Monday, October 09, 2006

Dark Side of the Bowl

I never really got into Pink Floyd the way that some of the "heads" did in my high school. I was nowhere near daring and/or cool enough to hang with the stoner/party crowd when I was in high school, and I sure as hell wasn't able to identify good music at that age. Back then, I was probably trying to score tickets to the Great White/Whitesnake/White Lion concert on the River in Manchester, NH.

Luckily, in college I started hanging with a crowd that appreciated decent music. One of my friends introduced me to Roger Waters, via his solo album, The Pros and Cons of Hitchiking. If I remember correctly, we got super stoned on some local New Hampshire redbud and turned out the lights and listened to a concept album featuring "that guy from Pink Floyd" and Eric Clapton (ahh...college). Needless to say, I was hooked.

From Pros and Cons I moved on to Waters' other solo albums, including my personal favorite, Amused to Death. Like the rest of Roger Waters' masterpieces, Amused to Death is a concept album. The theme throughout the album is that with the help of TV, our society has reduced war and killing to a videogame. Because of that, we are on track to literally amuse ourselves to death. Although almost twenty years old, it is remarkably relevant today. If you've never heard it, it's the one album I try like hell to convince people to listen to, without much success.

Continuing the backdoor route to Pink Floyd, I eventually bought Wish You Were Here and Dark Side of the Moon. Finally, after years of seeing Pink Floyd on the faded shirts of hippies and stoners (many of whom were my best friends in college), I understood the hype. There is genius in the music of both Pink Floyd and Roger Waters, and although you will find those that consider David Gilmore the force behind Floyd, I am of the Waters school. I think he is a musical genius, with an unbelievably strong and interesting point of view that is evident in all of his music.

He performed all weekend at the Hollywood Bowl, and in addition to that, he played the ENTIRE Dark Side of the Moon album, beginning to end. Under a full moon. In the open air, in the shadow of the Hollywood Sign.

Holy Fucking Crap.

I bought tickets for the Friday night show three months ago, but since the friends I was supposed to go with bought tickets for the Sunday night show instead, I found myself with an extra ticket. I spotted this post by Wil, which included this key line:

"I'm listening to The Wall and The Final Cut today." It seems appropriate.


An e-mail later, Wil agreed to take the extra ticket and meet me at the Bowl.

I thought I was a fan. Wil is a REAL fan. Although the concert was billed as "Roger Waters playing the Dark Side of the Moon" album, he also played a bunch of classic Floyd. Wil knew every song within the first note. My favorite quote of the night was when Wil turned to me as one song began and said:

"OH MY GOD. HE'S PLAYING SHEEP! I AM SO FUCKING HAPPY RIGHT NOW."

We also played the scavenger hunt point game with arbitrary rules like, first one to spot:

Hand Made Tibetan Knit Cap = negative 500 points
Gray Ponytail to the Ass = negative 4000 points
Vintage Pink Floyd Shirt= +500 points
Bedazzled Pink Floyd Shirt= negative a million
Dude Dancing a Wavy, mushroom inspired freestyle dance= negative a kajillion
Seeing Corey Feldman on the way out, carefully poised under the only well-lit area so that everyone could see him= priceless

It was a really fun night, and an absolutely terrific show. My little write-up here doesn't really do it justice. Wil, maybe you can tackle it better than I just did. Mine meanders and seems out of order. Page two though, you know? Fuck perfect.

2 Comments:

Blogger annie said...

especially fuck perfect when its perfect.

'tibetan knit cap.'

10:38 PM  
Blogger Naila J. said...

OMG Shane posted on Page 2!! :O

1:29 PM  

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