Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Roger Waters - New York, NY - 2006-09-12

Roger Waters, Madison Square Garden, New York, NY, September 12, 2006.

This was the first of two at MSG. Yes, I went to both. Amazing shows. I even got a little teary...Made me remember being 15...ha...

This review appeared on NYTIMES.com:

"September 14, 2006
Music Review
Fending Off That Great Gig in the Sky

The idea of an album may seem increasingly hoary in a singles-oriented, downloading age, but the sellout crowd for Roger Waters at Madison Square Garden on Tuesday night paid a lot of money to hear his band recreate a record — in sequence, in its entirety. Granted, the record was “The Dark Side of the Moon,” the 1973 rock masterpiece by Pink Floyd, Mr. Waters’s old band. It lingered on the Billboard 200 chart for almost 15 years and has sold about 34 million copies worldwide. And as long as there are potheads, water beds and freshman philosophy majors, it will continue to sell thousands of copies every month.

Part of the eternal appeal of the album is its trippy, vague seriousness. It seems to be a concept album about the difficulties of staying sane in a corrupt modern world. It seems to encourage people to rebel. It seems to encourage people to maintain a childlike state of purity. It seems to address issues like mortality (“Time”), greed (“Money”), war (“Us and Them”) and madness (“Brain Damage”). In short, it sounds really deep when one is zonked out on drugs at 3 a.m. “The Dark Side of the Moon” helped create the template for what a Great Album is conventionally supposed to be: a thematic, sonically adventurous social critique with brain-frying cover art.

The show drew a wildly diverse crowd, ranging from graying men in suits to entire families, including a fivesome in matching Pink Floyd T-shirts. Such was the reverence for the record that even the ringing bells that opened “Time” received a standing, cheering ovation.

Mr. Waters, the bassist and self-proclaimed “creative genius of Pink Floyd,” credited with the lyrics to “Dark Side,” performed with a backing band that included Nick Mason of Pink Floyd on drums and a guitarist-singer who expertly imitated David Gilmour, the Floyd member who retained the legal rights to the band’s name after it split acrimoniously in the 1980’s.

Mr. Waters took the stage in a roving spotlight, pumping his fist as if he had just won a prizefight. Before he plunged into the album, he played many Pink Floyd classics, including “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” a tribute to his eccentric, reclusive former bandmate Syd Barrett. When the face of Mr. Barrett, who died this summer, appeared on the giant video screens, the crowd saluted him with raised lighters and cellphones and the loudest singalong of the evening, which is saying a lot: some die-hards even mimicked the ka-ching of cash registers during “Money”.

As “Sheep” closed the intro, one of Pink Floyd’s trademark inflatable pigs flew about the arena, with “Impeach Bush Now” scrawled on its backside. On the main video screen, Mr. Waters offered antiwar commentary throughout the show and compared Tony Blair to Genghis Khan and the Son of Sam during his awkward new song, “Leaving Beirut.” His agitprop alternated with retro kitsch visuals like squiggly amoebas, human brains, floating pills, space rocks and, naturally, Mother Earth.

As dated as many “Dark Side” lyrics seem now (“And everything under the sun is in tune/but the sun is eclipsed by the moon”), there were plenty of chill-inducing quadraphonic-sound moments, and a disturbing reminder that one day we will all head off to “The Great Gig in the Sky.” During “Time,” as Mr. Waters sang, “Shorter of breath and one day closer to death,” a close-up of his wrinkled face appeared on the video screens. Later, as the album’s final song, “Eclipse,” ended, the arena filled with the sound of a beating heart. That’s some pretty heavy stuff for a Tuesday night."

Set I
In The Flesh
Set The Controls For the Heart Of The Sun
Shine On You Crazy Diamond
Have A Cigar
Wish You Were Here
Southampton Dock
The Fletcher Memorial Home
Perfect Sense Parts 1 and 2
Leaving Beirut

Set II
The complete Dark Side of the Moon

Band Introductions/The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)
Bring the Boys Back Home
Comfortably Numb

Download the show:
Disc one
Disc two