Roger Waters in Portland

June 26, 2017
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Roger Waters promised that 75% of the songs he played on the “Us and Them” tour would be from the Pink Floyd catalog—and he did not disappoint at the Moda Center last night.

The set list included: Speak to Me, Breathe, One of These Days. Time, Breathe (reprise), The Great Gig in the Sky, Welcome to the Machine, When We Were Young, Deja 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, Dogs, Pigs, Money, Us and Them, Smell the Roses, Brain Damage, Eclipse, Eclipse (repeat ending with working pyramid effect), Vera, Bring the Boys Back Home, and Comfortably Numb.

Cramped quarters and somewhat obnoxious fellow audience members aside, it was a great show! Highlights on my list:

Pop band “Lucius” vocalists Jess Wolf and Holly Laessig covering Clare Torry’s vocals on Great Gig in the Sky.  Nailed it. And then some. They have been touring with Roger for some time and they are amazing. They have an ability to express a phenomenal spectrum of emotion with no lyrics. Here’s a sample from last years Desert Trip… you have to check this out (especially if you’ve never heard of them): 

 

Waters and the band repeated the ending of Eclipse because he didn’t want us to miss out on the laser pyramid effect that didn’t work the first time through. It was the classic Floyd prismatic rainbow. You remember that album cover, right? Imagine that shining down in 3D, perfectly timed to the ending of the song. Unforgettable and totally worth getting it right. Fantastic and really nice of Roger to make sure we got the full experience!

 

In case there were any doubts, it was made clear that the song Pigs was presented in the context of  our current administration.      At one point during the song while a Pig flew overhead Trump quotes were projected onto several screens hanging in the middle of the venue.     Regardless of your political affiliation, you have to respect an artist who has conviction and is willing to stand up and make a statement with his music (…. or, then again, maybe you don’t?) Earlier"Another Brick in the Wall" was performed with the help of local kids from the School of Rock Portland ages 10 thru  15. They were a great alternative to  the original english school kids on that song.    They wore Orange jumpsuits until the removal that revealed black t-shirts with RESIST written boldly on the front .  

This is a  performance  of pigs from the night before in Tacoma in case you are interested:

 

 

QUAD sound!  Yes!  Some of the mix from Dark Side of the Moon came from behind us or across from us.  Very COOOL!  Wow.. A great effect in that venue and it was impressive to an audio geek like me that it all sounded so clean in such a big space.

Despite flawless live performances of Pink Floyd standards, this show wasn’t strictly about past glories. Though I tend to steep myself in classic rock, it seemed to me like his new stuff was pretty accessible and worth checking-out. 

Thanks for a truly memorable night, Mr. Waters!

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