude who was holding a little silver box with a handle on the top (it looked like a cashbox or something), told us to line up I got behind Steve. When I reached Doyle he was looking for someone to give the pen back to that he was holding. He gave it to the bouncer dude who handed it to someone else. I gave Doyle the marker and ticket stub I had and I told him I loved Jellycream. He shrugged and gave me a short look. I told him he must have been excited to jam with Clapton and BB. He responded with a "Yeah, well, who wouldn't be." Since I wasn't getting any enthusiasm in his responses I left off with a simple "You sounded great tonight." Finally he gave a look of appreciation and said thanks as he handed me back my stub and pen. I waited another ten minutes thinking Roger might show, but I had to catch a cab because I was on the 1:45 AM flight to Houston. I left at 12:30 AM and waited in the giant cab stand line at the MGM It was after I left that Jon Carin and James Guthrie showed up so I missed it. I told sgith that as soon as I left I was sure something cool would happen and I was right. On the flight I was so tired, but I was sitting in front of a 'yah hey dere' guy from Wisconsin who was talking to some middle aged boufant hairdo computer help desk lady really loudly for the first hour of the damn flight making sleep difficult. They discussed his work in a blood lab and how computers become out of date so quickly. I wanted to kill them. It would have been one thing if there had been a shred of interestingness in any of their conversation, but it was complete mindless banter. I switched planes in Houston and got on the 7:50 AM for Chicago. I wound up next to a 12 year old girl who kept having to go past me to go to the bathroom which kept crimping my desire for sleep. I probably got 2 1/2 hours all told.
I got home at 11 AM and went to church late all scummy. I came home showered and went to my sister's for Father's Day. At 4:30 I went back to O'hare to pick up my girlfriend and her sister who had been on vacation in Italy. I didn't get to sleep until midnight but all the sleep deprivation was worth it.
My eyes.....are baked potatoes.
That's what they felt like, anyway, as I found myself driving through the Mojave heat toward a dream 13 years in the waiting. Vegas loomed ahead of me, unseen, but felt. I had spent the last year reading post after post of the great experiences at the 99 leg of the ITF tour, of Atlanta, and now it was my turn.
I passed some little town with a self proclaimed 'world's tallest thermometer' which proudly proclaimed a balmy 116 degrees F. pheeeeeewwwww! My eyelids scraped each time I blinked. I drove on.
I found my hotel room and collapsed in air-conditioned comfort, relaxing for the next few hours. Eventually, I ventured over to the Las Vegas Hilton and checked out the Star Trek Experience, part museum, part ride. If you even remotely like Star Trek, or are the hardest-core Trekker, you must check this out...very cool. The next day found me wandering in to the MGM Grand to check things out. Just as I entered the lobby I saw Roger's face being televised over this huge 20' x 100' video screen mounted above the check-in desk; I mean the screen is just massive! He was flying a helicopter screaming "YOU! Yes! YOU!..." I took it as an omen. I saw some other event posters around the place of Roger sitting with his guitar by the pool(you know the one), except they had made his eyes a strange metallic blue color and his guitar had a watery face that blended with the pool in the background. Someone got happy with Photoshop 5.0. I killed the 6 hours I had left before the gathering at Ricardo's wandering around, gambling. Finally, 4:00PM came and it was time to meet the ATD folks. I strolled into Ricardo's and before I knew it I was having a great time hanging with Simon, Ben, Phil, Patsie, DB, Billy from Toronto and Co., Wiltwatcher(LOVE the story behind the name) and Andie(sp?), Gary and wife from FLA, PLS and Jeanine(who both win Best Dressed; very cool cats, those two), Sgith, FP, Dr. Who, Pam, Roger V. and Heather(who un-ashamedly hiked up her dress to show us her killer Floyd-themed tattoos), and everyone else I'm forgetting. We talked and we drank until the church bells rang....and the burning in our hearts....the memory smolders on.....Suffice it to say, it was great to put faces with handles. PLS then invited all of us to his room for some more pre-show festivities. After our first beers, the good Doctor proposed a toast to all those who couldn't make it, and we listed off quite a few names. We downed our drinks and soon it was time to go to the show. Security at the Garden was...nonexistent. We strolled in and Sgith and I found our seats. I was very excited being we had floor seats about 25 rows back. Then....
