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Home arrow Articles arrow Live8 Reunion arrow Assorted BD reader comments - part 4
Assorted BD reader comments - part 4 Print E-mail

Live 8

This page collects together some of the comments Brain Damage has received from its visitors, about the band's Live 8 reunion on 2nd July, 2005, at London's Hyde Park. Our thanks to everyone who wrote in with their views; we only wish we could post them all! All pictures taken by Andy Whitworth.

For at least the last twenty years the Floyd have taken a lot of flack for their live shows; critics will carp on about the lights, inflatables and the films all being distractions from the music and then they’ll moan about the supplementary musicians; often seen by the harshest critics as necessary to compensate for a lack of musicality in the band.
Well on Saturday night they were stripped down to the bare essentials; no fancy lights, inflatable pigs or crashing planes, and they were not found wanting – it was one of the most exciting Floyd shows I’ve ever seen. Roger seemed to be having the time of his life and David’s voice was smooth and strong and his guitar work was incredibly confident. Nick was completely on his own on the drums probably for the first time since 1978 and didn’t miss a beat and Rick’s keyboards sounded more relaxed than ever.
There’s a little part of me that would love to see this Floyd on tour again, but with Roger’s opera and new album, and David’s new album in the works I know this probably isn’t going to happen. And there’s another part of me that’s completely happy with that; Saturday night was almost the perfect fairy-tale end to the Pink Floyd story. Maybe it’s best to go out on a high?
Still, an Unplugged would be nice!
--  Mark Stay

It was quite emotional seeing all of them together again! Loved Rogers comments before WYWH. He seemed to be enjoying himself the most, I thought. I was surpirsed how his voice has changed, however, and was glad he let David do most of the vocals. MTV also did not show very much of Rick Wright at all, hopefully they'll do him more justice on the DVD.
I certainly hope this gets all their creative juices flowing that they have a desire to work together again. I will cry if I never get to see the Floyd on tour again! But if they never do, at least we had this!
--  Angela Overbaugh

I have been virtually a lifelong Floyd fan, Dark side being the first ever album I bought. I saw them performing the Wall at Earls court - more years ago than I care to remember. To see them performing together again to me was magical, I was almost in tears for Christ sake, whether it was what live8 stood for, or just the pleasure at seeing the guys together and forgetting their differences just for that performance I don't really know.
Whether they get back together again or not dosen't really matter to me, it was the fact that they could do it for live8. Good luck to Dave, Nick, Roger and Rick, and of course Syd wherever he is because without him there would never have been Pink Floyd.
--  Andy C, Somerset

We thought the "Lads" were absolutely brilliant! The last time we saw them all together was Newcastle City Hall in 1970! We are big fans of our local tribute band Shine On, and also Aussiefloyd, but there ain't nothing like the real thing, this was no Surrogate Band!
--  Dave & Angela, Hartlepool

Simply a "Majestic" performance. To put aside personal differences and to get back together to perform is a powerful positive statement of the human spirit. We can all learn from that. They stood up to be counted on the most important cause that they and all of us will ever be involved in. Their performance of "Money" - how appropriate!! Isn't this what it is all about? G8 drop the debt! Well done Pink, Bob, Everyone Involved, Maintain the rage to Edinburgh and Beyond!!!
--  Louis from Melbourne Australia

It was stunning. I couldn't actually believe what I was seeing or hearing when the first few beats of Breathe flitted across the screen, then the so-familiar chords kicked in. I had to stand up with the sheer disbelief and excitement. But it did really happen. It was by far and away the best performance of the day. Wish You Were Here is my favourite Floyd lyric and I felt they did the song justice - though it was a bit mawkish to dedicate it to Syd - he has been gone quite a long time.
Comfortably Numb was outstanding, done with great compassion and humanity. Singing and playing that song together must have seemed quite weird after all the water that has passed under their bridge. As Dave said before the event their squabbling seems petty in the grand scheme of the Live 8 theme. But it is not easy to put so many years of bitterness, wrangling and anxiety behind you, even if only for a few minutes in a just and global cause. The guys' musicianship, professionalism and tolerance shone through and illuminated the day and the cause.
Thank you guys even if you never play again.
--  Howard Walwyn

I flew from Miami to London on Friday July 1, arrived at 11am. The Floyd show was amazing. What was most noticable for me was when Nick Mason took off his headset during 'Comfortably Numb', and close his eyes and get into the music - unbelievable. The complete show was surreal and unreal at the same time. After Floyd played, it was hard to truly enjoy Paul McCartney. We saw history that night, now the history will come this week at the G8 summit at Gleneagles.
--  Francis Fagan, USA

