Words and Pictures by: Bradley Darby
Friday October 29 – a day that I had been looking forward to for some time. Earlier this year, former Pink Floyd bassist and founding member Roger Waters announced he would be touring and performing the classic album / rock opera The Wall in its entirety for the albums 30th anniversary. This would mark the first time the album was played by a member of Pink Floyd in 19 years, and a St. Louis date was on the agenda. There was no way in hell I was missing this show.
The Wall, originally released in November 1979, is one of the top five best selling albums of all-time in the U.S. and has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. It is a rock opera, a concept album, set around an artist (Pink) and his isolation from the crowd and the world as a whole. It has been said that Waters wrote much of the album based on his own life, and his own struggles with his dads death, his being bullied in school and his failed marriage.
The tickets instructed us that the show would start at 8:00 PROMPT. As we walked into the Scottrade Center, and got the first glimpse of the stage, we knew we were in for something special. The stage was set up with a small section of staggered wall on each side, covering most of the arena from about where the blue line would be back. There was a massive video screen set up and a voice came on the PA to inform us that Roger will allow photography but absolutely no flashes would be allowed as it would affect the projectors and the visuals. (Note: people didn’t listen to directions very well, a gentleman behind us found it necessary to use his flashlight on his phone while taking video a few times)
As the show began at around 8:15, a scraggly looking man was spotlighted in the crowd and made his way towards the stage. He tossed what appeared to be a doll on stage, and out came a line of guards complete with the iconic crossed hammers on their flags. As they took their places, they were lifted up and fireworks exploded as Roger Waters took the stage. They breezed through the first five songs, including opener “In the Flesh?” and “Another Brick in the Wall” before Waters acknowledged the roaring crowd “No, thank you….I love you kids from St. Louis!” he proclaimed. Waters then started talking about performing the album 30 years ago, and how different it was now, “particularly in a great music city like St. Louis. Is the Fox Theater still standing? I hope it is” he asked. While the show was going on, song by song the wall was being assembled piece by piece like a puzzle, as each piece went into place, less of the band was visible but the images being displayed on the wall were getting more intense.
Even knowing what songs were coming next, the element of surprise was still there as I had no idea how Roger Waters’ vision of The Wall would be carried out live. Overall, the show was without a doubt the most intense show I’ve ever witnessed. There was a very heavy emphasis on the anti-war message that Waters wanted to get across to his fans.
In The Flesh?
The Thin Ice
Another Brick In The Wall, Part 1
The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2
Goodbye Blue Sky
One Of My Turns
Don’t Leave Me Now
Another Brick In The Wall, Part 3
Goodbye Cruel World
Is There Anybody Out There?
Bring The Boys Back Home
The Show Must Go On
In The Flesh
Run Like Hell
Waiting For The Worms
Outside The Wall