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Home arrow David Gilmour 2006 arrow March 18th - ALTE OPER, FRANKFURT, GERMANY
March 18th - ALTE OPER, FRANKFURT, GERMANY Print E-mail

Alte Oper
Alte Oper
Alte Oper, Frankfurt
Alte Oper
Ticket scan - thanks to Nigel Bradder
Concert starts: 8pm

Address of venue: Opernplatz, 60313 Frankfurt. MAP


FIRST HALF: Castellorizon, On An Island, 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, Wot's... The Deal, Wearing The Inside Out, Fat Old Sun, Breathe/Time/Breathe Reprise, High Hopes, Echoes.

ENCORE: Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb.


Despite half the band and crew apparently going down with a stomach bug in Paris (a couple of the musicians visibly struggling during the Olympia show, not that the music was affected), this did not seem to dampen their enthusiasm for the Frankfurt show, which went ahead as planned, and from initial reports seems to have gone down incredibly well.

The slightly amended set list employed at the Olympia show in Paris presumably felt good to the band, as it was replicated in Frankfurt. Initial reports noted that Great Gig In The Sky was performed but we now know this to be false!


By Alexander Bechtold

I've just arrived back from the concert in the "Alte Oper" Frankfurt and what can I say - it blew my mind. Gilmour at his best!

Again the first set was filled with the songs of his recent album and quite good as I like the album very much. They played it very well with slight changes in the order of the songs. Well, Gilmour had some technical problems with his guitar at "Take A Breath" and had to start the song again after the first few bars, but then this song got right into my veins just like "This Heaven"... It was hard to keep seated at these two songs. The rest of set one was quite calm compared to that.

Set two started of again with "Sine On", which was somehow a mixture between the Pink Floyd live version of the PULSE Album and David's live version from his last concerts.

"Wot's... uh the deal" was a very big surprise and the moment when the spark came over, although he also had to start this song again after forgetting the fist lines of the text... well that’s just human.

The second surprise was "Fat Old Sun" which is one of my all time favourites and was played so superbly and complete with an overwhelming guitar solo after singing "Sing to me, sing to me" on and on more often than on the original album to give time to pick up the electric guitar.

"Wearing the inside out" began strangely strange with these few bass notes and was also a very strong song this night. Rick Wright sang surprisingly well this evening not only on this song from the "Division Bell" album but also on "Comfortably Numb" (Roger's part) and on "Time" and others.

I wished that they had played "Dominoes" or "Gigolo Aunt", "Baby Lemonade" or other great songs from Syd or the very early days of Pink Floyd. But over all I'm very satisfied and feel comfortable seeing Gilmour digging for treasures in Pink Floyd's history.

But biggest treasure this night was of course "ECHOES" which simply got me frizzed, sucked me in or what ever. It was definitely the strongest, a perfect, very intensive version of this song, with heavy parts and quiet zones and a beautiful dreamy encore from Dave and Rick. This song was worth the cost of the concert on its own. Hope to see him and the others again...


By Matthias Sturner

The first set was the same as in Hamburg one week ago (Great Gig was definitively NOT played in Frankfurt!). Take a Breath was played after Smile, same as in Hamburg. In the second set Fat Old Sun was performed instead of Dominoes - very good idea indeed (see my comments on the Hamburg show)! It was not played like in 2002, but the full electric version with a powerful guitar solo at the end - his best one this night - just like back in '71. It was not the 15 min version of Fat Old Sun we all know and love, but more like the album version which ends after the solo. But who am I to camplain, this guitar solo alone was worth coming here.

The playing was a bit tighter than a week ago, the feeling was generally more relaxed. Gilmour was quite talkative for his standards. Of course also this show had its moments to make it unique - Take a Breath had to be restarted after the first chord (I didn't understand why, probably a technical problem with the guitar), and Wot's... Uh the Deal had to be restarted because Gilmour had accidentally begun with the last verse and then couldn't remeber how it went on: "Someone sent the promised land, dadada..." . He shook his head in disbelief, looked at some pieces of paper on the floor and then said "It doesn't start with 'Someone', it starts with 'Heaven'!" Funnily enough, the second time he started again with "Someone", but this time he carried on with the correct lyrics. A sign of age? Indeed the lyrics go on "...and I think I'm growing old" Well, remembering lyrics was never one of his strenghts and such things also happened frequently already 35 years ago...

