Doors open at 18:30, my ticket said. So, obviously, I was there at 14:00. Having entered the fabulous O2 stadium in London, it actually hit me. In a few hours I was going to watch Roger Waters perform The Wall live. After checking out the O2 for a few hours, at 5 o clock sharp, I was the first one in line. Time passed by pretty quick, and I saw 25,000 people gather in about 20 different lines, all wearing Pink Floyd or Roger Waters T shirts. At around 6:15, “Money” from the Dark Side of The Moon album played over the speakers. EVERYONE in the audience started singing along, and right around the last chorus, they opened the gates. I walked into the arena, and right then I blew my mind. The stage had a huge circular screen, like in P.U.L.S.E, and the sides of The Wall were built.
At 8 o clock, the lights went out, and a voice came over the speakers – “Welcome to The Wall. Roger does not mind you taking photos, but please keep your flash off. That’s a strict NO to flash. Enjoy the show.” And then PYRO. Red fireworks flashed everywhere, and when they all died down, Roger Waters stood there in all his glory, and the familiar intro to “In the Flesh?” began. The setlist for the show was the entire Wall album, without even missing a single song. One of the most famous, and greatest concept albums ever, The Wall was Pink Floyd’s 11th studio album, released in 1979.
Now, there are a few keys to a Wall show, and the most prominent being an actual Wall being built between the audience and the musicians, and having projections of various videos related to the music played on the Wall, and having it torn down. One of the main reasons for this was, Roger Waters was always frustrated with his audience, and he thought people just came to watch someone famous, and they couldn’t care less if it was him on stage, or someone else. So he imagined a wall being built between him and the crowd, and that was what he did.
As the setlist progressed, after The Thin Ice, that familiar tune of Another Brick in The Wall – Part I started. That was when the crowd stood up, and everyone started following the beat and clapping in tune. Next came “The Happiest Days of Our Lives”, and what followed that, was “Another Brick in The Wall – Part II”. Now that tune I don’t need to familiarize you with, because it’s one of the most known anthems ever. The lines, “We don’t need no education. We don’t need no thought control.” Rung throughout the entire arena, and suddenly a group of kids came along to sing it, and they were dancing, and there was also an Asian kid breakdancing throughout it. Roger was playing his bass along with them, and a blow up of a teacher was put up and taken down.
The next song, was “Mother”, and this I have to talk about, because it was probably the one of the best songs of the show. In his own words, “Now, I have a video of me playing the same song, 30 years ago in London. I’m going to attempt a double track audio and try plying acoustic guitar along with that old, fucked up Roger from 30 years ago! So try and bear with me on this.”
As the songs progressed, the wall was built, and songs like “Goodbye Blue Sky”, “Young Lust” and “Don’t Leave Me Now” stunned the audience. By the time “Goodbye Cruel World” was played, The Wall was fully built, and after the song, and intermission was called.
During the intermission, which lasted 20 minutes, pictures of people sent by everyone around the world were put up. These people that were put up were killed in war, died doing something for their country, or for their family. Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was one of the faces put up on The Wall. Being an Indian, I was so proud at that moment.
Also, on a quirky side note, Hindi music such as Woh Lamhe from Zeher was being played during the intermission! I know, right?
The show resumed again, and “Hey You” started playing. Following it was “Is There Anybody Out There?”, “Nobody Home”, “Vera” and “Bring The Boys Back Home”.
Now, for the highlight of the show. Well, the MAIN highlight. And this was the life changing experience for me at least.
The words, “Is there anybody out there?”, followed by that B minor chord. Yes, it was Comfortably Numb. Watching this song live, has been a dream to me, for over 10 years. And to see it live, I was in tears. The only thing that was missing was David Gilmour. As soon as the first verse was finished, right before the chorus started, the lights all went off, and there was one spotlight focused on the TOP of the wall, and there, with that black Fender Stratocaster and a bald head, DAVID GILMOUR sang the chorus. The crowd went MAD, and I couldn’t believe my eyes. I simply couldn’t, and to watch him continue on with Roger Waters and play the entire song, words SIMPLY CANNOT describe it. The ENTIRE 25,000 member crowd was standing up, and singing along, and at least 90% of my row had tears in their eyes. I didn’t bother looking around at the rest of them, because I was watching God perform the Comfortably Numb solo live.
Now, a reason as to why this is so special. Roger Waters’ Wall tour has been going on for over two years, and there was a rumor going around saying that David Gilmour would be on stage for ONE out of the ENTIRE two year show. Roger Waters and Gilmour haven’t been on stage together since 2004, and that was for the Syd Barrett Tribute, “The Madcap’s Last Laugh”, and if you were a Pink Floyd fan, you’d know that the two of them hate each other. For various reasons that I don’t want to get into.
During the song, David Gilmour sang the wrong words for one line, but no one seemed to care, because we were all trying to wipe the awesomeness off our faces from the solo we just witnessed.
After this song, he directly skipped to Run Like Hell, and then continued on with Waiting For The Worms, Stop and The Trial.
The story ended with The Trial, and The Wall was torn down. As the dust from The Wall settled, Roger Waters introduced Gilmour on stage, and again everyone was in tears. Then he said, “Now, we have another member from our original Pink Floyd set. I’d like you all to welcome Mr. Nick Mason on stage!”. At this point in time, my heart rate was off the charts and I was bawling like a little baby. To see all three of them on stage, for probably the last time EVER, and to be a part of it, was all too much to handle.
All in all, The Wall was one experience I’m never going to ever forget, and something that I can tell my Kid’s kids. Before I sign out, I have to thank my Dad for sending me to London to watch something like this! THANK YOU!
On a side note, the official David Gilmour Fan Club states that he will NOT be joining Roger for the rest of the tour. Call me whatever you want, but that makes me very happy!