Concert starts: 8pm
Address of venue: 1111 South Figueroa Street, Los Angeles, CA
Things are starting to draw to a close on the 2010 leg of Roger's tour of The Wall. This show was added to the schedule due to the rapid sale of tickets for yesterday's show.
The presales began starting Monday, May 10th. Here's the ticketing
ROGERWATERS.COM PRESALE: From May 10th
AMERICAN EXPRESS PRESALE: From May 10th through Ticketmaster.com
VIP PACKAGE PRESALE STARTS: 10am CDT, May 13th
ITUNES PRESALE STARTS: 10am CDT, May 13th
RADIO PRESALE STARTS: 10am CDT, May 14th
LIVE NATION PRESALE STARTS: 10am CDT, May 14th
PUBLIC ONSALE STARTS: 10am CDT, May 17th
VIP PACKAGE ONSALE STARTS: 10am CDT, May 17th
Please note that the presale offers were available in select markets and
ticket quantities were limited.
General sale tickets went on sale on May 17th, via Ticketmaster.com
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|SET LIST - highlight the following with your mouse to read...
|FIRST HALF: In the Flesh, The Thin Ice, Another Brick in the Wall Part 1, The Happiest Days of our Lives, Another Brick in the Wall Part 2, Mother, Goodbye Blue Sky, Empty Spaces, What Shall We Do Now, Young Lust, One of My Turns, Don't Leave Me Now, Another Brick in the Wall Part 3, The Last Few Bricks, Goodbye Cruel World
SECOND HALF: Hey You, Is There Anybody Out There?, Nobody Home, Vera, Bring the Boys Back Home, Comfortably Numb, The Show Must Go On, In The Flesh, Run Like Hell, Waiting for the Worms, Stop, The Trial, Outside the Wall.
WARNING - SPOILERS AHEAD!
Do not read on if you don't want surprises to be spoilt, regarding what the band played, and what happened as the night unfolded!
Night forty-five of the tour, and the second of three shows at the Staples Center - the production disappears off to Oakland for a show in the interim before its back for the concluding chapter in a few days. If you went to this show, please let us know what you thought of the event, and if anything interesting or different happened if you've been to previous shows and can compare.
CONCERT REVIEW by BD CONTRIBUTOR, Stephen Humphries
When it comes time to put a man on Mars, NASA would do well to bring on Roger Waters as a consultant. After witnessing the technological and logistical marvel of The Wall concert, I'm pretty certain that the Pink Floyd front man could handle mission control. Tonight's marriage of sound and vision was, without doubt, the greatest show on Earth. But the biggest surprise — in a concert that was full of them — was just how much Roger Waters has changed as a person in the years between the release of the original album and now. But I'm getting ahead of myself…
The first surprise of the night was Katy Perry's unannounced appearance as the support act. On a frigid night here at the Staples Center in Los Angeles (yes, believe it or not, it does occasionally get mighty cold here in the land of perpetual sun and palm trees), Perry wore a ridiculously short mini skirt and showed off acres of cleavage. Turns out that Perry was rehearsing for a live TV performance to announce the Grammy nominees tomorrow night and she drew a sizable crowd of Roger Waters fans to watch her show in the plaza in front of the Staples Center. Around the same time, I spotted Billy Corgan of The Smashing Pumpkins walking into the venue.
The buzz of excitement inside The Staples Center was palpable and the air of expectation thickened as a haggard homeless man — in reality, a crew member — wheeled his shopping cart through the aisles of seats until he reached the front row and tossed a limp rag doll onto the stage. To begin with, the partially built wall on each side of the stage looked as if it had been constructed out of gigantic pieces of Lego. When the house lights dimmed, In the Flesh erupted in a display of fireworks, roving floodlights, and the spectacle of a platform rising from the stage with a platoon of flag bearers standing on it. Roger strode out onto the forefront, donned a long leather coat with signature fascistic armband on one sleeve, and sang, “So ya thought ya might want to go to the show…”
As entrances go, it's pretty hard to top this one.
Within the first three minutes, the lighting display evoked a raking fusillade of bullets from overhead as a large-scale model fighter plane flew down from the rafters and exploded into the wall.
I must admit that, prior to the show, I had mixed feelings about this tour. As much as I've enjoyed the various Roger Waters outings in the past, I'd been wishing that he would direct his creative energies into writing a follow-up to Amused to Death — released 18 years ago — rather than leaning on the catalog of his former band. I began to wonder whether his latest enterprise was driven by lucrative Dollar signs. Whatever the motivation for this undertaking, one thing is evident: Waters' passion for the themes of The Wall is utterly sincere. Throughout the evening, I was taken aback at the sheer power of his anti-war message and how wholly relevant it seemed in the context of the 21st century. To begin with, the video backdrops for The Thin Ice showed pictures of various soldiers and civilians who had been killed in conflicts across the world. It was profoundly sobering and moving. And the universality of the tragedy of war and conflict was reflected in how the images didn't choose sides in the so-called War on Terror but ranged from American to Muslim. It cut across lines of race, ethnicity, and nationality. The images included a photo of Roger's own father, Eric.
