Last weekend, Roger Waters performed the whole Wall at the Toyota Center here in Houston and it was fantastic. The only thing that would have made it better is if Rick Right was alive and Nick Mason and David Gilmour weren’t “back at the hotel”, but the show still managed to be better than I ever anticipated. Besides Waters there was at least one other major Floyd veteran on stage, Snowy White. While white was never a band member, he did play with Pink Floyd on the original wall tour and also contributed some playing for the European version of Animals.
The content of the show was similar to the original wall but was updated for maximum relevance. Waters collected pictures from fans of people killed in combat and maintained the same anti-war message without any sort of hippie naivety. Waters has always been a critic of anarcho-capitalism and used to be an outright socialist but during the show he also mocked the role of overbearing government. In the song “Mother” he displayed an ominous red and black animation of a security camera while belting out “of course momma’s gonna help build the wall”.
Just like the original show, the concert revolved around the building of a literal wall on stage and mind-blowing visuals. One of the most amazing special effects took place after the second song “the thin ice” as a large model plane smashed into the wall and exploded into a giant fireball. An extended cut of the “empty spaces” animation was played and it looked amazing on the huge, circular, screen.
The message of the show was more universal this time too.Using visuals, Waters criticized war, interventionism, over-consumption, radicalized religious expression, and material greed, especially during “goodbye blue sky“. Overall, Water’s voice held up incredibly well and his band did a good job reinterpreting the music. It’s too late for Houston but if by some stroke of good luck, he finds the time to come back again, please go see him. You will thank me.