Saturday, December 4, 2010

Pink Floyd's Roger Waters Epic Performance, "The Wall" Live! By John Han

What do cab drivers do when not driving cab?  Some of us go to concerts. At least that's what I did on Friday night, December 3rd.  

I'm actually somewhat of a homebody. Cab drivers don't make very much money.  But when I heard Roger Waters, former bassist and singer for Pink Floyd was coming to town, I shelled over the high price for a pair of tickets, got one for myself and a lovely date. We headed on BART to Oakland's Oracle Arena to enjoy a rare performance of the epic, "The Wall" tour.  And I say rare, because this is the first world-wide performance tour of "The Wall" in some 30 years.  It hadn't been performed in its entirety since the '80-'81 tour when Roger Waters and David Gilmour were still members of Pink Floyd together.

Like many fans, I first heard "The Wall" album well over 20 years ago.  And as every admirer of Pink Floyd knows, that despite David Gilmour's highly distinguished voice and brilliant, smooth, guitar playing, Roger Waters is the creator, the brains behind "The Wall".  No one can perform "The Wall" but him.  

And now, I have evermore a greater appreciation of Roger Waters as an artist, having seen his live visual performance to accompany the music.  It's far better than the film "The Wall" because as an audience, we get to be there in person.  And the visuals have been updated since '82, when the film came out, to reflect more current times.  Roger Waters, at the end of the show, said he had grown over the years... that he's no longer the "miserable fucker" that he once was during latter Pink Floyd years, pending their breakup, when he was inspired to write "The Wall".  He said fan support over time helped him through personal journeys, and that today, he's happy and loves life.  He looked it.

I can't describe the show succinctly.  I'll let the San Jose Mercury News tell it all in their rave revue.

But one of my many favorite parts of the show was during "Good Bye Blue Sky" in the first set.  The animations are what caught my eye.  Images of corporate logos, (Shell Oil Company and Mercedes Benz), are depicted as bombs dropped from planes.  Other imagery from the show imply these "bombs" as being dropped upon people living in Middle Eastern, arab regions, suggesting lives lost from wars and the U.S. attacks in those regions are mainly to protect the interests of global financial and banking industries, petroleum and others.  Lines of anti-war and anti-establishment slogans are blasted across the stage and floated in the air across the arena on a flying pig.  Not new rhetoric, but it is great Rock art!

Crosses are also depicted as bombs dropping out of planes, perhaps suggesting the hypocrisy of war for profit, but shamelessly being done in the name of liberty and religious beliefs.  

I brought a little pocket camera that could record video, but in the end I wanted to enjoy the show and not hassle with a camera.  So I didn't record anything and therefore had nothing to publish from this show to YouTube or this blog.  Luckily, many others did.  But I couldn't find any good clips from YouTube of "Good Bye Blue Sky" from Friday's show, or maybe they just haven't been posted yet.  So here's one of the song from YouTube from a Boston show, which is pretty identical to Friday's Oakland show.  I'll definitely buy the DVD if they release it.  



  1. How did you manage to get the camcorder in? I am going on Wednesday night in San Jose and I have platinum ticket which will be within 12 rows and I can get really good shots and I want to have it.

  2. Hi David, my girlfriend has a pocket point and shoot camera that also takes video. She had it in a little carrying bag underneath binoculars. It's weird, because the Oracle Arena seems to have a strict, 'no cameras' policy. But once inside, Roger Waters said it's ok to take photos of the show, just no flash. So everyone had to keep cameras on 'force flash off'.

  3. Just hope I can get some good shots. I got premium seat at row 16 and a pen camera and a camcorder. There wont be another show like this again.

  4. I wish I could go again. You're lucky. Enjoy!


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