Monday, June 18, 2012

Roger Waters thrills with reinvention of 'The Wall'


     Roger Waters, a founding member and visionary songwriter of progressive rock band Pink Floyd, has created a wildly innovative live experience to accompany the latest reinvention of the classic album, “The Wall.” Timeless music, cutting edge technological accompaniment and larger than life twisted characters make Mr. Waters’ wild ride a trip not to be missed.

     Excited fans piled into the sold out show at the Amway Center in Orlando on Saturday June 16, and marveled at the innovative stage design. Sections of the unfinished wall took up the sides of the stage revealing the band set up and ever recognizable spot lit circular video screen, well know from other Pink Floyd tours in the past.

     The songs performed on this tour are taken entirely from the original album, “The Wall.” The themes and visual style of the show are modeled from the original cover art and unique animation from the groundbreaking 1982 feature film, “Pink Floyd: The Wall.”

     Throughout the first half of the production blocks are pieced into the wall from behind. Each individual brick of the wall became a small projection screen that seamlessly blends with the original wall fragmented sections. The small sections then begin to work together to create a giant living video projection capable of seemingly limitless visual potential.

     Visual accompaniments with increasing complexity on the wall are a perfect addition to this tour that raises the bar of what an immersing musical experience should be. “I grew up with his music, but until now I didn’t fully realize how amazing he is,” said audience member Lisbeth Paul.

     Images of wandering eyes, impoverished people and the effects of war, past and present fill the wall as it’s erected. The wall is fully constructed after the last few segments, leading to a dramatic video of the character, Pink, being isolated by his tormentors during the song, “Hey You.”

     The completed wall becomes the newly formed backdrop of the band. After a video from the feature film that accompanied the song “The Trial,” the entire arena repeatedly chanted “Tear down the wall.. Tear down the wall.”

     Large sections of the wall then began to tumble down and pile up center stage, as smoke and bright red confetti filled the air. “It’s better than anything I could have ever anticipated,” said delighted Waters fan and social studies teacher John Puchein.

     Waters and his band were given a deafening applause that continued for several minutes after the final acoustic performance of the epilogue song, “Outside the Wall.” Both audience and performers expressed a genuine feeling of love and admiration during this long and bittersweet goodbye.

     “The Wall Live” tour began in September 2010, and is currently scheduled to end next month in Canada. Waters has stated in several recent interviews that this will be his final tour.

By James Tutten
jtutten@valenciavoice.com

(Published: June 20. 2012 issue of the "Valencia Voice" on page 5.)

(All photos by James Tutten)





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