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Home arrow Reviews arrow Concerts arrow Roger Waters: The Dark Side Of The Moon Redux - London Palladium shows
Roger Waters: The Dark Side Of The Moon Redux - London Palladium shows Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Tuesday, 10 October 2023

Roger Waters - London Palladium, October 8th 2023 - The Dark Side Of The Moon Redux premiereLast night saw the second of two nights of the London live premiere of Roger Waters' The Dark Side Of The Moon Redux. We purposefully didn't reveal much about the first night, when we reported on it yesterday, focusing on things that would be of benefit to those attending (and indeed had praise from a few people for the information and tips given). This was so we didn't spoil any surprises or set any expectations.

The restrictions imposed on cameras, phones and other tech, secured in pouches that could only be opened by staff at the exit of the venue, made for a nicer experience as an audience member, without phones/iPads or cameras constantly in the eye line.

Various parts of the media have given these two shows fairly hefty coverage, and certainly the first half of the show, and the heavy overrunning to the scheduled end time, resulted in quite a bit of criticism, which Roger acknowledged last night to make adjustments to proceedings.

The show started with Roger reading from a sheaf of notes, covering various topics including freedom of speech and Julian Assange, but noted that he'd promised not to be too political. Instead, he said he'd read from his forthcoming book, "I'll See You On The Dark Side Of The Moon: Memoirs Of A Lanky Prick". The first night had Roger relate - sat at a table, reading from a laptop - three excerpts: one with heavy detail on Cambridge street names and directions, another talking about his time with Syd, who was coming up with songs, and finally one referencing the pictures of Roger with a duck on his social media, with a lengthy piece about his time with Donald, a bird brought in by one of his cats.

These took up some time, and certain members of the audience got very restless and heckled - much to Roger's annoyance. The second night saw Roger cut the first two, but despite opening by saying he wasn't going to read any at all, still proceeded with the story of the duck called Donald. Once done, he welcomed the musicians - 14 strong - to the stage to perform an excellent, extended version of The Bar, followed by a rendition of Mother.

The first night then had an intermission, before a 20 minute film (you can see this in full below) appeared on the gauze screens which unspooled from the top of the stage. It shows Roger running through each track on the album, talking about the songs origins and also why he has revisited the album, some 50 years on. It was an interesting look at his motives for the Redux version, and set the scene perfectly for the band to come on as bird song filled the auditorium, to start the live performance of the album in full. For some reason though, last night the film was shown BEFORE the intermission, which did seem to lose the atmosphere and build up the film afforded.

The performance of The Dark Side Of The Moon Redux on both nights was extremely effective, with the album working very well live. Roger had put together a great band, many of which had appeared on the album itself. There was a six piece string section headed by Gabe Noel, a few members of Roger's current "Drill" touring band (Jon Carin, Jonathan Wilson, Gus Seyffert, Robert Walter and Joey Waronker), along with Johnny Shepherd (organ, piano, and vocals), Via Mardot on the theremin, and Azniv Korkejian on vocals. It was Johnny and Azniv's vocals on The Bar which really elevated that song in the first half.

Visually, there was a large triangular lighting rig which hung forward, with the top looming over the front of the audience. At various points the gauze screens were down, with back projection of the new lyrics artistically beamed onto them. Roger stood in front of the screens, with the band behind, resplendent in his pink suit jacket (over a black t-shirt and black jeans). For those who've asked, he didn't play any instruments during the show.

There was no encore, just a curtain call which was met by a standing ovation both nights. The audience seemed a lot more amenable on the second night, without the hefty heckling heard on the first night. This seemed to lift Roger's mood too.

Two unique (we presume) nights, and whilst advertising them in a different way (making it clear that some of the evening would include the readings) might have managed expectations and helped calm some of the more vocal and angry members of the audience, the music performed ensured most went away very happy to have attended the shows! It is unlikely that the show will appear elsewhere but if that happens, we'll let you know...

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