It's not a concert.
It's a perfect storm of theatrical performance, quadrophonic sound, and all out rock awesomeness.
It's an event that ensures those who have seen it will remember that night for a long time.
I'm not saying it's the only show around of its caliber, but Roger Waters' performance of The Wall Live is part of a special group of events that changes the perspective of those in attendance.
Everyone has heard of Pink Floyd so I don't need to tell you anything about them.
Everyone has at least heard of The Wall, if not seen the movie.
Not everyone is familiar with songs off The Wall such as "One Of My Turns" or "In The Flesh" but I would be aghast to believe that anyone with even a casual interest in music over the past 32 years hasn't heard "Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2)", "Hey You", or "Comfortably Numb"... everyone knows these songs... even if they don't know that they know them.
I have long enjoyed the music of Pink Floyd but I don't, however, myself to be nearly as big a fan of the band as many are.
Sure, I can rattle of tens and tens of their songs and list all their hit albums in chronological order... but anyone who knows me knows that that isn't saying much. The music of Pink Floyd is incredible and has been immensely influential to the world of rock music... I just feel the music world has been over saturated with their music a little too much and that overexposure has knocked them down a few rungs on my ladder... I don't know... it's probably 97 Rock's fault [writes the man who grew up in a pre-iPod world].
Why am I writing all this?
Because none of it matters.
It doesn't (really) matter how much you like Pink Floyd. All but the most cynical, rock music-hating, curmudgeons should consider The Wall Live an event to see before they die.
Note: strong supporters of big government, war, and state power, as well as, parents thinking of taking a child under 15 years of age should also be wary of attending The Wall Live.
I don't need to tell you what the set list was or what the general feel of the show was like. If that's all you're looking for then just look at the track list on the album of pop in the film and watch that.
No, that's not what I need to tell you about.
I need to tell you about the astounding production value of the performance and the sheer number of people involved just to make it happen. More importantly, I need to tell you about the power of, not just the music or the visuals themselves, but the emotions and thoughts the music and visuals provoked in me as I stood in awe in a sea of people standing in awe.
You can get a general synopsis of the show here... I read the article and it describes the show in detail that I don't care to expand upon.
I will say that each song compounded upon the one before it and every time I thought the show couldn't get any better... it did.
Some snippets/observations from the show:
- The first few songs of the show featured pictures and basic information (birth place and year, year and place of death... ranging from WWII to present day) of people who have died as a result of war and terrorist attacks displayed on the circular screen behind the stage, as well as, on the individual bricks of the wall being built.
- "Another Brick in the Wall (Part II)" featured local school children singing the chorus and dance battling a giant demonic teacher puppet with glowing red eyes. Roger Waters finds a group of local children in every city the tour stops in and rehearses with them for 20 minutes before each show... pretty cool.
- The production value was unparalleled. When planes would fly by you would hear it go through the arena. Gun shots would ring out from all sides of the arena. So on and so forth.
- I forget what song it was... but easily the most powerful part of the show, for me anyways, was a video of a little girl sitting in her grade school classroom. The camera was focused on her and, all of a sudden, her face twists up in knots and she starts going berserk. The camera zooms out and it shows her father enter the classroom, still in his military fatigues, and give her a big hug. The emotion in that little girl's face... the thought of how anyone would feel in that situation... well, it's making me a little teary eyed right now as I write this so I don't have to say how powerful it was seeing it displayed on a gigantic screen as an acoustic guitar played in the background.
There were countless other moments that I will not soon forget, but it really doesn't do justice to any of them to sit here and tell you about them... it truly has to be seen to believed. Yes, there were crazy videos, giant puppets, pigs floating around the arena, classic rock staples, extended guitar solos... everything.
I would gladly pay $120 to see the show again (and I just might, depending on where the tour is going) and I can say that you get much more than you pay for, regardless of where you sit.
Do yourself a favor and make sure you see this show before it stops touring.