The Wall. Full of mysogyny, paranoia, darkness, isolation, you name it and if it is a dark emotion it’s here. But if people just remember one little thing about Roger Waters’ work – his lyrics tell you what NOT to do mostly.
This show even featured an equipment failure. One of Jon Carin’s keyboards had to be replaced just as he was starting into “Must The Show Go On”.
Photos online and video online cannot convey the raw power and tremendous excitement this show generates. This thing is huge. From my seat right on arena centerline 12 rows back, it was perfect to watch the back-activity on the stage that I usually never see. I got to see the performers themselves most of the show. I could also see all the wall projections, but they were huge.
“In The Flesh?” Explosive beginning of “The Wall” – The huge stadium rock band extravaganza, or Roger picking fun at it is more like it. Full of chest-thumping and distance pissing, this beginning piece just detonates on top of you and doesn’t let up until the end. The angle I had on the ending plane crash was good; I haven’t seen many videos from this angle.
“Goodbye Blue Sky” – the Jewish ADL complained that the dollar signs the bombers were dropping were coming right after Stars of David (BFD) and made a stink. It got changed. The dollar signs are before the Star of David, which has a Shell oil emblem after it now. So the fucking flowers in “Empty Spaces/What Shall We Do Now” are OK? Sure they are. Plus the Scream. These are my favorite “Old-Style” Gerald Scarfe animation done for the original production.
“The Last Few Bricks” – One of the best illusions in this production – the bricks seem to break away and recede into the blackness. Production effects on this were so good it looks like 3D.
Let’s discuss The Wall itself. I suppose from some stuff I’ve seen online the top is about 43’ to 45’ above the arena floor. Sitting in my seat at Intermission reading the Wall of Remembrance it struck me how truly big this thing is. It’s bigger than everything in the ARENA!!!!! It towers over people at least back to my row, because it towered over me. The huge projections tower over you. And with that towering a feeling of dread starts building when the place goes dark for “Hey You”.
End of “Comfortably Numb” – Roger starts breaking down his walls by finding the places on his wall where he to break through, and breaking it into a rainbow of colors and shapes, best suited for old-style Floyd psychedelia. As the colors recede into redness at the end, the building for the next 3 scenes is being erected in the giant black platforms that rise up and reach for the top of the wall. At the end of “Run Like Hell” the scene actually happened as it is shown. Leaked quite a few years ago by the military. Just putting fodder in Roger’s hands for more “pointed review”. LOL. And again, the production values here with the wall surface “sweeping” from side to side are like WOW, the next thing would be real 3D.
“Waiting For The Worms” – as an aside, the first time I ever saw “The Wall” movie was at the Mountainlair on the campus of West Virginia University, and when these hammers started marching, I had to leave. Don’t know why, (maybe some ingestibles beforehand I think) and now I just couldn’t take it. They were battering my brain.
“The Trial” The wall comes down amongst more pyro.
Bravo, Roger’s team! And thank you to Roger Waters himself, for bringing this experience to us. I’d been waiting 30 years to see this…………………………. Overall – the greatest show on earth. It must be seen. It’s got it all, and fire too! I can guarantee Lady Gaga ain’t putting this kind of show.
Review & above pictures thanks to James
Thanks to Sam Marshall
The above somewhat unusual images were sent in by Chris Kamis. In the picture on the left you can see diagrams of the mechanism that pushes the wall over. In another shot you can see the bricks themselves. Chris tells us the following: “At the beginning of The Show Must Go On, Jon Carin’s keyboard went out, which delayed the show for about 5 or so minutes. “So we wouldn’t be left sitting in the dark” according to Roger, he came out and joked how he was in between costume changes and that he needed plastic bags to get his boots on. He actually had the plastic bags hanging out of his boots. Very good natured comments from Rog. Another incredible show.”
Thanks to Dori Odar
So back in 1999 I was at this very same venue seeing Roger for the first time from front row dead centre! it was hard to imagine that this was now over 11 years ago!! It was the first time I’d been back to this venue since then but remember it was a great show, not only because it was my first time seeing Roger but the crowds reaction when he sang the lyric “a farmer in Ohio” in Its A Miracle.
Mike, Hannah and I got into the venue around 6:30 and hung around till the curtains were open so we could head down to the floor around 7pm. We went to look at the merchandise and Mike bought…well I’m not allowed to say as his wife Kim might be reading this and what happens in the Schott centre stays in the Schott centre:) but suffice to say Hannah came out with a nice new t-shirt!!, I’m joking Kim:)
Mike and Hanna headed to their seats which were towards the rear of the venue but elevated up in the second section, great seats for their first show!
