Roger Waters of Pink Floyd doesn’t look 67 years old. Maybe it’s the drugs; maybe it’s his weird twisted mind. Who knows. He can still put up a show and his songs are still oddly relevant today.
On Sunday night, Feng and I went to see The Wall Live in Ottawa. I’m too young to be a child of the seventies, I grew up with Pink Floyd music as my dad loves them. I first listened to his vinyls and then eventually bought my own CDs of the band’s main album. The Wall, Dark Side of the Moon, the Division Bell… I love the fact the lyrics are open to interpretation while songs like Money, Time or Run Like Hell speak for themselves.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from The Wall. While I love the CD, the 1979 movie is a bit too weird for me. We stepped into Scotiabank Place and found the place packed—the concert was sold out. On the stage, half a wall was built with white bricks.
Roger Waters came on scene at 8 pm sharp. Fireworks lit up the place and he began singing. “So ya
Thought ya/ Might like to go to the show/ To feel the warm thrill of confusion and/ That space cadet glow”.
He went on with The Thin Ice and the huge screen behind him started showing videos of soldiers killed on duty during WWII, the Gulf War and more recently, in Iraq or Afghanistan. Slowly and inconspicuously, crew members added bricks to the wall as the show progressed. Eventually, the wall was completed and Roger Water sang “Hey You” from behind it, before reappearing again at the front of the stage. Various giant puppets were used: the teacher (“hey, teacher, leave the kids alone! All in all you’re just another brick in the wall…”), the mother and the wife, lurking at the audience, appearing and disappearing from behind the wall.
The wall served as a screen to project messages, quotes and elaborated animations towards the end of the show. “Are there any paranoid people in Ottawa?,” asked Roger before starting Run Like Hell, during which were displayed logo of the major car and oil companies, as well as the dollar sign. During Mother, the question “Mother, should I trust the government?” was answer by a three word sentence—“no fucking way”, displayed on the wall in the Pink Floyd’s signature font.
Eventually, the room started to chant “tear down the wall!” and the music grew louder during The Trial. The wall was destroyed in a matter of seconds and the musicians all played an acoustic version of Outside The Wall.
All apologies if the pictures aren’t the best… We had great seats and I enjoyed the show. This is not the kind of concert where you focus on taking picture of the band.