The lights are soon out and the crowd screams for beginnings. Enter Roger Waters and a talented ensemble to perform his favourite solo and Pink Floyd songs. And it’s a fine choice indeed, a mixture of hits and lesser knowns that only die-hard fans would know…but it’s likely that that’s the only kind in the audience.
No massive stage set with outlandish props and futuristic lightning. Gone is the stadium sized crowd. This is the lucky at the intimate, Rose Garden Arena in Oregon, USA. This is Roger Waters, relaxed, armed with Richard Gere smiles, and enjoying himself. There’s no showboating; delivering music, not ego, is the goal. It makes for a show of affability and sincerity. The gracious stepping back allows the crew to sparkle with ‘Mother’, ‘Welcome to the Machine’ and especially with ‘Dogs’ where Jon Carin, keyboardist and singer, takes the lead. They’re an exceptional band in every respect. The performance is sufficient evidence but it impresses that they have, collectively, worked with the likes of Eric Clapton, Eddie Vedder, The Who, Joe Cocker, Beach Boys, Jimi Hendrix, Ike & Tina Turner, David Bowie, Thin Lizzy, Boz Scaggs, Stevie Ray Vaughn and many more. It’s no wonder Roger Waters listed himself in-between credits rather than as the feature. Humble, indeed.
Solid arrangement and good placing bridges songs into an entity of experience. Having the epics, ‘Welcome to the Machine’, ‘Wish You Were Here’, ‘Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-8)’ and ‘Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun’ alongside one another is a compiler’s dream. Other highlights include ‘Perfect Sense’, ‘It’s a Miracle’ and the concluding new track which appropriately sings, “Each small candle lights a corner of the dark.”
Roger Water’s In the Flesh is a DVD must, 2h32m of perfection. And there’s a 17 minute documentary of behind the scenes footage as well as a double disc companion CD. Why avoid the analogy. I wish i was there!