When I first learned that Roger Waters was touring again all I could think was, “please, please come to Portland. I mean the last time Pink Floyd came to Portland was during the Animals tour in the late ’70’s I was about ‘oh 5 or 6. And the last time Roger was to come to Portland it was canceled (I believe it was the pros and cons tour). The 2000 tour was announced and I was ecstatic. Finally I would be seeing him, ROGER WATERS “IN THE FLESH.”
The first set of tickets I got were good but when I had a chance at getting 8th row floor I knew I had to have them. I mean sure I had to fork out a little more cash but I easily convinced myself that this was a once in a life time thing and so it was.
My wife and I arrived at about 7:00 squeezed into the restaurant bar opposite The Rose Garden had a drink and a shot and went in to find our seats. As we were walking in there was a disclaimer on the windows by the front door that said something to the effect that there was going to be filming and such and something else that I can’t really remember but I was just excited about being there at the show I really didn’t pay it much mind.
As we made our way down to our seats I was in awe at the giant screen with the big pink In the flesh pig I mean this was going to be incredible. But it wasn’t until we got to the floor that I realized what the poster in the window meant. The usher told us to watch our steps and when I looked down I noticed we were walking carefully over camera tracks then looking to my left I noticed the little camera rig.
We were in our seat looking around at the stage and noticed two more cameras, one on each side of the stage. The soft rock music that was playing over the arena stopped suddenly to a huge roar from the audience and a familiar voiced came over the speakers.
“Ladies and gentlemen my name is Jim Ladd and welcome to the Roger Waters In the flesh. Due to the filming of tonight’s concert, the show will start at exactly 8:30. Please be in your seat by then. Thank you.”
I couldn’t believe it not only was I here at the show I was about to be a little piece of rock history!!!!
A half hour quickly past as the soft rock music again stopped to a roar from the crowd it reminded me of when my little blue Toyotas stick shift was slipping, a quiet roar building into a wave of incredible sound. This time though the house lights quickly extinguished, a signal to us all that the show was about to begin. The cheers now were almost deafening as another announcement was made.
“Ladies and gentlemen please welcome Jim Ladd.”
The man form K.A.O.S. walked on stage and begin to reinforce into our minds the incredible show we were about to see. He said he had seen the show three times prior and we were in for a real treat Then, for what was truly one of my most memorable parts from the show he told us, “Not only are you going to be blown away by this show but, out of all the cities that this tour has been to and out of all the shows so far. This beautiful city of yours was picked to be filmed!!!”
Now I have got to say that even as I write this some four days after the concert Iam getting chills down my back. I mean, not only was I about to see Roger Waters, but it was also going to be captured forever on film. All I could think of was that little tid bit of info (read weeks back on the best Floyd site out there, Fleeting glimpse) that the tour was going to be recorded for CD and DVD. It sure was and I was there!
Then it happened, “And now ladies and gentlemen, Roger Waters.”
The band was greeted on stage to an endless wave of cheers only building to ecstasy with the arrival of the man of the hour, Roger Waters. Every one was in place and the show began.
“AX, DE, FRE, HAMMER!”
It was him Roger Waters and it was in the flesh. The sound was great and band seemed to be in top form. Next came the sound of the thundering Choppers. Roger looked around and found someone in the first few rows. Pointed and screamed,
“YOU, YES, YOU. STAND STILL LADDY!”
Another brick in the wall pt. 2 ended with some great solos from the band. At this point I should say to everyone. Just as Roger is incredible for what he’s done in the past so is Gilmour but a lot of you out there have to get over the fact that there is only one Roger Waters and one David Gilmour! They are who they are and both have there own definitive styles just as the members of this current band has. Music is a form of art and as such, a solo or song I feel, should never be confined to one interpretation. And in saying that Andy, Doyle and Snowy’s was both a refreshing breath of air into the old Floyd classics.
It was great to hear songs from The final cut only it left me wanting more. Maybe The hero’s return or Possible past? Maybe next time. Pigs on the wing was followed by Dogs which really showcased the multi talented Jon Carin as well as the card playing abilities of the rest of the band reminiscent of the stories of old when the Floyd use to bring out a table and transistor radio for a spot of tea halfway through the early shows.
Next was the Wish you were here set. So O.K. we have all heard Wish you were here maybe a few time before but Welcome to the machine sounded great with its face lift sound starting soft then banging into it. The first set ended with a touching tribute to Syd Barret and art imitated life as Syds picture slowing dissolved into multi colored static. The music as always was very moving and the set ended in the shining light of a spinning diamond showering the audience in tears of pinprick light.
Thanks to DarthChar@aol.com