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    • CommentTimeJul 13th 2007 edited
    So, Kris and I ventured out into the heat last night to check out Roger Waters, at the Meadows in Hartford (CT...you all know I live in CT at this point, right?) (aka the Dodge Center, or whatever the fuck it is now. The signs at least still all say the Meadows. I loathe the relatively new trend of corporate names for stadiums. I don't know how "non-corporate" "The Meadows" is, but it's better than the fucking "Dodge Center...") I wasn't sure what to expect. It's the closest I'll ever come to seeing Pink Floyd, unless hell freezes over, but at the same time, Waters' solo stuff is...mediocre at best.

    I was pretty blown away, though. It was a high energy, well delivered show that stayed close enough to Floyd to feel comfortable, but diverged enough with modified song arrangements and song choice that it felt fresh and lively. They only played two Waters solo songs, the second of which, Leaving Beirut, wasn't half bad. Those two came after two selections from The Final Cut, which if any of you are as hardcore a Floyd fan as me, you'll know that's a tough album to love. So, although that middle section dragged a bit, it was more than made up for by Dark Side of the Moon played in its entirety in the second set, as well as some great choices from Animals and The Wall.

    The stage setup and stage effects were somewhat low key as compared to Floyd, but still very cool. The video backdrop was a desk with a whiskey bottle, ashtray, and old fashioned radio, which scanned through various songs in lieu of an opening act. There was some Johnny Cash, some Elvis, some Vera Lynn (of course), and a bit of Neil Young. The backdrop remained for bits of the show, changing around as needed, including a weird comic style background to the song Leaving Beirut. All of the necessary Floyd touches were there...lasers, a huge, cool moon animation, the giant inflatable pig, though that was festooned with some rather unsubtle graffiti. Waters is anything but subtle with his political view, which is why his solo work tends to be pretty mediocre, but in this case, it didn't really adversely effect the show. There were also some pretty fun pyrotechnics in the appropriate places...explosions are never not awesome.

    Although no other members of Floyd joined Waters (as has happened on some past tours), his backing band included quite a few musicians who have worked with them in the past. Modern day Floyd has probably the most people on stage of any band ever, and Waters had plenty of those Floyd "collaborators," such as Snowy White (guitar), Any Fairweather-Low (bass and guitar), and Jon Carin (keyboards). To me, that helped the authenticity of some of the songs...without some of those experienced and talented musicians playing those songs, it might have ended up feeling more like a Floyd cover band. I would have liked to see Waters singing all of the songs, rather than have some of these guys fill in here or there, but maybe his voice doesn't stretch as far as it used to, and to be honest, he never really had David Gilmour's range anyway.

    My only real nit to pick, as it were, are that venues like the Meadows (Dodge...whatever) really suck. Think Great Woods (in MA..my friends and I have learned to hate this shit hole...see my post about the Tool show last fall...it's aka the Tweeter Center...fucking whatever). Anyway, crappy parking, $7.00 dollar beers, $6.00 hot dogs, tiny and uncomfortable seats...well, most everyone has been to a venue like this, I think, and we all know how much they suck. Anyhow, that was to be expected, I guess, and aside from the typical venue issues, it was an excellent show.

    Here's the set list (Waters' solo stuff is marked with an asterisk):

    Set 1:
    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 1 & 2*
    Leaving Beirut*


    Set 2:
    Speak to Me/Breathe
    On the Run
    The Great Gig in the Sky
    Us and Them
    Any Colour You Like
    Brain Damage

    The Happiest Days of Our Lives
    Another Brick in the Wall (part 2)
    Bring the Boys Back Home
    Comfortably Numb

    Now...if Waters and David Gilmour could put aside their respective egos, and maybe do one final Floyd tour...
    • CommentTimeJul 14th 2007
    Sounds like a pretty cool show. I think I've mentioned before that I almost never see live music these days, except for small bands playing small venues (as I did in Austin), and even most of those are by accident. I go to a bar, then find out afterwords that there's a band.

    Anyway, that set list is pretty funny, considering that Waters only did 2 of his solo songs... but otherwise, it seems like a good set. I've always been a fan of Floyd, but I don't think it'd be worth going to see them these days, even if they did get back together. I'm not a big fan of watching aging rockers sing stuff from 30 years ago... though I certainly have done that. And I probably wouln't turn down an offer to see them... Ok, so I just totally contradicted myself. Whatever. Floyd is cool.

    • CommentTimeJul 15th 2007 edited
    Yeah, sounds very cool. A few friends of mine caught one of his concerts last time he was in our area and said it was amazing. I'd love to catch him and Gilmour one of these days. I actually just picked up some Floyd I didn't have yesterday. I went to Amoeba Music, which is the biggest record store in North America and has a really good used section (which I think is the only reason it's still around while places like Tower Records have gone under), and ended up spending like $140. If I'd bought everything new, I probably would have spent a lot more, even though someplace like Amazon or iTunes.

    Corporate-brand venue names suck. The only decent one I can think of was the "Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim" because it at least tried to be a bit inventive instead of just being "Arrowhead Arena" or something like that (the pond thing even kinda worked since it's the Anaheim Ducks' home arena). But that place is called the Honda Center now, which sounds more like where I'd buy a car than see a concert or game. There's quite a few Verizon Wireless Amphitheatres around the country, as I understand it. We have one that used to be "Irvine Meadows." which I thought was a great name. Most people I know just refer to it as "Irvine" now because there's no other notable venue in Irvine (or, really, much of anything other than office buildings) that they might be talking about instead and, of course, no one wants to call it the Verizon whatthehellever.