Roger Waters: 7/18/2017

My brother who lives in the Greensboro area is a huge Pink Floyd fan, so when I saw that Roger Waters was playing in Greensboro, I asked him to grab me some tickets. That was about nine months before the show. But finally the day arrived and it was time to take the drive to my brother’s.

My daughter and I set out on what should have been a two-and-a-half hour drive, but we were beset with rain, hail, accidents, construction, basically everything except an earthquake and a plague of locusts. But eventually we arrived, ate a few slices of pizza, and then piled into two cars to drive to the show (since there were six of us altogether).

We arrived at the coliseum where they were charging a criminal $20 per car to park. As we pulled up to the fee booth, my brother asked the guy working there if we could get a two-for-one deal, since the car behind was with us. And the dude actually said yes! I was kind of shocked, but my brother has always had a touch for finagling things like that.

We parked and headed inside. I went and checked out the shirts, which looked cool, but the cheap ones were $40, and a tie dye shirt was $75! I’m an old timer, and I just couldn’t bring myself around to spending that much money on a tee shirt.

Our seats were straight back, which was great because we got the full visual experience, which was amazing. The concert was heavy on the “Dark Side of the Moon” and “Animals” material, which was fine with me. The earliest piece he played was “One of These Days” from the Meddle album. That song always gives me the chills.

While the music and the stage show were both awesome, there was one big bummer about this concert: we had a screamer in the row behind us. This woman, who was obviously fresh from a trailer park, was raving about all the Xanax she took before the show. Then once the lights went down, she started screaming, and screaming, and screaming, at the top of her lungs. I am all for people getting psyched about a show, but this was ridiculous. About halfway into the second set, I said something to her, to which she nastily responded “Shut the fuck up!” and just screamed even louder. I debated escalating the situation, but decided it was not worth it. We have to choose our rock and roll battles.

Anyway, in spite of that, I had a great time. The show was political, but not overly so (lots of images of Trump as a pig in the second set). Having seen Waters about four times now, I have to say that this was one of his better shows. If you have an opportunity to catch this tour, you definitely should. Here is the setlist for those who are interested.

Set 1:

  • Breathe
  • One of These Days
  • Time
  • Breathe (Reprise)
  • The Great Gig in the Sky
  • Welcome to the Machine
  • When We Were Young
  • Déjà Vu
  • The Last Refugee
  • Picture That
  • Wish You Were Here
  • The Happiest Days of Our Lives
  • Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
  • Another Brick in the Wall Part 3

Set 2:

  • Dogs
  • Pigs (Three Different Ones)
  • Money
  • Us and Them
  • Smell the Roses
  • Brain Damage
  • Eclipse
  • Vera
  • Bring the Boys Back Home
  • Comfortably Numb

Roger Waters: 11/18/2010

RogerWaters_11-18-10

My older daughter is a huge Pink Floyd fan, so when I saw that Roger Waters was going on tour and performing The Wall in its entirety, I knew I had to make the effort to take her to see it. The closest performance was in Atlanta, about a three-and-a-half hour drive, so I ordered tickets for her and my brother (also a huge Floyd fan) and we made plans to go.

My brother picked us up and we started the trek down to Atlanta. We were very excited, listening to music, and talking. Then my brother got a call which changed the mood. His wife had gotten some test results back from the doctor and they were not good (thankfully, she is OK now!!). Anyway, I was ready to accept that we would miss the concert. I asked my brother if he wanted to turn around and go home. Ever the pragmatist, he said there is nothing he can do tonight, that we should just go to the concert, and he would drive home through the evening and be home by the morning.

We got to Atlanta and the area around the Philips Arena was swarming with music fans. We went to the Hard Rock Café for dinner, which seemed appropriate. I know the Hard Rock is dubbed TGI Fridays with guitars on the walls, but still, I like it. There’s something cool about being surrounded by rock memorabilia.

We went into the arena, purchased some shirts, and found our seats. Looking down at the floor, there was what looked like a homeless person pushing a shopping cart around and getting hugs and high-fives from people up front. We discovered that he had been a plant outside the venue, begging for money, and that concert goers who were generous with him got upgraded to the front. Nice! Never underestimate the power of being charitable to strangers in need.

The concert started and it was visually stunning. The band sounded fantastic, high-definition images were projected onto the huge wall constructed on the stage, huge inflatable characters came to life, it was everything I expected. Even though I was concerned about my sister-in-law, I managed to enjoy the show. My only criticism is that I wish they would have done an encore, something not on The Wall (Brain Damage/Eclipse would have been perfect). But no, the wall collapsed, debris over the stage, and the show was over.

The drive home was long, especially that late at night, but my brother fueled himself with Red Bull, got me and my daughter home safely, then continued on back to his house.

The other day, I found my shirt from this concert buried in the bottom of my tee shirt drawer. I shook out the wrinkles and wore it. I remembered the concert and how much it meant to me to be sharing the experience of taking my daughter to see one of her favorite musicians. I hope she treasures the memory as much as I do.