Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Roger Waters, Tampa, 'The Wall,' tonight! (Nov. 16)

Waters performs "The Wall" in Chicago on Sept. 20
The day has finally arrived.

In less than 12 hours I will be seated at a packed St. Pete Times Forum in Tampa watching Pink Floyd mastermind Roger Waters recreate his epic rock opera "The Wall."

I haven't been this excited about an arena concert in a long time. 

My history with "The Wall" dates back about 20 years. It was my first double-CD purchase and marked the most I had ever spent on an album. Nearly $30 if memory serves. That means I had to cut two lawns in the Florida heat for that listening privilege.

But it was well worth it.

From ages 13 to about 17, I probably played "The Wall" in it entirety at least once a week. I made a cassette version for my Walkman and it accompanied me, at full blast, as I mowed, edged and weed-whacked the lawns of my parents, uncle and neighbors.

As a child raised in a church with which I could not relate, "The Wall" and its tale of alienation hit home and provided some much needed sanctuary.

In adulthood, my love for Pink Floyd faded. I became enamored with hip-hop my junior year in high school and then classic roots, vintage R&B and alt-country in college. I spent the past decade as a professional music critic trying to listen to as much new music as possible — none of which came from the Pink Floyd camp.

In May of 2007, though, I saw Roger Waters present his Pink Floyd classic "The Dark Side of the Moon" in front of a sold-out crowd of 20,000 at the formerly named Ford Amphitheatrr in Tampa. Waters and his ace band delivered an amazing show complete with mind-blowing visual effects and a inflatable pig. Looking back at my review of the show, I now recall that other major highlights included selections from "The Wall."

Waters will perform the iconic 1979 album tonight in its entirety. Judging by this recent article that ran in the Herald, watching the spectacle of the actual wall's creation will be as thrilling as the music. Yes, I have high expectations for this evening. Truth be told, I'm practically giddy.


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