The crew call was 8 am today to tear down “The Wall.” Approximately 150 locals joined the 150-crew on tour to undo what took six 12-hour days to build. “The Wall” moves from Philadelphia today to its final performance of the 2012 tour on July 21 at a park in Quebec.
Last night, Citizens Bank Park hosted the last outdoor stadium show of the 2012 tour. Some 45,000 fans were on hand to witness one of the most spectacularly produced rock concerts ever. To say that it was an ambitious project is an understatement. It cost $200,000 a day to keep the show on the road, according to Production Manager Chris Kansy. That’s a serious commitment. Why play only one night here?
Ticket prices ranged from $60 for “limited view” to $350 for seats on the floor. The first staging of “The Wall” by Pink Floyd in 1980, fans paid $15 a ticket – 32 years ago.
What were some of the effects that made up the show?
· A plane flew from one corner of the top of the stadium into the stage
· a large inflatable pig suspended above the crowd floated around the stadium for several songs
· a 230-foot-wide wall was built across the stage with large (cardboard) bricks that eventually fell down in the second half of the show
· giant puppets hung from the stage at various times
· fireworks went off
· the lighting was first-rate
· Roger Waters sang a duet with himself using an old video close-up of him singing “Mother” while he sang it live on stage, (getting that in-sync couldn’t have been easy)
· an 11-piece band including three guitarists to cover the David Gilmour guitar parts (from Pink Floyd)
· images, words and graphics projected on the wall constantly changing and very artsy
· it was sonically superior as the sound seemed to be coming out of every corner of the stadium and was crystal clear
There were times when Roger Waters was “alone” on stage because the band was behind the wall and the audience couldn’t see them. One stark white spotlight lit the tall, lanky, singer dressed in black with white shoes, as he sang and played guitar to the mesmerized crowd, while graphics and visuals projected onto the wall behind him.
With an intermission, Roger Waters and his band performed the entire album “The Wall,” a double LP released by Pink Floyd in 1979. Waters is responsible for the concept behind the songs and for writing the lyrics.
As one of the founding members of Pink Floyd that began in 1965, Waters began to conceive of “The Wall,” their 11th album right here in Philadelphia. While Pink Floyd played at the Spectrum during their 1977 In the Flesh tour, Waters began to write the song “Comfortably Numb” that is part of “The Wall.”
The story goes that before the show that night, he had come down with a stomach bug, and sought out a Philadelphia doctor or “quack” as he called him, who gave Waters some medication before the show backstage at the Spectrum. It made him feel numb. Waters wrote the lyrics to what would become “Comfortably Numb” then and there. It was originally called “The Doctor.”
Pink Floyd guitarist David Gilmour later wrote the melody and music for the song. In this tour, guitarist Dave Kilminster sat high atop the wall and played Gilmour’s guitar solo for “Comfortably Numb.” The crowd went wild.
Waters temporarily disbanded Pink Floyd in 1983. The other members subsequently toured and recorded as Pink Floyd despite Waters’ attempts to legally stop them from using the Pink Floyd name.
Only once since the break-up has Waters joined his band mates and played as Pink Floyd at the onetime concert Live 8 in 2005. Additionally, Gilmour and Floyd member Nick Mason performed at one of Roger Waters’ “Wall” dates in May 2011 in London for two songs.
Roger Waters’ band for the 2012 “The Wall” tour:
Graham Broad – drums
Jon Carin – keyboards
Harry Waters (Roger’s son) – keyboards
GE Smith (Hall & Oates, SNL band) – guitar & bass
Robbie Wyckoff – vocals
Jon Joyce, Mark Lennon, Pat Lennon, Kipp Lennon – backup vocals
Snowy White – guitar
Dave Kilminster – guitar
The show began at 8:45 p.m. and ended about 11:30. It seemed as if Roger Waters didn’t want to leave when the band took their bow at the end of the last song. “Thank you, Philadelphia. You’ve been magnificent,” Waters said from stage. “This has always been a great music town. 30 years ago when I wrote this I could not be happier to be in this ballpark with all of you being so nice to me.”
The tour began in Houston, Texas on May 1st, 2012 in mostly indoor venues but included some outdoor baseball stadiums in addition to Philly’s Citizens Bank Park, such as Chicago’s Wrigley Field, Boston’s Fenway Park, and New York’s Yankee Stadium.
Special thanks for the photography here by Joe Ryan. As a professional photographer for ConcertBlogger.com, Joe was authorized to photograph the show from the front row.