The lights dimmed. The crowd roared. Thirteen years of waiting was over. The dark silhouette of Roger walked across the screen....Eins! Zwei! Drei!...a rush swept over me; it was actually happening....I was in awe. As the concert progressed, I quickly became impressed with how the band sounded. They were very tight. When Roger got to Mother, I was moved to tears. Katie Kissoon sang Dave's vocal parts, she completely added a new dimension to the song, and singing the last line.."healthy and cleeeeeeeaaan..." uh...it killed me. The set then moved on to Filthy Hands/Southampton Dock, two great songs, both of which were cut short and stuck together and over before you knew it. That was kind of a downer. But the band more than redeemed itself with "Dogs". WOW! The Animals album has always been stuck in the back of my Floyd/Waters listening rotation; but that has definitaley changed. The live "Dogs" absolutely knocked my socks off, so much so that over the next subsequent shows I was to see it become a favorite. Jon Carin did an awesome job. The card game was a cool theatrical touch. I think Roger put it in, partly, as a way to maybe peel down one more layer between Rock Icon and fan; saying, hey! we're just regular blokes with our whiskey and card game, like you, who enjoy the company of friends above most everything, like you. That's my take. So they ended Dogs to rousing applause and moved into proven warhorses from Whish You Were Here. Now, I love that album. It's the best one in the whole Floyd canon. So I was very judgmental when it came time for Doylie to hit those notes. He killed. Doyle is a perfect choice. There is no way I would expect him to be a Gilmour clone, and he's not. But both he and Dave have blues roots and Doyle had no trouble hitting the "important" Floyd notes we all know and love and then interspersing his own Texas/Blues style in the mix once in a while. It freshened up some of the classic songs and it was treat to hear. The repeated ending verse they added to "Whish You Were Here", sung by the girls, was a nice touch. As the band moved toward the end of Shine On, up came the swirling, mirror-encrusted-Jiffy-Pop-popcorn-rock-show-prop. Please. I'm sorry, it was kinda cool, but I couldn't help thinking it would've been much more effective if the great homage to Syd that Shine On is ended without the disco prop and just had the girls singing the word "Shiiiine" to slowly changing pictures of Syd in his more joyful days with The Floyd. I also must say that I enjoyed the backdrop/lightshow up to this point. It was simple, effective, and the heated, bubbling acid-trip like projector cell was a cool throwback to when the Floyd made a name for themselves with their psychedelic light shows in places like San Francisco. In fact, there are a couple of satellite shots of the San Francisco/Bay area that show up on the screen during a later song. But anyway...
Well, the first intermission came and Sgith and I went up to join Doc and Church in the side seats since Sgith is three feet tall and couldn't see much on the floor. We hung out and chitchatted. I was glad to actually be in seats where you could something in seated comfort. If you're not in the first 10 rows on the floor, then floor seats blow. The second set started with Set the Controls and moved into Breathe, Time/Breathe reprise, and Money. Graham Broad added a little excitement with his Time drum solo, which was very well done, and Doyle's vocals on Breathe reprise were great. All throughout Snowy was providing excellent accompaniment with Doyle on lead and mild-mannered-in-the-shadows Andy Fairweather Low did his rock star solo on Money, along with the essential sax played by a local talent. I must say that Roger's band did an excellent job with all the Floyd material. I was awed. The show then moved through Every Stranger's Eyes and into the Amused To Death material. I wasn't paying attention to the Every Stranger's Eyes controversial lip-synching moment, and thus have no comment on it (though in a later show the question came up). I would have loved to have seen something more from P+C and maybe Four Minutes/Tide is Turning from KAOS, bet the set list is in stone, I guess. The ATD material floored me. It was obvious that not a lot of people new this material intimately, like us, and I sang along with P.P. Arnold on Perfect Sense part I and was in heaven. Was anyone not moved as she sang her heart out?..."and they gave him command, of a nuclear submarine, and sent him out, in search of the Gaarrden of Eeeeeddeeeeeeeeeen......". Wow. A definite highlight. Bravery absolutely rocked and It's a Miracle, though not my favorite, had a great theatrical impact at the end when Jon and Andy Wallace laid out this great sonic angel-like choir while Snowy finely held those last great guitar notes just as the background screen slowly brightened from dark to light with the image of the sun's glow, seen from space, coming over the edge of the earth in a new dawn. Wooooooohoooooo. All of us were on our feet. When the song Amused to Death came on, I was psyched! Absolutely one of my favorite songs. The taped dialogue of the guy from one of the home-shopping networks is such a brilliant idea on Roger's part..."rock bottom...get em out of here...not 170.75....One..sixtynine..seventyfive." I felt like I was the only one there who knew the lyrics, and when the "keen-eyed look out" line came and the girls sang "Our last hurraaaaaaaaah!", my heart was in my throat. God, what a great song.
As Roger wound the show to a close with Brain Damage/Eclipse and Comfortably Numb, I again was impressed with Doyle's guitar and vocals. His voice is different enough from Dave's to make the old songs take on a slightly new face, but he sang with heart and his voice is good and strong. It was fun watching Doyle and Snowy trading licks on Comfortably Numb up on the platform behind the band.
