August 13, 2022

Because the lights dimmed in Pittsburgh’s PPG Paints Area for the primary present of Roger Waters’ “This Is Not A Drill Tour” (get tickets right here), the previous Pink Floyd member and his staff made two requests:

1. “Please flip off your mobile phone as a courtesy to the individuals round you.
2. “When you’re right here since you like Pink Floyd however you possibly can’t stand Roger Waters’ politics, fuck off to the bar.

That’s the tone that powered the night time. Sure, Waters and his band performed a few of Pink Floyd’s best hits alongside a few of Waters’ most breathtaking originals, and, sure, they performed all of them fantastically. And, sure, the visuals, which we’ll talk about in a second, have been beautiful.

However after two years of tour delays stemming from a worldwide pandemic and an countless string of controversial political headlines from world wide, “This Is Not a Drill” is a direct response to every part that’s gone fallacious in recent times. And should you ask Roger Waters — the artistic who wrote via the pained anguish inside Want You Have been Right here, penned the Orwellian tribute of Animals, and developed the landmark introspective idea album The Wall — there’s loads to be upset about.

All through the course of his “This Is Not a Drill Tour” opener, Waters addressed every part from abortion rights to transphobia to America’s rampant and storied battle crimes. If consciousness sparks emotion, Waters is pissed.

The reside present format is ideal for Waters and his band. Simply as Pink Floyd constructed a popularity for elaborate and immersive reside performances, Waters and his crew have developed a uniquely memorable expertise. Relying closely on an unlimited cross-shaped divider able to splitting the multi-directional stage into 4 completely different panels, the crew leveraged 12 completely different surfaces for projected pictures.

Roger Waters This Is Not A Drill Tour kick off pittsburgh

Roger Waters, photograph by Brian Lima

It’s these projections that take the “This Is Not A Drill” present from good to nice, permitting viewers to step deeper than ever into the psyche of the first songwriting pressure from Pink Floyd’s golden age. The opener, Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb,” was reimagined as a darkish funeral dirge backed by a metropolis wasteland that’s lengthy been misplaced and forgotten. Throughout “One other Brick within the Wall,” the second music, violent calls for for conformity flashed in huge purple and white letters.

Within the third music, the complete pressure of Waters’ political vitriol roared to the floor. Whereas the scathing lyrics of “The Powers That Be” rang via the world, the projections confirmed clips of police brutality whereas itemizing off most of the most internationally reported minority deaths in current few years, together with Pittsburgh’s Antwon Rose, Jr., the 17-year-old fatally shot by police in 2018.

Throughout the subsequent music, “The Bravery of Being Out of Vary,” the projections moved systematically via every US presidential administration since Ronald Reagan, fastidiously outlining every particular person’s personal heinous battle crimes. Waters could also be slightly older, and he would possibly want slightly extra time to catch his breath between songs, however he’s nonetheless preventing towards the identical establishments and deep-rooted points he’s railed towards for the reason that Nineteen Seventies.

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