2006 June 12th
By Simon Denton: When Renate asked me to send some photos and a review of the recently completed Roger Waters Dark Side of the Moon tour, I was only too pleased to oblige. Then I realised it would be kind of tricky to write something new about tour that began in 2006 and finished in July 2007, wowing fans across the globe with 107 performances.
We were lucky enough to have seen these momentous concerts on several occasions. The first time I saw it in Reykjavik in June 2006 recaptured the magic of hearing Dark Side of the Moon for the first time all those years ago.
Little did we know then that as fantastic as that early performance was, the show and the band would develop, evolve and somehow get even better right up to the final leg more than 12 months later.
The set list has been widely reported so I wont give a track by track review. And although there were many highlights, one of them was seeing Roger sitting down and spitting out “The Fletcher Memorial” with such raw passion and venom that it made the hairs on the back of your neck stand on end.
Musically the brief had been to recreate the music as it sounded on the record but this incredibly talented band also managed to give the music a fresh feel and introduce their own characters to the music. Snowy and Dave shared the hallowed lead guitar work between them whilst Andy Fairweather-Low worked solidly in the background.
The format of the show was the same throughout the tour. The first half was effectively Pink Floyd’s “greatest hits” plus the anthemic “Perfect Sense” and a new song, “Leaving Beirut” which saw Andy emerge from the back of the stage playing the guitar part complete with cowboy’s hat.
The second half consisted of Dark Side of the Moon played in it’s entirety, complete with additional sound effects during “On The Run” that almost made the ears bleed. Snowy often seemed transfixed by the projections on the screen during this tune.
The encore effectively formed a third part of the show, with several songs from The Wall including the singalongs “Another Brick” and “Comfortably Numb” during which Snowy and Dave let rip trading licks with those guitar solos.
Being a Roger Waters show, there was naturally a lot of other stuff going on. The screen at the back of the stage was used to great effect with some old and new film footage and mesmerising colourful animation. There were pyrotechnics and explosions. An astronaut flew above the crowd during “Perfect Sense” and a huge pig floated around during “Sheep”.
And then there was the sound system which was crystal clear. Even in the venues with poor acoustics, the sound was always spot on.
Finally, what made these shows especially powerful and emotional was the connection between the audiences and Roger. Roger strode across the stage grinning from ear to ear, acknowledging thanks and waves from the fans. The audience in Mumbai, where a business trip “totally by coincidence” happened to be at the same time as the show was in town, were especially engaged and hugely grateful that this large scale rock show was taken to their city.
One particularly poignant moment in Mumbai was the group of fans standing next to us at the front of the stage holding up a makeshift banner saying “we’ve come all the way from Bangladesh for you”. During “Mother” they waved at Roger who nodded and winked at them. Towards the end of the show he told the crowd that he had found the reception in Mumbai “hugely moving” and pointed out “these guys have come all the way from Bangladesh and I know many of you have travelled long distances”.
If there was any doubt, the general consensus is that the debate about “which one’s Pink” has been settled.