From Moo (Chat Zone 6/24 9:51 PM)
I thought it was very good. He isn't the young headbanger playing Animals at Anaheim, his voice is a tad weak (but only a little) from age, and purists are always disappointed that the guitar solos don't precisely match Gilmour's, which in the case of Brick Part 2 is naturally pronounced. He may feel more of an "old geezer" than he comes across. Dogs was fantastic, that all there is to say, adding anything else would ruin what happened, it was simply dynamite. He uses two slide screens, they are poorly done and they bleed into each other. His graphics on those have some added to the already classic Roger stuff, and these aren't very good. Additionally, there is a semi-psychedelic oil/water visual effect behind far too many songs that is pathetic, extraordinarily poorly done. The music is what counted for me, and Roger is not surprisingly from the heart and means every bit of the songs. Truly a great pleasure/treasure/call him what you will. He might be interested in the fact that about 10% of the middle aged, balding audience were early 20s/teens that didn't miss Gilmour since they've never had a chance to add him into their experience with Roger. The concert shirts were pretty unimaginative ($38) and the program ($15) uninspired. The second and final encore (after Comfortably Numb) was Every Small Candle, after which the screen finally showed the name Amnesty International with the candle-with-barbed-wire logo. Roger has a habit of sharply jerking his head at pregnant points in the show, cracks very few jokes, and at times wildly waves at important points in songs. He slowly strolls the stage when not singing. The precise and mechanical movements of playing the Wall are replaced with an atmosphere of more, I don't know, just hanging out and playing the tunes. The program stated the set list (similiar to Vegas') was organized for musical content, not political or philosophical effect. If Roger wanted to avoid having great theater, and wanted to crank out his heartfelt songs, he succeeded. Not a killer show, but a firm and good one, without quite the sharpest edge he's ever shown.
From anne. (Chat Zone 6/23 12:41 PM)
What a nice day out for all who attended. You could've arrive extremely early and had plenty to do in the complex to keep you entertained. We got there in time to have a pint and buy a Polo T-shirt (they had size medium at this show, unlike at San Diego two days earlier). Nice touch having Jim Ladd welcoming our hero. It brought back memories of "Ladies and gentlemen, we are about to begin our live satellite broadcast.." It was quite a treat to see the great man in such a small venue. For the first few songs we sat in someone else's empty seats four rows from the front. Kept them warm for the girls who showed up halfway through Mother to boot us into the outer reaches of the arena which, by virtue of it's size wasn't too many rows back. As with the San Diego show, I soon arrived at the conclusion that the band as a whole were somewhat tighter than they were at Hershey and Burgettestown last year. Not only that, but Shine On You Crazy Diamond was so good with the fab' jamming in it's last half, that to repeat last year's action of "Now's a good time to point Percy at the porcelain." would have been unnecessarily depriving thy considered senses of a major highlight. Jumping back a little, Dogs was as mesmerizing at it ever is, only this time there was no needle in the groove, or laser on the (poorly) remastered implement aiding the protrusion of Sting's rain forest buddy's lip (AKA a compact disc). Skooze me folks, I've been hitting the Jacob's Creek Shiraz. Red wine at it's smoothest under $10.
Anyway. Interval followed, trouble was, it carried on through the beloved Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun. Too many people were walking around at any time during the show, but to play it at a point where the audience are at their least attentive was a bit of a shame. Beginning the second half with Money would've been a better idea, because all those people who see it as a show highlight (along with ABitW2; otherwise known as those who hoot a lot and think Roger Waters is another way of saying 'affirmative' when talking to a bladder on a two-way radio) would've taken to their seats with a little urgency. The ATD set put the hairs on the back of my neck on end again. The Inclusion of 'Bravery..' was more than welcome. We left after Comfortably Numb because the lights came on, but I gather they came out and played Each Small Candle. Would've liked to have seen it again, but that's okay. On the way out some chap was handing out Roger Waters guitar key rings. Perhaps they were trying to make up for the price of the beer. Had they been made of platinum, with the keys to an awaiting Lamborghini Diablo attached, it may have done so. In the meantime, we made it out to Palm Springs that night before our hotel room was infested with sunspiders.
Great show. Proud to have seen it again.
