For the first time since his In the Flesh tour concluded in 2002, Roger Waters is playing concerts without promising in advance to play an entire Pink Floyd album, as he did with The Dark Side of the Moon in 2006-08 and from 2010-13 with The Wall.
Those albums still dominated the set list during the recent Cleveland stop of his Us + Them tour anyway. Seven of Dark Side‘s 10 tracks and six from The Wall were played, along with five from Waters’ new solo album, Is This The Life We Really Want? But freeing himself from the constraints of the sequenced albums, and in particular from the large number of theatrical cues he had to hit on The Wall tour, added a freshness and warmth to the show.
Once again, there was a wall. But unlike the huge bricks that hid Waters and his band from the audience during Waters’ previous tour, this time it was a series of huge video screens dividing the audience in half. As the band played “Dogs,” a gigantic version of the famous factory from the cover of Animals, complete with working smokestacks, ran the entire length of Quicken Loans Arena.
At several points during the show, Waters seemed nearly overcome by emotion as the crowd roared their approval. But he didn’t let things stay too warm and fuzzy for very long. The centerpiece portion of the show used “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” from the Animals album to shine a bright and harsh light on President Trump with unflattering photos and quotes flashing on the gigantic screens each time the song’s famous “Ha, ha, charade you are” refrain hit.
Waters’ Us + Them tour will be visiting cities all across North America until the end of October. You can get tour dates and tickets at his official website.
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