Saturday, May 26, 2007

THE VIEW FROM MY SEAT: Concert Review of Roger Waters @ Continental Airlines Arena 5/24/07

Roger Waters? Yes, that's right, Roger Waters. How could I possibly pass up a
second chance to see one of the most important voices of a generation in music,
considering I'd passed up seeing him last year? I mean, hell, I grew up listening to
my Mom's Dark Side of the Moon record. And I never, ever thought I'd have a
chance to see the man who wrote that music, live.

Roger Waters @ Continental Airlines Arena

Now I can happily report that it was well worth the ticket price and ridiculous
effort of getting from the city out to the Meadowlands in Jersey. Effort,
schmeffort! This is Roger Waters, man. And he's playing Dark Side of the Moon
in its entirety! 1 ticket, please...

He opened with some of my most favorite Floyd tunes from The Wall, Animals,
and all. Wish You Were Here sent chills down my spine, despite the fact that
Dave Gilmour's part was performed by an anonymous touring band member.

Roger Waters @ Continental Airlines Arena

Actually, the only disappointing thing about this concert was the obvious lack of
David Gilmour. And what can anybody do about that? I liked that Waters went
ahead and played the songs that he wrote, whether or not he was the one to sing
them. It's making the best out of a bad situation, and laying claim to the songs he
penned. They're his songs, why shouldn't he play them?

Ok, so theoretically, I agree with that. But in practice, it was a little unsettling
watching the backing band stepping up to fill the shoes of a palpably absent
presence. I wanted it to be Dave Gilmour singing, not a sound-alike, no matter
how good he was at sounding alike. Meanwhile, I have to give kudos to the
guitarist, who did an admirable job with Gilmour's melodically iconic solos. He
wasn't just trying to sound like Gilmour. He sounded exactly like Gilmour. Most
impressive. So I guess the takeaway was this: If you can't have the man there in
the flesh, at least have his ghost.

Roger Waters @ Continental Airlines Arena  Roger Waters @ Continental Airlines Arena 

There's really nothing like Roger Waters' voice. I mean, you recognize it the
minute you hear it. It's not a beautiful voice, but man, has it got character. It is the
voice of a storyteller. And a teller of tales whose heros are often tortured,
self-destructive, injured, emotionally stunted, and practically Shakespearean,
while they help Waters work out his personal issues and convey his political

He is the tortured artist genius, who uses his medium as a platform. And that's at
the core of what has always helped turn many of his detractors against him in the
first place. Surprisingly, there were folks in the crowd who actually boo'ed his
politically outspoken moments. But did he back down? No! And did the folks
booing wish they could get their money back? I doubt it. No really, I do. Because
Waters is a founding father of the generation that embraced dissent and political
criticism as a birthright. So they may boo the sentiment, but who among this
crowd would eschew his right to freedom of speech and expression? I could be
misjudging the crowd, but I doubt it.

Roger Waters @ Continental Airlines Arena

Not only was Waters in classic Watersian form, but so were the visuals that
accompanied the music. It was psychedelic Floyd to a tee, providing even those
of us in the audience who weren't stoned with a contact high, sweeping us up in
the music that spawned so many laser light shows in planetaria across the country.
Though the pyrotechnics seemed like an outmoded concept, the lasers and
derigibles that flew from the roof remained totally fresh, while still retaining their
iconic reference to the past. 

Derigibles? Well, floating helium baloons of impressive scale. You've seen the
album covers, you've seen the movies, andnow you've seen the baloons:

Roger Waters @ Continental Airlines Arena  Roger Waters @ Continental Airlines Arena

Looking back at the show, and at this recap, one word comes to mind more than
any other: "iconic." I'm sorry if I've rendered it redundant, but that's exactly what
Roger Waters and his music are. There's no better word to describe the night.

Want More?
--Moment Slice's Review
--Photo Gallery From The Show

Watch Videos from the Show:
     -In the Flesh
     -Shine On You Crazy Diamond
     -Have a Cigar
     -Wish You Were Here
     -Speak to Me/Breathe
     -On the Run
     -The Great Gig in the Sky
     -Us and Them
     -Any Colour You Like/Brain Damage
     -Brain Damage
     -Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
     -Comfortably Numb

Currently listening :
Dark Side Of The Moon
By Pink Floyd

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