Kim, Joe and Joe’s friend Zak were sat 12th row to the right and I was 14th row dead centre on the aisle. We made our way to our seats just as Pink was being thrown onstage by the homeless (truck driver) Brent.
The crowd are always blown away after In The Flesh, there so much going on during that track, the flag holders, the platforms rising, Roger coming out for the first time, the pyros, the plane crashing, it’s a great opening for the show and leaves the crowd stunned at the end of it.
I’m pretty sure its new as I’ve not seen it at all at any of the other shows but during Another Brick Pt2 there’s a bit of animation that’s very clever on the wall. It’s of a guy’s shadow that walks on and spray paints the words “we don’t need no education” actually onto the wall at the left hand side. The shadow guy then walks off towards the right side of the wall.
My friend Bob’s idea about the Subway train coming along depending on how many shows are in each city hasn’t worked out as at the last couple of shows the trains being coming on twice where there’s only once show in each place so I’ve no idea what governs the amount of times it happens!
The first half was great, as readers of my blog will know I’m a bigger fan of the second half of the show just due to the sheer energy in this half, however the first half is really growing on me de to all the little extras that are being added to the projections.
Just before Goodbye Cruel World there’s a great bit of projection where lots of random images are projected on the screen is such a fast succession that its difficult to see a lot of them, kinda like subliminal images. What I did tonight was put the camera onto multi shot and took random pictures at random intervals to see what projection images I would capture. I might start doing this at a few shows to see what I come up with.
Everyone stayed standing for Hey You which was unusual but good, if I had my way I wouldn’t let anyone sit down for the whole show!
Comfy Numb was just as good as its always been and is starting to get a touch boring now…… yeh right!! Never in a million years would this happen, it just gets better and better the more I see it.
After the instruments rise up through the stage, Roger heads off to change into his uniform for the next part of the show and Jon starts the opening chords to The Show Must Go On however as Jon was playing tonight I could hear the keyboard start cutting in and out like some sort of loose connection, Jon abruptly stopped and the techs came onstage as there was obviously some type of technical problem.
After trying for a couple of minutes to get things going again Roger entered from stage left to a huge applause and proceeded to tell everyone that they obviously had some technical issues and the show would be back soon. He also commented that he was just getting changed before he came on and started messing about with his boots. He then pointed to the white plastic bags that were sticking out of his boots and told the crowd how he needed to put plastic bags over his feet to get the boots on! There was huge laughter from the crowd and grins from Roger, he then shouted out something similar to “are you having fun” to which you can guess what the crowds reaction was!
The tech guys had by this time replaced Jon’s keyboard and were obviously rebooting the software on the new one which took a minute or two. The whole “incident” lasted probably fifteen minutes in total and just shows that anything can and does go wrong!
The show carried on as normal from this point and Roger then entered the stage at his normal place, one things he has taken to doing at the last few shows is spitting on the floor after coming onstage at this point! I’m pretty sure this is all part of the fascist act that he’s putting on and he’s not trying to hit a fan again! He also had something over his shoulder as he walked on and this was passed over to Robbie to hold before he took his mic to start singing.
At the end of the track Roger reached over to Robbie and was handed a machine gun!! He has been doing the fake machine gun actions since the 5th or 6th show and this was the first time he had actually used a prop for this. Not only had he got a gun but they now have shooting sound effects coming through the PA as Roger mimics the shooting action!
Instead of asking if there are any Paranoids in the audience, Roger is now adding the name of the city instead, “are there any paranoids in Columbus tonight” was tonight’s phrase, this makes the crowd cheer even more than the normal line and gets a huge response.
They have increased the animation during Run Like Hell and changed the brick animation slightly, it looks a lot better and the bricks now float and roll and fly around the screen a lot more. They have also increased the speed at which the bricks tumble down and go from side to side, this fits the speed of the music much better and makes the music and images gel together even more.
The further back you are for this show the better your pictures will be of the animation on screen during the trial sequence, due to how large the images are and how much light is given off by said images.
The wall again fell in the middle only and took a while to fall down tonight.
After the band had finished the first part of Outside The Wall Roger started to introduce the band and started laughing. He said “I don’t know why on earth I’m laughing, I guess it’s because I’m happy” and he really was!
This was a fantastic show and despite the biggest technical issue of the tour so far this was my favourite show of the tour. The crowd were great, the sound and music was spot on, the technical issues and Roger interaction with the crowd all made this a very unique show.
Review thanks to Simon Wimpenny
Thanks to Elliot Tayman