Rogers Waters, The Wall Live: October 1st, 2010 - TD Garden, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Updated: Oct 10, 2020
If you had a chance to catch Pink Floyd on their last tour (Division Bell) chances are you've felt spoiled for life. No spectacle had compared since. Live 8's Floyd reunion was a definite high... though, admittedly, the stage was lacking the type of punch that usually accompanies any Floyd performance; but, really: who was there for lights and lasers? It was Roger Waters and David Gilmour playing together. That's what that night was all about.
So, armed with memories of those shows in the mid-90s, and the many replays of PULSE on one's DVD player, plus - for those of us lucky enough to have been at Live 8 - memories of the high that was the Pink Floyd and Roger Waters reunion, one goes to see Roger Waters' "The Wall" with exceptionally high expectations. Those expectations were met.
I still find it exceptionally difficult to say that "The Wall" live tops Pink Floyd's Division Bell tour. Each show excelled in different areas and they in no way cancel each other out in any respect. In fact, a comparison of the two tours only makes it evident where each Roger Waters and the post-Waters Pink Floyd complemented each other.
Remember those Superman cartoons where the hero confronted an evil version of himself? One that paralleled his strength but who had his own tricks and superpowers? This is analogous to what becomes evident when you catch "The Wall" live. Pink Floyd and Roger Waters solo have each been running an analogous juxtaposition. Take your pick on which one is the evil one - but you'd be wiser to skip doing that and deposit your hopes that recent reconciliation signs between Waters and Gilmour lead to convergence and collaborative work. "The Wall" live is a reminder of everything Waters adds to Pink Floyd.
Waters' show is more surreal and trippier. "Run Like Hell," for instance, is performed with a trippier vibe while Gilmour's Pink Floyd era performed the song in a heavier and more accelerated rock pace. Waters capitalizes on digital and film technologies that were probably missing even back in the mid-90s. The film footage and graphics throughout the show are nothing less than mind-blowing.
Waters' use of pyrotechnics is carefully limited and orchestrated - it in no way emulates the masterful delivery of fireworks and film footage during Floyd's last tour. Instead, it gives a different character and temperament to the show, it has a personality all its own...
There's something very 2010 about the show and it goes beyond the fact that much of the war and historical footage shown is so current and topical. It's something about the way it's presented. Roger Waters proves he has his own way of making Pink Floyd music spectacular.
One thing you can sense throughout the show: Roger Waters is a happier man than he may have been characterized as in the past. His demeanor is very gracious; and why shouldn't it be? While it is true that at one point Pink Floyd was selling out stadiums while he was only partially filling some neighboring arenas, he has arrived at a point in his career in which he can sell as many tickets as Pink Floyd could on its last tour. Waters is vindicated and much of this has to do with the recognition of his talent and capabilities as an artist. "The Wall" has given him an opportunity to highlight his strengths: the theatrical elements of his talent, the rougher edge he brings to the overall Pink Floyd enterprise and experience.
The show gets a 10 out of 10: you won't see a tour that matches this one in a long time and it will probably take another member of Pink Floyd (or Waters himself) to top what Boston has seen this weekend. It doesn't take away from the fact that Floyd's Division Bell tour was also a 10 out of 10. Just imagine what could have been made of a full reunion tour between Pink Floyd and Roger Waters while Richard Wright was still with us.
If you still have a chance to catch this show live and you don't have tickets you ought to go find some: and take someone who never had a chance to see Floyd live.
Highlights: "In The Flesh? / The Thin Ice," "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)," "Young Lust," "Comfortably Numb," "The Trial."