Concert starts: 8:00pm
Address of venue: 2005 Lake Robbins Drive, The Woodlands, Texas 77380, USA. MAP
Tickets for this concert went on sale on February 16th, through the normal ticket agents www.ticketmaster.com. Our thanks to James Sloan for sending in the ticket scan, shown to the right, and to Willie who sent in the set list shown below the ticket.
|SET LIST - highlight the following with your mouse to read...
|FIRST HALF: In
The Flesh, Mother, 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
SECOND HALF: Dark Side of the Moon. ENCORE: The Happiest Days Of Our Lives, Another Brick In The Wall (Pt 2), Vera, Bring the Boys back Home, Comfortably Numb.
WARNING - SPOILERS AHEAD!
Do not read on if you don't want surprises to be spoilt, regarding what the band played!
The fourth and final show in the North American leg of Roger's 2008 Dark Side Of The Moon mini tour, and another knockout performance! the band sound to be getting better and better! Reports are now arriving and so have some excellent pictures too.
In five days time the tour resumes in sunny Spain. The audience in Granada are due for a real treat! If you are going, have a great time and don't forget to tell us about how the show was for you...
CONCERT REVIEW and PICTURES by BD CONTRIBUTOR, James Sloan
A review of the concert (and a critique of a Houston radio station’s Monday morning, May 5, “review”)
First, the Executive Summary: Great. Wonderful. Mind-bending AND mind-blowing. Fantastimagorical. Magical. Powerful. Spellbinding. Awesome. Awesome to the max.
Roger and his band were on target. Tight. Even with Chester Kamen replacing Andy Fairweather-Low they did not miss a beat. All the cues were hit perfectly, the films perfectly timed, the props (spaceman during “Perfect Sense”, pig and flamethrowers during “Sheep”, spark throwers during “In The Flesh”, explosives during “Bring The Boys Back Home”) just perfect.
All in all, a perfect show. Well worth $1200 (ticket, flight, hotel, car, eats) for a whirlwind trip from Poca, West Virginia to Houston and back, all within 54 hours. I mean, and I certainly hope this ISN’T the case, this could be the last Waters show ever in the United States. The only other whirlwind trip I’ve ever done like that was a 1000-mile-one-way drive from here to New Orleans over New Year’s 1994 in 3 days to see a Sugar Bowl game, but that one didn’t turn out so perfect.
Now for the concert review. The executive summary says it all. There’s really not much more to add. This venue is a great venue. Roger’s crew has the sound production down pat. Speakers everywhere, so the sound moved, just like on the studio versions. “On The Run” was absolutely brilliant. I’ve never heard such clear and crisp sound from a live performance before, and that includes the Waters-less Floyd in 1994 in Cleveland. Graham Broad on the tom-toms for “Time”. Jon Carin’s keyboards, guitars, and vocals, which channel David Gilmour’s almost perfectly. (Side note – Carin along with Guy Pratt will carry the Pink Floyd mantle well into the future.) Ian Ritchie’s mellow sax on “Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun”, “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, “Us And Them”, etc. Snowy White alternating with Dave Kilminster on lead and rhythm guitars. Andy Fairweather-Low’s replacement was more than adequate. Harry Waters on backup keyboards. Roger himself on his bass and vocals and all else he does. And last but certainly not least, Carol Kenyon, P.P. Arnold, and the third woman who replaced Katie Kissoon, Sylvia Mason-James, with the backup vocals. I can’t remember which one wailed to “The Great Gig In The Sky”, but she was just, well, words can’t describe it. This group of women is essential to the entire “Dark Side of the Moon” performance, and I don’t think that the 1994 group (with the exception of Sam Brown) did near as good of a job as this group does.
The crowd was very well-behaved, although a few times I smelled “skunk”, if the readers know what I mean. Ages ranged from 6-ish to OLD. Singing, dancing while the staff would let it happen. A great crowd. I heard no boos after “Perfect Sense Parts 1 and 2” or “Leaving Beirut. As a matter of fact, the cheering got louder as good ole’ Bush Junior’s picture flashed across the screen and Roger sang that his Texas education must have fucked him up when he was very young. I was a little surprised, this being IN Texas, I didn’t know what to expect. But there were some who disagreed, which I’ll discuss later in my “critique of the reviews” of the next morning.
