Wednesday, 12 July 2006

The Greatest Concert

After attending the greatest live musical event I have ever experienced, my love for the work of Pink Floyd has (if possible) just grown. Roger Waters brought his crew of highly skilled musicians to the Roskilde Festival this year, and gave what must have been more than 70 000 people an extraordinary experience on the final night.

The sun was slowly setting as people gathered for the concert. Roger Waters came on and started playing some of the old Pink Floyd classics, showing off a few of his visual tricks, and generally just warming people up. Even though he is an old man by now, he was surprisingly playful and energetic. Pink Floyd's lyrics contain a lot of criticism towards society on a metaphorical level, and Waters used this effectively by making it valid for todays political situation, mixed with a few new songs that specifically targetted George Bush.

The audience immediately picked up on this, and left no doubt as to which side they were on. Waters even teased them by sending sheep-noises through the speakers, using the surround capabilities of the stage to make it sound like there actually was a flock of sheep somewhere in the audience. After about an hour of Floyd classics, some new material and lots of political humour, he announced that the legendary Dark Side of the Moon was next up, and then left the stage. The sun was gone, the moon was up, and the audience was anxiously awaiting one of the greatest concept albums of all time, played live with no pauses.

And then it happened. Roger Waters and his band entered the stage again. Not a word was said. The entire stadium was once again turned into a surround sound system, and the familiar sounds from the opening track started pumping out all over the place, making people cover their heads not to get hit by the coins dropping from the skies.

The band was fantastic, the singers were great, and Roger Waters was in his ace. People were singing along to the lyrics, but it was all drowned by the performers on stage. The big crash on the end of "On the Run" was so massive that the ground started shaking. Apart from a few small variations, they performed the songs exactly like they were recorded, even the improvised female performance on The Great Gig in the Sky was reenacted by one of the fantastic backup vocals.

Dark Side contains one of my all-time favourite songs, "Us And Them", and I was not at all disappointed. As the sound of "Eclipse" died out, people went totally mad. It was like watching 70 000 virgins, all getting off at the same time. There was no way they were going to let him get away with it that easy, so even after playing for more than two hours (concerts at Roskilde don't last more than about an hour), he had to come out again, and play another half hour of Floyd classics.

When the band finally went off stage for good, I saw a man, probably in his late fifties, who had to be supported by two younger men next to him. He was crying so hard he had trouble standing up. It was truly a night to remember.

For more images from my trip, check out my Picasa Web Album.


  1. Sunson21:36

    I saw Roger in London's Hyde park on the 1st July and I'm still blown away 2 weeks later. Your story echoes my own experience, truly one of the most amazing concerts I have ever seen.

  2. Yep, I am thrilled that I had the opportunity to see him now, being too young to ever have experienced the original line-up. He's still got a good grip of his audience, even though he's not getting any younger ;)


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