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Roger Waters show worth every penny

It’s not everyday a concert comes to town that makes you rethinkeverything you know about music. That’s what happened though when RogerWaters brought his The Wall tour to Toronto’s Air Canada Centre lastweek.

It’s not everyday a concert comes to town that makes you rethink everything you know about music. That’s what happened though when Roger Waters brought his The Wall tour to Toronto’s Air Canada Centre last week.

The gig was easily one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen, but even though it was originally performed 30 years ago, it felt like I was witnessing the future of the live show.

From the opening chords of In The Flesh, you knew you were watching something unusual.

It may have been the first time in my life that I paid almost no attention to the band — I took a few glimpses of Waters slowly walking across the stage, but that was about it.

It was the mind-blowing visuals that really struck me.

Waters used the wall as a giant screen to display bizarre animations and photos and the more the wall got built up the more ambitious the displays got. It felt like I was watching a movie directed by a Las Vegas veteran (I mean that in the best possible way).

I’ve seen epic shows before. There was Pink Floyd’s brilliant light show on the Division Bell tour; U2’s flying lemon during PopMart; Madonna’s always over-the-top spectacle; but this was different.

While all of those shows were memorable, in the end they still felt like a rock show.

This took the best parts of those performances — minus Madge’s scantily clad dancers — and took it to James Cameron-like extravagance.

The performance wasn’t 3-D, but when the wall appeared as if it was falling, when it wasn’t, it might as well have been.

It was also worth paying $200 bucks for, and I did shell out. I’m not saying all bands should do this, and Roger Waters can get away with a lot, but the concert industry needs to consider adding more value to the price of an expensive ticket if they want to fill seats.

The industry is suffering — ticket sales for the top 100 bands were down 12 per cent in the first half of the year and Live Nation expects sales to fall more in the second half.

Watching U2 prance around the stage for three hours is not fun (trust me); I’d rather see them return to their extravagant PopMart and Zooropa-like gigs, at least if I’m going to pay a few hundred dollars to watch Bono.

Will we see grander gigs? I think it’ll come and as technology improves and becomes cheaper there’s no reason we can’t see a bar band do something similar to what Waters did.

And when there’s more to watch, more people will pay up.

 
 
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