I took my seat and watched the sea of fans fill QUDOS Bank Arena, to witness what promised to be a spectacular performance from Roger Waters.
An image was projected on a large screen behind the stage. The image, a girl sitting on the beach, staring out at the ocean. As she sat motionless, the water continued to ebb & flow as the Marram grass blew in the breeze. The same girl was seen in more images, throughout the show.
Before long, the screen transitioned into a familiar galactic backdrop as I heard, “I’ve always been mad..“, from Dark Side Of The Moon’s “Speak To Me“, followed by “Breathe“. Guitarist, (or as Waters fondly referred to him, “our resident hippy”) Jonathan Wilson, took the role of lead vocals. Together, Wilson and Dave Kilminster made a great guitar tandem.
The sudden burst of lights, surprisingly shifted my focus from the continuously changing back drop, to a now lit up stage, for the dueling bass instrumental,”One of These Days” – the opening track from “Meddle”. With only one spoken line, “One of these days I’m gonna cut you up into little pieces“.
Once again, the screen imagery transitioned. This time, a singular clock, rotating around the screen. The clock stopped, alarms sounded and the single clock multiplied, over and over until the screen was full of flying clocks. It was “Time“! Waters finally taking the mic, supported by his exemplary band. The crowd becoming more vocal, showing their approval and appreciation for an old favourite.
Lucius singers Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessing, captured the audience, taking us on an adventure with their astounding duet in “Great Gig In The Sky“, followed by “Welcome To The Machine“.
Waters played three numbers, back to back, from his new album “Is This The Life We Really Want“. The songs reinforced his obvious disapproval of the current political situation. “Picture This“, almost spoken word – poetical and fierce. Waters paced the stage, spitting out the lyrics “Picture a leader with no fucking brains, no fucking brains, no fucking brains“.
More favourites were rolled out, including “Another Brick InThe Wall (Part 2 & 3)“. One by One, children marched on to the stage, to form a line across the front, dressed in orange prison jumpsuits, with black hoods. As the song progressed, so did their message, as they ripped off their hoods and tore open their jumpsuits, to reveal the word “RESIST”, printed across the front of their shirts. It was noted that the children were all from our home town of Sydney, and had only met with Waters at 5:30pm the same day.
After a brief intermission, we were welcomed back to a gob smacking sight. Several screen projectors had been dropped down from the ceiling, spread across the entire length of the arena floor. Initially boasting the Battersea Power Station, complete with a pig floating between two chimneys, as “Dogs” and “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” were played, followed by “Money“.
The band now adorned with pig masks, sipping from glasses of champagne. It had a very ritualistic feel about it, as Waters walked the stage, toasting the audience. Waters again displayed a deprecatory message toward Trump, as a large inflatable “Piggy Bank Of War” rotated around the arena, bold messages flashing on the screens, such as “Please help, we are trapped in a dystopian nightmare”. Trumps head was put on the body of a pig, the body of a baby, as well as a body with micro genitalia, among other things. I momentarily, felt like I was at a political rally, but as all Waters enthusiasts know, Waters music has always been rife with political connotations. The final statement was made, “TRUMP IS A PIG”!
Waters threw in another track “Smell The Roses“, from his latest album, before the cover art from the seminal “Dark Side Of The Moon“, was brought to life before our very eyes, with a spectacular light show. A triangular prism, hovered above the floor, with an undulating rainbow of lights and a floating moon. Never a more suitable visual to lose myself in, to the tunes “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse“. It truly was a breath taking moment, and well deserving of the standing ovation it received.
Waters introduced his band, then went on to congratulate Australia, for not having nuclear weapons. The light show continued, for “Mother“, leaving “Comfortably Numb” to close the show. Pink streamers, with the word “RESIST“, fell from above, as Waters jumped off the stage and shook hands with his many fans, topping off what was an already incredible night.
Review Contributed by Trudy Johnson