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Home arrow David Gilmour 2006
May 29th - ROYAL ALBERT HALL, LONDON, ENGLAND Print E-mail

Royal Albert Hall
Royal Albert Hall, London
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Royal Albert Hall ticket scan
Concert starts: 7:30pm

Address of venue: Kensington Gore, London SW7 2AP. MAP

Website: www.royalalberthall.com


All three shows at this venue were recorded for a later DVD release. BD tried to count up all the cameras used for the recording. We spotted at least seventeen, so little would have escaped the camera's eye...!


SET LIST - MAY 29th
 
FIRST HALF: Breathe/Time/Breathe Reprise, Castellorizon, On An Island (w/Crosby & Nash), The Blue (w/Crosby & Nash), Red Sky At Night, This Heaven, Then I Close My Eyes (w/Robert Wyatt), Smile, Take A Breath, A Pocketful Of Stones, Where We Start.

SECOND HALF: Shine On You Crazy Diamond (w/Crosby & Nash), Wots...The Deal, Wearing The Inside Out, Coming Back To Life, High Hopes, Echoes.

ENCORE: Wish You Were Here, Find The Cost Of Freedom (w/Crosby & Nash), Arnold Layne (w/David Bowie), Comfortably Numb (w/David Bowie).

COMMENTS

The first of three nights saw the band on great form, in what felt like a very intimate venue - some of the audience were so close to the stage they could almost touch the musicians! Standouts included Echoes (Richard's keyboard playing was particularly impressive and EXpressive) and On An Island, which had David Crosby beaming from ear to ear like the Cheshire Cat!

The appearance of David Bowie for the final two numbers was a shock to the audience...

The second night featured another special guest appearance - Mica Paris - and a blistering version of Echoes which the band will be hard pressed to better on the final night. Magnificent show again... can they top that on Wednesday?

Seemingly these things are possible to the likes of David and co. The final night was a very special one to go out on. Despite starting an hour later, the show was slightly longer than the preceeding nights! Guests aplenty on this final bash - Crosby, Nash, Wyatt, Mica Paris again, and taking the stage for the encore songs, Nick Mason!

Nick's special touch on WYWH and Comfortably Numb came shining through - not to take anything away from Stevie DiStanislao, who has been consistently excellent throughout the tour - but it's like guitarists; you can tell them apart by their own unique styles of playing.

Our friend Nick Gribben has an insight into the delay: "A college graduation was booked for the afternoon which meant that the stage and all the sundries had to be removed and then replaced after the graduation had finished at 5.30p.m.

"I went to the main door about 6.45p.m as I was going to go to the bar before the concert. The doorman let me in and I went for a look about... I then noticed the Technicians were going through a sound check. I kept watching and at about 7pm the whole band came on stage including Nick Mason (which spoiled the surprise for later). Steve Distanislao went through the drum kit with NM, whilst Rick Wright gave a note perfect rendition of the organ solo at the end of 'A Saucerful of secrets'. The band then ran through parts of 'Then I close my eyes', then with NM on the drums they warmed up with a full version of 'Comfortably numb' and 'Wish you were here', with full lighting effects, David was saving his voice as he wasn't hitting the usual high notes and Polly Samson was on the stage the whole time taking photographs.It was a real privilege with no-one other than technicians in the hall, and gave me a view that you don't usually see.

"When the concert started my seat was right behind the mixing desk where I noticed Nettie Mason and one of Nick's daughters viewing the concert, along with Polly Sampson who would disappear to take photos of the concert."

The tour now goes on hold for a couple of months before heading to Austria for the final(?) stretch. In the meantime, work will be progressed on the DVD of the shows, we're sure. We tried to count the number of cameras recording the show for the DVD, and saw at least 17 of them around the Royal Albert Hall. Impressive!

PRO-SHOT PICTURE GALLERY - THROUGH THIS LINK


SHOW REVIEW
By BD's ticket competition winner, Graham Burbage

Frankly, I couldn’t believe my luck when my son, Steve, told me “Hey Dad, some chap called Matt from Brian Damage rang...” Amazingly, I’d won the two concert tickets donated by a mysterious and mighty generous benefactor. My old school pal, Jeremy, couldn’t believe his luck either when I suggested he be the plus 1.

