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Home arrow Articles arrow Live8 Reunion
Concert review by BD reader Matthew Dickson Print E-mail

When I first heard the news that Pink Floyd would be reforming at Live 8, I really didn’t believe it. I had heard so many times from so many sources (Brain Damage included), that there was no way, none whatsoever, no chance in hell that the Floyd would play together at Live 8. So when I heard the good news that they'd changed their minds, I checked a few reputable media and Pink Floyd sources (Brain Damage again!) and when my hopes were confirmed, I walked around the whole day with a big smile on my face.

Eagerly anticipating the day of the show, I listened to all my Floyd albums and didn’t realise until the end of The Division Bell that I wouldn’t be here on the day of the concert. I would be on vacation off the African coast in Tenerife!

So, I couldn’t apply for tickets to the event a thousand times which I had planned to do. Instead I would have to use that time phoning round friends and family in a mad dash before my packing to get the event recorded!

I would also have to hope like hell there would be a broadcast on Spanish television.

When I arrived, I tried to order BBC 1 and 2 for my Television in my hotel room. The satellite was broken! Of all my dumb luck. I tried to gain access to a computer with the internet: the hotel had two computers, internet fully working but with one exception - it was an old model and couldn’t stream video! So, so much for the aol.com broadcast!

In a mad haze I realised that this was consuming me. I had to calm down and relax. So, with a few days to spare before the concert, I planned a day of shopping to look for some rare Floyd Lps which I collect and a nice stroll around the sights of the island...

Just as I was starting to relax, all at once I arrived at the stores and markets and was surrounded by sunglasses, beach towels, postcards, watches, English breakfasts, cheap alcohol and cigarettes, the list pretty much goes on like that. And all the while dodging timeshare salespeople who wouldn’t take "no" for an answer (not even "No! Now get lost you *******"!).

I wasn’t going to find what I was looking for here, so with heart sunk, head aching and feet sore I dragged my body back to my hotel for some rest.

"Is the satellite fixed yet?"

"No. sorry."

"(sighs) Gracias."

How much more could I take? I thought I was doomed to miss seeing Pink Floyd reunited live and my time was almost up!

On the day of the concert I bought The Sun (the only newspaper available), flicked past "Saddam in his pants" (!) and took out the Live 8 pullout with a look on my face similar to that of a sad child clutching a toy his mother can’t afford.

I (slightly unhappily) read the set list for all the acts. I was hoping for Pink Floyd’s set list to be a good surprise but my eyes already ran across the three songs listed, (Breathe failed to be mentioned) and before I knew it something else was ruined.

I picked myself up, brushed myself down and trekked out in search of a bar showing the London Live 8 concerts. I eventually found one (Rhythm and Booze it was called). I walked in and to my delight was Jonathan Ross’ face staring back past the empty chairs from the big screen back at me (I never thought I’d say that).

Overjoyed I shot some pool and drank a little eagerly awaiting the Floyd.

Hours and hours and hours later the place was filled up a little and the skies darkened. I knew that I would be waiting here a lot longer than anticipated. Luckily, the amount of people not interested in the concert (!) kept outside and relatively quiet.

When Peter Kay came on, he definitely lightened the mood but a good few minutes later I was thinking, is he ever gonna come of? The Who followed and we all enjoyed their performance quite a bit.

When Pink Floyd came on everyone inside fell silent as I grinned, trying to figure what they were going to play first during the Dark Side intro (remember, all I got word of was Money, Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb).

Breathe followed to my delight. On the performance as a whole I was overjoyed at the music produced, and the effects. I couldn’t (for some reason) help but feel that David Gilmour wasn’t as enthusiastic as Roger or Nick, and I couldn’t give any opinion on Rick as the camera, disappointingly, never showed him once in any great detail.

But, I was told by one of the people I was with that night that he felt Roger was the one short on enthusiasm!

I savoured every moment, but when that white flash pause during Comfortably Numb which lasted a lengthy couple of seconds broke the pictures my heart sank at the possibility of technical difficulties (thank goodness that wasn’t the case).

And, fittingly at the end they were given a standing ovation by me and the people I was with, the people sitting behind us with the nice Irish fella and the "old rocker" guy sitting alone at the back. A great performance.

I watched it again on my own computer at aol.com, and on the many video tapes I now possess. I also liked the internet reviews and things of that nature, having none of that illegal download, stealing from charities nonsense (none of that eBay DVD nonsense either).

Pink Floyd reuniting got me into the spirit of the Make Poverty History campaign and I now proudly sport the white wristband (Which goes nicely with my pink Floyd t-shirt).

The only thing I found annoying about the gig was Mariah Carey. In that outfit she looked like a German sausage about to burst out of its skin.

Oh, and one more story I heard when I came back from a family member...

He was sitting in a Glasgow bar watching Live 8 as the crowded crowd talked over the already low volume from the television set. All of the sudden a big "Glasgow hard man" stands up, pint in hand and shouts: "Quiet! Shut up. Pink Floyd’s coming on." The bartender promptly whipped out the remote and turned up the volume loudest as the crowded crowd quietened and the big guy took his seat...

Our thanks to Matthew Dickson, with his view of the show from his remote outpost in the Canary Islands!

 
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