From Brian (Chat Zone 6/23 1:29 PM)
This review is probably not what you're looking for (i'll leave that to FloydPowR, dianna and sgith) as i was a first-time viewer of my hero in the flesh and it is hard for me to make sense through tears.
first off, we had jim ladd (what a hippie:) he introduced roger, and nicely so.
our audience was fine, IMO. actually, i enjoyed seeing the different ways people integrate their favorites and the way they express it. there was too much *manly* hoots, but any of that would be too much to me. roger didn't have to tell us to listen at the candle. he was as animated as i've heard him described by you that have already seen him. he had energy and shared it. he looked very VERY happy and relaxed. security was all but non-existent. you could have rolled in a recording studio, and i felt quite stupid for not putting my long overcoat to use (it was empty!)
people were allowed to walk up to the stage and take pictures. they were right up there, arms everywhere.
he blew a kiss to someone after his encore. he had to duck to go out the door of the stage. he almost tripped over doyle, who suddenly knelt down as roger was walking behind him.
doyle. did i just mention DOYLE?! holy whatever. he was wearing some weird-ass outfit, his hair was twisted and knotted, and i'm smitten. truly smitten. he already had my attention with his playing and his name, but he has it now for another reason...he is a head turner. he's SO, um, forget it. in a world of rock, where most of the band can look so alike, he is a rarity. a dark diamond.
i expected to feel my emotions at their highest during rogers atd songs. but, actually it was on dark side of the moon, when he pointed to us when singing 'i'll see you..' another was crazy diamond, and at the end he lets that thing linger, and linger some more.
the guys behind us were damn noisy, and yes, it was annoying, but it isn't MY show. we don't OWN roger. and realizing this made the louder ones easier to bear. they were extra loud on dark side songs, so i was very surprised to hear them singing on the atd songs too. it made me smile. but i asked him to shut up when in every strangers eyes he started saying 'thank you roger' over and over when it wasn't the end yet... in front of us there was a kid who just couldn't keep seated during the atd songs. he just had to get up and wave his hands and then he'd hurry and sit down. that was nice to see.
the favorite of the majority there, in my guess, was wish you were here. lots of voices, lots of tears.
there were billions of pf shirts, even a few TDB. it was amusing to me, seeing all the different faces, ages, degrees of *influence* one was under, but still we were all there because of roger dave nick and rick. it didn't matter which specific one you favor, when the old songs blended with the new and people were gathered under one roof with the bearer of all things divine, it made for a good feeling and a great night. thank You for my great night.
From Lycurgus (Chat Zone 7/5 4:17 PM)
Roger was great. I wanted to kick Doyle's ass though. Fuck. What was he wearing? A glittering fucking poseur shirt. He was fucking chewing gum and playing this holy music like it was just a fucking cover band gig. If I got that gig I would fucking dress like a monk. This music deserves reverence. This kid is a great guitar player. Too bad his attitude on stage is in the toilet. Fuck. I couldn't stand watching that poseur sing David Gilmour's vocal parts. It was painful and so un-Floyd vibewise.
Sun glances off the water…
Not a cloud in the sky….
Ocean breeze in my face…
A perfect day…..
I negotiate my truck through traffic, cross the two bridges that span Mission Bay, and with the last eight hour day of a very long, blurry week behind me….I find myself home. Chris should be here within minutes….Let's see…change, gather tickets, binoculars, cash. Good. On time. Just need to quickly sho…
Huh? What's this….a neighbor at my door. She's deaf. Locked herself out of her apartment. Have you talked to Angela? Not home? OK. Let me see what I can do….two minutes later I've got her window screen off and am prying her window up of the tracks with a Swiss Army Knife. I feel good for helping…each small candle. We gain access just as a female friend of her's comes from downstairs and is amazed that I got in so easy. I'm amazed at how hot she is. My candle starts burning a little stronger. She knows ASL and interprets for all of us. She comments on how she knew men were good for something. I say something like we're good in tight places. Sparks…….
Fuck! The show!
Look, you're welcome, but I gotta be somewhere….see you guys around…. 4th of July party? Great…I'll be there…and I'll bring my knife….nice to meet you….bye!
Chris is already in my apartment and has been waiting for me…I explain my good Samaritan story to no avail….'just get ready, you bastard.' 10 minutes later were on the 5, headed for Hollywood. I'm euphoric. The week has been a long, surreal experience. Vegas, Ricardo's, hangin' with the band, insane hours at work, the San Diego show, no sleep, Sgith crashing at my place…finally, the LA show and two days off. Chris is excited for the LA show. He's never seen Roger. We went to see Dave and Co. in '94, but that was in a sold out 60,000 seat stadium with our seats in the clouds. Now it was time to see Pink in a 6,200 seat amphitheatre. Plus it was Chris' birthday yesterday, and his ticket was my gift to him. Happy Birthday, buddy.
