Roger Waters : Tweeter Center, Mansfield, MA 9/08/2006

The generation gap was apparent, yet irrelevant, as Roger Waters rocked through two sets of premier Pink Floyd material to a sold out crowd at the Tweeter Center. In case the name doesn’t speak for itself, Waters most recent "Dark Side of the Moon” tour has incorporated the complete performance of the landmark 1973 album in its entirety, in addition to an entire set of other Floyd classics, while incorporating a few recent Waters originals into the mix.

Starting the night off with “In the Flesh?” folks in the audience responded with an immense energy that visibly fed the former Floyd bassist’s ego like a quarterback at homecoming. As the set progressed it became clear that the classic compositions were being organized in order of the album they appeared on. A few songs into the performance, Waters led the crowd through a note-for-note jam-out of “Shine on you Crazy Diamond,” complete with a visual homage to the groups former front-man Syd Barrett on the big screen draping the back of the stage. Completing the era-oriented set segment, Waters then segued into “Have a Cigar” followed by “Wish You Were Here.” As he wrapped up his run through that era’s material, Waters and Co. busted out a powerful version of “The Fletcher Memorial Home” a song that actively displays his deeply harbored resentment of the loss of his father during World War II.

Remaining on the theme of war and resentment, towards the end of his first set, Waters performed a song called “Leaving Beirut.” On the surface the tune tells the story of a Lebanese family that took him in as a stranded, traveling, teenager. As the song progressed it began to present it self as a harsh criticism of American-Anglo policy in the Middle East, regarding the most recent bout of Arab-Israeli aggression. The lyrics spoke to his desire for things in the region to return to peace, yet spoke to an idealistic simplicity that is the farthest thing from the pragmatism. After the bassist wrapped up his sermon, he told the enthusiastic crowd that the group would be taking a break, but would be back to perform Dark Side of the Moon.

From the opening heartbeats of the set, everyone in the crowd had a good idea of the experience they had in store. Simply put, it would be a set everyone could sing their hearts out to. The drum solo introducing the philosophically oriented “Time” gave Waters’ drummer a chance to significantly shine, and the standard setting vocal solo on “The Great Gig in the Sky” was pulled off without a hitch by backup vocalist P. P. Arnold. The albums slide work was performed by Gilmore substitute Dave Kilminster, and shone the brightest on the instrumental “Any Colour You Like.” When all was said and done, the highlight of the second set was the finale of “Eclipse.” The performance of the album-closer was probably the closest thing to a religious experience an atheistic Floyd fan can, and will, ever get.

Returning to the stage for an extensive encore, Waters wrapped up the set of greatest hits song-choices with a run through the better picks off of 1981’s The Wall. With classics like “Another Brick in the Wall, Part II" and “Bring the Boys Back Home,” Waters brought the artistically retrospective performance to a close with the heroic “Comfortably Numb.”

Roger Waters offered a set of hits that catered towards the past, and performed them on a note for note precision. The performance was far from progressive, or ground breaking, but Waters gave everyone in the crowd exactly what they wanted – a night of nostalgia fueled psych-rock that was appreciated by baby-booming Pink Floyd enthusiasts and underage Dark Side newbie’s alike. Roger Waters is far from the entirety of a reunited Pink Floyd, but when its original members are turning down $250 million dollar reunion offers, Floyd fans will have to take what they can get. And on September 8th at the Tweeter Center, Roger Waters was kind enough to throw us a bone.

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Photos by Scott Fleishman

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