From Hitchhiker (Chat Zone 7/12 1:01 AM)
Just got home from another great performance. Can't report on any extra-curricular activities as I never made it to the Blarney Stone. I have definite plans to be there on Thursday though, so I hope some of the same people will be there.
My companion for the show was a lovely gal from Latvia who never attended a rock and roll concert before. She said she once saw Elton John, but didn't consider that to be a "rock-n-roll concert like this" I was very proud that it was a Roger show that was her first. Thank you for the wonderful company and the great conversation Olga.
Well its the Garden for Christ's sake.. I am sure you have seen a Knicks game telecast from wherever you are, so you know the dimensions. It is cavernous. Attendance was 20,0000 plus. Ranger hockey games hold 18,200 and there are no seats on the rink for that. I was lucky enough to be seated 12th row center, and the site lines were pretty good, but the floor kind of slopes a bit, so it must have sucked in the rear floor sections. The sound was pretty good, but not as crystal clear as some of the smaller venues. From where I was located there was no major quad effect, but it was clear enough and mixed well. My only complaint would be (and this would be for every show I have seen so far) would be that Roger's bass needs to be cranked up a notch for the beginning of the Shine On jam. That happens to be one of my favorite bass pieces Rog plays, you know. that menacing lick... but it never is audible enough. The crowd was pretty mellow considering it was NYC..I expected a whole lot more yahoos. There were a few idiots though... one was this guy like 4 rows up, and like 6 seats to my right (thank goodness) who was like 6 foot 4 and doing the whammy jammy. Finally, I think during Dogs, one of the ushers came up with a flashlight and asked him for his stub, and it turns out he belonged in the back, so he was kicked out to the applause of our whole section. It was a mini dream come true to see Roger on home turf at the Garden. It was nice to not have to get dressed out of a suitcase for once, and the comfort of knowing that you are on your home soil is very relaxing. Yes we have idiots and morons here, but at least they were *my* idiots and morons.
Roger wore his usual duds.. the armani pants and the button down black shirt. Girls, I guess you are correct saying Rog has a great ass, I actually chuckled to myself thinking of that when Rog turned around. Rog your ass does Armaini justice. 'Nuff said about that.
Andy was looking rather dapper himself in his new suit. His solo on Money totally rocked. This thing is picking up steam and it seems to be an inside joke with the band. Andy's solo on Money seems to be stealing the show for a moment, and Doyle and Snowy are all smiles, and Roger gives him a hug after it. The laughs, smiles, and looks linger for a few moments after this solo. Then Andy fades back into the background, and fixes his collar, and looks at his fingers repeatedly as if they are bleeding. They possibly are as he does this slashing power chord routine with no pick. This guy is too cool.
When Roger announced the band and he got to Snowy, he announced Snowy's gig tomorrow night. I was kinda pissed about that... just hope every wanker in NY doesn't try to pile into this club.
As usual it seems, Roger tended to drift to the end sections and connect with the crowd. It never fails to fill me with awe watching the delerious masses in these sections respond with pure joy to this. He seemed to linger especially long at certain points and focus on a particular person and mouth words. I am starting to feel that these closest sections directly to the side of the stage are the place to be if you want to have a few connection moments.
The drum part on Time was very tight. Graham is proving himself to be a fantastic drummer. This guy has a no-nonsense solid attack.
Doyle was Doyle and Snowy was Snowy. They seem to having a ball, laughing and kidding each other, and feeding off each other. On Shine On they were exceptionally brilliant sharing the duties, the sound on this was crystal clear! It was mesmerising. The Comfy Numb solo never seemed to want to end soaring to the statosphere and putting the crowd into a state of stunned disbelief. People had to be literally scraped off their seats after this.
ahh well, I am buzzing and rambling. Thank You once again Roger, it was another magical evening. Still have a couple more to go.. this gravy train aint over yet!
From The New York Daily News (7/13)
Tonight I attended my second Roger show (my first being last year's Jones Beach show.) We had decent seats, Section 124, compliments of FloydPowR (sp?), so I owe a loud shout-out to him.
I was going to attempt an appearance at Blarney Stone to see what was going down before the show, but I was with three friends who really had no interest, so I wasn't able to make it. Sorry, guys. :o)
Also, I found out tonight that I am not the most relaxed person at a concert, contrary to what I had thought (usually I stay seated and applaud when expected, choosing to take it all in and not yell and shit.) I brought a close friend (who plays guitar and has written many songs with me) as a birthday gift, and the kid sat stone-faced for most of the show. He claimed it was a great show, but I caught him nodding off during Dogs and Comfortably Numb-can you believe that???!!! I felt the greatest gift I could give was to expose him to the musical and lyrical brilliance of an idol, but I guess only time will tell if it's inspired him at all.
