US and Them— Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)

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My sister and I and our good friend the tune dude, Jeff James, have a tradition of taking a road trip in the summer and going to see a concert. This summer’s musical road trip was to Columbus to see ‘the last man standing’ of the original Pink Floyd lineup, since David Gilmour is basically done with extensive touring, namely Roger Waters and his enormous visual extravaganza. You’ll soon see what I mean. I’ve been to many hundreds of concerts over the years, and I’ve never seen a million dollar sound and light show— until now. This is one of those bands that was on my bucket list, as Dark Side of the Moon and several of their other albums I’ve always liked, and this might be my last chance to get a sense of their show. Had I gone say 30 years ago, I might have enjoyed the music a bit better because Gilmour is an excellent guitar player, where as Waters is a very perfunctory bass player, and not much of a vocalist either. But he has written some landmark rock songs, and his visual show is second to none, as I will now try to illustrate. Check out the following images…. (bearing in mind that not only was there a 50 feet by 50 feet LED screen behind the stage, but there were curtains dropped down over the audience on the floor from the front almost to the back of the arena). And the images were ultra clear and impressive.

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The first half of the concert was very good. The second half was mainly a diatribe against our current President. I would have been fine with say a protest song, but not a third of the concert dedicated to said diatribe, not that our President doesn’t deserve a good critique. He does. But it took away from the music at various points, and was rather reminiscent of the Jefferson Airplane concert I went to at Fillmore East in NY in the late 60s when there was so much unrest about the draft and the Vietnam war. Still, there was enough good music and good visuals to make the concert worthwhile, and as for the rest ‘all it all, it’s just another brick in the wall’. I have to say I found it terribly ironic that that song was played completely at odds with the message that we need to be better educated about our politicians, not to mention that the technicians who ran all the visual and audio were highly educated and at times the visuals threatened to overwhelm the music. pi15


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