Roger Waters

Elegy for Syd
By JIM SULLIVAN  |  September 12, 2006

With Pink Floyd resting like Monty Python’s ex-parrot, it is once again Roger Waters’s job to assume the Floydian mantle, and he’s assembled a crack octet to take with him on the road, with guitarists Snowy White, Andy Fairweather-Low, and Dave Kilminster filling in for David Gilmour. The 63-year-old has mounted a two-hour-and-40 minute show that’s as high on spectacular sonics and visuals as you’d expect. The second half last Friday at the Tweeter Center was the entirety of The Dark Side of the Moon, and it sounded as resonant 33 years after the fact: trippy, grand, orgasmic, cynical, resigned, resplendent, sad.

Like much of Floyd’s material, Dark Side has as its basis the drug-exacerbated crack-up of Floyd founding genius/madman Syd Barrett. When he began the tour, Waters didn’t know Barrett would pass away this summer, but Barrett’s actual death — as opposed to his protracted creative death — added a level of poignancy. As did the clips on the backing scrim of a young Barrett and band cavorting about during the boom-and-gloom opener, “In the Flesh,” and showing up again during the throbbing “Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun” and the elegiac “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.”

Dark Side sounded note-perfect: for “Money” there was an image of an LP, a turntable, and a tone-arm on screen, and the “Shorter of breath/One day closer to death” line in “Time” hit the gong of truth again. Waters — steely-eyed and sporting a toothy grin — did not mind stepping back occasionally to play bass or strum acoustic guitar, and saxophonist Ian Ritchie and the guitarists held sway as George W. Bush and “Mission Accomplished” went up on screen in “Us and Them.” They closed with “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2),” and I couldn’t escape the thought that the children’s choir that sang “We don’t need no education/We don’t need no thought control” in 1979 on The Wall (and was sampled here) was now in early middle age.

Related: Sound Czech, Syd Barrett, Master at work, More more >
  Topics: Live Reviews , George W. Bush, Syd Barrett, Monty Python,  More more >
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