As expected, the set list was the same as most other nights. The show was tight, probably more so than last year. I'll comment on the few changes he made:
It was a good idea to take out Thin Ice/Another Brick Pt. I. They're not bad songs, but they do little more than make you think perhaps he's going to do the entire Wall show.
Set the Controls sounded good, and the sax solo was interesting, but I would have preferred a less restrained version (I'm thinking of the dynamics of the Pompeii version; a stronger climax and some keyboard experimentaion would have been interesting.)
I was fairly indifferent to the removal of Powers That Be; I never liked the KAOS album very much, but the song was great live-I suppose it's a trade-off with Set the Controls.
I think What God Wants packs a greater punch live than Bravery does; I found something so primal and menacing about an entire crown chanting "WHAT GOD WANTS GOD GETS!!!"
Each Small Candle was great; I'd never seen it performed before, and felt it ended on a strong note-it says something about the faith Roger has in his audience when he leaves them with a new message as opposed to an obligatory Run Like Hell or some other ear candy.
As with last year, I felt the highlights were Dogs, Shine On, Perfect Sense, and the climax of Every Stranger's Eyes (even if it is lip-synched, which is probably the case, as his voice sounds exactly the same as the album here.)
All in all, a great show, ranks right up alongside Springsteen and The Who as one of the best shows I've seen yet. I am a songwriter myself, and I have a greater respect for Roger's songwriting than any other.
'Dark Side'& a Lighter One, TooFrom Brian Natoli (Email 7/14)
Roger Waters relives his Pink Floyd days
By LANCE GOULD
Daily News Feature Writer
Perhaps troubled Waters is a thing of the past.
Erstwhile Pink Floyd leader Roger Waters — he wrote and provided vocals for most of the Floyd masterpieces "Dark Side of the Moon" and "The Wall" — overcame his grumpy reputation by rather playfully leading a nostalgic performance in the first of two soldout solo shows at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night.
Though virtually bereft of new material — the exception being "Each Small Candle," a mildly stirring anti-war, pro-human-spirit ballad — Waters offered what seemed like a refresher course on middle and late-era Pink Floyd history.
Waters was the main creative force behind Pink Floyd from the group's second album, "A Saucerful of Secrets" (1968), until he quit after the band's last noteworthy studio work, "The Final Cut" (1983). Since then, his name has been invariably linked with the bitter 1980s lawsuit he filed against his ex-bandmates for the rights to the Pink Floyd name. He lost.
But though Pink Floyd continued its lucrative touring under the new leadership of guitarist David Gilmour, Waters' Garden ticket sales demonstrated that he, too, still has a loyal following.
And for fans of classic Pink Floyd material, Waters didn't disappoint. In a show almost too neatly divided into album-specific segments, his first set showcased songs from "The Wall" (opening with "In the Flesh"), followed by tracks from "The Final Cut," "Animals" and "Wish You Were Here."
After a brief intermission, Waters returned with the chestnut "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun" from "Saucerful," followed by songs from "Dark Side" and his erratic and generally uninspired solo career. He then offered two more cuts from "Dark Side," and finally "The Wall's" "Comfortably Numb," before he brought out his new "Candle."
Neither Waters' voice nor his musicianship is what it used to be. His voice cracked throughout, especially on difficult numbers like "Shine On You Crazy Diamond," and more than once during "Set the Controls" he fumbled on acoustic guitar. But Waters seemed in high spirits, playing the role of avuncular ringmaster while other band members helped out with lead-vocal duties.
Pink Floyd was legendary for its elaborate stage shows, but on this tour, Waters has skimped on special effects. Other than the requisite lasers and a backdrop with projected images — including the scabrous cartoons Gerald Scarfe did for "The Wall" — there was a moment during "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" in which a Spinal Tap-py "diamond" rose from the stage, though it looked less like a precious jewel and more like a crazy sparkling sombrero.
Floyd's material could often veer into dreadful, repetitive space-rock, worsened by Waters' bombastic shout-singing. Waters, however, must also be recognized for his contributions to the rock pantheon, both as a tart lyricist and as one of the premier authors of gorgeous anthems.
