Must See: Pink Floyd’s The Wall Performed Live

Like many others, I shrugged off the idea of another Roger Waters tour, bringing the music of Pink Floyd into arenas nationwide sans David Gilmour. As much as Floyd meant to me in my high school years, I haven’t listened to their music on my own volition for at least a dozen years. It would be nice to hear an album that I had loved straight through in concert.

Then I heard about how full bore Waters was going with the production — recreating the spectacle of The Wall on its 30th anniversary and then some — on this Sound Opinions podcast in October. Yeah, I can dig it.

Only top top bands with a serious legacy can truly demand $250 and up for a top ticket and still manage to fill arenas nationwide (often for multi-night runs). But there sure as hell better be some spectacular video / light show / side show to go along with the tired greatest hits nonsense. Regardless, Waters will have absolutely no reason to work again after galavanting around the world for 10 months on the strength of his 30-year old magnum opus. Look for his name near the top of the next weekly Pollstar Top 20 Concerts list.

In this case there was amazing video — the wall featured a steady stream of motion graphics and video, many from the original The Wall, projected onto a huge wall — about 240 feet wide and 33 feet tall. The story of The Wall holds up very well, all the way to The Trial, even if it can get a little tiresome looking at Waters parading in front of the wall alone in love with himself as the lead character in the story as his presumed alter ego, Pink Floyd. A 12-piece band including horns and a childrens choir comprised of kids from the Heart of Los Angeles after-school program took the stage for the cockneyed refrain on “Another Brick in the Wall” and probably the most elaborate and crisp sound I’ve heard in an arena. There were monster speakers in teh back of the house and from the floor, you could literally feel the helicopters closing in from all sides at some points. Holiday season — maybe I was feeling sentimental, but I got major chills a few times.

I definitely recommend seeing this show if you can, tickets were going for below face value for the Staples Center (I got lucky and was whisked in on a friend’s last-minute extra ticket, thanks Gretchen!). The remaining U.S. tour dates are listed below along with a clip from “Hey You” which opened up the second part of the show from behind The Wall.

Dec 03, Oracle Arena Oakland, CA
Dec 05 Staples Center Los Angeles, CA
Dec 07 HP Pavilion San Jose, CA
Dec 08 HP Pavilion San Jose, CA
Dec 10 Rogers Arena Vancouver, BC
Dec 11 Tacoma Dome Tacoma, WA
Dec 13 Honda Center Anaheim, CA
Dec 14 Honda Center Anaheim, CA
then to Mexico and off to Europe for the entire first half of 2011.

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