Angry Little Tank

Rants, chants and cants....all written while wearing no pants!

Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Roger Waters at the Tweeter Center - Which One's Pink?

I've been a Pink Floyd fan since I was 15 years old, so when I heard that Roger Waters was coming to the Tweeter Center AND would be performing the seminal Pink Floyd album Dark Side of the Moon I knew I had to go.

The show sold out in like a nanosecond, which kind of took me by surprise. I guess after selling 35 million copies, there are a few people out there who would like to see Dark Side performed live. A quick ebay auction landed us two tickets for only $15 over face value on the lawn. Could have been worse. Our friend Bob scored a lawn ticket of his own on the ferry over to Camden and we were good to go.

The first thing I noticed was the crowd. I think the charitable term one could use would be "scumbag". Drunk and high was a given, but they all looked used somehow as well. Every 10 seconds it seemed as though some moron was slurring at the top of his lungs "E-A-G-L-E-S....EAGLES!!!!" while hundreds of his idiotic brethren joined in. Philadelphia sports fans have a reputatin for being obnoxious, I assure you this is well earned.

We got into the venue shortly after 8pm and made our way towards the back of the lawn. A short while later the show started. The opener was "In The Flesh" from The Wall. The sound was a little thin way back on the lawn, but the band was certainly tight and well rehearsed. I was relieved that the guitarist they chose for most of the leads was competant. Few can emote on a Fender the way Dave Gilmour can, but this guy did an admirable job.

My favorite track from The Wall came up next - "Mother". Roger traded vocals with one of the backup singers he had brought, which added a layer of soul to an otherwise emotionally vacant song. It was very nicely done.

After that the evening started getting a little psychedelic as we "Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun". I love all the songs from "Live at Pompeii" so I got into it right away. The middle improv segment was very trippy with accompanying visuals on the screens. It was enough to make one nostalgic for those college era acid days.

The only complaint I had was that the crowd was starting to get restless and talked loudly throughout the rest of the first set. Some douchebag in front of us started going into detail about the construction business he was getting off the ground. The kind of truck he needed to buy. What an asshole the last client was. How tight money is right now. WHO CARES, SHUT THE FUCK UP!

Three songs from "Wish You Were Here" came up next - "Shine On You Crazy Diamond", "Have A Cigar", and "Wish You Were Here". Roger played acoustic guitar for this segment, which was interesting to see. The music was well played but at this point I was starting to realize that seeing this music peformed live just wasn't the same without the full band. It was good, but not great.

I was particularly annoyed by the drummer. Where Nick Mason deftly tapped out complex rythyms, this jackass would pound on them like a sledgehammer. It effected the emotional impact of all the music, dumbing it down essentially.

But why dwell on the negative? A couple of tracks off "The Final Cut", which I consider to be highly under-rated, came next - "Southhampton Dock" and "The Fletcher Memorial Home". Both contain overt anti-war messages and surprisingly the crowd seemed receptive. I had heard stories of certain songs being booed in other cities. As if Pink Floyd hadn't been singing about the futility of war since the very beginning. The Philly Billies were responsive though, maybe they realize that they would be the ones asked to make the sacrifices if we continue on our never ending path of war we're on.

A couple of selections from the solo catalogue came next. They were good, but nothing that great. The first set ended with "Sheep" from "Animals". A huge inflatible graffitied pig was released off the lawn during the climax to the song. It was cheesey, but a nice reminder of the 1978 tour. I'm still angry at my parents for not having the foresight to take me to that show when I was eight. LOL!

During the quick set break I had to go the bathroom. What a horror show. People lined up to piss in the sink. Eagles chants quickly followed by "New York sucks!" (I mean it does, but who cares?) followed by "TO sucks" (again, he does but can we just piss and get out of here?).

I shook that off, grabbed a quick beer and then headed upstairs back to the lawn just as the heartbeat drumming of "Dark Side" was beginning. Everybody probably already knows the setlist so I won't go into great detail. I'll just say that it was 40 minutes of bliss. You just never get tired of hearing those songs and watching them performed live by one of the men responsible was a real treat. Even the crowd quieted down for the most part and watched it all unfold. Once again, the backup singers were top notch with "Great Gig In The Sky" being the obvious standout.

The encores were "Another Brick In The Wall pt. II", (with nice crowd participation during the child chorus) "Vera Lynn", "Bring The Boys Back Home" (both greeted with loud cheers, if you've lost these people on your war you're screwed George. Check out the video included below for a taste) and finally "Comfortably Numb". Unfortunately for some reason they decided to trade off solos between a second guitarist for this song, who just wasn't that great. It kind of killed the experience for me.

Still and all, a great show and a memorable experience. Not quite the visual feast you got from either the 1987 or 1994 post-Waters Pink Floyd shows, but a great evening of great music. My guess is this will be the last time we see any live Floyd in these parts and I was happy I was able to go.


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