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Tour Review: The Wall

posted Mar 29, 2011, 8:00 PM by Golden Knight

Posted in Music

By Julian Vischer


I’ve never seen anything like it. It was awesome. It was incredible. How was Roger Waters’ The Wall Tour? It completely blew my mind.

The concert begins with a partially built wall onstage blown to bits by a roaring B-52 bomber plane and jets of fire shooting out from sides of the stage. Waters progresses through the album that bears the name of the tour, slowly rebuilding the wall, which represents isolation from the outside world. In The Wall, the main character Pink’s own wall is built up by figures in his life like his grade school teacher, his mother, and a former lover, each of whom arrive onstage as massive blow-up creatures.

 The first of these characters is the teacher, which appears in “The Happiest Days of our Lives” and with “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)”, children also ran out onstage. In this tour, Waters took a fairly positive approach, incorporating some optimism for the future as the children beat back the looming teacher while forcing him out of the wall.

The next scene is “Mother” in which Pink’s mother arrives onstage to “help build the wall”. The song opens with footage from Waters in 1980 (the last time Pink Floyd put on “The Wall Tour”), and flashes different messages across the wall like “Big Mother is Watching You” and “Mother Knows Best”.

In “Young Lust”, the final of the inflatable monsters appears onstage. Pink’s lover is depicted as a gigantic praying mantis, seducing him in and distracting him as the wall continues to be built right behind him. In the last song of the first act, the wall is almost completely built. As Waters croaks out the final “goodbye”, the final brick is placed in the wall.

In the second act, the wall begins to fall. In “Vera”, incredibly touching videos of soldiers returning from war to surprise their children at school are played on the wall. “Bring the Boys Back Home” depicts images of war with the inspirational anti-war quotes.

Next came one of the greatest rock songs ever written. Waters did not fall short in any sense with “Comfortably Numb”. He wailed the lyrics perfectly as guitarist Snowy White completely nailed the solo.

After “Comfortably Numb”, the famous crossed hammer symbol took over the wall. Footage from “The Wall” movie was portrayed as hammers marched across the stage in “Run Like Hell”. Also, one of the most memorable Pink Floyd logo, the pig, floated out above the audience.

Finally, “The Trial” consisted of almost entirely footage from the movie. At the end of the song, the wall was finally “torn down” as bricks crashed to the stage. Waters and the band performed “Outside the Wall” amidst the rubble and the final notes of the saxophone rang out as the band exited the stage.

Overall, the music and visuals were completely awe-inspiring. However, Waters’ politics in the concert were a little much for me. For example, the image of B-52 bombers dropping religious symbols, company logos, and political emblems onto American suburbs was shown up on the wall during “Goodbye Blue Sky”. His images of starving African children and abused Afghani women were stirring, but what was he trying to prove? Was this an attempt to inform the audience that there is evil in the world? It tied in nicely with the concert, but the message sent was very shallow.

However, through all of Waters’s politics and anti-establishment propaganda, there is a clear idea that can be taken. It is easy to see walls being built in American society now more than ever. It is about time for our walls to be torn down again, and Waters’ tour couldn’t have come at a better time. A-