This show was far superior to the show I previously saw in September 2006 at the Nissan pavilion in Bristow, Virginia. And that show was damn near perfect. I met a guy (hello, Bruce, if you read this like I told you to) who has seen now 5 shows on Roger’s “Dark Side” tours, and lo and behold he was at that very show! Small world. He even saw a show in Holland, as his job requires a lot of overseas travel. That would be ever so nice.
OK, enough about the show, Everyone who’s seen it knows about it. Now time for a critique of this Texas Republican Christian right-wing radio station’s (I should call it out because I know which station it is and even know the DJs’ names, but I won’t) morning-after review that I heard while driving to the airport Monday morning in a frog-strangling downpour.
First, these guys don’t think music should make “statements”. What the hell is it supposed to do? Don’t they know who Roger Waters is? What he is all about? He does not write anything that doesn’t say SOMETHING, and something important. They took call-ins. Some of the call-in reviewers were very supportive and said the show was fantastic, some were blah about it, but there were couple of callers that were absolutely idiotic. These right-wing jerks were nasty. One caller said that his group LEFT THE SHOW after “Leaving Beirut”, giving Roger the “one-finger salute” as they left. What did they expect? It’s Roger Waters! Why did they even bother to come? Morons. The DJ’s then complained about Roger using pre-recorded stuff, and I say BFD to that. They also said that he was “downing” Texas itself during “Leaving Beirut”. They are cretins; the song does NOT down Texas, it down the leaders of the Western world who wage war in the name of the almighty dollar. They said something like love Texas or get out. They called his stuff “liberal garbage”. What a bunch of Christian right-wing assholes. I laughed practically all the way to the airport at these morons.
“There is no dark side of the moon really. Matter of fact it’s all dark.”
CONCERT REVIEW by BD contributor, Ted
Walking in with some friends, the atmosphere seemed a little tense for some reason. Lots of Floyd shirts, Tool, and others. I ran into another guy who was wearing the same King Crimson shirt, and we talked about the shows we were going to this summer. Got a small crowd in the lawn area cheering my shirt as well! I love prog rockers...
The music coming in was from Levon Helm's "Dirt Farmer" album, which I highly recommend. My friends and I had great seats in the middle facing the stage to the right of and slightly behind the mixing board. Perfect view of the stage.
During "Have a Cigar", a guy in front of me lit his up, and the smell was a nice added effect until a staff worker made him put it out. And yes, it was regular tobacco.
The quad effects were amazing, and I was told there were extra quad speakers for the lawn area so no one was left out of the effects.
As I stated in the Waters section [of the forum at our sister site, A Fleeting Glimpse], the political views were warmly received from what I could see, and Waters was very touched by the response. He crossed his arms across his chest (not in the hammer guard way), in a way like he was hugging the crowd. He said he couldn't think of a better city to end the US tour in. I could see people tearing up.
The pig had us in stitches. It appeared to the left behind some bushes and trees which made it very ominous looking, then came close enough for me and my friends to actually touch (some people rubbed on it as if for good luck), and laughed at the caricature of George W. Bush...yes, even in the current home of his parents...where we have never had a republican mayor (surprise!).
Absolutely amazing, lots of ooohs and aaaahs! People around me were amused with my knowledge of the Floyd and Roger's band, but whenever they had a question, I answered like most of the pros here on this board.
Speaking of which, it was nice talking to Gabriel, and we were the only people that we managed to contact from the board. But everyone around my friends and I were wonderful. The guy from Denver who missed that show but saw this one came by himself since he was on a business trip for his oil company. He was a joy to talk to.
I heard lots of foreign languages and accents, and saw people of all sizes, shapes and colors. Houston is a very diverse city, being near the Gulf and all. This concert proved it. I never felt so much international unity at a rock concert. It was not just a bunch of drunken rockers (though there were some as at any), but this was unbelievable. The couple in front of me, translating the Arabic language on one of the visuals...that was something I couldn't describe. Its like Roger was speaking to them.
The only problem was getting out. It was definitely a bottleneck, and one girl was freaking out saying she was gonna plow through everyone. I found her annoying at first, but remembered that some people have phobias, so I didn't say anything.