This time I came better prepared than for the Hamburg show. I had soaked up the wonderful new album (Then I close my Eyes is one of the most beautiful pieces of music he has ever written or co-written) in the week between the shows and therefore the first set was much more interesting for me this time. Echoes was again the climax of the show of course, it was even announced properly by Gilmour: "We're going to play Echoes for you now. Sit back in your seats and relax. Richard?" - "Ping!" The lightshow is simply going nuts during this piece - great!

What I'm a bit concerned about is Gilmour's voice. It really sounded hoarse from time to time. Another thing I'm wondering about is why he doesn't have a roadie or technician handing him over his guitars? He constantly has to hurry when changing his guitars to make it in time for the next solo, many times he has to readjust things, tune etc.

The Alte Oper in Frankfurt was a beautiful location for this show, you could walk over to the balcony directly at the side of the stage as I did for the encores. I could have almost touched Jon Carin's shoulder!

What we are really witnessing here is a Pink Floyd tour like in the old days in my opinion. Small venues with some 2000 - 3000 seats, a great lightshow without the circular screen, a great new album being performed completely in the first set, Echoes finishing the second set - one cannot ask for more! If you are still to see this tour, you should consider yourself very very fortunate.


By Ulrike

Taking off for a flight of fancy......

Being a Pink Floyd fan hasn’t been easy over the last decade, with their last show and album dating back as far as 1994, leaving the fans craving for good Floyd music, but without any high hopes for any Pink Floyd comeback soon. So the news of David’s new album and worldwide tour has been the best news one could imagine. However, getting tickets for the almost immediately sold out concerts has been quite a cliff-hanger, and coming from Cologne one had to cope with the fact that on exact the same evening, Nick Mason was visiting there for his signing-book tour.

So we were very appreciative of sitting in the audience, filled with anticipation and excitement, waiting for the gig of David Gilmour to begin in Frankfurt’s Alte Oper, a venue with style and class, appropriate to the quality of event which was about to take place here very soon.

Having enjoyed his previous solo gigs in Düsseldorf’s Philipshalle in 1984 and London’s Royal Festival Hall in 2002, and having listened to his new CD “On an Island”, we were quite aware that no pigs would fly like in the gigantic, bombastic Pink Floyd shows of the good old days, but that we could expect a show of one of a kind, captivating the soul and mind, not by predominantly rocking features, but with a more sombre, laid-back, melancholic undertone.

As usual, David performed in black t-shirt and jeans; unlike other rock stars he never is dressed like a parrot, British understatement at its best from the beginning.

Like in his concerts before, in the first half of the show he played his whole new album, beginning with the stage immersed in a warm blue light. With the fusion of the warm floating sound, one really got the notion to be moved to a the beach of a Mediterranean Island, just in time to be defrosted here in Germany after the unusual cold winter. The next song was performed a warm reddish light, making you believe you would be floating in the sea, with waves ebbing and flowing, in the light of the fair sun beams in dawn. Wow!

Of course the audience had been totally enthused and cheered David emphatically after each song, even more so after his gorgeous guitar solos.

David had been somewhat tight-lipped during the show regarding the interaction with the audience, but before the break he said in German: “Nach 20 Minuten Pause komme ich wieder mit alten Sachen!”

And that had not been an empty promise, the sights and sounds following the break have been so awesome that one hardly can find the right words to describe them. When the legendary song Echoes was performed, the lightshow was so captivating and infatuating that one’s mind really took off for a flight of fancy! Only too sad he didn’t play my fave song “Learning to fly” and nothing from his old solo album “About Face”. But one can’t have it all, and the last song played actually had been one of my faves too: “Comfortably numb”. It needs no mentioning that the audience cheered everyone of his band frenetically, but the applause for Richard Wright of course had been overwhelming.

We returned home with the feeling as if we would have spent a holiday weekend on a Mediterranean Island or even in space. I’m sure, no other artist, no other music; no other show can accomplish that like David and his gang! As Pink Floyd fan one knows, one is really spoilt by the quality of their spellbinding, mesmerising sights and sounds for ever, the gigs of all other artists are paling in comparison. So please David, please don’t let us wait another long time like that for a new album and concert tour! We want More, More, More!!!


