Concert review: Roger Waters keeps Pink Floyd's legacy red hot

Joshua Prezant
For The Miami Herald
Roger Waters of Pink Floyd performs to a sold-out crowd at the Sound Advice Amphitheater in West Palm Beach Friday night.


Miami Herald
West Palm Beach FL
Sound Advice Amphitheater

BY MICHAEL HAMERSLY: Pink Floyd fans haven't seen the beloved group perform live very often in recent years, mainly because of a long-standing feud between its two frontmen, David Gilmour and Roger Waters.


The legendary prog-rock band's brief reunion in London -- Pink Floyd's first public performance with Waters in 24 years -- was the highlight of the Live 8 concerts in 2005. The original members of Floyd also endured a one-off show to honor its late founding member, Syd Barrett, earlier this month.


On Friday night at the sold-out Sound Advice Amphitheatre in West Palm Beach, the Floyd faithful flocked through the pouring rain to see the next best thing to another genuine reunion, as Roger Waters (the mastermind behind the group's albums The Dark Side of the Moon, Animals and The Wall) kicked off The Dark Side of the Moon -- The Return Engagement Tour.


But the show was much more than Dark Side -- Waters tore through a Pink Floyd greatest hits medley for his first set, including gems such as Mother, Have a Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Sheep and Shine On You Crazy Diamond, a 17-plus-minute epic anthem written to honor Barrett's short-lived songwriting genius.


After a brief break, the increasingly impatient crowd's rumbling made the purpose of the evening perfectly clear: to hear Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety. And Waters didn't disappoint, syncing up gunshots and explosions to the beat of Breathe; ticking an urgent heartbeat on his bass guitar during Time; satisfactorily replacing Gilmour's vocals on Money; and supplying disturbing visuals of President Bush giving a thumbs-up ''mission accomplished'' sign during Us and Them -- all the more eerie when you recall that the song was written 34 years ago, even before the Vietnam war ended.


Brain Damage's lyric ''the lunatic is in my head'' leading into the obscure yet somehow wise proclamations of Eclipse -- ''Everything under the sun is in tune, when the sun is eclipsed by the moon'' -- would normally serve as a fine send-off for Floyd fans. However, Waters chose to sweeten the pot with a five-song encore including favorites Another Brick In the Wall and Comfortably Numb.


Shine on, you crazy diamond, indeed.