All show pictures (unless otherwise stated) with thanks to Simon
Nick Mason Played on Set The Controls at this show.He did the same thing at the show on the 27th.
Wembley Arena review 26/6/02 by Felicia Davis-Burden
Our seats were in the upstairs part to the left but very much overlooking the stage. All the instruments were neatly arranged ready and the Pink Pig logo glared across from the central projection screen as well as close-up screens on either side.
In The Flesh – Roger looked composed and the show got off to his usual bombastic start. No complaints but no surprises either. He’s looking his 58 years facially, but soon the jacket came off and he displayed very muscled and sinewy arms – obviously, dragging himself round the world has dictated that a personal trainer came too!
Happiest Days/Another Brick – played rather fast and Chester Kamen found the Gilmour soloing hard going. He agonised over it but eased up when Snowy took over. Snowy has been accused of coasting of late, but he’s obviously done some work to put some bite back into his playing. It’s sad to say, but I think we’ve all heard ‘Brick’ too often, so the impact will never equal how it hit to begin with. Still, it would have seemed strange Not to hear it! There’s no pleasing some people!
Mother – Katie Kissoon’s warm vocal for Hush now baby was a real eye-opener. Beautiful counterpoint to Roger’s croak. Passionate.
Get your filthy hands off/Southampton Dock – Sung with passion. Obviously still a heartfelt pairing for Roger to perform. The projection of poppies at the end was moving as was the Bring the Boys Back Home display.
Pigs on the Wing/Dogs – Suddenly Chester and Snowy really woke up for a dual in Dogs. Harry Waters was then required to show his chops – whilst he concentrated on his noodling, the now notorious card-game got underway. Chester dealt (I think) and Roger has clearly grown fond of this escapade, smiling on the far left of the octagonal table, but I distinctly saw Andy win a couple of hands! No cocktails for the ladies, they just relaxed and towelled off on what looked like folding fishing chairs. Maybe Roger picked those up from the banks of the Test! We weren’t treated to much of the jazzy talent that Harry is reputed to have, but nevertheless he acquitted himself very well here. More was to come.
Set the Controls – then there was an eruption of delight, for Roger announced ‘I have a surprise for you…..an old friend is waiting back here….’ The white door at the back of the stage opened and Nick Mason stepped through. We sprung to our feet in disbelief as we watched Roger and Nick smile and embrace. Nick sat at Graham Broad’s kit and proceeded to play his guts out. This was the undoubted highlight of the evening. Beautiful, psychodelic shows and the ‘Arnold Layne’ and ‘Scarecrow’ promo stills were used again. Brilliant and worth the price of admission and merchandise alone. Thanks Roger and Nick. Obviously the surprise on the Island of Mustique meant more than just a massage and a near heart attack!!!!
Shine on (1st half) – emotional and rapturous, everyone finally singing along. We had thought up to this point that the majority of the floor crowd were asleep. But everyone voiced their shared affection for Barrett as his image filled the screen and Roger sang passionately to him. It is clear he still loves and misses Barrett. Wonder how Nick was feeling by this point. Harry held down the chords and Chester played the haunted riffs damn near perfectly. Not too agonised, thank heavens!
Welcome to the machine – the original projection from 1975 (slug and rat race grid) was played out here. Plenty of work from Harry. I think he understands just how much drama needs to be brought out for this work. He was definitely well warmed up.
Wish you were here – thank goodness Roger didn’t string this out too long and make it too much of a sing-along. It was perfectly judged – emotional and sung with genuine feeling. Thank you, Roger, that’s still my favourite Waters lyric.
Shine on (2nd half) – Harry was particularly effective here. He knew not to make too much of the final emergence into the major key. Well played. During this part we were treated to Roger’s own strobe feature, the silvery flower rising up through a hole in the back podium he had entered for ‘Flesh’. The flower didn’t look too impressive or stable as it appeared to be attached to a slab of chipboard. No matter – for when it began to rotate, huge strobes smothered us all in glimmering light. Looking away from the stage at the hall itself, you could imagine that we were all captured in some weird galaxy. The flower lowered and we all were left with the super-troupers and a vivid image in our minds! Barrett would definitely have been surprised by that trick!
Breathe/Time – Were as expected. Waters demonstrated his bass trickery, creating the ‘tick tock’ percussion by damping the fingerboard with his palm and knocking the two lower strings. He kept this up quite a while! Snowy and Chester shared the treasured solos and Katie, PP and Carol sang beautifully. No, no Great Gig teaser.
