HOME SOUNDcheck GOhear GOview GOread GOplaces DOmore


  » Contact Us
  » Advertise With Us

  » Classifieds
  » Newspaper Ads

Concert Reviews:
Roger Waters dazzles with Palace presentation of "The Wall"

of the Oakland Press

Posted: Sunday, October 24, 2010

» See more SOUND CHECK

AUBURN HILLS -- Pink Floyd's 1979 epic "The Wall" has been performed so seldom -- just 30 times since 1980 -- that a genuine legend has grown around its groundbreaking theatrical grandeur.

And on Sunday night (Oct. 24) at the Palace, bassist and primary songwriter Roger Waters' presentation of the piece more than lived up to that legend.

The 67-year-old Waters is taking "The Wall" for a worldwide spin this year and next, nearly quadrupling its performance history. The visual concept is still the same -- an impressive 240-foot-wide, 35-foot-tall wall was constructed during the first half of the show, then knocked down at the end of the second -- but Waters has expanded the original story of personal alienation from the world into a strong anti-war message, with photos and stories of fans' lost loved ones, from wars and terrorist attacks (including 911), projected onto the wall at various points of the evening. That included Waters' own father, who was killed in the 1944 Anzio invasion during World War II.

That only added an extra layer of emotional depth to an already dazzling and engrossing performance that gave visual flesh, and flash, to enduring rock classics such as "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2," "Comfortably Numb" and "Run Like Hell" -- all greeted like old sonic friends by the capacity crowd of 13,500. Pyrotechnics during "In the Flesh?" gave the show a rousing lift-off, while massive puppets were deployed during "The Happiest Days of Our Lives," "Mother" and "Don't Leave Me Now." Projections were nimbly fitted into the songs, most impressively a juxtaposition of "little Roger" circa 1980 in London performing the song in sync with the live Waters at the Palace.

But it was the show's second half, performed mostly while the wall was up. Waters performed "Nobody Home" on a hotel room-styled set that jutted out from the structure. Co-lead vocalist Robbie Wyckoff and guitarist Dave Kilminster performed their parts of "Comfortably Numb" from atop the wall, while the 12-piece ensemble performed songs such as "The Show Must Go On," "Run Like Hell" and "Waiting for the Worms" in front of it, while a pig sporting faux fascist graffiti floated over the crowd during "In the Flesh."

The wall's destruction at the end of "The Trial" was equally impressive, with the foam-board bricks tumbling just feet away from the front rows. The troupe's acoustic rendition of "Outside the Wall" -- with accordion, banjo, mandolin and Waters playing trumpet as confetti fell from above -- brought a genteel close to a concert that's safe to call one of if not THE year's best and may well be one of the shows of the century.

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff


GO & DO Michigan, an Entertainment Portal
This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without the written permission of the copyright holder.

© Copyright MediaNews Group, Inc. | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Cookie Policy | Arbitration