Los Angeles was typical for a Friday…. a mass of jammed 12 lane freeways. We fretted over the I-5/101 interchange as we progressed slowly near downtown LA. Five miles in one hour. I began to calculate and it became clear we would get to the show on time but wouldn't be able to meet and hang out with some of the members of the board. Slowly, we neared Universal City. We found our way to a parking spot, and headed toward City Walk. We find FP, Sgith, and Dianna (with her discount flowers for Roger in hand), and after a short chat, Chris and I head off into the venue. Talk about an absolutely fabulous place to see a show! The place has 6,200 seats, all of which are soft and cushiony, the aisles have red carpet, and almost every seat is a good one. We had a few minutes before show time and I then noticed Roger V and Heather sitting three rows down and over, next to the aisle. I went down and said hello to my Vegas chums. Roger had his audio rig all smartly tucked away, James Bond style. Heather was looking fashionably beautiful, as always, and ready for another evening with Roger. I went back to my seat and asked Chris if he'd seen FP, Sgith, and Dianna down in front, but he hadn't. Somehow, Dianna had found and paid a small fortune to get front row seats. They turned out to be worth it.
I wondered if Sgith had managed to sneak in a camera. She has the underwear to do it. Since meeting her in Vegas, I came to know Sgith as a wonderfully organized mess. She's like a sloppy black hole, if you will. Things get lost, disappear, but magically reappear; drawn back to her like hyper-gravity. She's like Bullwinkle…."nothing up my sleeve…Presto!" In Vegas she lamented about a lost bottle of water. Five minutes later she blurts out, "Cool" and produces a 1.5 liter bottle of water from her pack. How can you lose track of something that big?! And then came her magically versatile underwear. She kept a camera in her bra (you guess where), and her wallet in the side strap of her panties. Throughout our week together I finally came up with the idea of cargo panties…large cargo pockets sewn into the waistband at the hip. I can see the Victoria's Secret commercial now….Heidi Klum walking around in Angels cargo panty underwear….yeah baby. But I digress…..
The show starts and I sit back and prepare for a third evening with Roger. I was somewhat preparing myself for not being into the show as much, since it was going to be the same set list and all.
I could not have been more wrong.
First Jim Ladd comes out and introduces Roger. He wishes the audience a psychedelic experience, in the best possible way of the word, and that we will all know which one's Pink when the evening was over. I was hoping that Jim's presence would mean a possible rendition of Four Minutes/Tide is Turning from KAOS, which would have been damn cool, but it never materialized. So Roger comes out and the audience roars, and it was Einz, Tzwei, Drei, off into the set list. I was floored. My jaw dropped. I have seen a lot of artists and shows, but I have never experienced the quality of sound as I did that night at the Universal Amphitheater with Roger.
The sound was perfect.
I just could not get over it. Chris was saying the same thing. I was really happy for him, enjoying Roger for the first time, and in such a great venue. The atmosphere and comfort and quality of it all just had me in such a great mood, I was washed over with this euphoric feeling…..I was tuned into every moment and totally focused on the music and the performers. The band didn't fail anybody that night. They were tight, as always, and their set list didn't change at all. The crowd was much better than the Vegas and San Diego crowds. There was less running back and forth for beer and the audience was way into the performance. Everyone was singing along with Mother, in which Katie Kissoon impassioned voice had everyone cheering. It was while watching this song with my binoculars that I noticed something moving out of the corner of my eye. I look and way over on the left side of the amphitheater, out in the aisle, Interpretative Dance Boy is just flapping away with his arms and bobbing his head and shaking his ass, making a spectacle of himself. All around him are 2,000 fans seated quietly listening to a great introspective song, and this guy's dancing away (to Mother!) like he was at B-52's show. Chris saw him and was cracking up. What a schmuck. Soon, a very large usher comes up and in no uncertain terms tells him to sit or he's gone. The guy starts arguing with usher! The usher just shakes his head 'No!" and points him down into his seat. Dance Boy literally crosses his arms across his chest and slams himself down into his seat…Hmmmph!…like a 12 year old who got grounded. Cracked me up.
