A Shirt on Sunday: Roger Waters - 6/11/2010 - Madison Square Garden

in #shirtonsunday3 years ago

20101106 Roger Waters MSG 20191208.jpg

Late autumn in 1979, after school one day, Nigel said we should go to his house because his dad had a copy of the new Pink Floyd album. I wasn’t a Floyd fan - I was just starting to explore heavy metal and my sole album purchase at that point was by ELO, but it was new, it was a DOUBLE ALBUM and it had RUDE BITS! We sat and listened, and were confused, stunned, and awestruck.

I slapped a copy onto a tape (TDK AD-90) and since then I’ve always had at least one copy of ‘The Wall’. It was the first CD I purchased (that tape was pretty ragged by then), and of course there’s the film (VHS then DVD), the Berlin version (CD & VHS off the telly), a photo book of the film…

Within days of us first listening to the album, ‘Another Brick In The Wall Part II’ was a hit single. Was there any school in Britain that didn’t have a teacher who looked and sounded like The Schoolmaster as portrayed on the album?

Being all of 12 years old, I didn’t get to go to the concerts in Earls Court, nor in my 20s could I make it to Berlin for the somewhat bizarre all-star rendition (performed in the wrong order due to a computer malfunction). Then when Waters announced the 2010/11 tour of The Wall, I was aghast to discover that he wouldn’t be playing Europe until after we’d moved to New York, and the New York shows had already sold out. Luckily for us, a third date was added and I got us tickets.

Madison Square Garden is big - the same size as the O2 Arena in London, but feels more intimate than the O2. It’s the place where the wrestling match is taking place at the start of ‘Highlander’. For a sports hall, it also has excellent acoustics and is a great place for a gig. We had seats about half way back on the floor, which gave us an excellent view of the video and puppet madness.

01 Waiting For The Wall.jpg
The gig started with the wall built up on either side of the stage, with a brick wall image projected on it. The wall stretched up into the seating, and the projections ran the full length, which was impressive. At the centre of the stage was a dressmaker’s dummy, which seemed odd. The band kicked off without Waters, to play ‘In The Flesh?’ and Waters arrived in full black leather secret-police outfit, whereupon a stage hand helped him very carefully take it off and hang it up on the dummy.

And then a plane crashed into the stage. Apparently it was a half-sized Stuka Dive Bomber, but all I know is it scared the hell out of us as it screamed over head with flames shooting out of it.

02 The Schoolmaster.jpg

Another Brick In The Wall Part II

From then on it was a combination of visuals from the film and new material with a far more paranoid anti-government and anti-war slant than previous iterations of The Wall. I still have the giant red confetti in religious and monetary shapes that fell on us at one point.

03 Goodbye Blue Sky.jpg

Goodbye Blue Sky

The only technical mishap was when the Wife puppet misbehaved and wouldn’t deflate properly. Luckily it was just before the break so it was allowed to hang limp by the side of the stage until the band had left.

04 Empty Spaces.jpg

Empty Spaces
The central flowers are from the original tour and film, but the stems running along the wall are new for the tour There was a lot of this sort of thing, that worked seamlessly.

Yes, there was a flying pig, and the fall of the wall at the end was gob-smacking, as were many of the animations. The wall was completed in the first half of the show, so from then on the band was in front of the wall or visible through holes, or just playing unseen. There is a film of the tour, which if you can ignore the self-indulgent non-musical sections really shows the level of sophistication the staging reached. It was an incredible night out and one of the best gigs I’ve ever witnessed.

The blurred photos were taken by me, and the sharp ones by Janet

05 Empty Spaces .jpg

Empty Spaces

06 Don't Leave Me Now.jpg
Don't Leave Me Now

07 The Last Few Bricks.jpg
The Last Few Bricks

08 Goodbye Cruel World.jpg
Goodbye Cruel World

09 Wall of rememberance.jpg
The wall of remembrance was projected throughout the break and featured 100s of people killed in armed conflicts, from photos donated by fans before and during the tour.

10 Happy Audience.jpg
Happy audience!

11 Comfortably Numb.jpg
Comfortably Numb

12 In The Flesh.jpg
In The Flesh
The optical illusion of the banners moving backwards and forwards was excellent.

13 In The Flesh.jpg
In The Flesh.

14 Run Like Hell.jpg
Run Like Hell

15 Outside The Wall.jpg
Outside The Wall

16 Breaking down.jpg
Breaking down

17 Bricks.jpg
Collecting and flattening the cardboard bricks

18 The Schoolmaster.jpg
The deflated Schoolmaster getting packed away

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