Dans les eaux de Pink Floyd



Roger Waters a donné hier soir un spectacle impressionnant tant par le contenu que par le contenant.
Le Soleil, Jean-Marie Villeneuve

Le Soleil
Le lundi 04 juin 2007
Québec CA
Québec Colisée Arena


By Nicolas Houle:
« Pink se sentait mal, il est resté à l’hôtel », prévenait Roger Waters en montant sur la scène du Colisée, hier, mais personne n’a songé à s’en plaindre. Flanqué d’une solide équipe de 10 musiciens et choristes, le chanteur a offert une performance impeccable, qui en a mis plein la vue. Et les oreilles !

 

Roger Waters a le don de vous mettre sur pied des shows impressionnants, tant par le contenu que le contenant. Tellement que vous en oubliez le prix prohibitif du billet. Tellement que vous en oubliez que, lors d’une soirée comme celle d’hier, son répertoire ne comptait qu’une seule nouvelle pièce, Leaving Beirut, qui n’était pas la meilleure du lot...

 

Aucune des quelque 9000 personnes venues l’entendre s’en est froissé. Aux premières notes de In the Flesh, ça sonnait comme une tonne de briques. Dans le

bon sens du terme : la sono en quadriphonie était on ne peut plus claire. De mémoire de critique, jamais un show s’est si bien laissé entendre dans l’enceinte du Colisée.

 

Mais surtout, du haut de ses 63 ans, le sieur Waters était dans une forme resplendissante. La voix solide — bien qu’elle ne soit forcément plus celle de ses jeunes années — il prenait plaisir à farfouiller dans son répertoire, à remonter jusqu’aux années psychédéliques de Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, avec en prime de vieux films du Pink Floyd de l’époque, sans oublier d’échapper les hits attendus comme Wish You Were Here.

 

C’est d’ailleurs le seul reproche qu’on peut lui faire : d’avoir été un rien trop prudent en sélectionnant peu de compositions de ses années solo au profit de vieux succès.

 

N’empêche, chaque pièce était rendue avec doigté, précision et chaleur. Parmi les heureuses surprises, retenons la combinaison Southampton Dock et Fletcher Memorial Home. Après la seconde, qui avait de quoi vous donner des frissons, le public lui a réservé une chaleureuse ovation. Idem au terme de Perfect Sense I et II, d’Amused to Death, époustouflante avec le segment entonné par la choriste P.P. Arnold, et avec ce cosmonaute en suspension au-dessus de la foule.

 

Car non, on n’avait pas que les interprétations pour nous charmer. L’ami Waters a fait appel à Mark Fisher, à qui l’on doit la conception d’à peu près tous ses spectacles et de ceux des Floyd depuis 1977, et il a fait un sacré boulot. Des pétards qui éblouissaient quand c’était le temps à l’incontournable cochon volant en passant par les projections subtiles, rien ne manquait


Pièce de résistance



Après pareil menu, pour ceux qui n’étaient pas encore rassasiés, venait la pièce de résistance : l’entièreté de l’album The Dark Side of the Moon.

 

Ici non plus, pas de place à la déception. Il faut dire que son équipe de musiciens et de choristes avait de quoi recréer la magie de Pink Floyd à la note près. Jon Carin, aux claviers et à la voix, fiston Harry à l’orgue, le solide Dave Kilminster à la guitare, Graham Broad à la batterie, qui s’est distingué sur Time, ou encore Carol Kenyon à la voix pour The Great Gig in the Sky nous ont chacun fait passer des moments magiques.

 

Si le visuel était ici un tantinet moins impressionnant, on avait quand même droit au prisme de la pochette recréé grâce à des lasers suspendus au plafond.

 

C’est ce qu’on appelle écouter un album en trois dimensions !




French side of the moon



Roger Waters will likely have many Quebec fans in the audience when he brings his Dark Side of the Moon tour to Scotiabank Place Wednesday.
by : THE GAZETTE/ Pierre Obendrauf

The Ottawa Citizen
Monday, June 04, 2007
Québec CA
Québec Colisée Arena


By Patrick Langston:
« Pink Floyd, and all things prog, were always extra hot in Quebec », If Roger Waters is greeted with more-than-usual adulation when he brings his Dark Side of the Moon tour to Ottawa - its first Canadian stop - Wednesday, he may have the Gatineau portion of his audience to thank.

 

Waters, as you know, was a founding member and chief songwriter for Pink Floyd, the pioneering British prog rock band that formed in the mid-1960s, was pretty much kaput by the mid-1990s and has sold 116 million albums over the past four decades. And Quebecers, it seems, outstrip by a mile the rest of us when it comes to digging Waters, Pink Floyd and all things prog.

