Sunday, May 27, 2012

Concert Review - Roger Waters The Wall in Portland


It seems only fitting to review this show over Memorial Day weekend, since Waters has converted The Wall from an autobiographic piece to a larger global statement on war and the abuse of power.

All the footage in the show of soldiers coming home from duty and particularly the song Bring The Boys Back Home made me think of all those who fight for our freedom. The show vacillates between heartfelt and frequently tear-inducing images of the victims of war - including soldiers, and the Dogs and Pigs who wage war from behind the boardroom walls. You all know the story.

I took my 14 year old son to the show and Waters didn't disappoint. Right out of the gate it was a visual onslaught from the pyro opening of In The Flesh to the giant Wall toppling over two and a half hours later.

I noticed some new things in the show from when I saw it in December 2010. First of all, cameras have been added to capture Waters onstage and broadcast him onto the wall - much like the jumbo screens at big stadium shows.

But it was very effective on a couple of fronts. In Nobody Home, where Waters sings the song from a faux hotel room that extends from the wall, I remember that in the 2010 show I had a hard time seeing him. I was in the 100 section in the back, which was a great place to be but not for moments like Nobody Home.

But now, an image of Waters is broadcast on the right hand side of the wall so you can see all the nuances of his delivery. They also used this in Don't Leave Me Now to great effect (see photo below).

And it was also used in my favorite moment of the show, where Waters machine guns the audience to death at the end of In The Flesh. He now shows up 50 feet tall in front of the 'Nazi rally' imagery so you REALLY get the point. See the video below.

Otherwise, my review from December pretty much stands - I don't have much to add except that Waters sounded awesome vocally and stretched out a little more on the bass. The sound in the Portland Rose Garden was very crisp and his band was fantastic.

I especially noted the large amount of vocal harmonies for example in The Show Must Go On. These live four and five part harmonies, so well executed, are refreshing given today's era of lip syncing and playing to pre-recorded backing tracks.

Overall, I am glad I saw this show a second time, and honestly wish I could see it just one more time.



Isorski and Son













Yep, I had to also get the T-Shirt! Run Like Hell!

2 comments:

Unknown said...

I saw this show also and one in 2010 (Tacoma) as well, loved it both times and appreciated the changes you mentioned too.
My friend that was at both shows with me said he played song songs before that he skipped this time or different versions "When the Tigers Broke Free" and "What shall we do now?/Empty Spaces" did you notice that also?

Thanks for your review and pictures/video!

Tim said...

I saw this show also and one in 2010 (Tacoma) as well, loved it both times and appreciated the changes you mentioned too.
My friend that was at both shows with me said he played song songs before that he skipped this time or different versions "When the Tigers Broke Free" and "What shall we do now?/Empty Spaces" did you notice that also?

Thanks for your review and pictures/video!