Money – this was Andy’s cue to show off, after Chester and Snowy had played the game. Andy’s punky jagged riffery finally provided a reason for his attempt to grow a bum-fluff moustache and goatee – it had to figure somewhere! Still, he brought plenty of oomph. Norbert Statchel provided extra interest with his sax and, at other points in the evening, he demonstrated prowess on an electronic sax-keyboard (hard to describe it, imagine a miniature concord with a mouthpiece looking almost like the nose! – very weird, but he brought some real music out of that thing)
Every Stranger’s Eyes – Roger did not Lip-Sync. He sang the lot, the high notes were there. Obviously he’s been practicing. Good to see he was not going to bottle out.
Perfect Sense – PP Arnold deserves a medal, she’s beautiful and passionate. This was her moment and there’s no disappointment. As she took off, we were treated to some more fabulous strobe displays. Roger also did his ‘Up Periscope’ playacting and the exploding oil-rig added some poignant power. The Global Anthem was sung with considerable gusto by the audience. Another surprising highlight. But it was PP Arnold’s triumph.
Bravery of being out of range – in comparison with what we had just had, this was pedestrian. But no complaint about everyone mucking in. It’s just that after the drama and beauty of hearing and seeing PP take off, whatever came next would pall! Still, she gave us more in the last verse and we were once more on our feet!
It’s a miracle – Norbert gave us some more of his haunting playing here, although the song was dragged out somewhat. Still, Roger had the presence of mind to invent another little acting vignette. The ‘Cowering in our shelter’ section called up a caricature of an old codger vainly protecting himself against both Armaggeddon and Andrew Lloyd Webber – Roger clearly loves acting the ‘Piano lid …..fingers’ episode and it drew plenty of cheers.
Amused to Death – now it was a chance for Katie Kissoon to be shown off. Her sweet tones matched Rita Coolidge, but I wish she could have been mic’d louder. She has a gorgeous mellow mezzo sound, and so blends well with PP’s impassioned Soprano. Roger’s taste couldn’t be better for vocalists. Pity the track went on rather long. I noticed rather a lot of seat shifting in our area.
Brain Damage/Eclipse – no surprises for the delight this drew from all the faithful. These are the classics again. Katie, PP and Carol took off for the harmonies and the projection effectively accompanied them.
Introduction to the band – Huge applause for everyone, particularly PP and Andy.
Comfortably Numb – predictably this was enormous in every respect. Snowy first on the wall and then Chester joined him for a dual and they swapped riffs as well as attention under the spotlight. The whole hall sang along of course.
Flickering Flame – this was introduced as ‘a song about love and freedom’. Roger expressed his thanks to us ‘we’ve done 60 gigs and it’s good to be back home…’ Some people started leaving during this song – somehow not surprising as 1) it did go on rather long and 2) there was continuing concern about disrupted train travel. Still, plenty of lighters were held aloft and one couple near us had their arms round each-other, standing up and swaying. As they left the stage a tiny inflatable pig was thrown onto the stage. Roger picked it up and waved it with a grin. He left as promptly as he’d arrived.
Unfortunately, the muddy sound of Wembley Arena spoilt the impact of the guitar duals so that a lot of Chester’s efforts became cacophonous. PP Arnold has never sounded so impassioned and vibrant. She’s the finest singer we have around and it’s a pleasure to know Roger thinks so highly of her. If he can’t get PP, he gets no one. It was a massive surprise to see that Nick Mason could still drum. His appearance brought the house down. Set the controls has never sounded so apocalyptic and wondrous. In a couple of the extended Guitar duals, Andy and Roger formed almost a Status Quo/Flanagan and Allen line-dancing pairing, Andy bopping splay-legged behind Roger. A very funny sight, it has to be said. And if Roger isn’t wearing a corset, he’s got a lovely ass. Well toned limbs……..
All in all, I’m glad I was at this historic evening. Thanks Roger, you’ve earned your retirement now!!!!
