Roger Waters Doesn't Disappoint
My husband and I and a few close friends went to Great Woods last night (I know it's called the Tweeter Center now and has been for quite a few years, but it will always be Great Woods to me!) to see Roger Waters and it was an amazing night. Waters, for anyone who doesn't know, is the former bass player and songwriter from Pink Floyd penning masterpieces The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon. Now I wasn't very familiar with Pink Floyd until I met my husband and he introduced to not only the music, but the backstories behind the songs and the tensions between the band members that eventually led up to the breakup. I have become a Floyd fan by marriage (to borrow a phrase from one of my dearest friends who I was privileged to share last evening with) and have now been to two of Waters' shows and last night was by far the better of the two.
I don't know whether some of my pleasure can be linked to my becoming more familiar with his music over the years between shows, but I am more inclined to believe it had to do with the material he chose to play and the striking images that were projected onto the enormous video screens. You see, Waters is a rebel one could say, and having lost his father in World War II he is very much against armed conflict of any kind. Which in turn led to some very powerful music - "Leaving Beirut," "The Fletcher Memorial Home," "Perfect Sense" and one of the best encores I've ever experienced with "Vera," "Bring the Boys Back Home," and "Comfortably Numb."
Waters' biggest political statement of the night, which was not mentioned in the Boston Globe's review of the show (although I did enjoy Sarah Rodman's review and think she was spot on with her comments) came when a giant, inflatable pig was released into the night (my party was speculating for quite some time after the show about where it would finally land) and the video screens said "Don't be led to slaughter. Vote Democrat in 2008." (Now I will have to admit here that I could no longer wait to use the ladies room and so did not in fact see the great pig of which my husband could not stop talking about when I got back. You would have thought Dave Gilmore had shown up while I was gone! I do wish I had seen it though :)
So all in all a great night with great music, great friends and some time to spend as myself and not someone's mommy or wife or daughter - just a fan, among thousands of others, sharing a love for music.
I will leave you with the following excerpt from "Leaving Beirut" as an illustration of the powerful poetry of music I experienced last night:
Are these the people that we should bomb
Are we so sure they mean us harm
Is this our pleasure, punishment or crime
Is this a mountain that we really want to climb
The road is hard, hard and long
Put down that two by four
This man would never turn you from his door
Oh George! Oh George!
That Texas education must have fucked you up when you were very small
. . .
Is gentleness too much for us
Should gentleness be filed along with empathy
We feel for someone else's child
Every time a smart bomb does its sums and gets it wrong
Someone else's child dies and equities in defence rise
America, America, please hear us when we call
You got hip-hop, be-bop, hustle and bustle
You got Atticus Finch
You got Jane Russell
You got freedom of speech
You got great beaches, wildernesses and malls
Don't let the might, the Christian right, fuck it all up
For you and the rest of the world
Roger Waters, circa 2005