Concert starts: 8:15pm
|Ticket scan - Nigel Bradder
Address of venue: 100 Universal City Plaza #5454, Universal City, CA 91608. MAP
FIRST HALF: Breathe/Time/Breathe
Reprise, Castellorizon, On An Island (w/Crosby & Nash), The Blue,
Red Sky At Night, This Heaven, Then I Close My Eyes, Smile, Take A
Breath, A Pocketful Of Stones, Where We Start.
SECOND HALF: Shine
On You Crazy Diamond (w/Crosby & Nash), Wot's... The Deal, Fat Old
Sun, Arnold Layne, Coming Back To Life, High Hopes, Echoes.
ENCORE: Wish You Were Here, Find The Cost Of Freedom (w/Crosby & Nash - one of their songs), Comfortably Numb.
The special guests seen the
previous night made the trip across town to the pleasure of the
audience, who were reportedly more relaxed, and quieter, than at the
Kodak. Only one song differed in the set list, and the song order
remained the same, too. Earlier in the day, the band recorded two
tracks for use in the Jay Leno TV show, in the bright Burbank sunshine.
Peculiarly, the TV producers only chose to air On An Island, and didn't
air Wish You Were Here. Odd.
The band now take a rest for
around a month, travelling back to the UK in preparation for the final
five shows, and a TV recording. The tour has gone incredibly quickly,
and we know from your feedback that all of you who have been have had a
great time! We also value the comments you've made over our coverage of
the shows - it was obviously worth our effort, and we thank those who
have helped out over the course of the tour so far, and those who have
just written in to express their appreciation.
Our thanks to Richard Perry - yet again - for the very quick submission of the set list.
Good friends of Brain Damage, the tribute band Which One's Pink?
were present at both the Leno recording, having good access to the real
band, and at the Gibson itself in the evening. Their review and
pictures from the day can be seen through this link.
By BD contributor, Ed Essa
I just got back from Dave's
Gibson Amphitheater show. The show was, of course, great, though I'd
have to say the atmosphere wasn't as nice as at the Kodak Theater last
night. I'd say this was a less sophisticated crowd - lots of people
talking and lots of people unfamilar with On An Island.
The sound was a bit louder and in
your face though, which kind of made up for it. Arnold Layne was MUCH
better tonight, Wots Uh The Deal was played (rather than Wearing the
Inside Out), and Crosby and Nash came out again.
I have to give credit to Jim Ladd
for playing lots of Floyd stuff for the drive home, but I detect that
he's bitter about something. Perhaps it's that KLOS (read: Disney) did
not give him time off for the show, or perhaps he's not as close with
David as he once was. I caught "On An Island" on NBC's Jay Leno just
after returning home (Crosby and Nash were there for the song).
By BD contributor, Kurt Lawson
WOW! My God! WOW!
I just got back from night two in
Los Angeles at the Gibson Amphitheater, and my head is spinning. David
and the band were ON FIRE! My less than stellar experiences with the
Kodak Theater were completely redeemed by my experience at the Gibson.
I was approximately 15 rows from the back, just left of center (LOG 11,
row M). Perfect view of the stage from anywhere in the house by the
looks of things.
This time, no ear protection was
necessary and the sound was absolutely stunning! Everything was crystal
clear and David's guitar cut right through to your soul.
As with the last few shows, David
warmed up the crowd with Breathe / Time / Breathe Reprise. The guitar
solo in Time was a preview of what was to come, as it was full of
energy and he just started to let loose! The crowd jumped to their
feet, where many would remain for most of the night. Next up was
Castellorizon into On an Island (with Crosby & Nash again of
course!), followed by pretty much the same order as the night before.
It's incredible to see David jump over to the Saxophone for Red Sky and
then go right back to blowing us away on of his guitars. Take a Breath
was really rocking and got the crowd really going again. Pocketful of
Stones was beautiful as the sound really was fantastic at the Gibson.
On to part two and the red strat
comes out for Shine On with Crosby & Nash. Once again a stunning
rendition of a beautiful song, with Dick Parry tearing it up with
multiple Saxophones. I really liked on both nights how he skillfully
flings the baritone sax aside to pick up the tenor.