We met Matt and his chum outside the Royal Albert Hall at the appointed hour to receive the goods and have a quick chat before it was time to take our superbly positioned seats.

The highlights were many:

  • Having a great view
  • Very well behaved crowd. No distracting talking
  • Sound quality was outstanding – very loud but crystal clear
  • Lighting was subtle but very effective. Plenty of dry ice in places
  • OAI played whole really brought the album to life. David’s singing was very fine indeed
  • The band seemed to enjoy the whole show particularly Guy and Steve
  • Dick Parry was superb – quite how he swapped over saxes during Shine I don’t know
  • Division Bell material was perfect
  • Graham Nash and David Crosby were very good – Graham Nash was barefoot - the old hippy. Their contribution to Shine was very impressive
  • Echoes – extraordinary. Very, very powerful. The lighting really kicked in. A well deserved standing ovation
  • Rick Wright got a tremendous reception from the crowd. His rendition of Wearing the Inside Out was first rate
  • Bowie did a fine job on Arnold Layne. But he was far less suited to Comfortably Numb – I’d have preferred Rick to have sung. But it was good to see Bowie looking so well.
As you would expect David produced two blistering guitar solos on Comfortably Numb.

We left on a real high. A fantastic evening. We didn’t even have to pay for parking as it was a public holiday. Many thanks to the mysterious benefactor and to Matt for organising the competition.

SHOW REVIEW
By Brain Damage contributor, Su

We were in our Choir seats for first half but managed to sneak down to the Arena when we spotted a few spare seats. (Most likely withdrawn tickets from ebay) I think a few people got the same idea because they did the same thing.

From the choir seats you get a birds eye view of the stage and a great vantage point to watch Gilmour effortlessly master the guitar and foot pedals. It really did feel like a privilege to be there.

The night itself was magical and to be honest, we sat there in awe for most of it. Surely we weren't sat 20 feet away from THE David Gilmour!!?? Darkside of the Moon? Live in Pompeii? And a little over to right was none other than Rick Wright. A couple of exchanging glances between Gilmour and Wright were somewhat moving. It was very surreal but fantastic anyway.

It was funny watching Crosby and Nash on stage. They looked as chuffed as we were to be there. They performed brilliantly. As did Guy Pratt. Having been to a couple of his talks, it was amusing to watch him on stage with a very relaxed demeanor about him. In fact, everyone on stage couldn't be more chilled out if they tried. It all felt very personal, and very together.

One of the most memorable parts for me was Gilmour's guitar solo at the end of Echoes when he did an extended version of the shuddering 'seagull'-like sounds at the end. I think it left most of us speechless. I cannot put into words the sounds that he made. With the lighting and dry ice all around him, his silhouette was an absolute sight to behold. Moments like that are priceless.

And last but not least, David Bowie, who was of course a fantastic treat. When Gilmour announced his name....for some bizarre reason, I didn't expect him to come out. He delivered Arnold Layne and Comfortably Numb beautifully. I've never really listened to Bowie properly and having seen him live, I was immediately hooked.

There is so much more I could write about the night but I hope this gives you the gist of it all...

SHOW REVIEW
By Brain Damage contributor, John Johnstone

What a show! And what a venue to do it in! This was my first visit to the RAH, and I ended up four rows from the front - it was like having the band in my living room, and what a band ....

All songs were played out by excellent musicians at the top of their game. The OAI album came to life and each song took on its own personality (even when DG forgot his lines momentarily during OAI). Crosby and Nash really seemed to be enjoying themselves and Robert Wyatt's trumpet piece was piece of magic, it was great to see him in such good form. The group were so, so tight and the acoustics were fantastic (at least from where I was sitting). First half highlights for me were Take a Breath (breathtaking!) and OAI.

Second half - and I thought that I had died and gone to Heaven. Echoes was out of this world, and Rick Wright really rocked like there was no tomorrow. The lasers, smoke and strobes combined to make this a standout for me. Mind you - High Hopes, Coming Back To Life, SOYCD - fantastic! And this was before Mr. Bowie hit the stage .... what a moment, what a masterstroke. His vocals on Arnold Layne could not have suited the song better and Comfortably Numb was just outrageous. I wanted the show to go on and on and on. David Gilmour's guitar playing throughout was just awesome.