By Hans-Juergen Mueller

On Saturday (March 18th), I drove to Cologne to see Nick Mason in the Mayersche Buchhandlung. He talked about his book and the history of Pink Floyd, before signing items for the assembled fans. I talked with him for a short time - he was really nice and pleasant. This was quite fantastic!

After this, I drove to Frankfurt to see the other members of Pink Floyd (Gilmour and Wright) in concert. The 'Alte Oper' is a nice and genuine ambiente for Gilmour's more quiet music.

All in all a not-to-be-missed concert with more or less quiet pieces throughout the show (especially in the first half). The new songs from "On An Island" are by far better live than the studio versions. They have now more energy than these too relaxed versions on the album.

Having said this, it became clear, that the audience (including me) loved better the second part and the encore of the show. A good mix between older and newer songs and some songs aside the normal Pink Floyd live set ("Wot's ... Uh The Deal", "Wearing The Inside Out" and of course "Fat Old Sun" - no "Dominoes").

I appreciated especially the complete "Echoes" and of course the perfect end of a concert "Comfortably Numb". An interesting version of "Shine On" started Part 2 of the show, with an guitar intro and an almost "unplugged" vocal part.

"Take A Breath" had to be restarted because Gilmour's guitar was out of tune. The same occured to "Wot's ... Uh The Deal", where Gilmour begann the song with the wrong lyrics. He also had problems with the lyrics for some seconds during "Echoes".

I can only recommend this show to every fan - you won't be disappointed, even if you don't like the new songs very much. Gilmour was in a good mood and he seemed to feel comfortable with this "smaller" gig. And in his background was a perfect band, including Richard Wright on keyboards and Phil Manzanera on guitar.

Richard proved once again, that he had an enormous influence on the Pink Floyd sound in the 60s and 70s. But he's still underrated. Guy Pratt had a good time on stage, laughing all the time with the audience and making some jokes.


By Stefan Schleifer

I was been in Frankfurt also, 9th row, and it seems that the "technical problems" on the guitar have been a mistuning of it.

David started playing the song, stopped the band by waving around and started to tune the guitar. Some guy left of us, 4th row shouted to the stage "Fire the roadie", then Phil Manzanera answered "It was himself" to this guy and started animate the crowd to clap their hands while David finished tuning it.

On Whats - Uh the deal David started singing "Heaven sent the promised land, looks alright from where I stand" and stopped singing. While laughing at the stage (a little bit...) he said something like "Must have been taken by (heaven/god/?)", didn't understand this part.

On the beginning of Echoes, Rick Wright seemed to have some problems with his equipment. He took one of the lights standing at the keyboard and seemed to search something, hectically. David turned to him and said "Rick?". He introduced Echoes with "We will now play Echoes for you, so lean back, sit comfortably in your seat" which was really neat.


Wiesbadener Kurier, published March 20th.

The return of Pink Floyd
Old and new: David Gilmour in the Alte Oper

A slightly threatening sound collage. Red and orange illuminated fog. And suddenly there is the "voice and guitar of Pink Floyd" standing in the lime light of the stage. David Gilmour is cheered frenetically by the audience of his concert in the Alte Oper, which was sold out weeks ago, even before he has played one single sound on his guitar.

His fans had to wait a long time for this. The last time David Gilmour toured with Pink Floyd had been in 1994, promoting "Devision Bell". And it´s 22 years ago when he released his last solo album. His new album "On an Island", which he had been performing in Frankfurt together with Richard Wright (Keyboards), Phil Manzanera (Guitar), Dick Parry (Saxophone), and the young musicians Guy Pratt (Bass), Jon Carin (Keyboards) and Steve DiStanislao (Drums/Percussion), comes across at first listen as not too powerful and a little sweet. Most of the lyrics of the seven songs (a further 3 songs are instrumentals) have been written by his wife Polly Samson, a former journalist and writer, which seem to be reflecting the mostly lucky moments of their relationship.

They seeme to be revived by being played live. The title song "On an Island" is filled with the full Pink Floyd sound, with the potential for becoming a major hit. "Then I close my eyes", performed by David Gilmour playing his guitar, is coming across as relaxing and mediative.

