Roger Waters - Live in Dallas!

Roger Waters
American Airlines Center
Dallas, Texas
July 3, 2017

By A. Lee Graham

Set 1:
Breathe | One of These Days | Time | Breathe (reprise) | The Great Gig in The Sky | Welcome To The Machine | When We Were Young | Deja Vu | The Last Refugee | Picture That | Wish You Were Here | The Happiest Day of Our Lives | Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 | Another Brick In The Wall Part 3 

Set 2:
Dogs | Pigs (Three Different Ones) | Money | Us and Them | Smell the Roses | Brain Damage | Eclipse | Vera | Bring the Boys Back Home | Comfortably Numb

Forty years after spitting at a fan and conceiving The Wall, Roger Waters continues making up for the misdeed.

Not that the Pink Floyd visionary is in apology mode; rather, the famously angry artist is embracing fans — almost literally — as the US + Them tour makes its way through the states.

Waters walks from one side of the stage to the other, arms outstretched to his adoring admirers. They come for Pink Floyd classics and cutting-edge visuals. And in that sense, they walk away more than satisfied. It’s the cutting politics that erects another wall, at least for part of the audience not singing from Waters’ hymnal.

Let’s just say Waters isn’t exactly the biggest Donald Trump supporter. And as images of the commander in chief appear on giant video screens — some of which fuse Trump’s head onto pigs’ bodies — Waters minces no words: he truly hates the real estate tycoon dubbed “Cheeto” by some and worse by others.

But no matter. Despite the politics that smack audiences in the face, most of Waters’ current tour dispenses with partisanship and focuses on music, a bipartisan gift that makes the tour among the year’s best.

Split into two sets, the evening’s entertainment spans some of Pink Floyd’s most popular classics. Performing songs from The Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals and The Wall, as well as his newly released Is This The Life We Really Want?, Waters and his formidable backing band deliver note-perfect renditions known to virtually anyone growing up between the Nixon and Reagan administrations.

Offsetting the evening’s intense mood is a woman relaxing on a beach. The image covers a video screen behind the stage, and if one doesn’t look closely, it appears as a still photo. But no, the woman moves ever so slightly every few minutes, signs of life that lead into “Breathe,” the Pink Floyd opener and immersive appetizer for the feast to come.

“Welcome To The Machine” and “Another Brick In The Wall” (parts two and three) are among the first set’s highlights, with the latter featuring several local public school students dancing alongside Waters. It’s a sweet moment and nice break in an otherwise heavy set.

After a short intermission comes the evening’s truly stunning eye candy. A screen slowly drops from the ceiling, dividing the arena lengthwise. Appearing on its surface are everything from Britain’s Battersea Power Station depicted on the Animals album cover to the aforementioned president-pig monstrosity, which appears on “Pigs,” naturally. 

An giant inflatable pig rising through the air serves to remind audiences that while not exactly Pink Floyd, Waters presents the next best thing.

Close your eyes, and the “Comfortably Numb” guitar solo flows from David Gilmour’s fingers. But it’s Dave Kilminster, not the Floyd legend, coaxing those classic notes.

It’s those notes more than the performers that fill seats. With laser pyramids, giant airborne orbs and an immersive sound system rounding out the evening, classic rock never sounded — or looked — so good.