Just shows like cheese Floyd can mature with age; David's guitar playing was at its finest and the band seemed to enjoy the set. Roger calling David over at the end for the farewell wave was tearjerking stuff for me, maybe that will be it but the memories will be lodged with the others I have during the decades.
--  Ken

I was so delighted to see the Floyd; I grew up with them, seeing them in Bournemouth when I was 15 and through the late sixties and seventies at numerous pop festivals around the country. I thought that Jonathan Ross's comment that they demanded to have horlicks and ovaltine backstage after the gig was wonderful. I would imagine like myself they are grandfathers but they most certainly can still produce that magic, it was a wonderful event, and most important that across all generations the message through music has I hope touched the hearts of millions, let us make poverty history.
--  Dave Bull

I was actually moved to tears during "Comfortably Numb". It was great to see those guys together again. And the words took on a new meaning - "come on now, I hear you're feeling down. Well I can ease your pain, get you on your feet again." The Floyd doing their part to ease the pain in Africa. I was so proud of them...
--  Ben

I think that for anyone who has ever had any time for Pink Floyd, the Live8 performance was a highly charged and emotional experience. I am not ashamed to say that on several occasions I 'filled up', particularly when Roger and Dave sang together on WYWH and during the closing CN solo. At that moment, and to some extent still, I was ready to beg, borrow, steal and sell organs to see those guys play live together again. It may be foolish, but I still dare to dream...
--  Nick Green

Live 8Brilliant, uplifting.......any superlative you like. Roger looked like he actually appreciated the fact that he owed it to Dave for keeping the flame burning that made this inspiring reunion possible. We can only hope that the collective will of m(b)illions will give them the energy to create more of the indefinable inspiration that we were so stunningly reminded of on Saturday night!
--  Keith Mitchell

That was an absolute phenominal performance, considering it has taken over 20 years to get it on. The question is now: Do we beg for more, as they could obviously 'cut the mustard' if they announced a UK/world tour? Or do we sit back and say that they definitely stole the show at Live 8 , no mean feat for a bunch of bus pass holders, and keep that image in our heads of the greatest performance of the weekend. I personally can't make up my mind, yet. Also if there is anybody who visits this web site who didn't have a lump in their throat on Saturday night then I suggest they check their wrist for a pulse - I still do when I watch the video - again and again. Lets hope the DVD isn't butchered by the the editor. Yours, still comfortably numb,
--  Dave White

Incredible, everything I'd hoped for, other than the TV coverage here in the States, which chopped up the final third of 'Comfortably Numb' with commentator footage.
I'd basically set aside all plans for the day to see Live 8 coverage. My wife and I had just sat down to dinner when the Who came on (MTV only broadcast the 'Won't Get Fooled Again' finale :( ). I ran into the room to watch and remarked "I bet Pink Floyd is next.." Sure enough less than 20 minutes later, the broadcast was cutting to "Breathe."
It was a thrill to watch and especially to see everyone playing so well. I've never seen Roger live, so it was surprising to see him animated and mouthing lyrics to songs David was singing. That everyone seemed to be enjoying himself also gave me a smile. Other than 'Live at Pompeii,' there seems to be precious little film footage of this quartet playing live, so I felt I was watching history.
David: As a longtime guitar player myself, he's always been one of my biggest influences/inspirations and he was clearly well rehearsed for this gig.
Roger: Again, never seen him live so I was surprised to see him playing the bass aggressively.
Nick: Seemed very happy to be back behind the kit and had all his chops.
Rick: Great funky sounds during "Money"!
Not to forget the supporting players and Dick Parry for a great saxophone solo!
I'll be wearing out my VHS tape of this set. My only wish is that these four could again set aside their differences to make some new music. There really is nothing else like Pink Floyd. As expected, they were the musical highlight of Live 8.
--  John D, USA

