Roger Waters: Arena, Liverpool

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Roger Waters brings the Darkside of the Moon and his inflatable pigs to the spiritual home of The Floyd, Getintothis’ Luke Traynor is suitably impressed.


Roger Waters is only performing in two UK cities as part of his world tour.
London, because everybody has to play the capital, and Liverpool because nobody salutes the Floyd quite like a Scouse crowd.
There was barely a spare seat in the ECHO Arena for the biggest event the venue has staged since opening in January.
Waters emerged looking sinewy in a tight black top. From a distance he looks like Richard Gere, just nowhere near as good.
The two-hour set opened up with the sinister crashing chords of In The Flesh, the spotlight dancing among the crowd to locate the ‘queers and coons’ in the front aisles.
Then it was onto the tender Mother, one of a large chunk of tracks taken from The Wall, Waters’ own Floyd baby.
Winding the clock back, we were treated to a mesmeric performance of Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun, with some nostalgic images of the four band members together in the Syd Barrett-era.
Shine On You Crazy Diamond and Wish You Were Here were predictable showstoppers, but without Dave Gilmour’s faultless vocal they perhaps failed to scale their usual awesome heights.
A brilliant version of Have A Cigar, a rousing Perfect Sense, and two Final Cut tracks – Southampton Dock and a brilliantly morbid The Fletcher Memorial Home – were the first half highlights.
Only new track Leaving Beirut, with its whimsical cabaret-style melody and kindergarten morality tale, didn’t hit the mark.
Typically, the famous Floyd pig made its floating appearance during a classic rendition of Sheep, daubed with the words Fear Builds Walls, as ticker tape urging everyone to ‘Vote Obama’ descended upon us.
Anti-war and anti-government have been Waters’ themes since the cradle.
All night, the visuals on the screen behind the band were simply stunning, with the heat from the fire cannons felt from 300 yards away.
From psychedelic washes of colour to intergalactic space scapes, they were just as special as the music.
Into the second half, it was Dark Side Of The Moon all the way, which really kicked in from Time onwards and gave us the best song of the night, a haunting Us And Them.
Money rocked impressively, and the screamingly beautiful female vocals of Great Gig In The Sky amazed as they always do.
Was Roger playing an encore? Of course, this is Liverpool, and he leapt into an explosive Another Brick In The Wall.
Floyd fans were pleased to next hear the touching Vera before the experience was brought to a crashing close with the best rock song ever written – Comfortably Numb.
After the last strident chord, Waters turned to the adoring throng and said: “We’ve done this thing 165 times, and I think you guys are probably number one. You’ll never walk alone.
Even The Blues in the audience didn’t mind that much.

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