 

No question about it, according to Ottawa's Azim Keshavjee. As lead vocalist/guitarist with the popular touring tribute band Comfortably Numb, Keshavjee is attuned to audience response. He saw Waters play both Montreal and Toronto last year.

 

"(In Montreal) there was such an excitement in the air, like a bunch of kids, 'Wow, we're going to see Roger Waters!' Whereas in Toronto, it was more reserved. I think it's culturally ingrained. Quebecers really love their prog rock."

 

Just look at Montreal: it hosts everything from a prog rock record label and radio shows to Terra Incognito, "the only French-language prog rock magazine in North America."

 

Quebec has also bred a string of prog rock bands over the years, from Harmonium and Pollen in the 1970s -- often considered the province's golden age of prog rock -- to present-day Hamadryad (who, by the way, are on the bill along with such progressive rock veterans as Britain's the Strawbs at this September's second annual Festival des Musiques Progressives de Montreal).

 

Pink Floyd and their ilk hit big in Quebec in the early 1970s, in part because francophone bands didn't do American-based rock well, says Larry LeBlanc, Canadian bureau chief of Billboard magazine. "Progressive rock freed it up because it's not lyric-based. It has long instrumental passages. It's the storyline, the set-up, that's more important in prog rock."

 

Observers also point out that British-born prog rock -- with its classical music-like complexity, virtuoso performers and lush textures -- is, like Quebec society, more in the European than American tradition.

 

Waters, who left Pink Floyd in the mid-'80s amid a storm of acrimony with co-founder and guitarist David Gilmour, even had a crack at writing an opera about the French Revolution several years ago, while Pink Floyd's 1979 chart-topping album The Wall is a rock opera.

 

Professor Daniel Levitin of McGill University notes that a concept album like Pink Floyd's The Dark Side of the Moon (1973), a marvel of sonic inventiveness and sound engineering that's often considered the group's best moment, "is basically a symphony."

 

Adds the former record company executive and author of the book This Is Your Brain On Music, "People in Quebec have a slightly more sophisticated approach to music because Quebec culture brings in elements of European rock and North American rock ... Quebec is traditionally home to a number of classical and jazz musicians and folk-rock, and prog rock draws on all of that."

 

Small wonder Larry LeBlanc remembers Montreal's Forum straining at the seams when Pink Floyd played there in 1973.

 

"It was startling to see all those crowds because Pink Floyd were just not that big in North America then," he says. Indeed, even though The Dark Side of the Moon wound up on the Billboard Top 200 album chart for an astonishing 14-plus years, making it one of the best-selling albums of all time, the group only ever enjoyed one No. 1 single in the United States: 1980's Another Brick in the Wall.

 

And while prog rock built a fan base in Canada earlier than in the United States, thanks largely to our British affiliation, Pink Floyd, King Crimson and other big acts all broke first in Quebec, says LeBlanc.

 

In many cases, francophones picked up on these groups via Montreal-based English-language rock station CHOM-FM, he says. Adventuresome, CHOM was happy to play Pink Floyd and other bands that ignored the three-minute song formula. The station, which dabbled in bilingual programming in the 1970s, was also one of the first available on cable in many parts of the province, says LeBlanc, uniting Quebecers in their discovery of prog rock.

 

Francophones were doubtless also united by the themes of such Pink Floyd works as The Dark Side of the Moon.

 

Unstintingly weighty, the album deals with such issues as birth and death, alienation, and schizophrenia. Certain they were on the threshold of a new Quebec nation, feeling themselves adrift in a sea of anglophones, and engaged in an intense internal debate over self-identity, many 1970s-era Quebecers must have felt that Waters had a pipeline to their hearts.

 

And what could have spoken more directly to Quebecers' sense of apartness than the legendary stage performances of The Wall, in which a literal brick wall was slowly erected between the performers and their audience?

 

Pink Floyd's class consciousness must also have had special meaning for francophones, who had long felt themselves to be second-class citizens in their own province.

 

Add the experimental and frequently visionary nature of prog rock, and it's inevitable that a society still toying with ideas of political separation is drawn to the music.

 

Waters' current North American tour coincides with the 40th anniversary of Pink Floyd's debut album, The Piper at the Gates of Dawn. Theatrical in classic Pink Floyd style, Waters' show consists, in the first half, of favourites from his Pink Floyd and solo careers, while the back half features Waters and band performing The Dark Side of the Moon in its glorious entirety.

 

Keshavjee will be at Scotiabank Place for the show. He's anticipating what has drawn Quebecers to Waters, Pink Floyd and the best of prog rock for decades: "Fans in Quebec are like wine connoisseurs. If you go into a restaurant and someone tries to sell you something that doesn't quite live up to the good stuff, it's going to be a hard sell."