From Bill (Chat Zone 7/14 3:36 PM)
Just a few observations about the Tuesday night Madison Square Garden show:
It was a sold out show, and the crowd was really into it. Towards the end of the evening Roger said he felt a connection with the audience that he hadn't felt since the early days of Pink Floyd. The set list was the same standard one that has been posted since the start of the tour.
- The band is very tight , and Roger's vocals are as good as they have ever been.
- Dogs is great to hear live - I don't think I've seen that played on tour since the 1977 In the Flesh tour.
- Incredible lead guitar work. Note for Note Gilmour silos. The guy even sounds like Dave when he sings.
- Set the controls... is a nice addition. I would have been interested to see what arrangements he would have done with more pre-Dark Side stuff.
- Roger sings the lead in Time great. I was pleasantly surprised.
- The sound system is awesome. The subtlety of the Dogs barking in Dogs, and the keyboard solos during Welcome to the Machine bounce from wall to wall and over your head.
- Let's give Jon Carin his due. The last two Floyd tours, and this current Roger W tour, he is an anchor for the band.
My only knock on the show is this:After an hour and a half of Floyd material, who wants to hear Amused to Death songs? He should work the solo stuff into the first half and space it out a little. Don't get me wrong; Perfect Sense tore the roof off the Garden, but after the Dark Side songs, he brings the show to a screeching halt.
Also, Roger is a rich man. Would it kill his checkbook to have some live video instead of a slide show backdrop ? You get to watch slides of the plane crashing, the pig flying, & the Wall props instead of seeing them live. It's kind of cheesy.
All in all, I liked the show. But to be honest, I enjoyed the KAOS tour a little more.
From JS (Chat Zone 7/14 10:17 PM)
Roger and Company really amazed last night. I've tried not to read detailed reviews of the shows, so I'm sure what follows is largely stated by others (and probably with better details and more accuracy), but here goes...
This was Mia's (my wife) first Rog show, so I was full of expectation to hear her thoughts. We got to the Blarney Stone around 6PM. I noticed a guy in a ITF hat and shirt showing photos...Bob(NJ) of course. Bob, your photos are quite stunning. Mia appreciates Roger's passion and genius but is put off by his aloof reputation. These photos, full of expression and drama, helped me prove to her that this tour is Roger connection with the fans.
I finally met gregory, whose been an email friend since the 99 tour. He was with his wife & daughter, another friend Chris, Chris' wife and Chris' brother. Turns out Chris plays golf at the same place a lot of us at work go to! Not surprising, they are very friendly and we had a great time talking about Roger related stuff and various & sundry. Gotta love that Rog Vibe.
On to the Show: There was more than my preference of people getting up and down for beer, food, bathroom and all that, but I was generally very impressed by the respect and responsiveness of the crowd. I assumed the audience would be a little more polluted by drunken, wasted WOOOO people. Drunk or wasted as many were I didn't see anyone get out of hand.
I was floored by Doyle's screaming solo on ABITW pt.II and Snowy was mesmerizing on Mother. Many of the background images appeared to be the same as last years’ (and same videos of Paths of Glory and 2001). Either way, I was very impressed with the visual segue on Southampton Dock when the sea of distorted Thought Controlled faces transforms into a field of poppies just as Roger sings "in the bottom of our hearts we felt the final cut."
Dogs, as last year, was among my set 1 highlights: Doyle's guitar solo and Jon and Andy's keyboard work. The card game is fun but why is it always the guys who play and the women who watch? I like to think I'm good at getting the various levels of meaning in Rog's work, but all I get out of this is traditional sexist role definition. Let the women play too...and some of the men can watch and chat. Obviously the whole reason for going is the music but this does bother me enough to dwell on it.
I thought Roger's voice was quite strong most of the night, considering he's not known for his vocal chops. I thought he was especially strong on Welcome to the Machine. Really put a lot of heart and soul into it. Snowy's intro to Shine on was beautiful and subtle, contrasting with Doyle's more powerful solo. Then, Snowy solos again and, in my book, stole the guitar highlights from Doyle. The tribute to Syd was well received by the crowd. End of set 1.
