5/6/11

Tear Down The Wall



cold as a razorblade
tight as a tourniquet
dry as a funeral drum

We're seeing Roger Waters The Wall Live tomorrow night at Parken, the stadion here in Copenhagen.

Initially I had some reservations about going to this show. I wasn't sure I wanted to see it but decided for it in the end. Bought tickets from a guy in Valby via Den Blå Avis. I have to see and hear what Waters and co. make of The Wall anno 2011.

My girlfriend and I have been listening to The Wall these last couple of days. I first began listening to the album when I was in high school. It's an amazing piece of work with so many layers and it's great fun to revisit the album while preparing for the show tomorrow.

I keep reminding myself though, that wer'e not going to see The Wall by Pink Floyd but The Wall by Roger Waters. I don't know if I'm being pedantic about it but I feel I have to make that very conscious distinction, or I'm just going to be disappointed by the show.

There's no doubt that The Wall was mainly Roger Waters' brainchild, vision and concept. At the time of the album he had more or less taken control of the band and it's well known that The Final Cut, the follow-up album to The Wall, was actually more a Waters solo album than a Pink Floyd album.

But I still think that the The Wall album bears some very distinct touches of David Gilmour, Richard Wright and Nick Mason. Waters wrote the bulk of the music on the album but three tracks were co-written by Gilmour, the most well-known of these being "Comfortably Numb"; a key track on the album.

The story of Pink Floyd is really fascinating when you think about it. Not only is their music grand, epic and "symphonic" in scope but their bio also has some almost mythical flourishes. Their founder Syd Barrett went mad and their later work was in many ways driven by the interplay between opposite poles Roger Waters and David Gilmour.

Such circumstances are great for creative output but take their toll on a more personal, human level. Which is one of the reasons why the current tour is a Waters solo tour.

Now, Waters is an amazing and visionary musician, there's no doubt about that. He's always struck me as very "driven" in some sense. He's got that special edge, while the other members always appeared more "mellow".

But since the other three won't be joining us tomorrow I'm hoping for some kind of re-interpretation or deconstruction or maybe just a fitting update that does justice to the original work. Let's just say I hope Roger Waters and co. tear down The Wall tomorrow!

This interview bit from CBSNews.com sounds promising in that regard:

"Thirty years ago when I was kind of an angry and not very young lad, I found myself driven into defensive positions because I was scared of stuff, and I've come to realize that in that personal story, maybe somewhere hidden in there exists an allegory for more general and universal themes, political and social themes," he said. "It's really for that reason that I decided that I'd try and create a new performance of this piece using a lot of the same things that we did all those years ago." -Roger Waters

Waters has said that Gilmour will be joining him onstage on an as of yet unspecified date on the tour. Fingers crossed that Gilmour is into sunny Copenhagen in May!

I'll leave you with the Waters-Gilmour-Wright-Mason incarnation of Pink Floyd in what turned out to be their last performance ever since Richard Wright passed away in 2008 (R.I.P.).
I like the fact that Waters and Gilmour laid aside their disagreements for a little while and that the four them were joined onstage for a greater cause. I remember how moving it was to see this live on TV. From the Live 8 broadcast in 2005:

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