At once a compelling story, an anti-war assertion, and a light show spectacular, Roger Waters’ The Wall is everything that one could hope for in a rock concert, and more.
In 1979, the British progressive rock band Pink Floyd released The Wall as a concept album, or one tied together by a theme. It reached immediate success but only toured in two American cities, Los Angeles and New York. Ever since the band broke up in the 1980s, fans have been hoping that its lead singer Roger Waters would tour for The Wall again. And so, the wish of thousands of middle-aged Americans has come true. Now, at age 67, Waters is finally touring the concert throughout the US and Europe.
The concept of the show is a story that follows the life of a rock musician who is forced to cope with the death of a father fighting in World War II, an ineffectual British education, a protective mother, a divorce, an inability to trust the government, and a growing enmity between himself and the audiences for which he plays.
At the beginning of the concert, the stage is set with the groundwork of a 30-foot high wall. Throughout the show, as the main character endures his hardships, more bricks are placed on the wall. Thus, as the songs describe a man’s growing isolation from the world as a metaphorical wall, a physical wall is simultaneously being built. By intermission, the band is completely covered by the wall.
During the entire process, videos are being projected upon the bricks to tie the songs into modern-day issues. For instance, the lyrics that deal with the brutality of war coincide with images of current soldiers and impoverished children. The videos add to the poignancy and relevance of the concert’s message, hitting home with every audience member in some way or another.
Not only are the visible aspects outstanding, but the music itself is superior. From the very beginning of the show, the sheer volume of the instrumentals forces the audience into awe. Waters plays an impressive bass and the accompanying guitarist and vocalists are exceptional.
It is impossible to consider any Roger Waters performance without taking into account the musical and visual aspects. And, for both of those, the 2010 tour of The Wall made Pink Floyd proud.