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Another Brick In The Wall

By Chuckmonster on Monday, 29th November 2010 12:59am
  » filed under Van Halen  comments: 2


The Wall Live In Las Vegas

During intermission of former Pink Floyd frontman Roger Waters' presentation of The Wall at MGM Grand Garden Arena on Friday night, my wife turned to me and said "What is this about?" If she had asked me 90 minutes prior, I probably could've given her a perfectly square answer about how our lives are defined by the walls we build around ourselves peppered with stories about how Mr. Waters became alienated performing in stadiums and arenas that he decided to build a physical wall between the audience and the Floyd.

After watching the first half of Waters' re-imagining of the Floyd masterpiece, I have no idea what The Wall is about.

Is The Wall the story of an unhappy, psycho damaged Syd Barrett-esque rock star whose performances are ripe with spectacle, fervor and imagery reminiscent of the Nazi Nuremberg rally? Or is it an yet other outburst of Roger Waters bloodletting the continued sadness he feels over the death of his father in Anzio, Italy during World War II when Roger was only 5 months old. Or is it the story of war, death, greed and how every life lost is yet another brick in the wall of our increasingly media overloaded, hyper-technoconnected yet alienated world.

In detail, The Wall 2.0 (or more accurately 4.0, if you count the 1982 film and the 1990 performance in Berlin) is the sum of its previous parts minus the megalomania which eventually drove Waters to leave Pink Floyd. What remain are the amazing Gerald Scarfe animations from the 1982 film interpretation, the gigantic marionettes and the flying pig, all enhanced by anti-war imagery and Banksy-esque graffiti stencils.

Sonically, the band was note perfect throughout, including Waters' often maligned vocals. It took two stand-ins to make up for David Gilmour - guitarist Dave Kilminster and vocalist Robbie Wyckoff - who performed all of Sir Dave's soaring melodies with enthusiastic precision. The Wall Live band also featured guitarist Snowy White, who played in the original Pink Floyd The Wall performances 1980-1, guitarist G.E. Smith (SNL bandleader, Hall & Oates) guitarist/keyboardist Jon Carin (played on Gilmour's last two tours) and piano/organist Harry Waters, who is Roger's son.

I don't really know what The Wall is anymore. But I do know that every single solitary person inside MGM Grand Garden Arena was transfixed and transformed by Roger Waters' 2010 re-imagining of The Wall. With every brick, The Wall is a marvel of musicianship, stagecraft, technology, and artistry. From the the first projections of loved ones who have died in war (photos of which were sent in by Waters fans all over the world in response to a pre-tour Facebook post) that cover every brick, to the final explosions that tore it down, The Wall Live is desolate yet optimistic vision from an obviously renewed and regenerated Roger Waters.

"Goodbye Blue Sky" / "Empty Spaces" / "What Shall We Do Now?" Live in Chicago 9/20/10:

Tagged: roger waters   mgm grand   


Comments & Discussion:

So some of the old buggers can still bring it, heh? Good.

Amazing piece that's truly transformative at any time. Evolution is a good thing, right?

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