Monday, July 02, 2012

The Wall - Live

Ever since I was in high school, I have thought Pink Floyd was the awesomest band on the planet.  Their music is timeless.  My first Pink Floyd album (actually, it was a tape) was The Wall.  And it has remained one of my favorite albums of all time (right up there with Dark Side of the Moon).

Unfortunately, Pink Floyd is no longer together.  One member, Richard Wright (the keyboardist) has passed on.  David Gilmour (the guitarist) has a solo career, as does Roger Waters (the bassist).  The Wall was Roger Waters' "baby".  It almost was his first solo album.  So, if you're going to see someone perform that album live, and you can't see Pink Floyd do it, Roger Waters is the one to see.  (I'd rather see David Gilmour do Dark Side of the Moon).  For years, it has been a dream of mine to see The Wall live.

Last week Roger Waters came to Ottawa to perform The Wall at Scotia Bank Place.  I went.  It was awesome.  I had a great seat.  I was in the 14th row.  Even though the Scotia Bank Place website says "No cameras allowed!", the first announcement was to tell people to force their camera flashes to "off" so the quality of pictures would be better, and wouldn't ruin the visuals for the audience.  Everyone pulled out their smart-phones and digital cameras.  I guess that "No cameras" is a formality from yesteryear.

I started by taking pictures, then slowly transitioned to video.  It was pretty dark, and I couldn't really see the details of what I was shooting most of the time, so I did manage to get a lot of the back of someone's head taking up more of my pictures than I would have liked.  I also had a mal-configured setting on my iPhone for the first few photos, so they're a little blurry.  They get better.

Incidentally, I have not posted the videos on YouTube.  I don't think quality of the videos is that great, and other people have posted better videos on YouTube.

Anyway, I did post my pictures on Flickr.  Take a look at the slideshow (also shown below).

For those who don't really know the concept of the concert, it's not just concert; a collection of songs.  It leans more towards the theatrical.  A Rock Opera, if you will.  As the show goes on, wall is built, brick by brick dividing the audience from the band.  For most of the second half of the show, the audience does not see the band.  (There are a few exceptions.  In the song Nobody Home, Roger Waters appears in a little room that opens up in the wall.  In Comfortably Numb, a guitarist appears at the top of the wall for the solo.  The band comes in front of the Wall for the final few songs, starting with In The Flesh, then disappears for The Trial.)  At the end of the show, the wall gets torn down, and the band comes out playing hand-held instruments like tamborines, ukuleles, etc. for Outside The Wall.

There is no opening act.  There is no encore.

The closest thing to the opening act, was in the original show, another band would come out to play the first song, In The Flesh? with the band members wearing masks of Pink Floyd.  That didn't happen in this show.  The band that played In The Flesh was the same band that played all throughout the concert.

As the song Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) started I wondered what they might do for the part where the kids sing.  In other performances of that song I've seen, they've had one or more female vocalists singing the kid's part, or they just played the recording.  But in this concert, a bunch of kids ran up on stage and started singing "We don't need no education....".  During the guitar solo part, the kids ran over to the inflatable Teacher puppet and pointed at him in sync with the music.  The kids looked like they were having a lot of fun.  I felt sorry for them, though, because I knew that every single one of them was going to get detention the next day in school.