Roger Waters reconstructs ‘The Wall’ in San Jose

By From page B16 | December 15, 2010

SAN JOSE — Legendary Pink Floyd front man Rogers Waters performed the theatrical production of his 1979 album “The Wall” live Wednesday to a full house at the HP Pavilion.

After playing Oakland, Waters’ bay area swing included several nights at the San Jose arena. He travels north for a stop in Vancouver, Canada before the tour doubles back for two dates in Anaheim.

“The Wall,” whose main concept is self-imposed isolation, is one of the biggest selling double LPs and top selling albums of all time. A movie of the same name came out in 1982.

Waters spared no expense bringing “The Wall” to life as evidenced by the pyrotechnic display that closed the show — opening “In the Flesh.”

The stage-end of the HP Pavilion had a partially constructed wall at each side that filled in during the first set. It also served as a video screen that constantly streamed images from the original movie as well as new ones that depicted man’s brutality toward one another via the victims, both military and civilian, of past wars, terrorist attacks and regimes. As a child, Waters lost his own father on the battlefield during World War II.

“Another Brick in the Wall Part II” had children from the area singing the chorus and railing against their teacher, a gigantic puppet, about education and mind control.

Other first-set highlights Wednesday included Waters requesting a moment of silence to honor the 30-year anniversary of John Lennon’s death; strumming/singing “Mother” in tandem with video footage of him performing the song in 1980; and the last brick closing in the wall during “Goodbye Cruel World” that led into intermission.

“Hey You” opened the second set and was played behind the wall in its entirety. With microphone in hand, Waters then emerged in front to sing the next few numbers with “Bring the Boys Back Home” leading into the crowd-pleasing “Comfortably Numb” — which many who attended were if they shelled out for the pricy drinks offered at the concession stands — that saw Waters trade off on vocals that were intertwined by two jarring guitar solos by Dave Kilminster from atop the wall.

And to conclude, is hearing live Pink Floyd material complete without the giant inflatable pig hovering over the crowd?

The animal, painted black, made its rounds during a searing version of “Run like Hell” that also featured a remarkable video display. “The Trial” convinced Waters’ character “Pink” that the wall should come down and down it did as it crashed to the front of the stage. Taking a bow, Waters and his band sang the very short “Outside the Wall” before the arena lights came on to end the show.

Jerry Heinzer

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