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Roger Waters
A Concert Review

July 8, 2000

The New World
Music Theatre

Tinley Park, IL

A Review and Photos by
The Dude on the Right
I wish I could say that Roger Waters was the first concert I went to, but it wasnít. Nope, while in high school my parents were a little iffy on us kids going to a concert, and even with the potential ridicule, I must say that the first two concerts I had ever gone to were Barry Manilow and John Denver (and yea, I had a good time). I guess I can just say that seeing Roger Waters, way back when, on the "Radio KAOS" tour, well that was the first concert I saw that my parents probably wouldnít have let me go to. Thank God for college.

Maybe because it was that first, rebellious concert, maybe because I was bummed I screwed up and didnít see him when he played the smaller venues earlier in the year, or maybe because I just like the music Roger has written so much, but it was with great anticipation, once everything was cleared, that I was so looking forward to seeing Roger Waters, even at The New World Music Theatre.

I reminisced in my mind seeing Roger back on the Radio KAOS tour, the structure of the show, how much I liked the album, and how just blown away I found Rogerís staging of a rock opera. With my new college friends, we liked him so much that we couldnít just see him once, nope, we got to experience the likes of the outside show at Poplar Creek Music Theater (God, I miss that place), as well as the intimacy of The Arie Crown Theatre. Seeing those shows I found a great respect for the show Roger Waters put on, the structure, the message, and then the silence came. For a long while nothing new from Roger, a tour by his ex-bandmates in the likes of Pink Floyd, and then "Amused to Death" came out, and if any other CD said "rock opera" it was this. But sadly, no tour. I just had to enjoy the CD and forget about a live vision. So be it. Then, to my delight, he decided to tour again, but I missed his show. Then he announced a summer tour and I knew I had to see it, and I can just say that some things have remained the same, some things have changed, but one thing that is constant is Roger is still a fabulous performer.

The show opened with "In The Flesh," Roger serious, strutting on the upper platform, the crowd totally excited to see him again, and I wondered if this would be the "rock opera" I remember or maybe a little different. It mixed both.

The hits you would expect would be highlighted. You know them by name or you know all of the words, but songs like "Mother," "Pigs On the Wing," "Welcome to the Machine," "Money," and, well, you get the idea, never sounded better, maybe because Roger and the band were great, but also helped by a full-blown surround sound speaker set-up. And the stage set-up was sort of fun too, complete with a poker table, couches, a little TV showing a mix of war movies and, I think, "2001: A Space Odyssey," and a fake fish tank. But was maybe even more refreshing was Rogerís mood. Unlike the previous times Iíve seen Roger, this time was different because even though Roger mixed in his political views, this show Roger just looked like he was having a damn good time.

Why do I say that? Because this time Roger smiled a lot, this time Roger worked the entire stage, this time Roger was just so on, and this time he just let the music fly. He spotlighted a lot of "Amused to Death" with "Perfect Sense" (parts 1 & 2 complete with Roger getting the entire crowd on its feet even though they werenít totally sure of the song), and sending his political statement of how war is becoming a sporting event spotlighted by a backdrop of a bar scene in which the patrons watch war scenes like they are watching a football game. "Itís A Miracle" found Roger on a wireless mike, working everything to, as simply as I wrote in my notes, "this ending sounds fucking awesome."

The show wrapped with "Brain Damage/Eclipse" and "Comfortably Numb" (which slightly disappointed the dude behind me who kept screaming for "Run Like Hell), and encored with Rogerís new song, "Each Small Candle."

It was so damn good to see Roger Waters again, and this time, with his less structured show, maybe it was even better than when I saw him on the KAOS tour. The band sounded great, he played "Every Strangers Eyes" (my personal all-time favorite), took a cavern like the World Theatre and made it sound great, and I just still love seeing Roger Waters. I brought along The Dude on the Left, who also said he really enjoyed the show, but could have done without the musical chair of changing people next to him where the first dude sang at the top of his lungs, followed by two people who were practically having sex.

Letís wrap this up. It was great to see Roger Waters again, and Iím just hoping he doesnít take so long to bring new music and another new tour back to his fans. He left a legacy in Pink Floyd, heís leaving a legacy in his solo career, and heís been a large influence in my writing outside of this magazine. And from the looks of the crowd he keeps influencing people of all ages as was evident by the older folks there in their golf shirts and looking professional to the youngins with their baggy pants and multiple piercings. With that itís TWO "PLEASE DONíT TAKE SO LONG TO COME BACK" THUMBS UP!!!!

Thatís it for this one! Iím The Dude on the Right!! L8R!!!


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