Saturday Night: Roger Waters' The Wall, Part 2

Note: A review of Waters' May 2012 show at Toyota Center is here.

Photos by Craig Hlavaty
See many more photo of Roger Waters and The Wall in our slideshow.
Roger Waters
Toyota Center
November 20, 2010

Ed. note: The sold-out Roger Waters show was so highly anticipated, we sent two reviewers. Click here to see our write-up from Sunday morning.

What would make an aging rocker revisit one of the most nihilistic and angst-filled albums of his career? The album that laid bare every single open wound in his life, things you only tell therapists and (first) wives? What would make Roger Waters resurrect The Wall, 30 years after it's debut?

Because in 2010 it means more now than it ever has. We have more ways to build our own walls, and more reasons. Three decades later, its tale is being replayed each time a soldier comes home in a body bag, or someone walls themselves up behind false barriers and alienates themselves with technology.

The ongoing conflicts in the Middle East, corporate marauders and social media are all at fault this time around. Children are going through the same cataclysmic loss of parents due to war and conflict all over the world, repeating the same sad cycle that Waters endured after his father was killed in World War II.

You can build your own walls behind social media, alienate yourself from the physical world for the cozy comfort of a Twitter feed or a Facebook profile. Friends don't mean the same thing they did 30 years ago, and anyone can be a rock star at 140-character clips.

Before a sold-out Toyota Center crowd on Saturday night, Waters, a team of musicians, and some expert wall-builders recreated the pain and triumph of The Wall. It was wide-screen experience that you only see in rock and roll every few years. The material behind shows as astonishing as this rarely matches the pomp and circumstance, but The Wall isn't the usual album.

The show began before a note was played, as a "bum" with a shopping cart and a randy sign begging for cash for booze and hookers made his way through the floor seating taking pictures with fans. True to Waters' modus operandi, he put us inside the show before he even picked up his bass.

The bum threw a life-size rag doll on the stage next to a leather overcoat emblazoned with the hammer logo that the character of Pink would don later in the evening. Ladies and gentlemen, let's build the wall.

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