Amazingly, the band sounded tighter and more expressive than last year. Roger was clearly enjoying himself, walking to the side of the stage, mostly in front of the singers, to sing and gesture to the crowd. He kept repeating "thank you" to the crowd, not aloof in the least
Set the Controls was a great point of departure for set 2. Not sure who played soprano sax, but the consensus says it’s Mel Collins. If Roger introduced him, I didn't hear it. His contributions made the song sound more frenetic and jazzy than spacy and swirling. Nice contrast. The visuals featured still shots from the Barrett-era Floyd with the band in the field with the scarecrow (the same scenes from the VH1 airing of Behind the Wall) and the shot of a smiling Roger lying in the field.
Breathe, Time and Money sounded crystal clear and featured very nice drumming from Graham Broad for the intro to Time. The saxophone player returned with a tenor on the top platform and more blistering guitar solos were traded.
The moment I was waiting for came next. Along with "If", Every Stranger’s Eyes is my favorite Waters composition. Others may have better room for solos or better melodies, but these songs really capture the essence of Roger's soul and motivations for me. Ah, if only If were also part of the set list :( There's been lots of talk about whether or not this is lip synced. The bulk of Roger's vocal attack was clearly different from P&C, but my binoculars helped my watch his mouth during the surging "Now from where I stand" through "I recognize myself..." as the song ends. Yeah, it seems pretty obviously lip synced. But the song cuts right to the bone and if he help to carry off the climax, so be it. The Native America montages were truly poignant and Andy Fairweather-Low finally stepped out for a dazzling and expressive solo.
AND THEN, Perfect Sense I & II! PP Arnold, Katie Kassoon, and Susannah Melvoin were in fine harmony all night, occasionally taking prominence over the band. PP's solo was stunning as always! I don't know what else to say about her that hasn’t been said by others. Truly a high point of the show. It was during the solo material that Mia seemed to really get excited - not that she wasn't having a great time already.
Hearing Bravery live was a treat. I really thought the bar scene visuals melting from guys cheering a sporting event to cheering bombings and warfare were a great fit. Quite cool to be seeing it in a sports arena, too, with all the Ranger and Knicks championship banners in the rafters. Snowy's solo at the end of It's a Miracle was very bluesy and very sad. Amused to Death had lots of Roger drama, really playing to the crowd, clearly loving the experience. It took me a minute to realize the special meaning of the visuals. At first, there were names on a monument wall so I thought it was the Viet Nam Memorial. As straight-on shots came up, I saw Bill Hubbard's name right in the middle. Then Alf's plaintive recount of his ordeal with Bill was played and a single plaque for Hubbard appeared. What a song. What a tribute.
Brain Damage/Eclipse brought the crowd near me to its feet again. Andy F-L provided more highlights and a clearly pleased Roger gave him credit as "the lovable Andy Fairweather-Low!" lol
Comfortably Numb, if I recall correctly featured all the musicians at least a little bit, but the spotlight belonged to Doyle and Snowy, who eventually wound up on the upper platform dueling it out. Holy ****! A spectacular climax. I had been looking for gregory, Chris et.al with the binoculars (they were in the seventh row, left. Lucky devils) and had peered in on them several times. gregory's daughter is 11, so she was as tall at the adults standing on her chair. She knows all Roger's work and was pumping her arm in perfect timing. A great sight! During Comfortably Numb, she and gregory were waving furiously to Doyle during his solo. Then Rog came that way so they had two amazing men to wave to! After the song ended, he brought out the road crew for bows and applause, having told us earlier that the tour was coming to a close and he wanted to bring out the people who helped make this tour possible. Flowers for the women, exuberant bows, much enthusiasm.
I've heard the KC '99 ESC on roio. I expected another quiet ballad, Roger on acoustic, little more. Wow, what a transformation! They've really embellished it. More melodic, all the instruments really making a full sound. The crowd seemed to really pay attention. Mia and I broke out our white candles, gave some to those around us, and saw similar points of light in gregory's area.
Mia's review of her first Roger show: "It was like nothing I've ever seen. Each song just fit in next to the other like they were written to be performed that way. It just floated and flowed together!"
From VH1 (7/12)
As several folks have said already, the MSG show Thursday night was outstanding. I went to Tuesday's show and had a great time, but Thursday was awesome - partly because of my seat, partly because the band and crowd was even better, but mostly becasue I got to meet several very cool people from this board.
