I was invited by a promoter friend of mine, Danny Zelisko to attend the Roger Waters dress rehearsal of his new show Us + Them held for family and friends. It took place at the Meadowlands arena, and although some press and radio folks were invited, mostly the audience was, indeed, family and friends of Roger, the band and crew, and the national promoter AEG.
Roger was in top form—very strong, in great voice, and the band was quite good. The show features some of Roger’s new material, which is excellent, interspersed with lots of Pink Floyd’s greatest hits.
I was half way through writing a review of the show when I remembered that press was asked not to review this performance. I forgot for a moment that I’m kind of a version of the press. So I will only say that, as in typical Roger Waters’ style there are some very poignant sociological studies and statements made along with some very powerful political statements, and a moving appeal for the end of war and world peace. While many artists eschew politics or taking any sort of stand beyond simply entertaining their fans, Roger has always sought to make us look at ourselves in hopes that somehow we can better ourselves, even if the process is painful.
I do want to tell you that the sound is some of the best I’ve ever heard for a large rock show, and in quadraphonic Pink Floyd style—you can hear everything so well that it sounds like you are listening to a high fidelity sound system in your living room. And also in Waters’ Pink Floyd style, the spectacular effects are, well,… Spectacular!
The show isn’t so much a Pink Floyd experience as we’ve come to know with the movies, visuals, lights, lasers, etc., all happening in time and synergistically along with the music, but more of an homage to the band. Of course, that’s what it has to be, given that it’s a Roger Waters solo effort with a good back up band covering Pink Floyd songs. Having said that, what a great homage! The show has many of those larger than life, jaw-dropping stage effects that take over the whole venue and it will leave you pretty amazed and warm that Floyd spot in your heart. I’d be lying if I didn’t say it will also make you long for the other original members of the band, but it is a great solo effort by Mr. Waters and one you will not want to miss.
I would love to tell you more but I want to respect the wishes of the artist and so for now, these photos (which we were allowed to take) will have to be worth a thousand words.
© Paul Rappaport 2017