Next up if my memory serves me
correctly was a lovely rendition of Wots... The Deal. This stumped many
in the crowd but I was singing along quietly :)
The white Telecaster came out for
Arnold Layne again, followed by a mind-blowing Fat Old Sun. David and
the band really tore this one up. Incredible. Next up like the night
before were Coming Back to Life and High Hopes, which David attacked
with equal energy. He missed the first note or two of the slide solo
because he forgot to flip a pedal switch on the Cornish board, but he
gracefully dove in at the right place.
And then...... Over the deafening
roar of the audience a single note from Rick and we all know what's
coming (Echoes). The crowd erupted in a fury of excitement and we all
witnessed David and Rick's stunning performance. As I said at the
beginning: the band was ON FIRE tonight! When it was over, I picked my
jaw up from the floor and stared blankly at the stage in disbelief!
What a difference it makes to
actually see what's going on and hear it without security talking
loudly and evicting the same guy for the 5th time (are you reading this
Wish You Were Here began the
encore, I think as from the night before. David's energy showed no
signs of winding down here. Next up was the a cappella rendition of
Find the Cost of Freedom with an explosion of applause and screaming
from the audience as Crosby and Nash left the stage.
And finally of course Comfortably
Numb. During the bridge solo the green laser fanned out to cover the
edge of the balcony all across the amphitheater. It looked really neat
below it, and must have looked really interesting from up in the
balcony. Very cool.
David finished us all off with an
incredible rendition of Comfortably Numb. I'm still in disbelief at how
great a show it was. It was the single best concert experience I've
had, out of about 30 shows of various bands. This one takes the cake.
David I hope to see you again.
By BD contributor, Ted Shuttleworth
First thing is, I had perfect
seats - Orch 3, row DD. That's 4 rows behind the pit, 4 rows up from
the floor, about 30 feet from the stage. Slightly to David's right, so
could really really check out his playing. Could not have been better.
[.... wait ... Tonight Show's on.
Look at all these jackasses waving their arms like they have slow
motion flies in their faces . God that's so weird. Did someone tell
them to do that?]
Anyway, back to the show. Not
sure if they've ever played Wots and FOS in the same show before (maybe
last night), but it was great - GREAT. Generally, the whole thing was a
Gilmour/Floyd geek's dream. All the new stuff, lots of obscure stuff, a
few big hits, immaculate musicianship and insane guitars. David was
really loose and smiling, seemed to improvising a lot in the solos. In
excellent voice, best I've ever heard from him. Manzanera is superb,
Guy Pratt and the whole band are superb and Rick Wright is *the* secret
weapon. Wright totally takes the show to another level and it's just
about impossible to imagine Echoes without him.
The OAI stuff was very good, if
just a bit monotonous at times. Was very cool to see David play sax,
but then Dick Parry came out and showed everyone how it's really done.
My friend has never heard the OAI record before and he was impressed.
And on one of the OAI shows, David played a gold top Les
Paul that was just amazing. (sorry ... guitar geek).
In the second set, we all sang
along on SOYCD, including Crosby & Nash, who were on 2 songs (OAI
and The Blue) in the first set. David on the red strat for Shine On.
Wots sounded great, and I was really really happy when FOS came next,
thinking that he would only do one and not the other. The solo on FOS
was ABSOLUTELY ASTOUNDING -- best moment of the show for me. Wait 'til
you all hear the roios.
Being as much of a Syd fan as I
am, it's hard to know what to say about hearing Arnold Layne. A dream,
maybe? David's intro was very funny - a song so old it's "from before
my time." He played a yellow telecaster on that one - no paste-on
mirrors, though. On either Coming Back to Life or
High Hopes (can't remember) David switched to this bitchin' Gretsch Duo Jet. More guitar geek drool material.
As expected, Echoes was next and
it was just as awesome as advertised - even better than at MSG in '87
(psych!! forget it ... don't want to argue anymore). Dry ice fog,
sharks with fricken laser beams ... that song had it all. Encores were
just more of the same -- winding up what, for the proper Gilmour/Floyd
geek, was a perfect concert.