Another Brick in the Wall (Part 1) gave the audience a chance to take in the vast band for the first time as a red-tinted ocean sparkled on the video screens. Waters was front and center, a spotlight following his every move, while a barely glimpsed guitarist in the shadows played flickering blue notes over ripples of glittering keyboard. The reverie of the ethereal passage was rudely interrupted by the sound of helicopters and spotlight that hovered over the audience. One of the most notable feats of The Wall 2010 isn't visual — it's the quadraphonic sound that created a sound collage vista inside the arena. The sound mix was crystal clear and flawlessly balanced between the musicians and sound effects the entire night.
Come the end of The Happiest Days of Our Lives, the massive puppet of a cane-carrying demonic headmaster — eyes protruding on binocular-like stalks — had dropped from the ceiling. The puppet's movements were so effective that I kept looking for a human marionette but there was none. It was entirely computerized.
I was thrilled that Another Brick in the Wall (Part II) had an extended guitar part, like the 1980 performances of the album and subsequent renditions by late-era Floyd and Waters solo performances. As an adorable gaggle of kids taunted the headmaster puppet, Dave Kilminster brilliantly replicated that famous solo on his signature Telecaster. Then Snowy White took over for a solo that alternated between pleasing sustained bends and dexterous fret-hopping on his Les Paul. G.E. Smith (best known in the US as the leader of the Saturday Night Live band) picked up the baton for the torrid finale to the guitar fest. By the song's end, enough of the wall had been constructed for an image of a subway train to race along the bottom of it.
It was time for a breather for audience and band alike. Roger welcomed us and reminisced about how long ago it had been since he previously performed The Wall in Los Angeles. Then he reeled through a list of other venues on that tour and noted that they had filmed the Earl's Court show. “Some of that footage still exists,” he said. The singer introduced Mother by explaining that he would be playing along to video of his younger self at Earl's Court, joking that it was a “somewhat rather narcissistic” thing to do.
Personally, I've always found the concept and storyline of The Wall too convoluted for its own good. The transitions between grand themes about government control and the story of the increasing depression of the rock star Pink are often unwieldy and convoluted. The rock opera tries to encompass so many ideas that its narrative is often messy. That said, the stagecraft of Mother did a fantastic job of comparing the rock star's mother (represented by a massive inflatable woman with charcoal eyes) and the government. The line, “Mother should I trust the government” was followed by a scrawl on the wall that read, “No Fucking Way!” There were cheers all around from the crowd. The final image said “Big Mother Is Watching You.” Lovely elegiac slide solo by Smith during this one.
The band was peering over the ramparts of the wall as the gorgeous Goodbye Blue Sky utilized the vocal harmonies of Kipp Lennon, Mark Lennon, and Pat Lennon — all from the band Venice. Even though most audience members were familiar with the Gerald Scarfe animation from The Wall movie, the images on the wall were staggering to behold on such a grand scale, starting with the stark images of flying birds and then an imperious formation of bombers. The images had been updated, of course, so that various corporate logos and religious symbols dropped from the sky.
Quite what Sigmund Freud would make of the violent sexual imagery of two flowers mating during Empty Spaces is anyone’s guess. The post-coital death, as one plant devours the other, has lost none of its disturbing power over the years. Young Lust, meanwhile, threatened to turn into the world's largest porn flick as highly attractive models cavorted on the screens. At times, the projections resembled the shadowy title sequence of a James Bond film, except that these girls were brazenly naked. Not even Hugh Hefner can claim to have seen this much nudity in a single night. The lurid scenery was accompanied by a coruscating guitar solo as well as some tasty organ soloing — presumably by Harry Waters.
The music of One of My Turns was pleasingly light on its feet, with bouncy funk and the keyboard sounds on Don't Leave Me Now sounded nicely up to date as the puppet of a praying mantis-like creature menacingly prowled the wall's perimeter.
The concert took a more somber turn as the faces of fallen servicemen reappeared during Another Brick in the Wall (Part III). Then, the final piece of the world's largest jigsaw puzzle fell into place during Goodbye Cruel World.
Suffice to say that the first half of the show flew by.
Hey You kicked off the second half of the concert and, after the sensory overload of everything that had preceded this point, the relatively Spartan display of unadorned brick was a welcome respite. It allowed the audience to bathe in the beauty of the musical performance. A brick in the wall was removed during Is There Anybody Out There? so that Smith and Kilminster could be glimpsed playing acoustic guitar. At times the instrumental parts teasingly resembled the incidental music in a 007 movie.
Nobody Home revealed yet another architectural marvel in this technically dazzling production. A section of the wall folded out on a hinge with Roger sitting in a chair in front of a television. He's created this living room tableau in years past, but never as effectively as this. Vera began with a picture of Vera Lynn — amazing to think that this singer, best known for her World War II standard, We'll Meet Again — and segued into perhaps the most emotionally profound moment of the entire concert. Bring the Boys Back Home featured footage of a girl in a classroom who is surprised by the return of her father, a US Army man, from the frontlines. The girl's expression of shock and joy was something that several audience members talked about after the show. The audience raised a huge cheer for the sentiment of bringing the boys back home. If the only The White House could have heard it. The emotional heartbeat of the moment was amplified by the dramatic introduction of Comfortably Numb. Roger prowled at the base of the wall for the verses; session vocalist Robbie Wyckoff appeared on top of the wall to sing the chorus parts traditionally handled by Gilmour. Then the long-haired Kilminster materialized for the grand solo. I had kinda been hoping that Kilminster and White would both handle the solo, much as White and Doyle Bramhall II performed the song during In the Flesh. But Kilminster's solo was stupendously great and even Gilmour himself would have had to applaud the string-bending drama and sheer force of the guitarist's delivery as a Technicolor diorama unfurled on the bricks below him.
