It was called “Roger Waters at Madison Square Garden.” It had Roger Waters and Nick Mason in it – (um, was that the Pink half or the Floyd half?
How’d I get there?
My very best ski buddy Gary is a huge Floyd fan; months ago we agreed to get tix to this show, during which R. Waters would perform Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety, start to finish.
Last night Gary was in PHILLY at 6:30 for “work,” and I got the call he was unable to attend. ( i.e. BAILED like a WUSS – you are so going DOWN on Ripcord this year for that, Snowboard Boy!!!)
Ahem. Back to the discussion. So I and another companion went anyway.
On the aging rocker scale between “bloated relic” and “dessicated relic,” Waters comes in at a nice middle-of-the-road 190 pounds or so. Looked terribly, terribly, fit; has somewhat begun to resemble Richard Gere.
The show was spectacular (with all that implies) – fireworks, colored flamethrowers, artfully selected audio clips of vintage British radio, two super-giant screens with very excellent weird-ass druggie video and old Pink footage from Syd days (yes, Waters is still celebrating/cashing in, big time), a helium balloon of a floating astronaut accompanied by audio of Hal from 2001: A Space Odysssey, and yes . . . the floating pig balloon. This time with “Impeach Bush” scrawled on its ass.
The first half, Waters played an solid selection of hits from the Floyd catalog, including “Set Your Controls for the Heart of the Sun,” “Shine on You Crazy Diamond,” and “Wish You Were Here,” the last one dedicated to those lost on 9/11 (really?!?!!? yes!) and introduced a new song about a family he had met in Beirut, Lebanon, when he was 17 – that one was PATHETIC, lacking all subtlety and nuance. Wincingly polemic. Old guys who try political songs need to really watch it to avoid being complete assholes; a fact noted on Fred’s blog recently.
All cavils aside, the show was stupid and beautiful all at the same time.
MSG was filled with alienated white suburban youth and ex-youth who had somehow made a deep connection with tales of spoiled, alienated British rock stars wallowing in self-pity and their eventual reconcilation with self and reality.
The ex- and current alienated white suburban youth were really, really into it, and sang along with every word.
The performance was note-for-note EXACTLY like the record. (My companion has noted, in another forum, that there is some debate about Waters actually lip-synching the words, tho’ he clearly flat out forgot them in the encore, “Comfortably Numb.” Let’s say I wouldn’t be surprised at all.) The backup singers wailed near perfectly, eeriely reproducing the record. But, actually, the part where they do the stereo separation was really, really cool with those freakin’ humonguous speakers in the Garden! . . . Ahem.
I gotta admit that when I first heard Dark Side of the Moon, sometime in the pre-teen years, I was like, “Wow, I think these guys may be the GREATEST PHILOSOPHERS THE WORLD HAS EVER KNOWN!” I mean, they talked about money, time, death, and conformity and actually used the word “bullshit” in a song. Heady stuff at St. Cecilia’s Grammar School back then.
So everyone sang along with every word And I knew ’em all, too. Every word.
“The lunatics are in my hall.
The paper holds their folded faces to the floor,
And every day the paperboy brings more. . . .”
Currently listening :
Return to Cookie Mountain
By TV on the Radio
Release date: By 08 August, 2006