Concert review: Roger Waters' The Wall Live at Vector Arena

By Nick Grant

Roger Waters in action. Photo / Chris Loufte
Roger Waters in action. Photo / Chris Loufte

Roger Waters' magnum opus of angsty anthems for adolescents of all ages was brought to jaw-dropping life at Vector Arena last night.

Not so much a concert as an artful two-hour audiovisual assault on the senses, it surely allayed Pink Floyd purists' fears it would be a pale imitation without the original group to put it across.

True, it took a vocalist and three guitarists to make up for Dave Gilmour's absence, but if you closed your eyes you would have been hard put to pick the difference between Pink Floyd and the tight performance by Waters and his 12-strong band.

Then again, closing their eyes was the last thing anyone in attendance would want to be doing, with the sheer spectacle of the piece at least half the point of proceedings.

While the 73m wide and 10m high wall constructed on stage during the show is much the same as the one built for the 1980 live version - as are elements like the Gerald Scarfe designs - during the intervening three decades technology, especially precision projection equipment, has caught up with Waters' bombastic vision to eye-popping effect.

As a result, it was an extraordinarily enjoyable evening, in spite of the generally gloomy subject matter. And the exquisitely ironic sight of members of the crowd at Vector Arena singing with abandon to songs originally inspired by Waters' sense of alienation from arena audiences only made the experience more entertaining.

The show was a stunner.

Next performances are on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, at 8pm.

- Herald on Sunday

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