From SilverDragon (Chat Zone 7/1 8:14PM)
I have seen more than 100 concerts in my life, including the Dead (several times), Neil Young (several times), David Bowie, the first Lollapalooza, the ENIT festival in San Francisco with the reunited Jane's Addiction, Lou Reed, P-Funk (several times), and Roger twice (in Berlin in 1990 and in Kansas City last year). This was the best concert I have ever seen.
If you haven't been to The Gorge, be sure to check it out the next time your fave psychedelically oriented band plays. It's an enormous canyon, the Columbia River, with a 20,000-seat amphitheater perched on the side. Given our intended state of mind, we had to camp overnight, and the campground was packed with Floyd fanatics new and old, a great mellow scene with all the Floyd and Roger music swirling around from all directions. The walk from the campground seemed to take forever (literally), but was completely worthwhile as the sun went down and the sky turned yellow, orange, and finally pink. Very appropriate. Security was very tight and very negative, pushing people and being ridiculous about standing in the aisles. I don't understand why they hire such redneck idiots for rock shows. There's a job any Rog fan would KILL for.
Anyway, I had no problem getting by these fascist assholes, as my ticket said 10th row. I was maintaining well, thinking about where I was and what I was doing, when Roger comes on the stage and says "are you ready? not yet...not yet...now!!!" and his private jet, an enormous 737, which had been hovering down in the gorge silently, buzzed the stadium no more than 200 feet over our heads. It was a near sellout crowd, and everybody was totally into it, the sound was loud enough to drown out all the screams and cheers. ITF II was a great place to start, got everybody's negative trips out of the way early.
ATIBWII was a major highlight, surprising to me because I tend not to favor the "greatest hits" as much as obscure stuff, but Doyle and Andy and Snowy jammed out on it for a while and it was fantastic. After all the Wall stuff, he did this thing where he said "Thank you" about 13 times with 13 different inflections, and different members of the audience cheered each time. The guy is so cool, smiling and stalking the stage, even attacking his bass from time to time. I have to say, he played much better than he did last year in KC, must have done some woodshedding or just gotten tighter with the band. The keyboard section in "Dogs" almost melted me to the chair, but "Welcome to the Machine" was probably my favorite song of the whole show, the keyboards were perfect meltdown and Roger's voice and all the singers sounded great. "Shine On" was a highlight as it was last time, although it sounded like they cut it off a bit early--I seem to recall in KC last year they played the entire 30-minute suite. This was about 2/3 as long. Have to say I like Doyle's guitar playing a lot, but Andy is a better player, and his voice can't hold a candle to Gilmour's old voice (although the concerts from 94 that I've heard suck--Dave's lost it in my opinion). WYWH shouldn't have been played with him on vocals.
"Set the Controls" was another highlight, I was way up high watching the images on the screen from the grass, and again made my way past all the roadblocks by holding my magical glowing ticket. Again surprised when "Money", the other huge hit, was one of my favorite songs. Threw down some great jams, especially Andy's solo. Can't say enough nice about Mr. Fairweather-Low, one of the underrated guitarists of all time. "Every Stranger's Eyes" is one of my favorite songs, and I didn't notice if he was lip-synching it or not, it seemed like his real voice to me, but with some extra reverb thrown down to sweeten it. All in all, actually, his voice was great. The only tuning problems I heard all night were in a couple of the guitars (his acoustic, for one).
Onward: "Perfect Sense" was just unbelievable and fantastic, as it was last year, PP Arnold did the solo like her life depended on it and drew a standing O, and it was nice to hear "Bravery", although I can't figure out why there's no guitar solo in the middle of that song and the show didn't shed any new light on it. The visuals in the 2nd half (after the sun was down-they didn't even need them in the 1st half) were understated but interesting, and I liked the little Radio KAOS tower that appeared from time to time in some of the scenes. I wish he'd played something from that album, it's really a shame he doesn't seem to favor it nowadays. Finally, "Eclipse" and "Comfortably Numb" both rocked, the 12-part harmony on "Comfortably Numb" was a perfect end to a perfect show, and Doyle sounded wonderful on the Gilmour parts, both guitar and vocals. "ESC" was a good encore, and the crowd was nice and quiet for Rog's intro, but part of the song seems more "plodding" now than it did last year. That was always my problem with "What God Wants", and I hope he looks back at that song and makes the new one a bit more light-footed.
Then it was over, and we made the long trek back, then enjoyed wine and food and more tunes in the campground, only barely kept awake by fireworks (Happy 4th!!!) and one area that was the all-night rave section. This show really gave me new appreciation for one of my already favorite artists, and I cannot wait for the next album. Anybody who misses this tour is a fool.
We got to the Gorge at about 5pm. Yay! 3hrs to kill!! Talked to some other concert goers about Roger & Floyd. Found our seats..eek! close to the stage but overall, could've been a hell of a lot better. Watched the crew do some last minute setup & what not. Saw Jon Carin & one of the other band members (damned if I can't remember his name) walk by, sipping on some pop or a beer.. waved. Jon nodded & they kept walking.. went backstage & did their thing. Started talking to a nice guy from my area & his sister. Now.. 8.30pm.. Roger's on stage talking to us.. "well, show's about to start.. well, not quite yet. any minute now we'll get started. alright then... EIN ZWEI DREI ALLE!!" BOOM!! big private jet, all black ZOOMS over the stage & the crowd just as Roger said ALLE... about 100 feet above the top of the stage.. blowing every single FAA regulation out of the water. But, still very awesome. I won't go into the whole setlist details.. it's the same as the others.. Only difference I could see is that the projection screen was down until Amused to Death due to wind.. which is alright, still a very awesome show.. considering I wasn't in my seat. I had joined my new friends.. they were closer to the center of the crowd.. much better view than what my dad, sis & I had. Made a deal with him, he'd get me doubles of the pics he & his sis took & I'd see what videos I could get to him.
Pretty early on during the show, someone went down, about 6 seats away from my new friends & I. People were pretty cool about it. Calling for security & ushers. calling out "man down" People gave the guy some room, my dad (who's an EMT) helped the guy out of the crowd. Turns out the guy just got too drunk & passed out. Not hurt or anything. Very much ok.
Oh! When Money started, we moved some chairs out of the way & started swing dancing! It was so much fun. Never in my life did it occur to me to Swing to Money!
Also.. I think about 75% of the crowd was over 30. Overheard a guy make mention of "all the younger people here". Oh well.. It was a damn good show!