Music Blog

Roger Waters In Charlotte, NC – June 7, 2000

Okay. Roger Waters was amazing.

I was concerned at first that there was going to be very few people there, and the crowd was pretty sparse when the show started at 20:00. But as the sun went down, it was pretty apparent that there were a lot more people there than I had thought. While it probably wasn’t sold out, the show was at least 4/5 there.

It was a great show.

He played a lot of his work with Pink Floyd. Stuff from Dark Side of the Moon, Meddle, Wish You Were Here, Animals, The Final Cut, and “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” from, I believe, Ummagumma. He also played a lot of his solo work. “Every Stranger’s Eyes” from The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, and a lot of stuff from Amused to Death (though he didn’t play “What God Wants,” which surprised me).

Mara and I were both impressed. I mean, we knew Roger Waters would put on a great show, but, well, damn. By the end of the night he had the crowd in the palm of his hand, and that included a lot of clueless assholes who showed up at his show with Division Bell t-shirts (apparently oblivious to the fact that Roger Waters had nothing to do with that version of Pink Floyd).

For me, of course, it was a different experience. As I told Mara on the way out, I had always wanted to see Pink Floyd, and now I had.
I loved the way the stage was set. He didn’t have one of those intrusive metal lighting trusses, and so the stage seemed very open. There was less of a division between the band and the audience. And the lights that were used had a much more powerful effect, because their source wasn’t always obvious. Spotlights seemed to beam in directly from heaven. They had a table and some chairs set up on the stage, and sometimes during the solos the band-members who weren’t playing would go back, sit down, and play cards. It made for great theater, and gave the audience something novel to look at.
I also dearly loved his use of quadraphonic stereo. It was funny to see some people looking around when the dogs started barking at the start of “Dogs” off of Animals. And when he played “Another Brick in the Wall,” the helicopter in the beginning sounded like it was hovering over the amphitheater.

All in all, it was an education in rock theater, and one which I won’t soon forget.

Of course, what would an entry on Roger Waters be without an associated Pink Floyd rant?

I think it says a lot about the lack of respect that Roger Waters gets that, on the way home, a caller called in to WRFX and was talking about how great the Roger Waters show was. He said, rightly so, that Roger was amazing, and he said “Which one’s Pink? It’s Roger Waters!” The DJ promised he’d play something, and then proceeded to play “Learning to Fly,” by the post-Waters Pink Floyd. The ultimate insult, considering Roger’s battles with David Gilmour over the soul of the Pink Floyd legacy.

Combine that with the fact that there were idiots at the concert with post-Waters Floyd t-shirts, the total lack of any of Roger’s music on the radio the night of the concert, and the added insult by the little snert DJ at WRFX, and one begins to wonder why Roger bothers.
It’s a damn shame. The man makes some of the most interesting music in rock and roll, and he gets no respect. It kind of makes you wonder what the hell is wrong with the world.

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