Roger Waters: The Wall
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Other original footage required subtle 'upgrades'. For example, Scarfe's dramatic 'Fucking Flowers' sequence from 'Empty Spaces', required that the flower stems were extended to fill the sides of the wall.
Instead, Waters reanimated both himself and the music he wrote some 30 years ago, and imbued it with emotion born from three decades of history. The result is a masterwork that touches modern listeners every bit as powerfully as those of us who have always loved the music. Arguably, the effect is more potent now than it ever was, because Waters has recreated The Wall to connect with audiences at a point in history when walls are again on the verge of coming down.
These walls begin being built in childhood, with each new brick corresponding to life experiences of loss, betrayal, punishment, fear and ostracism. Some of the bricks are fashioned early on for us by our parents as shelter from a cruel world. Others are tossed on the stack by authority figures who abuse their power, peers who use us for personal gain, and a culture that seems at times manufactured to drain the humanity from our bones.
Roger Waters brought his The Wall tour to Philly's Citizens Bank Park on Saturday (7/14), after hitting NYC twice earlier this month. Like the other shows, the band played in front of the giant titualar wall, and the show was broken up into two sets, each being a different platter of the double album. The setlist of course, was The Wall in its entirety. The Philly Inquirer write:
Roger Waters brought his The Wall tour to Philly's Citizens Bank Park on Saturday (7/14), after hitting NYC twice earlier this month. Like the other shows, the band played in front of the giant titualar wall, and the show was broken up into two sets, each being a different platter of the double album...\nRead More
An extremely rowdy crowd and one obnoxious fan, in particular, pushed Roger Waters over the edge that night. After the concert ended, while flying back home, Roger felt that a wall had developed between himself and the audience he was performing for. Clearly, Montreal had changed him. The series of events that unfolded that night led Roger down a spiritual introspection, which he poured into one of the most influential rock albums of our time The Wall.
Playing the protagonist, Rogerled the listener, and now the viewer, down a partly autobiographicaland partly fictional story of Pink - the tortured rock star. Characterscame to life in the form of a robust inflatable mother, a 30 foot highteacher puppet, an insidious scorpion wife and various animatedcharacters like the brutal judge. Encasing and framing all this was thewall itself - all 420 white polystyrene bricks of it.
Banks of Phase Linear and Altecamplification hooked to each speaker position provided 106dB ofabsolutely clean sound. There were puppets, dirigibles and props tocontrol, two hydraulic lighting cranes, as well as hydraulic lifts forThe Wall builders and two seperate stage set-ups, for in front of thewall and behind it complete with monitors and lighting rigs.
The Wall shattered all fansexpectations. They watched as the group disappeared slowly behindbricks until by the second half the wall stood like a monument beforethem. The bricks themselves represented the psychological barrierserected to shield the human organism from the ebb and flow of dailyexistence.
Gerald Scarfe's botanical sexanimation came alive on the circular screen during Empty Spaces and forthe first time listeners got to hear What Shall We Do Now (missing fromthe album). During the first few performances the band would crank intoa classic blues workout (sometimes called Almost Gone) after AnotherBrick Part 2, mostly to allow the wall builders to catch up before thenext song. By Goodbye Cruel World, the band had blocked off all contactwith the audience as one final brick walled them in. This barrier leftviewers cold and confused, perhaps a bit psychologically numb waitingfor human contact.
Inthe second half, The Wall stood completed, vast, cold and impenetrable.Hey You was sung behind the wall as a plea for contact as the worms ofmoral decay have begun to eat into the nerve fibres of Pink's sanity.The Wall opened up during Nobody Home to reveal a complete hotel roomfor Roger's acting and reflection. High atop The Wall, David played hisblistering guitar solo in Comfortably Numb as his immense shadow wascast across the audience. Again, the Master of Ceremonies came out tointroduce the band for In The Flesh, now with the full band back infront of The Wall complete with a new hanging lighting rig. Later, forRun Like Hell, a dark pig with search-light eyes loomed over theaudience with crossed hammers painted on its side.
During Outside The Wall, theminstrels of doom armed with acoustic guitars, a mandolin, anaccordian, and Waters puffing on a clarinet, marched through the rubblein the final act, proclaiming "it's not easy banging your heart againstsome mad bugger's wall". 781b155fdc