A few last observations. It was
hot in the hall - and there was lots of fog in the air (to reflect the
lasers I guess) and it gave the show an intensity that was really a
bonus. Great crowd, very diverse. Young and old, just about evenly
mixed male and female, etc. Tons of people taking cell phone pics and
videos, rolling vid cameras. No security hassles at all that I could
see. And, finally, completely unlike the Roger solo shows I saw in '99
and 2000, I never ONCE had the feeling that something, or someone, was
missing on stage. David's music has really moved beyond Roger. He
doesn't seem to need him anymore, definitely didn't tonight at all. But
the show would have been much less enjoyable without Rick Wright. At
the end of Echoes, David and Rick do this call and answer thing on
organ and guitar and it was amazing seeing just the two of them do this
-- nearly 40 years of history there. I love that they're both in their
60's, that they both look great and healthy and can still play their
asses off. Was worth every penny to go to this show (and the tix,
bought from a broker just this afternoon, were, ahem, pricey.) This was
just not to be missed.
By BD contributor, Michael Gundrum
Last night I saw such a
spectacular show with all the bells and whistles. I was sitting head on
right in front of David. Perfect solos, perfect songs - just a great
show. The crowd was great, and the venue was the best. Last night was a
closure for me: 12 years ago I lost two great friends who turned me on
to Floyd. We got to see the Division Bell tour in '94 and shortly after
that show they both passed on to greater things. Thank you David for
that show I know in my heart they were sitting right there with me.
Thank you David & Rick - I'm still feeling the effects the day
after. And I wasn't even tripping this time!
By BD contributor, Lance
I have just gone to the concert
at the Gibson and it couldn't be better. The lighting was perfect and
David's voice was perfect as well. As fan's we went crazy over the
lighting as well as the vocals. This could not be better. Enjoy the DVD
when it arrives! You won't want to miss it! Let's hope he decides to
make a new album soon (including Nick Mason)!
By BD contributor, Deepak
I drove from New Mexico to LA to see David Gilmour, and the show was great.
You have the set list, so I won't
bother. David Gilmour was superb. I felt that the guitar sound was
rough, and very heavy. Sounded cool. Some parts sounded like Jeff Beck.
There were some minor snags, when
David would move from the mic to his slide guitar, there were a few
seconds when the audience could not hear anything. Felt like the volume
was turned down. I noticed this on High Hopes.
On an Island was played in full,
and parts of it sounded very much like a Solo album, and unlike Floyd.
Attended the after party at Universal City, and a band called "Which
one's Pink?" was playing. They played songs from the Animals album, and
I felt like Mr Waters was there.
Overall, the show was great, one
of the best I have seen. This certainly was a Solo effort,on David
Gilmour's part, and less of Floyd in my opinion. Echoes was the best.
By BD contributor, stperry
David Gilmour's concert at the
Gibson Amphitheater in Los Angeles was nothing short of monumental. It
was the final show of the North American tour and, if you do the math,
perhaps the last time the guitarist will ever perform on these shores
When I arrived at the venue, I
couldn't help but notice the abundance of Pink Floyd T-shirts worn by
graying and/or balding guys with massive beer bellies. I also saw
plenty of youngsters wearing Floyd shirts, which confirms the band's
lasting, universal appeal.
Even though my seat was in the
upper echelons of the amphitheater, I had a great view. My only
complaint was the heat. Many people were using the "On An Island"
placards left on each seat as fans. Naturally, because the date was
4/20 and the crowd was in a rather Floydian headspace, the aroma was
intoxicating, to say the least.
I've been listening to other
shows from this tour and pretty much knew what to expect, songwise.
However, I was pleasantly surprised by the lighting, lasers, and
overall dynamics of the band.
It was interesting to see Gilmour
switch around his instruments. One minute he was playing a
Stratocaster, the next a Les Paul. Then he'd strap on an acoustic and
walk over to his pedal steel. Other times, he played the saxophone and
banjo. Of course, nothing compares to the ethereal tone he gets out of
the electric guitar, no matter which axe he's playing.
An appearance by David Crosby and
Graham Nash, who recreated their background vocals on "On An Island,"
definitely sweetened the deal. Crosby and Nash returned to the stage
later to pipe in on "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" and performed an a
capella version of "Find The Cost Of Freedom," an old CSNY song, with
Gilmour. All the more captivating was a stellar version of the old Syd
Barrett tune "Arnold Layne" with Rick Wright on vocals. "Fat Old Sun"
and "Echoes" were personal highlights for me. I can now die with a
smile on my face.