As for Roger, HE WAS ON. He sang with no backing track, he was VERY emotional during many of the songs, pointing his fingers, thrusting his arms and fists in the air like HIS SONGS HAD MEANING. "Bring the Boys Back Home" had the crowd on their feet. My buddy Kirston was with me, back from Iraq, and it really hit home with me. He loved the Final Cut songs especially. But Roger looked so touched after looking slightly nervous in the beginning. He was very pleased with our reaction and acceptance of the songs, however heavy handed they were (as even many liberal thinkers in the audience felt).
This will go down as one of the greatest concerts this venue (and many concert goers) have ever seen. It was also the 38th anniversary of Kent State.
CONCERT REVIEW and PICTURES by BD contributor, Jeff Wilson
My girlfriend and I drove down to The Woodlands, a nice suburb north of Houston, to see Roger Waters in Concert on the 4th of May. Our seats were wonderful, easily some of the best seats I've ever had at a concert. I'd sat here and watched a year ago as my buddy, Paul Mashburn and a few of his friends attended this same concert in Atlanta on an earlier leg of the tour. I'd been really tempted to drive over there and see it, knowing that Waters wasn't coming to Texas in 2007. So when I heard he was coming and the chance came to see the show I was determined to be right up close. Money was an object, but not much of one. You only live once. I paid $558 for two seats on the 16th row centre, under the cover of the pavilion. My girlfriend Denise flipped her lid when I told her how much I'd paid for the tickets. But after the show, as we walked in the afterglow of the spectacle, I asked her if the price was worth it. She smiled up at me and said it was. There was no question in my mind. It was worth every penny.
When we got to our seats I recognized the picture that was being shown on the screen behind the stage. I'd spent a good while a year earlier looking at the pictures Paul'd taken in Atlanta and posted on FlickR, and I'd read his review of the concert at his blog and at the fan site that posted his shots and review. I knew that the concert would begin when a hand came into the picture to turn the radio dial.
Sure enough, we all noticed when the fog machines began to bellow and cigarette smoke began wafting up in front of the radio. Then the hand reached up, turned the dial and grabbed the glass of booze that sat in front of the radio. Denise began to tear up as the radio played an old song from WW2, We'll Meet Again, by Vera Lynn. Then the hand moved in again and we rocked to Elvis singing Hound Dog. When that ended an old ABBA tune began and people in the audience around me started yelling "Oh God, change the fucking channel", and sure enough, the hand came up and changed the channel to another station. I recognized the tune, another war time ballad, but can't remember the name of the guy who sang it.
Then, as the lights dimmed, Waters and his band walked out from behind the stage and the crowd erupted in cheers. The show began, and it would be at least an hour and a half before they took a break and Waters talked to the audience. They played lots of old Pink Floyd hits, mixing in tunes from albums like Ummagumma, Animals, Wish You Were Here, The Wall, and The Final Cut.
The visual effects were astounding, including the effect, which appeared at the climax of "Set The Controls For The Heart of the Sun". The screen behind the band burned horizontally like a fuse down to the floor. I think it was the most astounding thing I've ever seen in a concert. The screen behind the band played a constant mix of images, like the clocks ticking as Waters played that sound on his bass guitar during the performance of "Time".
The concert was visually stunning. A feast for the eyes as well as the ears. The band Waters put together played the old Floyd tunes expertly and left me exhausted and overjoyed. Like so many joyful experiences, this concert seemed to go by way too fast. Dark Side of the Moon went by particularly fast, as we all sang the lyrics along with the performers and stood in wonder at the visual stimulation zooming past our eyes. When this satellite gizmo dropped down and began to beam laser light into the crowd, eventually taking the shape of the prism from the old album cover, the crowd went nuts.
Waters and his band definitely put on a wonderful show. There's no question about it. It was one of the best concert experiences I've ever had, hands down. I hope he stays healthy and comes around again in a few years because I'd love to see him again. I'd even pay the big price again. It was well worth it. You get what you pay for, don't ya.
CONCERT REVIEW by BD contributor, EK
Roger looked and sounded good. The sets were great. He launched into a full political assault on Bush, the Texas Education system, the Christian right, etc. The "Vote Obama" leaflets and dirigible were released. Once again, this concert proved that Waters is a great musician, but should stick to his artistic talents rather than his political rants.
