Roger Waters The Wall Live (Wembley Stadium, 14 Sept 2013)

On Saturday we went into London to see Roger Waters playing The Wall at Wembley Stadium. Photos are up on flickr (here) with some highlights in this post.

Unusually for us for a gig we’d decided to get seated rather than stand up, because it’s really more of a show than just a concert. I’m glad we did, it would’ve been very frustrating to not have a good view of the stage & the wall, and I’m pretty sure as a not very tall person I wouldn’t’ve had a good view. Despite not springing for the more expensive seats we had a pretty good view from where we were, which was the second tier of seating (i.e. not the ones at the side of the pitch, the ones at the bottom of the next level up). What we couldn’t quite see was the central screen, because there was a speaker in the way, but that was only really in use for the first half of the show anyway.

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The format of the show was Roger Waters & his band playing through The Wall in its entirety (plus one extra new song between the second part of Another Brick in the Wall and Mother). The show opened with fireworks & a fighter plane (model) flying across the stadium and “going up in flames” backstage. During the first half the wall was gradually built up piece by piece (generally while the audience were distracted). The original meanings of the songs & album 30-something years ago were fairly personal to Roger Waters & his reaction to fame, this show kept some of that feel but also emphasised & made overt the political nature of the songs which was fairly heavy on the anti-capitalism. (This last was perhaps a little ironic to be watching after having spent rather a lot of money on a t-shirt & a programme, and felt even more ironic later when we checked the online prices for the hoodies and found they were half the price that they were at the merch stall …)

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Then there was a 15 minute intermission, where the completed wall was used to display pictures & brief bios of people killed by war.

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The second half was mostly performed around the completed wall – initially with Roger Waters (and other band members during Comfortably Numb) hidden or looking small & insignificant against the wall, moving onto some fairly uncomfortable fascist-esque imagery (including a less viscerally disturbing inflatable capitalist pig that floated out over the crowd). This bit also made good use of the surround sound to give the impression that the audience were all chanting. Then the trial, which was all animated & projected on the wall with Waters standing in front, and the bringing down of the wall and the capitalist pig.

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A good show, glad I saw it even tho I’m not actually that much of a Pink Floyd fan 🙂