After the Wall numbers, and the still disappointingly short medley of Final Cut songs, Dogs kicked in and it was awesome. The quad sound was so damn perfect it was unreal. Barking dogs to the left right, behind, swirling…. John Carin's great vocals and keyboard…Snowy and Doylie playing those great Dave riff's. On a fashion note, it must have been the LA vibe or something, but Doyle was sporting a glittery sleeveless purple shirt and had his hair all twisted in tight dreads…. he was very rock and roll. But again he proved to back up Roger's decision in hiring him in the first place. He was just great. Roger, admittedly, was looking great in Armani….I'll have to agree with the ladies from the board; Roger does have a great ass. The band played cards and drank their Johnny Walker Black Label. Dogs then led to The Machine, WYWH, and Shine On. The crowd really got into this set. The Jiffy Pop thing came up, and it was the most effective I've seen it, but I couldn't help wishing, ala Spinal Tap, that it would burst forth and cover the band and the first 10 rows with popcorn…..perhaps it was all the floating hallucinogenic smoke in the air affecting me. Throughout the first set, Roger was totally enjoying himself and the audience was great; respectful during the quiet songs, loud during the breaks.
After the intermission, the band came back and did perfect performances of Set the Controls, Breathe, Time, Breathe(reprise) , and Money. The sax during Controls and Money was very well done and I'm glad Roger has enlisted this instrument for the tour. I didn't know that during the beginning of Time when Graham does his drum solo thingy that Roger chokes down on his bass and does the tick-tock-tick-tock sound with a pick…maybe I'm stupid, but I thought it was cool. They then went into Every Stranger's Eyes. Now, I was talking to Sgith after the Vegas show and she said she noticed the lip-synching on the 'from where I stand' line, but I hadn't. I honestly wasn't paying attention for it. When we saw Rog in San Diego, I at first noticed what I thought was some background technical help. So now, in LA, I watched and listened and didn't notice it much at all. My thoughts basically are this. It's a non-issue. On ABITW II, the background singers are totally washed out by the Girl's School vocal track blasting out over the speakers. Are the background singers now considered hacks? No. On Perfect Sense II, the whole singing crowd chorus is piped in, completely drowning out all the vocals. It's very effective in bringing the crowd to its feet. Roger's voice is in excellent condition and he sounds great, and I honestly don't think he has trouble hitting the high notes from the "where I stand line". I think that it's a combination of a live performance setting….it sounds truer to the studio version with the girls singing along and with Jon providing some keyboard in the back. Those three sources together make what you hear. Roger has definitely been singing his heart out on this and all the other songs. Nuff said.
As you may have guessed from my Vegas and San Diego reviews, the Amused to Death material brought me back to tears. P.P. Arnold's vocals on Perfect Sense I just sent chills through me…..chills. That song belongs to her so much….I don't think Roger can ever tour again without having her along. Perfect Sense II had Roger loving it as he emoted his soul to the audience, and they replied by rising to their feet, cheering him to the end. I have yet to see a reaction like this from an audience in mid-song. The band followed up by rocking on Bravery. As It's a Miracle came on, I saw Heather leave her seat and make her way down to the first lower section with flowers in her arms. She was allowed by the usher down to stage right just as Roger was making his way over to that end. He was singing "Lloyd Webber's awful stuff runs for years and years and years" when he looked down and saw Heather standing there with flowers for him. Roger reached down and took her hand and Heather took his and he sang the next lyrics to her, with the crowd cheering away. That was so cool. I was really happy for her. That must have been an incredible moment. An usher was near her and took the flowers as Roger stood and walked back to center stage, singing. After Miracle was over and the QVC salesman intro to Amused to Death came on, Heather came up to where Chris and I were sitting. "Did you see that?" she exclaimed. Absolutely. She had this euphoric look on her face. I gave her my binoculars for her and Roger V to share since Chris had a pair that I would just share with him. I figured Heather and Roger V would like to see them close up, well, at least maybe Roger V! Heather already had her moment. Amused to Death came on and once again, I was in the minority as I played the air drums and sang every lyric perfectly along with the band. A couple of guys behind me were discussing how they didn't know Roger's solo material that well but that it sounded pretty cool. Damn straight it does, guys. I had tears in my eyes again with the "Our last huraaaaaah!" line from the ladies…..Roger is a master at lyrics.