CONCERT REVIEW by BD CONTRIBUTOR, Andrew M
This was the fourth time I've seen Roger on this tour and like Mr. Sloan I saw him at the Nissan Pavilion back in 2006 and thought this show was even better. It was certainly the best show I've seen and it meant a great deal to me to see the Houston crowd cheer along with Perfect Sense and Leaving Beirut.
These were the best seats I've had for the show and the sound was incredible. I really can't emphasize enough on how great it is to hear all the different instruments being played and to experience surround sound during On the Run. I saw Van Halen earlier this year (no judgement folks, it was fun) and it's like night and day in terms of sound quality.
The pig seems to have gotten bigger from the first time I saw him and unlike in Tampa (he got stuck in the rafters) he flew off into the night without a hitch. Kilminster's playing was the best of the four shows I've seen and I was happy to see that Harry Waters is shunning the barber shop for another year.
My girlfriend even commented on how lively Roger was on stage and he definitely likes to move around the stage. Roger generally seemed touched by the crowds enthusiastic response to the show and he said, "I couldn't think of a better place to end the North American Tour than right here."
Dark Side was great and around Us and Them I started to realize that the show was nearing an end and that this might be the last time I ever see Mr. Waters again. If it was the last time, then at least I got to see the greatest concerts of my life for the last two years and it all culminated with the best show I've ever seen on a perfect night. Thanks again Roger.
CONCERT REVIEW by BD CONTRIBUTOR, Wade VandeSande
When I walked in there was house music playing and an image of a radio on the screen on a desk or table, with a drink and a hand that would periodically come on and change the station to a new song. This occurred for awhile, until the house lights went out and the moment we had all anticipated was upon us. As Roger took the stage the crowd thunderously roared their appreciation of a true rock genius and legend. The night started with an abrupt bang in the form of In the Flesh. A spotlight was scanning the crowd as Roger pointed out all the riff-raff that was let into the room. It was a fantastic way to start the show and was a huge crowd pleaser.
The next song of the night was Mother, starting off with Roger strumming an acoustic and singing. One of the backup singers (sorry, I can’t recall which!) took what was originally Gilmour’s lead vocal part, which works well since it’s actually supposed to be Pink’s Mother’s lines. This is also the first time you get to a classic Gilmour solo, and Dave Kilminster does a fairly nice Gilmour “knock off,” but it’s not quite the same.
Next up was a very sleek version of Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, complete with a brief jam in the middle, a saxophone solo and some fantastic psychedelic imagery on the massive and stunningly clear LED screen, spanning the entire back of the stage. Following this was an abbreviated version of Shine on You Crazy Diamond. Sonically this song was truly stunning and powerful. You could really just feel the depths of sadness that Waters was evoking in his vocals. It really was the first emotional moment of the evening, especially with images of a young and seemingly invincible Syd Barrett appearing on the screen onstage in a stirring video tribute.
Have a Cigar brought up the tempo of the show just a bit. I was concerned when I first saw Roger step up to the mic to sing the lead vocals on this one, but he sings this song surprisingly well. He hit every note with power and conviction. The band delivered a very solid rendition of Wish You Were Here, but I think this was the first song that I really felt like the performance of David Gilmour was sorely lacking. This is not really a song that I thought suited Roger’s voice particularly well, but it was still very enjoyable overall.
Next followed two songs from The Final Cut: Southampton Dock and The Fletcher Memorial Home. Not surprisingly, this was the first part of the set where I noticed people starting to head for beer runs or restroom breaks, but those folks missed out on some fantastic musical moments. The Fletcher Memorial Home had a particularly powerful, dark video in an asylum-meets-retirement-home setting which was commenting on the incurable tyrants of the world, including images of Osama Bin Laden, Ronald Reagan, Saddam Hussein and others panning across the screen. This video also lead to what was probably the most humorous idiot-in-the-crowd moment of the night for me: the girl two rows in front of me flipped off the images of all of the leaders as they appeared on the screen, with the obvious exception of Ronald Reagan.