All in all, an excellent
performance. I thought it was much more representative of Pink Floyd's
songbook than the Momentary Lapse Of Reason and Division Bell tours,
both of which focused primarily on everything from Dark Side Of The
Moon onward. Hopefully, when Roger Waters hits the road later this
year, he will rise to the challenge and deliver on par with Gilmour.
Either way, it's a great year for Pink Floyd fans.
By BD contributor, Bob
I was at the Gibson show last night, Orchestra 5 row GG. There were tons of people outside trying to buy tickets.
The concert started our very
strongly but as On An Island progressed I felt the energy level fell a
bit. I might be in the minority here but I thought the much discussed
Crosby/Nash appearances were a distraction which added very little.
David’s voice seemed a bit hoarse
at times but his guitar playing was dead on all night. I’m a huge Roxy
Music fan (I saw them at the same venue in May 1983 during their Avalon
tour) and Phil Manzanera was completely, and I do mean completely,
inaudible throughout last night’s show. Was he even plugged in? I was
reminded of Phil Spector’s comment about Badfinger at the Concert for
Bangladesh, that they were meant to be “felt but not heard.” Truly a
The second half of the concert
was the real treat. David seemed much more animated and the high points
for me were Fat Old Sun and Echoes. They were absolute perfection, an
intensity that can’t possibly be described. I give the concert 8 out of
10. Really a fun evening!
By BD contributor, Robert Cooper
David’s [US] tour ended as it
started! Playing in front of a capacity filled Gibson Theater, the band
showed up with a fresh sun-burn from the day with Leno! This show
sounded great and most of the fan’s were cool (unlike the 3 different
brawls within 20 rows the night before).
David admitted that Arnold Layne wasn’t a song that he did, “This is a song that the band did even before me” he explained.
As he left the show, and the
North American tour came to an end, Polly jumped into his arms on the
side of the stage. Well done tour! For all the cities I visited on this
NA tour there were ups and downs to each city. I met a lot of real cool
people, and people that I wouldn’t want to be around in any situation.
I think that fans should keep quite during songs. The funny moment of
this last show is during the band introductions – someone yelled out
“David” during his introductions and David paused, with and said “Yes,
I do know my name!”
And so do we. You are David
Gilmour. A successful solo artist from a band that has a legacy bigger
then itself. If there ever is a next time, I would pay big $$$ to see
DG perform some shows with songs from his first 2 solo albums. Any
songs from them would have fit as perfect along with the incredible “On
An Island” songs. This would of made for an even more memorable tour,
for me a die hard Gilmour Solo fan. I waited over 20 years to hear
those songs again and I will probably never have such a chance.
Anything you play David, your fans want to hear. We know your name, and
the die hard fans are the ones that listen to every word, every note,
and yes – every deep breath.
By BD contributor, Wally Realini
First, let me touch on the highlights of the concert.
With the lights out the concert
began with Speak to Me, Breathe, and Time. This established the concert
as defiantly Pink Floyd regardless of how it was presented and
advertised. David and Rick probably enjoyed performing these three
classics almost as much as the crowd appreciated them. The ambiance of
the entire concert hall was electrified as it has probably never been
before. Pink Floyd would move the earth with their music if given the
David preformed "Fat Old Sun" to
a stunned audience. I don't believe most of the attendance has ever
heard that song in particular and I was personally moved by the
performance David gave. I believe this song gave a new light to who
David Gilmour is and what his music is all about.
I am a big PF fan and I was moved
by the band's performance on every song they played. However, the one
song I will never forget and the one song that can only be described as
a "movement," rather than a song, started with that familiar Ping
announcing the coming of "Echoes."
Echoes was the highlight of the
entire concert. I felt that David and his band put a lot of effort into
entertaining us with its performance and laser/light show. I don't know
how long they spent on this one song but I felt it could have gone on
forever, yet I am sure the band was exhausted by the time they were
done. A special thanks goes out to everyone involved with its
performance and cultivation.
