It’s funny all the flap that was made here about the lyrical content of certain Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton songs, not to mention visa/vulgarity issues for Jay-Z and others, yet Roger Waters slips under the radar and delivers a long, loud set full of blatant references to just about everything that the authorities were presumably guarding against. Who knows, perhaps his lyrics were screened and his set-list given the thumbs up. For the sake of future tours, we hope that’s the case.
To the concert itself (work is getting the better of us today, so we’ll be brief). Shanghaiist was in the third back row — this is apparently all that RMB 480 will get you — surrounded by more than a couple of Chinese teenagers wearing lit-up red-devil horns on their heads who were calmly recording the entire show on video cameras set up on tripods. That’s the spirit!
Aside from a tiny glitch when Waters addressed the crowd before new song “Leaving Beirut”, the sound was excellent (though the special effects were occasionally overpowering), as was the light and stage show — including an inflatable spaceman and a huge blow-up pig with “Impeach Bush Now!” printed on its rump (pictured).
Highlights of two and a half hours of music included opener “In The Flesh?” (Waters perhaps at his most animated), “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, “Sheep” and, of course, Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety. It was in the latter where Waters himself took a back seat and allowed his talented band to come to the fore. Guitarist Dave Kilminster did a more than adequate job of tackling David Gilmour’s bits, so to speak. Though what’s up with the black leather vest?
The encore consisted of a five-song suite from The Wall, including the concert’s funniest moment: thousands of people chanting, in unison, “We don’t need no thought control!” (reminiscent of the “You’re all individuals!” scene from Life of Brian).
We’d like to say more but we really have to run. Overall, the gig was outstanding, if slightly lacking in spontaneity (this same set list has serviced an entire world tour). Our only gripe? The Shanghai Grand Stage desperately needs to install a bar serving a whole bunch of cold beers. Desperately.
In the Flesh?
Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun
Shine on You Crazy Diamond
Have a Cigar
Wish You Were Here
The Fletcher Memorial Home
Perfect Sense 1 & 2
Second Set (Dark Side of the Moon)
Speak to Me/Breathe
On the Run
The Great Gig in the Sky
Us and Them
Any Colour You Like
The Happiest Days of Our Lives
Another Brick in the Wall (part 2)
Bring the Boys Back Home