The highlight of the first part of the concert is the rocking "Take a breath"; here, the light designer Marc Brickman immerses the stage into a flaming red to the sphere-sounds, for which Pink Floyd had become so famous. End-time like sounds are reminding of the psychedelic times of the band. The song is dominating the heartbeat. In contrast to that, "A pocketful of stones" is coming across as minimalistic, which is sung by Gilmour partially a cappella. Very relaxing again is "Where we start"!

In the second part of the concert, in which David Gilmour is appearing concentrated, assured and with a sense of humour, is dedicated to all the old hits. With "Shine on you crazy diamond", commemorating the ex-band-leader Syd Barrett, a simple light show covers the performers on the stage with light beams of a science fiction show. "Wearing the inside out" is going beneath the skin, being sung by Rick Wright. Time" and "Breathe reprise" are from the hit album "The dark side of the moon". Bells are rung at the drums with "High hopes". The very long "Echoes" is the true highlight, and during the encores "Wish you were here" and "Comfortably numb" many of the enthused audience flock to the stage.

(Our thanks to Ulrike for the translation.)


Frankfurter Neue Presse

And God created the guitar...

With David Gilmour´s concert in the "Alte Oper" Frankfurt, it became abundantly clear again, how much he influenced the sound of "Pink Floyd".

Most certainly, it´s no coincidence, that David Gilmour´s new album "On an Island" had been released in Germany on March 6th, exactly on that date, marking his 60th birthday, and with this work he made himself a wonderful present. "On an Island" is one of the best of his 3 solo albums so far, exemplifying how much Gilmour influenced the music of Pink Floyd. Over many years however, the occasionally genial Roger Waters had been dominating the musical direction of the band, until in 1994 the first Pink Floyd album without him, "Division Bell", had ben published, which is inspired mainly by David Gilmour, and with "On an Island" he is pursuing there where "Division Bell" ended. [note: as we all know, this is wrong, Momentary Lapse of reason had been the first one)

It would have been easy for Gilmour to attract a bigger audience in bigger venues, than would fit into the Grosser Saal in the Alte Oper, but it´s been his wish to be playing in honourable venues. In the first half of his gorgeous evening in Frankfurt David is performing excerpts of his new album. The title song "On an Island" is making the beginning with a guitar solo, with Gilmour´s talents impressing very much. His play never had been dominated by a meticulous technique, he never wanted to impress with speed or virtuosity. David Gilmour is one of a kind in the way he is creating a feeling, a musical atmosphere with his guitar. He is only using a few tones, but each note is at its right place and is matching perfect with the harmonic context of each composition. Besides his sense for atmosphere and melody, it´s the extraordinary sound, characterising David Gilmour´s guitar play.

All is created by diverse effects, but in the end the sound of the guitar is dominated by the head and finger of the guitarist. Before the brake, Gilmour is announcing "a few more known songs" for the 2nd part of th concert. Actually, "Shine on your crazy Diamond" is the opener of the 2nd part of the concert, at first with the authentic Pink Floyd song, as known from the album "Wish you were here" from the year 1976 [actually, 1975! Matt]. But then a new, bare arrangement can be heard, when Gilmour is accompanying the verses only with his guitar, supported restrainedly by Richard Right at the piano. What a wonderful contrast to the bombastic instrumentation of Pink Floyd. Because David Gilmour is beginning with the wrong verse at "What´s the Deal" from the album "Obscured by clouds", he has to stop his performance, sorting his text and to begin again - accompanied by the friendly laughter of the sympathetic audience.

In 1973 Pink Floyd published a record, which is now in second place of the biggest selling rock albums, behind Michael Jackson´s "Thriller": "The Dark Side of the Moon". The piece "Breathe" from this legendary album is interpreted by Gilmour and his excellent band in such a fresh way, making you believe it would have been composed yesterday and not for over 30 years ago. And there were even more Pink Floyd classics in a new design enthusing the highly content audience in the Alte Oper. Schrilling alarm clocks are ringing in "Time", performed by David Gilmour´s excellent guitar works.

And as encores there are "Wish You were here" as well as the fascinating "Comfortably Numb" from the Pink Floyd´s masterpiece "The wall". The audience is thanking with overwhelming applause and getting up from their seats, loving to hear more. But David and his band have done what´s been due. After 3 thrilling, wonderful hours it´s likely that the demands for a reunification of Pink Floyd in their original version are being silenced.

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