The crowd was quiet enough to allow Roger to explain ESC's birth as a song when they came out for the encore. All except for one thoroughly inebriated fan who kept screaming incoherently.."uuuuuggggghhhhhhhh!" over and over. Only when I looked up toward him did I realize he was screaming "Vera! Vera!" and then he just stood there cackling a very drunk laugh. I just shook my head in amazement. C of P was equally amazed at the professional display of drunkenness. Anyway, I think ESC has come a long way and am really interested to hear the studio version when it comes out. The barbed wire motif on the screen with the blood red lyrics was simple but effective, especially, I think, that it forced everyone to read Roger's meshing of the original poem from South America and his added parts. It was very powerful. And when he held up the single flame in his hand right as the stage went dark, the entire audience was focused on the light that Roger was holding up, further drawing everyone to connect with him and the message. It was so simple it was genius.
The lights went up, the show was over, and I was dazed. Somewhere in my head I thought this evening couldn't get better.
Little did I know that it was about to.
We congregated back at Ricardo's and hung out for a couple of hours. Two beers later I was twisting Ben's ear (one of the lads from England) about politics when someone told me that Graham Broad and Snowy White had just walked by us on their way from the venue to the casino. HUH?! I think everyone was too dazed to actually know to go up to them, say thanks, and may be get an autograph. Well, the ATD crowd didn't have to told a second time, no. A short while later someone spotted more people coming out and we recognized Doyle. I noticed the ATD girls react with extra vigor and we all walked up to Doyle and Co. Some bouncer guy told us to get in a line, which we did, and one by one we thanked Doyle. Some told him he performed great, others were asking him what it was like to play with Clapton and BB King. He seemed kinda aloof, but maybe he was just tired. All his replies were one-word answers. Oh well. Doyle's wife, Susannah, was there and probably got the biggest compliment of her life from Sgith, who proudly declared that she had the best legs of all the backup singers. Susannah cracked up. Soon, the session was over and they went on their way. We hung out for quite a bit longer, but finally decided to head out of the casino. We bid goodbye to the others and about six of us straggled along out of the covered strip mall within the casino when someone spotted more people coming from the venue toward us. "Hey, that's Jon Carin!" We pounced. Jon was walking with another gentleman and as we approached, I couldn't help thinking that this other guy looked very familiar. It was driving me crazy that I couldn't put my finger on who he was. Jon, in the meantime was being bombarded with questions all at once. He had this whimsical, overwhelmed look on his face as if he was trying to answer all these questions but didn't know where to begin. Someone asked him who he liked playing with the most, Roger or the new Pink Floyd. He quite tactfully answered that he would take one from this band and three from the other. Someone else asked him about the new tracks on the upcoming new album, to which he answered that there is just simply some really incredible, amazing stuff on it. That got me psyched! At this point Steve(WI) got the other gentleman to introduce himself. When he said James Guthrie, a momentary hush fell on us. I thought "FUCK!". I had planned on bringing my vinyl version of the Wall with me to Vegas in case I got a chance at an autograph, but I left it at home. Now, here I was, and against all the odds, I run into someone who had a part in the legendary Wall album! I swear. Sgith, in the meantime has slowly been advancing on poor Jon, who backs up a couple of steps every minute or so until Sgith has him literally up against the wall. She invites both Jon and James to Thanksgiving dinner at her house (!!!!!!...everyone was cracking up) to which James replied that he'd like to but he had a deadline to keep. When asked for what, he told us the tour was being recorded in Phoenix(whom he said were very loud, which was great for atmospherics on the recordings), Las Vegas, Portland, and Seattle. He also mentioned that he had to have it wrapped up in time for Christmas. I don't know if that meant the finished CD would be in the stores by then, although that would make perfect cents, or he just had to be done with his end of it. We'll see. All in all, these two were extremely gracious and spent a good 15 minutes us. We gushed and thanked them up and down. Jon took a picture of us for his own collection, someone handed him the ATD website address and he said he would try to post(!), and finally Church gave Jon an ESC shirt to give to Roger. We ended it all with a picture of us, thank you Church, and Sgith couldn't let them get away with out screaming "Kisses!" and gave a stunned Jon Carin and James Guthrie a peck on the check each! We all waved goodbye as did they. Wow. The evening ended at that point and I bid my farewells to those that I wasn't seeing later in the week in Southern California.
It was an absolutely unbelievable night. Magic. My only regret is that I didn't get a chance to talk with everyone at Ricardo's more. My thanks go to Gary in FLA for organizing the gathering, PLS for allowing us to re-enact the TV through the window scene from the Wall movie up in his hotel room(ok, not really, but thanks for the impromptu party) and everyone else I met and talked to and got to know. If I've left something out or my memory's got something twisted in the wrong way, I apologize in advance. We must do a gathering like this again on the next tour. Thank you all for providing your parts to an awesome night and a fantastic memory.