Roger Waters
19 juni 2018, Ziggodome, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

written by Theo Verstrael
photos by Theo Verstrael

Roger Waters

It has been a while since I last witnessed Roger Waters live. It was during the Animals-tour that I came to see Pink Floyd live and although the show was quite spectacular and the sound impeccable (to my ears in those ears), I couldn't help to go home disappointed. The interaction between audience and band was completely absent making it feel as if I had heard a live record in 3D without experiencing the thrill of being present with a favourite band. It made me hesitant to visit another Floyd gig and it also made me hesitant to go to a Roger Waters gig.

Roger Waters

Fortunately there was this very nice colleague who offered me the chance to buy a ticket for the VIP-area at the second Roger Waters gig in the Ziggo Dome for a more than friendly price. I took the chance and having witnessed this gig now I can only say that it has been a very, very wise decision. For this gig was not just another gig but it was more an event in the true sense of the word.

Roger Waters

The venue is only halfway packed when the first video images appear on the big screen behind the stage. It's just 20.00 h and the show would start at 20.20 h but nevertheless something starts happening. A rather simple 'still' of a girl on a beach prepared the crowd to what was to come. She would reappear several times during the show and that was just one of the nice features this very well-thought-of show was about to offer.

Roger Waters

Exactly on time and with the venue now fully packed the lights went down and a thunderous Speak to me started a more than 2,5 hour show with a balanced mix of Pink Floyd songs and solo work. Mr. Waters is completely at ease on stage, clearly enjoys himself, even invests quite some energy in cheering up the audience (as if that was necessary) but never looses grip over the tightly produced show.

Roger Waters

His voice is good, he grants a lot of vocal duties to two very attractive high blond ladies (a.o. during The great gig in the sky which they do very satisfactory) and to guitarist and hippie Jonathan Wilson who does a splendid job. His band comprises of no less than ten musicians thus succeeding very well in recreating that unique and complex sound that Pink Floyd was famous for.

Roger Waters

The setlist contained Floyd favourites like Time, Money, Wish you were here and of course Us and them but also some nice songs of his new album that brought about slightly less enthusiasm but didn't fall out of tune at all.

Roger Waters

And if the musical quality wasn't enough in itself the lighting, background projections and special effects were awesome. There was a group of 12 locally selected children filling the stage during Another brick in the wall part 2 to whom Roger was extremely nice and generous. A huge moveable installation mimicking the iconic factory on the cover of the Animals album filled the centre space of the venue just after the break supplying additional projection space to enable Waters' central message of resisting the current capitalistic and populistic powers to come across.

Roger Waters

That political message, also included in the theme of the tour, couldn't be misunderstood as it closed off the first part of the show, filled the break with texts on the screens that left nothing to be explained and was again communicated during Dogs and Pigs. I liked it very much, especially his fierce attack on Trump but I can imagine that some may have found it a bit too much.

Roger Waters

But it couldn't have been an surprise for those who have followed him during the last decades as he has always expressed himself quite clearly about his resent towards extreme capitalism and to totalism (just listen to The wall). Yet that was not all as there was also a huge inflatable pig that flew through the venue.

Roger Waters

Later on a magnificent laser projection of a prism appeared referring of course to the cover of Dark side of the moon. In-between Roger treated us on a nice little story about Pink Floyd in The Netherlands way back in the sixties and that spontaneity was to me the icing on the cake. The encores comprised a very intense rendition of Mother while the show was closed off by a loud and perfect Comfortably numb.

Roger Waters

And while more than 17.000 attendees cheered and applauded Roger and his great band disappeared, leaving all of us with a more than satisfactory feeling that this had been a great night. If you haven't been to this tour yet and you get the chance, don't hesitate and go, it's fabulous!

Setlist

Speak to Me Breathe One of These Days Time Breathe (Reprise) The Great Gig in the Sky Welcome to the Machine Déjà 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 (Three Different Ones) Money Us and Them Smell the Roses Brain Damage Eclipse

Mother Comfortably Numb

Links

Roger Waters website Ziggodome website

 


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