It was somewhere here that only one of my few dissenting thoughts came to mind about the tour. The shows have been incredible, and it's great to see Roger connecting and happy on the road, but the show only touches on the power that the concept albums from which the songs have been plucked hold for the listener. The theme totality we enjoy is diluted, and I find myself emotionally craving more songs to go with the ones I hear and see. What can you do?
The show wound to a close with Brain Damage/Eclipse and then when Roger came out for Comfortably Numb, he stood there and the crowd just roared and thanked him. I truly felt very happy for him. When things quieted a bit, he thanked everyone for coming, and for listening, but here he added something different. He told the crowd that he had done a set in a benefit show for the Walden Woods Project with Don Henley and that it was the very warm reception that he had received in this very same venue that made him think about going back out and performing live. And he thanked the LA audience for that. My mind raced when he mentioned Don Henley, for I thought that maybe he would suddenly appear on stage and he and Roger would do Watching TV. But alas, it was not meant to be. Natty Doylie and his upside down guitar went straight into Numb, and after a short pause, Each Small Candle was presented. During this last encore, some long haired fan managed to get up on stage, run across in front of Snowy and behind Roger only to disappear of stage right….it was, for a short moment, kinda Eighties. But still funny. ESC ended and the band did their bows. Sgith, FP, and Dianna, where all in the front near Snowy and Doyle. Sgith had been tormenting Snowy all during the whole show with her "Snowy…love" sign. Doyle saw it early and kept egging Snowy on, even getting Graham to look over, who laughed. Snowy eventually acknowledged Sgith's unabashed affection with a shy smile and a nod. Those English….so emotionally in touch with themselves. As Roger and Co. bowed to the cheering audience, I saw FP bowing to Roger, over and over. You got that right, FP. I then saw Dianna, with a bouquet of expensive flowers, hand them to Roger. Roger took them and slowly left the stage, holding them up as a wave goodbye to the crowd.
And then, it was over.
I heard later from the board that Axl Rose and Marilyn Manson were at the show. If that's true, then I've only got one thing to say….Boys, you got schooled!
My friend Chris and I just sat there, awash in post-Roger euphoria. We waited for the crowd to disperse and saw the front row trio make their way toward us. While waiting for them, we bid goodbye to Heather and RogerV. About then, a group of three little kids, ages 10-12, were walking up when one of them accidentally brushed his foot against the plastic bag I had at the side of my seat. Inside was my vinyl version of the Wall, which I brought just in case I ran into someone from the band. The kid stopped and apologized profusely…what a nice-mannered kid! He asked what was in the bag, so I pulled out the album and showed him. His friends gathered round, "Cool", and looked at the open double album. I was tripping at how great it was that these little kids where at a Roger Waters' show and not Kid Rock or Limp Muffin. They hung out a few minutes longer, we talked, and they left. There went the future. When Sgith, FP, and Dianna got to us, Dianna was like, "Did you see the flowers I gave to Roger? I took his hand and it was all sweaty, and then he had the flowers, and I let go of his hand, and his sweat was on my hand, and I licked it." Aaaaawwwwwww!!!!!!!!!!!! That's nice, Dianna, you freak. ;) But then hey, I'd lick Sarah Michelle Gellar's sweat any day of the week, but in a probably more horizontal position.
We found ourselves outside and where told that we would begin that stalking phase of the evening. The Three Commandos had spent the day hiding in bushes, flirting with security guards, and lurking around hotel lobbies all to find out that Roger was at a post-show party being thrown by Sony and that he would return to the Universal Hilton afterward. So we went to the Hilton, ordered drinks at the bar, and waited in puffy leather chairs in a giant vaulted lobby from midnight to 4:30 AM. The only celebrity we saw was an actor, Edward Herrmann, who walked into the lobby with khakis, a Hawaiian shirt and a panama hat. He played the middle-aged mild mannered love interest in the vampire movie Lost Boys, whose character later turned out to be the leader of the vampires. Not what I was there for. Somewhere between two White Russians and dawn, I found myself being woken up by Chris…"Dude, we're leaving. Let's go." Sgith, FP, and Dianna decided to wait longer…you know Rog, 56 and parting till the sun comes up. I wished them well and Chris and I left.
So there it is. The shows are over for me. They were magical in more ways I could have imagined. The gathering at Vegas, talking with the band, bringing Floyd and Roger virgins to San Diego, and seeing the perfect show in LA. I imagine somewhere a keen-eyed look out spotted our flickering light…our last hurrah.