I met Cebon and his wife Melissa. Cebon actually bought the ticket I didn't need when I upgraded to a better seat. And luckily he was able to sneak up to 12th row center with me for the second half of the show. Cebon - a pleasure meeting you and Melissa. Sitting (or mostly standing actually, since the front center crowd stood for much of the show) just three seats away from me was LotaSonata and GLT. Also talked with fellow New Yorker FP and his friend Paula (thanks for the beer, Paula), Bob (NJ) and gregory, craig, Loadstone and even Poul for a few moments. Missed MM! at the Blarney Stone though.
Thursday's show was tremendous. The sound was great, the crowd very much alive and appreciative but not over the top - just like Tuesday but a little better.
One cool moment - at the end of Southhampton Dock, when Doyle plays a quick guitar (not really a solo, just some notes) bit to close the song, the spotlight landed not on him but on Snowy. So Snowy smirked and pointed over to Doyle. When the spotlight moved to Doyle, Snowy gave a thumbs up sign to the crew.
I love watching the interaction of the band onstage: Doyle and Snowy smirking and nodding at Andy during his Money guitar solo, Roger smiling at Graham Broad and getting into his Time drum bit, Roger looking over at P.P. during her Perfect Sense part and nodding with appreciation, the looks Snowy and Doyle give each other as the Comfortably Numb solos wind down, Roger and Andy playing and moving side-by-side while looking over at Doyle and Snowy during parts of Dogs. They have a great time together.
I saw only maybe 2 people leave during ESC. People were paying attention and getting into the lyrics on the screen.
It was a wonderful night, glad to say to hi to everybody. And luckily, I've got one more show tomorrow night.
By Charles Bottomly
Forget Ziggy Stardust. It's Roger Waters who has lived the real rock opera. Act I sees Waters the Cambridge, England, bassist start a band with Syd Barrett, a songwriter whose psychedelic ambition on songs like "Astronomy Domine" was matched only by his eye for the angsty minutiae of the English middle class. Act II: Cut to the '70s and the crazy diamond was fried, leaving Waters' own angsty minutiae to take center stage. Dark Side of the Moon becomes a chart fixture; Waters spits on a fan during the Animals tour and reinvents his confusion as a madness worthy of Lear on The Wall. Act III: Waters leaves Floyd and sues the remaining members for continuing without him, as anonymous as ever.
The character who appears onstage playing bass as his faceless musos careen into The Wall's "In the Flesh" at Madison Square Garden is still as complex as the music. Waters stands on a podium above the band, singing, "Pink isn't well/ He's back at the hotel," dressed in a sharp suit while waving his arms with the fervor of a third world dictator. The sold-out crowd greets him with an enthusiasm usually reserved for liberating armies.
While Pink Floyd happily buried themselves beneath the spectacle of inflatable pigs, Waters' show is more psychologically acute. He's now got four solo albums behind him - the last being 1992's Amused to Death - but the emphasis is very much on the movie playing in Waters' head right now. Rather than Hipgnosis films, projected high above are slides of the Floyd as they used to be, with photographs taken from their legendary Wall shows and early promotional pictures. The wall is, as it were, behind him.
Instead of resurrecting that past, Waters casts himself as a nostalgia nut who, flipping through his album of memories, realizes that what once was can never be again. The audience carry on screaming as the set chronologically retrogresses to when their hero was just a happy kid frolicking in the Cambridgeshire sward. After an opening salvo of Wall chestnuts - "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2" and "Mother" - Waters tiptoes back through the mists of time, stopping at Animals for "Pigs on the Wing" and "Dogs" and disappearing into Wish You Were Here, itself a memory piece.
While Floyd were derided for faceless professionalism, their music has held up remarkably well, although during the "Dogs" solos Waters and the other resting musicians gather around a table for a quick game of cards. As he feigns indifference, the audience are anything but. They choir along to "Wish You Were Here" while Waters sourly considers "a walk-on part in the war for a lead role in a cage," cheer as "Comfortably Numb" gets wrestled to the ground during a guitar battle between Snowy White and Doyle Bramhall, and try to fight the goose bumps as the 2 1/2-hour set concludes with Dark Side's "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse." Sure, these tales of ordinary madness are music for boys. But Waters was clever enough to realize men carry their boy inside them forever.
If David Gilmour saw how each tune was greeted like an old friend - even the solo stuff - he'd consider reassembling the firm of Pink & Floyd once again for another go around the arenas. Waters did his best to convince us his mind was on other things than making a stash. He ended the night with a new song, "Each Small Candle." Waters still sweats war and things, but as he uncomfortably basked in the adulation, he might have felt the warmth of a legacy that's going to be around long after the final curtain call.