Pink Floyd legendary frontman Roger Waters brought his massive theatrical tour production US+THEM to Toronto’s Air Canada Centre. Playing the second of three shows to a Toronto audience with long historical ties to Pink Floyd & Roger Waters throughout the decades.
Promoting Waters‘ latest ‘politically-tinged’ LP release, “Is This the Life We Really Want?”, Waters played several new selections: “Deja Vu”, “The Last Refugee”, “Picture That”, and first single “Smell The Roses“, that melded easily with past classics such as openers: “Breathe” and “One Of These Days“.
With the scale of production, Waters was impressively backed by notable longtime musicians: Dave Kilminster (guitars, bass, talk box, backing vocals), Gus Seyffert (guitars, bass, keyboards, backing vocals), Jonathan Wilson (guitars, keyboards, lead and backing vocals), Drew Erickson (piano, keyboards, Hammond organ), Bo Koster (piano, keyboards, Hammond organ), Jon Carin (piano, keyboards, programming, lap steel guitar, guitars, lead and backing vocals), Ian Ritchie (saxophone, additional bass), Joey Waronker (drums, percussion) along with duo lead vocalists of indie pop band Lucius: Jess Wolfe & Holly Laessig (lead and backing vocals, percussion).
Touching on past familiar Pink Floyd selections, traditional cinematic imagery melded easily with today’s technological theatrical expectations.
As the current political climate continues to be divisive & volatile, elder musical ‘statesmen’ such as Roger Waters (and even with acts such as Depeche Mode) have felt the need to oppose the all-too-familiar klaxon hostile-rhetoric thought to have disappeared in past decades.
The familiar “wall” visuals ushered classic Pink Floyd song ““Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2 & 3” along with a line up of Toronto hooded schoolkids in RESIST T-shirts.
After “Another Brick in the Wall”, Rogers issued a rebuttal aimed at an article directed by B’nai Brith Canada CEO Michael Mostyn accusations of tirades against Israel by Waters during the show. For Waters’ opinion, view his Facebook post HERE.
Unfortunately, the author could not locate the boy-cotters before the show (boycotters appeared at the Oct 2 show) this day, though another group decided to have their presence felt.
As per a Toronto Sun article:
“Michael Mostyn says Waters is not only slandering the state of Israel but doesn’t understand the “real world impact” on Jews — who get targeted with anti-Semitism as a result of his continual diatribes and “intimidation” of other performers not to keep concert dates in Israel.”
B’nai Brith Canada “Why Roger Waters is Guilty of Antisemitism” article:
“Whether or not he views himself as an antisemite, Roger Waters is using his platform as a musician to promote a completely false and antisemitic narrative,” said Mostyn. “This narrative ignores history, genealogy, archaeology, and anthropology and leads to real-world consequences for members of the Jewish community who get targeted by fanatics caught up in its hateful ideology.”
After intermission, an arena-length wall curtain slowly dropped from the ceiling dividing the audience to spectacular effect (similar to U2’s iNNOCENCE + eXPERIENCE Tour execution) for “Dogs”.
This is undoubtedly a re-invigorated Roger Waters that has decided to campaign to the masses. Provocative past British, ‘Floyd-ian’ industrial imagery meshed with immersive high definition pixels, creating performative, riveting, and vibrant political narratives.
Clearly Waters, as stubborn as a “Dog” would not hide his disdain for the current President of the USA (POTUS), applying his “disdain” on several songs aimed at the POTUS.
Fittingly, Waters discovered many new creative POTUS muse applications, as the apropos song “Money” was a perfect outlet.
Pink Floyd standards such as “Us And Them”, “Brain Damage” and “Eclipse” seemed to carry more emotional weight with the audience, as images literally ripped from today’s headlines flashed the arena.
Passion and conviction were in the air, evident with a humbled Waters pausing for a few moments from starting Floyd classic “Mother”, overwhelmed from the audience response.
Resistance must have be the elixir of youth, as the cross-generational crowd stayed past shows-end to celebrate in & around the ACC “karaoking” with local street musicians..
As it appears, resistance is the fountain of youth…
- Speak To Me (Intro)
- One Of These Days
- The Great Gig In The Sky
- Welcome To The Machine
- Deja Vu
- The Last Refugee
- Picture That
- Wish You Were Here
- The Happiest Days Of Our Lives
- Another Brick In The Wall, Part 2
- Another Brick In The Wall, Part 3
- Pigs (Three Different Ones)
- Us And Them
- Smell The Roses
- Brain Damage
- Comfortably Numb