Comfortably numb: Roger Waters The Wall in Orlando 6/16/12

This review of the Roger Waters show in Orlando is a tad bit late, but I was traveling for work last week and didn’t get to it until this evening.  I probably have a fairly unique perspective on this show because, unlike the thousands of other people who were there, I’m fairly ambivalent about Pink Floyd in general and The Wall in particular (in fact, I much prefer the insane, psychedelic Syd Barrett era Floyd over the more familiar 70/80s output). I had, however, heard pretty amazing things about this show, so when my friend and Floyd superfan Nick asked me if I wanted to go, I agreed (plus, Mrs. Lo is a fan so I scored some points there as well).

I can honestly say, it was an amazing, amazing experience, though I wouldn’t really call it a rock concert per say (though the music was performed flawlessly and with consummate skill). This was much more akin to a Broadway show, with every move choreographed and every note tied to mind blowing visuals, dominated by the ever present titular Wall, which rose and fell along with the show (along with constantly changing lights, costumes, a children’s choir, a dive bomber that flew across the arena and crashed in a fireball, massive puppets, the floating pig, and enough flames and pyrotechnics to make an 80s hair metal band jealous). I could try to write more about it, but I am just better off showing you some of the crappy iPhone pictures that we took. As always, these photos don’t really any justice to the spectacle, but it should give you an idea.

Pre-show, The Wall partially built. We purposely sat towards the back on the rec of a veteran of several of these shows to get the best view.

Show opens! Big fire.

Search lights and smoke.

Little blurry, but that’s Rog donning the Nazi style dictator uniform and basking in the glow. If you don’t know anything about this show don’t be fooled by the costume, this wasn’t a massive Klan rally or anything. The show is very anti-facist/statist (as Nick was quick to assure us multiple times). More to come on that.

Evidently the circle in the background was a big middle finger to other members of Pink Floyd who toured without Roger some years back and used a similar backdrop.

Changing colors, and notice the Wall is getting bigger. The system they had set up to build this thing during the performance was pretty amazing.

Big Brother is watching.

Giant puppet in the house.

This was pretty cool, Roger singing a “duet” with himself from 30 years ago during “Mother.” It was flawless.

Getting bigger, Wall’s almost done.

Just before intermission. Another giant puppet in the house.

Intermission, and the Wall is complete. The faces on the Wall were “victims of state violence,” including Roger Waters’ own father, who was killed in action during World War II. Do the math and you can figure out that Roger is pushing 70. He had the energy level and enthusiasm of a much younger man though. You could tell throughout the performance that this is a piece that he’s proud of and actually enjoys performing these days (unlike his rather horrific reputation from the past).

The band played several of the songs after intermission (after the record was figuratively flipped) completely obscured behind the Wall. The pictures start to run out here because my battery was going dead. It’s a shame though, because there was some really crazy visuals going on. Go rent the movie The Wall to get a better idea. Much of that was reproduced here, including the “flowers,” which scarred me permanently as a youngster.

The double hammers are out! I think Nick may have accidentally joined some type of national workers party during this part.

And, skip to the end. (Bonus points if you get that reference. Anyone?

Encore, The Wall has fallen, and all kinds of crazy stuff happened not pictured here. Sadly, I was not able to get anything from Piper at the Gates of Dawn played.

So there you go, 15 subpar photos documenting what was a pretty phenomenal experience, even if I’m still fairly “meh” about the music. I will admit though, that the performance of Comfortably Numb was one of the best “rock” moments I’ve seen. That was top shelf, and probably wouldn’t have been better if David Gilmore had appeared at the top of The Wall to take his guitar solo and vocal (though Nick would have totally lost it.)

If you get a chance to see the show I do recommend that you do so, regardless of how you feel about Pink Floyd. You won’t regret it. If nothing else you’ll be wowed by the visual spectacle and Roger Waters enthusiasm. I was. And maybe I’ll even go back and give the record itself another listen now, you never know.



Posted on June 26, 2012, in Music and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Accidentally? Hardly…

  2. Excellent, glad you enjoyed it. I had no idea how much they changed from when I saw it 1.5 years ago. The dive bomber at the beginning made me realize I was in for much more than just a stage show, thus my comment to you before to make sure you were paying attention to the entire arena. Before the show started, was there a bum with a grocery cart working the crowd on the lower level with funny cardboard signs. Rumor is that’s Waters himself in costume, but I’ve never seen a real confirmation of that anywhere.

    • Yeah, we heard about the guy with the shopping cart but never saw him. Though we did see more than one person carried out by EMS before the show started, which is always interesting when you think about how much money that person spent on a ticket to a show they ended up missing.

  3. Reblogged this on Pinkfloydiana.

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