With thanks to Felicia
“Roger Opens at Wembley”Having waited some four months since purchasing my tickets, I was fairly busting at the seems to get inside and hear the hallowed sound that is Pink Floyd…
Journeying to the arena was simple, very little traffic and good parking made for a pleasant if somewhat short (no time to chew over a possibly London Special) time to destination. Wembley Arena has never really been my favourite of concert venue’s, It lacks panache and is almost as sorry looking as it’s bigger brother only a few doors away… Beer is warm, stalls uninspiring, but eh, I’m not there for the ambience I’m here to listen and marvel at one of my musical hero’s – Roger Waters…
The show… Having listened to the ‘In the Flesh’ CD oooh some thousands of times, indeed studied intently the the DVD and furthermore followed closely the tour thanks to your Fleeting Glimpse website, I was fairly confident Roger and the band would play the usual set, although I did expect something a little different and/or special for the home fans, Roger didn’t let us down as after the show openers and a very brief almost shy introduction Roger welcomed his old friend Nick Mason on stage for ‘Set the Controls’… The crowd went banana’s and throughout the show I along with a number of others wondered just maybe by the end of the show we’d of had the full Floyd crew on display, Barrett n all….. Would anyone of imagined that!?!
Sound at the the arena was not great, maybe too loud, I was sat directly opposite of the stage in the very last and most lofted of seats, a great vantage point for the visual displays, although I must say these never extended beyond the cinema and a very limited lights show…
The bands perfomance was patchy in places, I thought Chester Kamen was average on the night, too many tricks going haywire and too much distortion through his sound… Snowy white, who I’d prefer to have seen and heard more of definitely has the Gilmour sound going on… The backing singers were one of the highpoints for me, just like on the DVD they were note and pitch perfect – Superb!!! Harry Waters impressed, his sound was almost ghostly at times… The remaining members of the band were tight as one might expect after 60 shows down the road..
Overall a good/great show… Definetly could of been better, but maybe we had some first night nerves… I’ll look forward to reading about tonight’s show (27th) and especially what Roger does for the Glastonbury masses.
High Points – Mother, Time, Perfect sense and Comfortbaly Numb.. ohh and Nick mason’s arrival Low Points – Cutting off the second solo during ‘Brick in the Wall’, whats that all about? Andy Fairweather-Low’s guitar solo during the second set (nearly blew my ears off for all the wrong reasons), not trying a few things out for the home crowd (not very imaginative) and lastly for finishing on ‘A Flickering Flame’ agreed this is a great song but surely not a show ender…
I hope this doesn’t sound too negative… My expectations were maybe more lofted than they should of been. Bravo Roger!!!
With thanks to Sam Vaughan
(See above) London Evening Standard 27th June 2002 Spirit of Floyd Reborn
Walking into the vast hangar of Wembley just as the first notes of this concert reverberated around the place was like taking a large step back in time. On stage were three guitarists, three chick singers of impeccable pedigree, a drummer giving it the old bish-bosh, and a pair of keyboard players making noises. Posing triumphantly above them was the figure of Roger Waters, the man who was once in Pink Floyd and is still an avid guardian of their legacy.
I’ll say this for old Rog, he’s looking lean and mean in his black ensemble. The years of therapy and fighting with his erstwhile band-mates have kept him trim. But my overwhelming feeling was of deja-vu. This was a progressive rock band. We don’t do progressive rock bands any more.
And this feeling persisted for a good 40 minutes. Rog was determined to take us through what he regards as the best bits of The Wall. This has always seemed, by turns, a sour and preachy record. I was preparing to give this epoch-making In The Flesh world tour the bum’s rush when, suddenly, Rog was at the microphone advertising a small surprise and on to the stage bounded Nick Mason, the Pink Floyd drummer. He took the place of the bish-bosh man, and Rog launched into a version of the old Floyd classic Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun. it was rather good, and the huge video screen behind the group flickered with images of the good old days.
Following that came Shine On You Crazy Diamond, still the best song the Floyd ever wrote without Syd Barrett. But Syd was what these two highlights had in common. The liquid show blossomed on the screen, a huge diamond rose from the stage, and the spirit of the man was in the house. Nostalgia is still what it used to be.
Review by Pete Clark – Evening Standard
Typed verbatim by Felicia
In the flesh
Happiest days of our lives
Another Brick in the wall
Get your filthy hands off my desert
Pigs on the Wing
SET THE CONTROLS – SPECIAL GUEST!!!
Shine on – first half
Welcome to the Machine
Wish you were here
Shine on – second half
Every stranger’s eyes
Bravery of being out of range
It’s a miracle
Amused to Death
Introduction to the band