Next came the first Roger Waters solo tune of the night: Perfect Sense, Parts I and II. This song was spectacular both sonically and visually and was one of the highlights of the first set for me. During Perfect Sense Part II, there was a humorous video of the “game” between the nuclear submarine and the floating oilrig inside a massive stadium, of course, with play-by-play from Marv Albert. It went almost exactly as I’d always pictured it in my head. The humor of the video aside, it was a truly moving moment in the show, of course backed by the glorious “Global Anthem”.
Leaving Beirut was the only other Roger Waters solo song of the night. He briefly addressed the crowd for the first time to give the back story behind the song (if you don’t know this one, briefly, he was traveling in Lebanon in the early 60’s, I believe he said 1961, with a friend when their car broke down. They were taken in by an Arab family as guests for the night and treated with great respect, and it changed his life and was a kindness he has never forgotten). Roger also used the video to great effect during this song, using a dark, almost comic book or graphic novel series of images (complete with speech bubbles containing the lyrics being sung) were displayed to help visualize the story. The lyrics to this song are obviously political of nature, commenting on George W. Bush and his Texas education, religions, etc. so this was the first time of the night where some of the Conservative concert-goers started booing. Despite what I’ve seen online, there were people who started booing and even leaving the show at this point. It was generally well received by the majority, but not totally... this is Texas, after all.
Finally, to close out the opening set was the classic from the 1977 Floyd album, Sheep. The band was great on this song and Roger really dug down deep to belt out the vocals on this one. This is also the song where some stagehands bring out the famed Pig for the night.
It was walked through an alley way, into one of the plazas of the venue, into the seating area and finally up onto the hill. The graffiti on the pig had a large political cartoon caricature of W Bush, with a speech bubble next to it saying “I’m with Stupid,” captions reading “Don’t be led to the slaughter,” “All Religions Divide,” “Impeach Bush Now,” (strategically placed under the pig’s tail, right on the butt) and the Support Obama message on the underbelly.
During this time confetti was also being dropped from the ceiling which also had a Support Obama message on it. Both of the Support Obama messages were a checkmark in a box next to the word “Obama.” This whole series of messages received an even stronger negative response than Leaving Beirut from certain people. Most people were clapping and supportive, but there was a noticeable chorus of Boos and stream of people leaving the venue at this point. I would also like to point out that several people filled out complaint letters that ranged from calling Roger a “terrorist supporter” to a “Communist” and that they wanted refunds because they came to see Dark Side of the Moon, not to hear a “Roger Waters Political Rally.” I’m guessing that the girl who flipped off Saddam and Osama was unhappy... Again, the majority of the crowd was impartial or supportive, but one would be understating the truth to say that a noticeable, yet small, negative reaction didn’t occur. After Sheep was done Roger received another ovation with a smattering of boos, and announced that they would take a brief intermission and come back to perform Dark Side of the Moon.
When the house lights came on, an image of the moon appeared on the screen. It was very distant at this point. Throughout the intermission it grew closer and closer, until the band finally came back onstage, to deafening applause to perform Pink Floyd’s 1973 masterpiece. Some of the more powerful parts of Dark Side of the Moon were:
· Carol Kenyon’s amazing rendition of Great Gig in the Sky with video of a thunderstorm passing overhead, where every bolt of lightning was a startlingly realistic punctuation
· Ian Ritchie’s saxophone solo on Us and Them
· A churning, frantic version of On the Run, which was one of the few songs that deviated from the original, though only slightly. There were a few new sound effects added in that are not part of the original, which all synced up with video clips (one example I remember was the sound and video of a train barreling by)
· The Quadraphonic surround sound effects were spectacular, particularly when you get to places in the album with lots of incidental sound clips and voice-overs occur (i.e. On the Run or Brain Damage). You could really feel the depth of sound that was added as a result of the extra speakers placed around the venue.
· The fantastic 3-D Dark Side of the Moon logo. It is the pyramid from the cover artwork with lasers that shot out across the crowd, including the very cool effect of having a single laser shooting in from the left side of the pyramid while the full spectrum of colors shot out the right side. They also enhanced this effect by pumping large volumes of smoke into the crowd, which made the lasers really show up crisply.
