30 Stevens Street, Christchurch, New Zealand.
FIRST HALF: In The Flesh, Mother, Set The Controls For the Heart Of The Sun, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Southampton Dock, The Fletcher Memorial Home, Perfect Sense parts 1 and 2, Leaving Beirut, Sheep.
SECOND HALF: Dark Side of the Moon. ENCORE: The Happiest Days Of Our Lives, Another Brick In The Wall (Pt 2), Vera, Bring the Boys back Home, Comfortably Numb.
CONCERT REVIEW – by BD contributer, Warren Loveridge
A grey sky threatening rain joined forces with a cold easterly wind to provide an unhappy portent of the evening to come as Roger took the stage at 8.15pm sharp for this second concert of the 2007 tour.
However a near-capacity crowd weren’t to be deterred from enjoying one of the biggest acts to hit Christchurch in the last year or two, although it seemed that many people were more interested in the beer stalls than listening to the music that shaped a generation.
Roger was several numbers into the show before everybody had settled properly and begun to give him due attention. However this is closely connected with a local cultural phenomenon, and Roger must not take it personally. Jade Stadium is under normal circumstances a rugby venue, and for a large proportion of footy-mad Kiwis an outing to the game involves drinking as much beer as possible with one’s mates, getting pissed and yelling a lot, and finally finding out what happened on the field courtesy of the evening news on TV the next day, when sufficiently recovered from an almighty hangover. It is highly likely that a number of patrons turned up expecting a rugby game and upon discovering a rock concert in progress simply decided to make the best of the situation and get pissed and yell a lot in their usual fashion.
But back to Roger and the band. The setlist was the same as for the 2006 tour and Sydney on the 25th, so there is no need to expound on it here. In fact it’s hard to think of anything to say that hasn’t been said already about the current tour. The sound was superb. The visuals were spectacular. The surround effects played funny tricks on my feeble mind. Roger’s voice was in top form, and I detected none of the rumoured “vocal assistance” that others claim the old bloke needs to prop up his performance these days.
The cover band Roger’s hired this time round do a magnificent job of filling in for Pink Floyd. When it comes to Pink Floyd songs played live I have to admit a certain bias towards David Gilmour – he and Rick Wright sharing the stage together last year seem to me the more “authentic” Floyd experience when it’s time to split that old hair again, but Roger’s band a are top shelf bunch and a few minutes into the show all of that prejudice was evaporating.
New axeman Dave “Gilminster” is a very good substitute David – he has very big shoes to fill and he does so in admirable fashion. He nails Our David’s guitar solos beautifully, remaining true to the spirit of Gilmour’s playing while adding just a gentle touch of his own. Enough to keep your average Floydie happy without trying overly hard to imitate the original. I’m not sure if I can say quite the same about Ian Ritchie though. He blows a very mean sax, but there seemed to me to be something missing compared to the incomparable Dick Parry. Is it the visible passion that Dick puts into his performance on stage? I couldn’t quite put a finger on it.
There was an amusing incident during Leaving Beirut when the microphone dropped off the sax, rendering Ian inaudible for a few seconds until Roger picked up the offending item and, grinning, held it in place while Ian finished his solo.
But hey! No pig! And no spaceman! Was it the wind?
I could keep harping on for ages but really you shouldn’t be sitting there reading these reviews. Having made it to this page means you are already a Floydie therefore you should be down at the local box office reserving your seats for when Roger hits town. Don’t pass up the opportunity to catch him while he’s out there. You never know when it’s going to be the last time, and there certainly isn’t anybody else out there like Roger.
In the end the rain held off, despite a few misty drops of drizzle brushing our faces a couple of times during the show. I could have done with a warmer jacket to ward off the unseasonal cold up in the stands, however Roger had stripped down to his customary black t-shirt for the encore numbers. He thanked the audience, “you live a very very long way away but it’s been worth the trip!” and left us with a parting shot. “Please, please don’t beat us at the cricket again next week – we couldn’t stand it!”
Cricket? I’d turned up for a game of rugby.
Pictures above thanks to Peter Wright
CONCERT REVIEW – by BD contributer, Marcel
Attended the Roger Waters Christchurch gig and holy hell what a show it was. Have to say that Warren Loveridge has given a spot on review of the night, but here are a few things I feel I need to add.
This was my second Waters gig after seeing him in Zurich in 2002 (in an indoor venue). This tour blows the ITF tour out of the park. The sound, lightshow, songlist are all superior, and Roger is in the form of his life. Being in an outdoor venue also improved the sound, it was extremely spatial with the surrounds giving the impression the noises were coming from the far horizon, truly amazing.
Another aspect which was priceless was the weather, admittedly it was damn cold and a lot of us were way under dressed for the occasion (this is summer and it should have been 30c,was about 12c with wind chill). Anyway, the strong north east winds were hurling the low lying cloud at about 100km/h over our heads, and made for a moody atmosphere that no special effects guru could have replicated. Only downer of this was that the side screens couldn’t be erected as the wind was too strong (would have been nice to see close ups of Roger and the band).
A truly awesome experience but there is a caution. Be prepared for post-gig-depression as it slowly dawns on you that this could be the last time you see the great man live. Enjoy the gig!
CONCERT REVIEW – by BD contributer, Phil
Best show I’ve ever seen. Waters rocks big time. The man is on his game, relaxed, cool capable and on to it. The concert is a historical event.
We are indebted to our sister site Brain Damage for the use of the above material.