The Downside of the concert:
I was very disappointed with
only one aspect of this concert and my writing of this report may not
have occurred due to it. However, my wife commented on it again tonight
at dinner and thus I have decided to write to you. Hopefully, you will
reply to my comments with an avenue for my complaint to reach those who
are concerned with its impact.
To put it bluntly: The sound
system and acoustics at the Gibson were not up to Pink Floyd or David
Gilmour standards. Definitely not up to mine. There were many occasions
where the music was distorted. The concert hall reverberated with
distortion and resonance that I have never heard elsewhere. I am sure
they were not a part of the music. I am an electronics engineer, an
Amateur Radio operator, and have a background in the theater; I feel I
am well qualified to know distortion and unintended resonance.
On High Hopes, my personal
favorite PF song, the acoustic guitar David played was distorted by the
electronics used to amplify the sound. Both David's and Rick's
microphone had to be replaced during the concert. I realize with only
one performance at each venue problems arise, but we chose the Gibson
for it's superior acoustics over the Kodak. The upshot is that we were
very disappointed with the quality of the sound system and four seats
at $350 each I feel we should have had a better experience with the
Let me end with the fact that I
would not have missed this concert no matter what. I rank it above all
other concerts I have been to in the past, even the previous PF
concerts I have attended. Thank you to all involved, your efforts are
appreciated by Pink Floyd and David Gilmour fans everywhere.
CONCERT REVIEW by BD CONTRIBUTOR, Arthur Bristol
As I prepare to experience David Gilmour at the Hollywood Bowl next Thursday the 24th March 2016, it is a perfect time to reflect on the On An Island concert experienced 10 years ago. Diane Keaton found a note paper in her mom's house that said, "Memories are just moments that refuse to be ordinary." Certainly the goal of every songwriter is to create music that takes people to a place they want to be. David has done this consistently. When he bids us to "Remember That Night," he sings of a special place from a special place. I always knew I would write down my experience of the 20th of April 2006. Now I share my glowing review
with others, hoping to encourage those who are "on the fence" to jump in and see the current tour. Rattle That Lock indeed!
Most people who love Pink Floyd appreciate the singing, songwriting and guitar playing of David Gilmour. Millions of Californians fit this description, so it was no surprise when the best of Gilmour’s 2006 Los Angeles concert tickets sold-out in the blink of an eye. On the other hand, the extremely expensive VIP seats did not sell so quickly. Being a Los Angeles native, the VIP package with hotel and limousine was a “no sell.” As an alternative, I surfed the ticket agency websites and found excellent seats at indecent prices, and took the plunge.
My wife Jane’s first rock concert was Pink Floyd in Milwaukee 1974, an experience that opened her eyes, and set the gold standard. I began romancing Jane in 1990, and Floyd music has always been one of our shared interests. We were blown away by the 1994 Division Bell concert at the Rose Bowl. So, when the 2006 Gilmour shows were announced, we were eager to go.
We assumed Gilmour would be playing original songs with handpicked musicians. It was a safe bet that songs from 2006’s “On an Island” would be featured in the show. Perhaps songs from 1978’s “Gilmour,” and 1984’s “About Face” would appear. It was uncertain whether any Floyd material would make the set-list, but it didn’t matter. We were ready for anything.
We avoided any spoilers that might reveal details, including the “On An Island” CD liner notes. The musician credits on the CD might get us worked up, just to leave us disappointed if they couldn’t make the tour. This would allow the evening to occur spontaneously, without distractions or disappointments. Nevertheless, it was fairly obvious that Crosby and Nash were singing on the new title track. From the sound of the collection, it was fairly obvious that Richard Wright was involved, so there was already enough speculation. We decided to keep our tour program closed until the end of the show, or at least until there was a break. An experience this special requires careful planning.
Jane and I have been to hundreds of concerts over the years. We’ve seen a lot of different crowds, and we were delighted that this gathering was so peaceful, centered, and blissful. There was a fair amount of tie-dye clothing, but nowhere near as people wear at a Grateful Dead show. The room was packed with quietly contented people awaiting transport to a communal euphoria of sight and sound.
