Roger Waters: The Wall Live

Last year, probably after watching yet another Classic Albums dvd, I said to Paul that if I was given the chance to go back in time and see one rock concert, it would be The Wall. Seemingly days later, we heard that Roger Waters was going to be touring The Wall again.

Last night we headed into Melbourne to see it. Our seats were high up, which gave us a great view except for one hitch: the big circle in the background was obscured by speakers and the teacher puppet when it was not in action. However, much of what was in the circle was also projected onto the wall itself, so we didn’t miss much, content-wise.

It wasn’t just a rehash of the previous Wall concerts. The use of the growing wall as a surface to project onto was amazing…

Sometimes creating illusions that made feel like the wall was changing, bricks falling, flying away…

Original animation mixed with new…

And, of course, it’s all very anti-war, anti-government – some of it humorous, some sad.

I took these “I woz ere” snaps on my iPhone. I’m pretty impressed that they came out as well as they did. Still, they’re mere snapshots compared to the spectacle that the show was.

Looking down into the audience, it was like stars in the night sky – all those phones and cameras.

The other concert-goers were entertaining, too. Airports are still my favourite people-watching places, but concert foyers may now be my second. The crowd was mostly people in their 50s, so we felt ‘young’. Most younger people were with parents, but there were a few groups of 20 and 30 year olds.

We had a row of 20-year olds in front of us – big fans if the Pink Floyd tattoos were any indication. Between them, they got up to go to the toilet at least three times each. In a concert that went for an hour, then intermission, then another hour. WTF? They couldn’t hold on for an hour? How can 20-year olds have worse bladders than people twice their age?

That added to the people next to us coming back late after intermission (drinking obviously being more important to that lot than watching the show) meant our viewing of the show was constantly being interrupted. Then, near the end, people started leaving while the band was still on stage, bowing and saying goodbye. Dozens of them, clumping down the stairs. Did they not enjoy the show? Parking meter running out? They were a bit old to be worrying about baby sitters.

Somebody said to me once that people now behave in live shows as if they’re in their own lounge room: getting up to go to the loo, talking, drinking, eating, etc. It might explain why they’d leave early, too. They’re completely disconnected from the reality that there are real, talented people performing on that stage, and how awesome it is to have that live, unrepeatable experience that can’t be paused or replayed. The performers are no more valued than animated characters in a film. What’s easily acquired – in this case entertainment – is not valued. So the ‘consumer’ forgets that gifted people work bloody hard to make that piece of entertainment they’re enjoying, just like they forget that milk comes from cows that a farmer had to breed, care for and milk.

Anyway… we stayed to the end, we clapped, we bought t-shirts. It was a great night, and I left thinking we should go see shows like this more often.

One thought on “Roger Waters: The Wall Live

  1. People are so weird. I hate it when people leave an event early – especially sports, when their team is clearly not going to win, many people suddenly decide its important to beat the carpark rush. I even like to stay for the credits of movies (unless I really didn’t like the film).

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