Without question, “The Wall” is one of those iconic Pink Floyd albums that influenced me profoundly as a teenager living in a small communist country, buried behind a political wall, where the sense of hopelessness was easy to comprehend. I still remember vividly getting my hands on a pirated TDK cassette recording and listening almost religiously to it on my trusted old Philips player. The sound, the imagery, the mind boggling guitar work, the breath taking manipulation of musical contrast, the almost Brazilian football game feel of an arena full of lost souls, the unravelling of songs sounding bigger than songs… it was all new, unheard of, eye opening.
It also brought longing for creativity, along with the desperation of knowing your path ends at a wall built by others…
I never ever even dreamed that I could witness “The Wall” concert experience live. I had seen photos of the original shows, I watched the movie, I even watched the live Berlin show (well, on a TV, that is), when unexpectedly communism crumbled down… But a real live show? It’s not in the books, I thought… I was wrong.
Well, it only took like 30 years for it to happen. And without Pink Floyd. But, one way or another, my bucket list is one task shorter.
“The Wall” is an impeccable show. Roger Waters (aided by a band of incredible musicians, including his son on keyboards, and with my favorite Snowy White ), as always, is a perfectionist to the bone. At 69, he sounds and moves as good, if not better, as ever. Often referring to “My fucked-up younger self”, he looks like someone looking for a closure. Someone, trying to complete the circle.Thanks to YouTube, It was incredibly touching to see David Gilmour and Nik Mason joining him at the London show. In that sense, may be Waters found the therapeutic healing he’s been searching for.
For me, however, the concert brought a bag of mixed feelings. I found out I have grown older, and may be duller. As BB King brilliantly put it in his song: “The thrill is gone”… The sense of youthful discovery has been toned down, and the pleasure of listening to the songs, although there, was not the same.
I also found out that the updated message of the album did not work that well for me, as it should have… As symbolic as it is, the album was written from a profoundly personal point of view. That many years after, it still feels that way, and adding a different twist to it feels a bit forced. I also discovered, that for me, personally, the album works better in a vinyl LP form, or as an Alan Parker movie, than as a concert, surrounded by weed-smoking-middle-aged fans trying to re-live their illusion of youth. But that’s just me.
But don’t get me wrong – I still enjoyed every second of it.