The Show Must Go On functioned as a handy interlude and a palette cleanser as Waters and the band magically appeared in front of the wall. But the musicians were now wearing armbands with the marching hammers logo and Waters was back in black with his long leather trench coat. During In the Flesh, the tyrannical character sneered as the spotlight roamed the crowd. After picking on individual audience members (much to their delight) he picked up a machine gun at to pepper the concertgoers with imaginary gunfire. Another surprise: A massive inflatable pig was released into the audience. I certainly didn't expect to see this prop, a signature part of previous tours, to make a repeat appearance during these concerts. Unlike the previous tour, there was no chance of this inflatable porker getting loose and landing in some far-flung farmer's field as the balloon was remote controlled.
I should make special mention of drummer Graham Broad who was impeccable throughout the show but got to cut loose with barrages of drum fills at this point. By the time the familiar jangle of Run Like Hell coursed through the arena, there were no less than four electric guitarists on stage as keyboardist Jon Carin (who has spent most of his adult life toggling between Pink Floyd, Gilmour's band, and the Roger Waters touring band) had picked up a black Stratocaster, too. As good as Run Like Hell was, it lacked the oomph of the Pink Floyd versions during the 1987 and 1994 tours. The song was accompanied by a cheap shot at all things Steve Jobs as the iPod was parodied with slogans such as iLead and iFollow. Just about everyone has parodied the iEverything by now and this segment felt derivative and tired.
I've never liked the final four songs on The Wall. To me, The Trial segment is too musically melodramatic for its own good. That said, the Scarfe animation of the slug-like judge more than compensated during the home stretch, culminating in the audience shout, “Tear down the wall!” Indeed, concertgoers in the front row faced the distinct hazard of falling masonry. The vast structure quivered as if hit impacted by an earthquake tremor and then it collapsed in spectacular fashion. Wow!
All 12 musicians emerged in front of the rubble (now liberated from their black fascistic garb and wearing brightly colored T-shirts) to play a folky rendition of Outside the Wall. To cap an evening of surprises, Roger even played a bit of trumpet!
To conclude the evening, Roger told the audience that when he had originally performed The Wall in 1980, he was felt “isolation and disaffection and disappointment.” “I'm no longer disaffected,” he said, thanking the audience for its generosity and warmth. Now, he said, he was happy and “feeling the love.” Indeed, in recent years, Roger Waters seems to have mellowed somewhat and left behind the bitter rancor of his post-Floyd years. His rapprochement with David Gilmour for the Live 8 show was something no one ever thought possible. If the duo's relationship appeared cordial, if strained, during the Live 8 reunion, the two seem to worked to rebuild that friendship — as evidenced by the chummy rapport they displayed during July's charity performance for the Hoping Foundation Benefit Evening. Waters seems to be a far happier person now and he's genuinely loving these performances.
This monumental tour, then, is a joyful testament that it's possible to tear down even the most stubborn walls.
CONCERT REVIEW by BD CONTRIBUTOR, Duff Moses
I have seen this show twice now. This Monday my family and I sat in the upper extreme left loge at Staples center and I have to say they were about the worst seats imaginable. This mammoth show with it's lavish presentations projected across the width of Waters' wall were almost impossible to appreciate at such an oblique angle and much of the show was obstructed by the rigging and speakers hung above the stage. A really terrible angle; one is left feeling slightly ripped off. The music was great, of course.
Tuesday night I went with my wife and sat 8th row center, on the floor, with tickets procured through Water's own site. Giant, towering character puppets played against a giant towering wall under construction while powerful and sometimes disturbing graphics and animations projected on it's surface assaulted the viewer while the band's crunching, loud, clear and faithful recital of Pink Floyd's opus pounded through one's solar plexus and raised hairs on the back of the neck. Ultimately, the wall fell down and seemed it might crush us all in the first rows. I got to sit so close to my hero, Roger Waters, I could practically count the wrinkles and white hairs on his wonderful head. It was as perfect a concert experience as I will hope to see.
The difference between the two shows was like witnessing a plane crash from the vip lounge in the airport as opposed to having it explode on the road infront of your bicycle.
CONCERT REVIEWS and PICTURES by other BD CONTRIBUTORS
Hopefully coming soon - we welcome all contributions!
YOUR HELP NEEDED! We want to cover Roger's concerts the best we can, to share the experience with everyone, especially those who won't be able to attend the shows. We'd love to see ANY pictures, tickets scans, reviews, newspaper reports, and anything else you come across for this show - we look forward to hearing from you!