The Padriot Ledger
July 9th 2007
USA Boston MA
TD Banknorth Garden,
By CHAD BERNDTSON:
Roger Waters returned to Boston last night, and spent nearly three hours earning his victory lap following a pair of scintillating shows at the Tweeter Center last fall. Again focusing his show on a full reading of ‘‘Dark Side of the Moon,’’ he left the Pink Floyd faithful nothing less than sated, and if you missed him last night at a nearly sold out TD Banknorth Garden, well, friend, you missed out. Big time.
While the setlist was the same as at Tweeter, the difference this time was the indoor venue, and though the Garden isn’t exactly acoustically friendly, the show’s pristine production ensured a buoyant sound.
With all those lights, lasers, video backdrops, props, and quadraphonic soundscapes in the confines of the Garden, you felt positively enveloped, and the show’s spectacular nature felt magnified that much more. Given the iconic songs, the front- and backloaded band (11 of them, including three guitarists to fill the David Gilmour stead), and the trippy visuals, it was sensory overload.
If there were MVPs to be counted, they were guitarist David Kilminster, who despite major competition from longtime Waters associate Snowy White played solo after shattering solo. Then there was saxophonist Ian Ritchie, who growled, billowed, and blasted, and keyboardist Jon Carin, who also played lap steel guitar and sang.
Not far behind were Andy Fairweather-Low on rhythm, lead, acoustic, and bass guitars; Graham Broad on drums; and Harry Waters doing his Dad proud on keyboards.
The first set toured highlights of the Floyd catalog along with a few Waters solo tunes, including ‘‘Leaving Beirut,’’ which turned quickly into an anti-Bush screed.
Photos of Bush, Ronald Reagan, and Karl Rove mingled with mugshots of historical dictators in the video for ‘‘The Fletcher Memorial Home.’’
At the set’s core, though, was a four-song psychedelic bender of ‘‘Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun,’’ ‘‘Shine On You Crazy Diamond,’’ ‘‘Have a Cigar’’ and ‘‘Wish You Were Here.’’
Waters’ vocals wavered only on occasion, and when he closed the set with the menacing ‘‘Sheep,’’ it brought the emergence of Pink Floyd’s flying pig, which hovered over the masses as confetti rained.
As planned, the ‘‘Dark Side of the Moon’’ material followed, in order, for set two. While there was certainly drama, it was during such classics as ‘‘Money’’ (sung by Kilminster) and ‘‘Brain Damage’’ that the band slipped into a more clinical mode.
Only in a sprawling, spacey ‘‘Us and Them’’ (sung by Carin) did it soar again.
When it came time for encores, Waters kept things predictable, but no less compelling. As in the Tweeter shows, he mined chestnuts from ‘‘The Wall,’’ burrowing into ‘‘The Happiest Days of Our Lives,’’ ‘‘Another Brick in the Wall Part II,’’ ‘‘Vera’’ and ‘‘Bring the Boys Back Home,’’ before finally arriving at the cascading psychedelia of ‘‘Comfortably Numb.’’
It was a towering finale to one of the year’s most visceral concert experiences