After Dark Side of the Moon, the band briefly left the stage, the original screen image of the radio had reappeared and then the band came back for an encore comprised completely of songs from The Wall. It started off with The Happiest Days of Our Lives with the sound of helicopter blades and a spotlight scanning into the crowd, finally settling on one fan and Roger pointed at him and yelled “You! Yes You! Stand Still Laddie!” Next up was, obviously, Another Brick in the Wall, Pt 2. This was followed by a bit of a shocker for me, in Vera. I was pleasantly surprised to hear Vera, and thought it sounded fantastic. Bring the Boys Back Home followed, and also sounded great. The video screen flashed images of war (in general and the war in Iraq) and there were concussion and pyro blasts on stage as well.
Finally, the show came to a close with Comfortably Numb, which was great, but I sure wish Gilmour was playing those solos... During the song you could see the fellow that was attached to the hand tuning the radio. He appeared to be in various stages of coherence, or comfortably numb, if you will. It was similar to many of the scenes of Pink sitting in his hotel room from the movie.
After the song was over, Roger received a massive standing ovation and he addressed the crowd and appeared truly and genuinely to be touched by the response he was receiving. A part of me believes that he was so touched to receive that response in a place like Texas, especially considering the message he delivered throughout the night. It must seem like a large moral victory to come into W. Bush’s home state and get that response and validation.
CONCERT REVIEW and PICTURES by BD CONTRIBUTOR, Bb
THIS was the show that was not to be missed! Roger Waters rolled into Houston, hit hard, pulled no punches, and delivered a compelling political and social statement that will not soon be forgotten.
On the drive down from Dallas earlier in the day, we wandered a bit to the west to visit some family, and I was told to look for contrails in the sky because the President was in Crawford for the weekend. The idea of Roger Waters and President Bush in such close proximity boded well for the performance that night.
And what a powerful performance it was from beginning to end. There was no mistaking Roger's intensity during "Fletcher," "Perfect Sense," and "Leaving Beirut." And the flying pig was pretty ferocious too, sporting a caricature of the President with donkey ears, framed by the captions, "Only Dimly Aware…" and "I'm With Stupid." By the time the first set ended and the pig ascended gracefully into the mist-filled Texas sky, we could only wonder how the band could keep the energy up for Dark Side.
But this was a magical night, and the band just nailed song after song. The theatrical smoke on stage was thicker than usual, creating brilliant atmospherics, and the sound was clear and powerful. "Us and Them" was perfect, and the crowd went crazy every time they were bathed in white light during the chorus. The thick smoke transformed "Any Colour You Like" into a mesmerizing assault of sight and sound, and as the band took their bows after "Eclipse," Jon Carin could be seen waving his hands to clear the smoke, and Snowy stumbled a bit as he approached the front of the stage. This surreal moment was punctuated perfectly by the rotating rainbow laser prism suspended above the stage.
The encores were spectacular too, especially "Bring the Boys Back Home." Again, the pyrotechnics were extraordinary, and tonight we were treated to something unique. During the crescendo, technicians could be seen scurrying behind the amplifiers between explosions, carefully timing their moves to avoid the flashpots. Something was definitely going on back there. During the military snare drum bit at the end, Graham was standing while a technician continued to work just to his left, and he had to improvise a little to keep his rhythm going. It was a just another great moment of many that night, and a clear indication that all the stops had been pulled out to produce an intensity that drove this performance way beyond normal limits. My friend, who'd been with me in Dallas two nights earlier, commented later that "those guys had FUN tonight!"
Just for the record, some people in my row booed during "Beirut." They were very polite, but obviously a little rankled by some of the lyrics. And as the pig flew above us, there was a guy in the aisle, extremely pissed off, flipping off the pig and the musicians, and shouting obscenities at the top of his lungs. We were sitting close to the "club" seats in the center of the house, and there were about 3 or 4 rows worth of people that didn't return after the intermission.
Seeing Roger finish off this tour deep in the heart of Texas is an experience I'll treasure forever. Music is an undeniable part of our social fabric, and trying to separate the music from the message is ultimately futile. These challenging times affirm the relevance of Roger's point of view, and his is a voice that needs to be heard. Of course, his ability to showcase it in a spectacle of such grand scale is an integral part of the Pink Floyd legacy, and it's gratifying to see that the legacy lives on.