The Gibson Amphitheater lights went down and the first three songs were, “Breathe,” “Time,” and “Breathe Reprise,” from Floyd’s 1973 recording “Dark Side of the Moon.” We were stunned. This obviously was a Floyd concert, covertly labelled as a Gilmour concert. What a shrewd way to reduce the Floyd hype. This concert was for the true fans, especially the ones who missed the early days and the smaller venues.
The band sounded better than ever! It was obvious that the musicians included Floyd alumni Richard Wright, Jon Carin and Guy Pratt of the Momentary Lapse and Division Bell tours. The drummer wasn’t Nick Mason or Gary Wallis. The additional guitarist wasn’t Tim Renwick or Snowy White. No matter really, since these musicians were spot on! Three hours can be meaningful, moving and memorable. We yearned for this concert for 12 years. Thank God there are Floyd tribute bands, considering how infrequent the genuine Floyd members perform in local venues. Ah hah, but vive le genuine alumnae!
The Gibson Amphitheater (fka: the Universal Amphitheater) was one of the best places to hear live music, before it was demolished in 2013. Known for its immaculate audio field and intimate atmosphere, this 6,000 seat concert hall provided a far different experience than the 100,000 seat Rose Bowl. In some miraculous way, our lives had created a bridge between the “The Division Bell” concert and the “On An Island” event.
“On An Island” featured unearthly stage lighting. It appeared that fewer moving parts were required than the Division Bell rig. Perhaps the lighting was stripped down and less elaborate, but it was still quite dazzling and visually mesmerizing. The central eerie effect was David Gilmour’s silhouette performing in front of a flood of yellow light on some songs, or red, or blue light on others. At times it seemed that Gilmour had arrived from outer space, an effect further enhanced through the use of fog, theatrical smoke and lasers. These effects were offset by plain moments where the stage was displayed under subdued lighting. From time to time, the dim stage harkened to a room where a spouse might find their insomniac spouse reading a book at three in the morning.
Just as anyone would hope, Gilmour and Wright’s voices sounded youthful and resilient throughout the concert. Supported by the precision of the band, Gilmour’s guitars and amplifiers were consistently richer in tone than I ever imagined. This was better than pristine vinyl over the most discerning audiophile’s dream system. I never expected any concert to sound this good. It was obvious, the mixing desk was in the hands of legendary engineers with monumental career credits. The mix was attended with great mastery.
After the opening Floyd songs, Gilmour announced that next up was the entirety of the “On An Island” record. The playing order of the songs was slightly revised, and this would be followed later-on by some oldies and goldies. He welcomed David Crosby and Graham Nash to lend their vocal support to both the title track “On An Island” and the subsequent number “The Blue.”
Few bands perform the entirety of their new album in a single concert segment, unless they’re touring their debut album. By and large, a group with an extensive catalog of crowd favorites is less likely to deliver a complete run-through of the new recording. However, research reveals that Floyd’s been writing albums rather than songs, and they’ve been playing all (or most) of the new album since the “Dark Side of The Moon” shows of the early 1970’s. So it was only natural that “On An Island” would lend itself to an all-inclusive rendition. The album is quite nearly a Floyd album, featuring many of the musicians, lyricists, and sound engineers that crafted “A Momentary Lapse of Reason” and “The Division Bell.”
It was fascinating to watch Gilmour migrate around the stage during the “On an Island” material. He played a variety of instruments, and they were set-up in various “work stations.” He went from station to station from song to song, often to sing while playing yet another guitar. Having avoided the “On An Island” CD liner notes, we were surprised that Gilmour was playing the saxophone solo during “Red Sky At Night.” Gilmour plays saxophone? The day after, while reading the liner notes, we were amazed at how many other instruments Gilmour played on the studio tracks. Our successful multi-talented legend reached into a consistently engaging and diverse catalog to share rare and unparalleled gems. As far as we were concerned, the night could have gone on forever, and Gilmour was all too happy to deliver, judging by the particularly complete set-list.
Intermission was a nice opportunity to catch our breath, and gear ourselves up for the oldies and goldies promised at the onset. As the lights came up, we saw our community milling about in peaceful elation, the strangers who had ascended with us into the first set of Gilmour’s carefully constructed multimedia voyage. Although we continued to expect 1978 or 1984 Gilmour solo material, this was not in the cards.
