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Home arrow Articles arrow Live8 Reunion arrow Concert review by BD reader Ralf Holzer
Concert review by BD reader Ralf Holzer Print E-mail

I was one of the so called “spoiled and rich” Golden Circle ticket holders. In one newspaper I read that people were annoyed that the “real fans” did not get to the front of the stage because of these tickets. I have to say that this weekend was extremely expensive in my terms but once I knew Pink Floyd were playing and that the only way to get in front of the stage was through “Gold Circle” tickets, it was clear for me that I had to do this... I paid a lot for the hospitality element (Hyde Park Marquee) but I didn’t use any of it because I spent all of the time except one quick break directly in front of the stage.

We went as a group of four (which allowed us to have one quick break in between with the other two guarding our places – until the last third of the concert it was not too difficult to get back in again): My wife and myself as well as my brother in law and his wife and we had a perfect view from the very first row on the right side right in front of the stage. Two of us were in the front row (mostly our wives) and the other two standing behind (other than Pink Floyd of course where we swapped around).

I only came because of Pink Floyd but I have to admit that I enjoyed the concert as a whole, even clapping to Robbie Williams whose music I do not usually like, but one has to admit that he does perform very well on stage.

I had my handheld organizer with me and on it was a “set list” as suggested and posted by the BBC which was 95% accurate so I could really countdown to see the Floyd. I always wanted to see “The Who” but I have to admit by the time of their gig I was so nervous in anticipation of the “Main” act (Floyd of course) that I hardly listened. I had a fairly good idea about what songs they would be playing from the various pre-show reports and interviews (not too much was a surprise), the only thing I wasn’t sure about was whether they would play three or four songs because of very conflicting reports.

Then, finally they came on stage – a moment I had been waiting for more than 20 years (I am 37 years so I just missed out on seeing the united Floyd play together ... I obviously saw them on their Division Bell tour a couple of times (as well as the Wall concert in Berlin and Roger Waters solo), but I never had seen them before in their “original” line up (with the exception of Syd of course).

Breathe was a beautiful start. You could see how excited Roger was to play together with his old band mates again. He was also very nervous I guess as he was moving around much more than you usually expect from him. What I found interesting is how much Roger left David the centre piece with regards to the singing: For Breathe as well as Money, Roger sang but – importantly - not into the microphone leaving the centre of attention to David ... Roger only really started singing more in the forefront mid-part through ‘Wish you were here’ – you did actually note when he went to the microphone and sang his part.

Money was in a way very fitting for the tune of the event and in the lack of being able to play “Shine on you crazy diamond” as a reference to Syd due to the limited time available it was no surprise that they decided to play “Wish you were here”. In both songs they were brilliant with only very small errors that are negligible considering the amount of time they haven’t played together.

After three songs I was a bit nervous as I was dreading that they left out “Comfortably Numb” (the perfect reunion song) ... but then: there it was. It was, in my opinion, the highlight of the whole concert. With clearly defined roles in terms of singing between Roger and David this song was exactly the way I wanted to hear it. It gave both – Roger and David (obviously in addition to Nick and Rick) – time to shine and the guitar solo of David at the end – as always – was just impeccable.

The end of the show was extremely moving: seeing them together as a band - shoulder to shoulder was just exceptional. David then gave Rick a little “hug” and I personally think they all enjoyed it.

So, what will the future hold?

I don’t know if Floyd will ever work on an album or tour again but if this concert has done something it certainly has made this unlikely event more promising. One has to give a lot of respect to Roger: You could see his excitement playing with the band again, he left a lot of the vocal parts to David and he even stated how glad he was to do this again. This is, in my opinion, more than an apology – especially for a personality like Roger and I sincerely hope that David and Rick will pick up on this as well as the success of this performance to revitalize their “active duties”. I have no doubt that Nick would be in for it as he has continued to maintain acceptable relationships with all band members – including Roger.

As a summary this was a day I will never forget and I saw Floyd performing together in a way that was incredible and gave me a sense of almost “being part of history in the making”...

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