Throughout the performance, the whole band seemed to be having fun. There were plenty of smiles between them all, and the audience were as one, often applauding before the songs had come to an end. This was a night that my wife and I will never forget (and we've seen some shows through the years). Thank you David Gilmour, and I sincerely hope that its not goodnight! And I can't wait for the DVD.

SHOW REVIEW
By Brain Damage contributor, Shafiq Hassan

In short, it was a breathtaking! Not just because I love Pink Floyd, all the musicians were in sync and the sound was just fantastic as I was wary from the reports on the previous two shows, although, David had lost his voice slightly and was a bit hoarse, which came though more as he spoke.

On an Island was played in full as Part 1 – would you believe it sounded so much better than the CD, every instrument was audible, but he started with Breath, Time and Breath Reprise. The concert started around 7:40 pm and finished at 10:45, with 30 mins intermission.

He did not play Fat Old Sun which I was a bit disappointed with, but Echoes just before the encore, was so brilliant, it was almost vintage Floyd – it touched somewhere which cant be expressed.

I was in the first row of the stalls and there were at least 3 people sitting around me openly camcording almost the entire show – none were reprimanded.

Wish You Were Here – the first encore song was slightly improvised, I felt lost a bit of the richness guitar duet. David Crosby and Graham Nash were both present during the concert enjoying their experience very much, and when the surprise guest appeared to sing Arnold Layne the whole place erupted, which was the second last song, and the night ended with Comfortably Numb.

The lights, strobe and the quality of sound made perfect balance, and we came out completely gobsmacked. We were fortunate to have been there.

SHOW REVIEW
By Brain Damage contributor, Tony Nicholls

Had a great night at the first RAH concert. A few observations:

  • Too many sad buggers viewed the whole concert through their camcorder screens
  • One woman fast asleep on her partner's shoulder - violently woken when he jumped from his seat to applaud a song
  • Did Mr Gilmour forget his lyrics during the first set?
  • Entering the RAH my wife overheard one chap: "Don't bother rushing - the support act will be on first, lets get a drink."
Great event, looking forward to a second dose on Wednesday. This may well be the last chance we get to see this stuff, live.

SHOW REVIEW
By Brain Damage contributor, Alessandro

What can I say about that night? well, try to imagine what a 31 old Italian Floyd fan, never been in England before, could feel like when entering the Royal Albert Hall to attend a David Gilmour show...

The venue is just a magical place, and the athmosphere is incredible. English fans are quiet actually if compared with Italian people, but I could feel the tension in the air.

The show starts with a surprise, a short Speak to me and then Breathe, Time/Breathe Reprise and after a brief cheer from David the complete performance of the new album. I have to say it......Maybe because of the place, or the luck of being so close to the stage that I could see every line in the face of the musicians ( we were placed in the 8th row!!!!!!!) I had to wipe a tear from my face...

The live performance of the new album is astonishing, David misses a verse of On a Island (who cares? he smiles with Crosby and Nash and it sounds so great and so natural...) The band seems quite in a good form, relaxed and in a very good mood, the sound is sharp and perfect, the light show a delicious Floyd/inspired experience...

The new songs run perfectly and too fastly to be honest, I feel mesmerized and the break arrives so soon. My friend Roberto and I take a chance to have a look around and some photos near the stage, and after a 40 minutes break due (I think) to some technical problems the hand-clapping calls David to the second half of the show.

A beautiful version of Shine On 1 to 5 is followed by the very nice Wots...uh the deal and then the 3 songs from Dision Bell take the audience in a far land, where everything is possible and the time and place have no sense...

I 'm tring to put myself together after the trip of High Hopes when a fan shouts "ECHOES!!!!!" and the songs starts, performed in some devil's inspired, mind blowing version, with a laser storm and the fog taking us in another dimension...

The rest of the show is an apotheosis with Wish you were here, the big surprise of David Bowie's appearance for Arnold Layne and Comfortably Numb - a great finale. And tears roll down again...

This is an unforgettable night actually, and I hope I'll be able to go to the Venice show in August. In the meanwhile I'm already preparing for the Roger Waters gig in the beautiful Arena of Verona, next Sunday.


 
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