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ConcertsRoger Waters: The Wall Live @ Wembley Stadium, London, UK 09/14/2013

Posted on Thursday, September 19 2013 @ 23:53:30 CDT by Dean Pedley
Progressive Rock Three years and more than two hundred shows since it all began, Roger Waters presentation of The Wall Live arrived at London's Wembley Stadium for the solitary outdoor show in his home country. Sea of Tranquility's intrepid team of UK based staff writers were out in force for this not to be missed performance on what will surely be Waters final large scale tour.

Despite reported slow ticket sales Wembley is near capacity as show time approaches, the pre-show song selection running through 'Masters of War', 'Imagine' and 'People Get Ready' before a mournful trumpet melody ushers in 'Outside The Wall'. When the stadium erupts for 'In the Flesh?' the impact is tremendous; a fully blown audio visual experience before Waters appears, dressed in his customary black and sporting a wide grin, a far cry from his bristling persona during the latter part of his tenure with Pink Floyd. The latest technology brings iconic moments from the original show into the twenty first century on a grand and overblown scale, ensuring the puppets and animation for 'Another Brick in the Wall pt 2', 'Mother' and 'Empty Spaces' are even more nightmarish and sinister. Before 'Mother' Waters addresses the crowd for the first time, singing along with himself as footage from the 1980 show appears either side of him on the colossal wall. By the end of the first half the wall is complete, Waters disappearing from view as the final brick slots into place at the climax of 'Goodbye Cruel World'.

'Hey You' opens the second half with minimal visuals, Waters and the band entirely hidden from view, appearing for 'Nobody Home' which finds him sat on a chair inside a hotel room in a fold out section of the wall. 'Vera' and 'Bring the Boys Back Home' provide the shows most moving moments, the former complete with images of children reunited with fathers returning from military service. The sense of anticipation during 'Comfortably Numb' is palpable, the crowd waiting with collective baited breath to see who will appear atop the wall for the solo, exhaling as one when Dave Kilminster appears; the night was to be special but not extraordinary. A pulverising 'Run Like Hell' marks the arrival of the pig, eventually descending into the crowd where it is torn apart with a frenzy, Waters now playing the part of fascist demagogue and seemingly loving every minute of it. Eventually of course it all reaches the emotional punch of 'The Trial' where the wall comes crashing down during what is an incredible feat of technology. Smiles and introductions all around for 'Outside the Wall' and Waters proclaims the crowd as "the best I've ever seen in London, and I've seen quite a few".

It's all a far cry from the 1980's when Waters struggled to shift tickets for poorly received solo albums; The Wall Live is without a doubt the most spectacular display of rock theatre ever to be staged and seems likely to remain at the pinnacle for many years to come.

Words by Dean Pedley

Images by Rich Ward



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