Suffice to say I was in tears (and my eyes still grow damp every time I watch the video) after Saturday's performance. It's hard not to be moved by the spectacle. I don't want to sound overly sentimental, but getting to see the incredibly emotional, passionate, enthusiastic Rog, in the same frame with David, Nick and Rick was something I didn't believe I would live to see. Albeit with a slightly cold and bitter David, who rarely ever looked at Roger on stage. [Dave's smile towards Nick, while Rog sang the 2nd verse of WYWH was, however, something to cherish!]
Anyhow, unfortunately I haven't got enough time to write a proper 'review' email about the concert, so this is rather about Jon Carin's somewhat controversial contribution.
I, too, was overcome by joy when I noticed that both Nick and Rick were playing unaided, for the first time since the Animals '77 tour. And then, I noticed Carin getting off the stage with Renwick, Nick and Dave and started thinking that perhaps he was just sitting at the side, the band having decided to go ahead with Rick alone. But when I watched the video the second time (once the shock and awe had slightly subsided) I began to notice certain details that gave it away. Details like:
- the backing vocals throughout 'Breathe' (and the last verse of 'Breathe (reprise)') that were distinctively Carin's (reminiscent to his contribution in p.u.l.s.e.)
- the lapsteel-like sounds that were heard in the gap when Dave stood up from his pedal steel, picked up his black Strat and went to the microphone (Renwick was playing the guitar arpeggio at the time, so it could have only been Carin playing it in the shadows, as he did in Roger's tour, or him triggering a sample)
- the backing vocals in the chorus of WYWH and 'aaaah.. I have become... Comfortably numb' also featured Carin's voice.
Most importantly, you could clearly *see* what Rick was playing. And he was playing one thing at a time - never two at once. i.e. When Rick was playing his Rhodes/Wurly electric piano bit during Money, it was Carin supplying the Hammond overtones, when Rick was playing piano in WYWH it was Carin playing the synth brass chords, when Rick was playing the electric piano in CN it must have been Carin playing the synth pads. It was probably Carin playing the low piano notes in Money.
I found that a bit baffling, to be honest, as Floyd were never shy when it came to session musicians. They never left them in the shadows. They even gave them the occasional solo spot. (Unlike other bands. Anybody ever found out who plays keyboards for U2 during 'Beautiful Day'? Certainly not The Edge). This time, the Floyd sidemen were a lot more subdued, possibly to add more emphasis on the significance of the original 4-member line-up. Fair enough. I have to stress that this doesn't take anything away from the performance, it's just a tiny bit of a letdown, simply because it wasn't obvious from the start.
Rick did give his all during the finale of CN (as did all of them) playing his trademark Hammond swirls. The ending of CN was momentous. David's solo was by far better than any of his recent Meltdown+London/Paris gigs. Rog was playing the bass as if he was soloing himself. Hearing Mason playing them drums ALONE for the first time in 28 years was historical in itself. Screw the mistakes. I enjoyed his drumming that night far more than his usual 'stiff' playing whenever he merely provides the basis for the 2nd drummer, be it Willie Wilson or Gary Wallis. The moment Mason removed (with trembling hands, I suspect) his headphones, as if saying "f**k the monitors, I wanna hear this!", you could see they were *really* getting into it, living every moment of the performance. Playing their last ever gig, possibly. And what a way to take a bow... In front of 200,000+ people and for such a cause.
Polly and the kids were ecstatic too, as we could see from the BBC cameras. Some of the younger members of the Gilmour family were probably watching their father play 'with the Floyd' for the first (and probably last) time ever. What a treat - for them and for us, of course.
--  Thanasis Tsilderikis

'Didn't they do well?' to borrow a quote from an old David Gilmour T-shirt. It was wonderful to see them playing together again and, even better, they rocked! How much rehearsal had they managed to squeeze in before the gig? Or are the songs just as engraved in their hearts and minds as they are in ours? With so many Floyd numbers being appropriate for the occasion it was still a fabulous choice of songs. The highlights for me were the Parry/Gilmour solos on Money, and seeing Roger Waters having himself a great time.
My only gripe; whoever was directing the TV vision had no interest in Richard Wright. Those of us who have followed the Floyd for several decades know that when he came back, so did the real Floyd sound. All they need now is Roger's lyrics for one last hoorah. We can only hope.
--  Stuart Medley, Dunedin, New Zealand

I had no idea what time Pink Floyd was to play at Live8, so I just stayed in front of the telly all day... just to be sure that I wasn't going to miss it. I sat and watched The Who do their set of just two songs.. but pleasing all the same ( I like their music too). As Pink Floyd were introduced to the stage I sat right on the edge on my seat not wanting to miss the slightest bit of their performance. I scared the living daylights out of my wife, and the dog too when I shouted at the top of my voice "ROGER WATERS... THATS ROGER WATERS... ROGER WATERS IS ON STAGE WITH THEM" The wife jumped out of her skin... the dog stared barking at me, and rightly so.... I thought I was seeing things! I had no idea, no idea whatsoever that the whole group had reformed for this occasion. So there I sat, wide eyed throughout their magical performance, grinning from ear to ear. Okay I'll admit it, a tear of joy too. I hope that they can now put their past differences behind them and put together at least one more album as Pink Floyd, as we know and love them, I live in hope on this one. Fantastic performance Pink Floyd - keep it up... Please.
--  Lee Allen

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