Given the quality of the Floyd-material featured in the second half, no further solo material was needed. Anytime you find yourself among genuine Floyd alumnae playing “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” you can sit back and enjoy the sounds. And so we did. The music washed over our auras in a tidal pool of shifting textures. And when original Floyd sax player Dick Parry joined in, the improvised solos were authentic, revitalized, and satisfying beyond all earthly splendor.
Anyone who ever milked the Floyd juice from “Obscured by Clouds” was delighted to find “Wot's... Uh The Deal?” polished off and presented anew. Jane and I turned to see each other’s delighted bewilderment as the first few notes began. After this obscure classic, Gilmour went one step further by resuscitating the “Fat Old Sun” track from “Atom Heart Mother.” The set-list continued to refresh the audience with its perfection.
Without a crystal ball, who could anticipate that Floyd’s first single, “Arnold Layne” would appear next? Richard Wright’s ethereal lead vocal and keyboard playing stood alone in representing the original Floyd quartet, supported masterfully by Gilmour and his handpicked ensemble. Listening to Wright’s voice in this mysteriously lit concert hall, infused with the colorful lighting interplay, was an epiphany for the vinyl Floyd collector of yesteryear. We have visited many locations in the world, but few could be considered as relevant or memorable as riding this “Arnold Layne” time machine back to the heart of 1967. Although Barrett, Waters and Mason were not performing on this rendition, they were paid a masterful tribute.
Long ago, when the original Floyd foursome stepped into Sound Techniques studio in Chelsea with producer Joe Boyd and recorded their fledgling single “Arnold Layne”, they must have hoped to create something timeless to be affectionately received. Steeped in the era of youthful idealism and consciousness experimentation, they created a touchstone that outshined their intention with its unique and skillful execution. And here it was again at the Gibson Amphitheatre, unwrapped and delivered anew with authenticity and intentionality.
After this classic highlight, which followed a continual stream of highlights, the ensuing performances of “Coming Back To Life,” and “High Hopes,” from “The Division Bell” made perfect sense. Collectively, we were more alive and revitalized in this room than most of us had ever been. Coming back to life indeed! Our highest hopes materialized, and we found ourselves where the Division Bell rang out once again, dividing the past and the future.
Now, what more could an audience want? “Echoes” in its entirety? With the very first note, my reaction was defensive. Could they be teasing us? It’s not fair to kid around about something like this. Who in their right mind would expect to hear a twenty minute opus at this point in the show? Not merely a song, “Echoes” transports listeners on a breathtakingly stunning voyage through a variety of picturesque soundscapes and remote musical locations. But no, it was not just a cruel trick. Gilmour was not just messing with our emotions. He was taking care of each of us, satisfying our most insatiable needs. This full rendition of “Echoes” was magnificent. Gilmour and his crew took their time to caress each musical texture before each section floated off into the collective subconscious.
Incidentally, I had seen “Pink Floyd – Live In Pompeii” in a revival theater several times during the 1980’s. But it never occurred to me that I would ever experience Gilmour, Wright and crew perform this epic musical opus in a premier concert hall. What a perfect way to end the second set. Our voyage had climbed a succession of emotional peaks to arrive at the ultimate summit.
Given the length and the depth of the first and second sets, how could we even dream of an encore? However, both “Wish You Were Here” and “Comfortably Numb” had been overlooked. But of course, this was a cleverly planned conclusion. The lighting and laser displays featured on the encore were glorious. Gilmour aimed to please, and exceeded all expectations.
Sandwiched between “Wish You Were Here” and “Comfortably Numb,” Gilmour invited Crosby and Nash to the stage once more, to join them in singing “Find The Cost Of Freedom.” It is rare to hear an unaccompanied vocal trio during a rock show. Their immaculate voices gave new life to this classic from Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young, a public service announcement calling for the end of war. Were they preaching to the choir? This was a very peaceful audience. Perhaps Gilmour featured this song to thank Crosby and Nash for lending their inimitable voices to his latest studio effort and this amazing concert. In any case, it was a beautiful tribute to fallen veterans and their families. To finish things up, the doctor came in and gave us a shot in the arm with a soaring guitar solo.
True to Gilmour’s intention, this was a night to remember. Everyone’s life was touched by the artistry exhibited in this finely-tuned collaborative event.