After getting over the shock of just how empty the venue was, the second thing I noticed was the projectors mounted at the rear of the venue. Unlike the 2010 and 2011 shows, where they were suspended from the ceiling, and a lot of the outdoor shows in 2012, where they were on top of towers obstructing views in the middle of the venues, they were all now about 10 feet high along the back wall of the venue, with 36 in all.
Ready to be fired up In action Pig caught in the projections
This gives a great effect when the shows is on and you look behind you. It also casts a shadow of the pig onto the wall, which, again gives a great effect.
Philippe and Kevin decided to stand half way between the mixing desk and the stage. I was going to do the same until I saw how empty the rail was! I headed down to the middle on the rail and met up with my friend Raymond Steeg. I hadn't seen him since the 2006 Gilmour shows, and it was nice to see some of the show with him. I say “some” because the place was that empty, that as you can probably see from the pictures, I was running around all over the place taking shots and then returning to my place on the rail.
I have to be honest and say that I was expecting a lot more changes than there actually were. There were a few subtle ones here and there, but for the most part, it was the show that we've seen for the last few years with the addition of Roger’s tweaks to the projections and music here and there.
The six pre show music tracks were identical, starting off with Leadbelly’s “Take This Hammer” and ending 18 minutes later with The Impressions’ “People Get Ready”. Pink was led out by the two guards, looked around at the sparse audience to the I'm Spartacus speech before being dropped onstage, and then was kicked by Roger onto the photographers below the stage after donning his black leather over coat. (I’m sure Roger gets huge kick out of doing this to the press guys!)
Pyros were pretty much the same, but bearing in mind it was an indoor venue, I'm sure these will be stepped up for the outdoor shows like they were in 2012. The Stuka came down right on cue and crashed though the wall with fire and smoke as before.
At first I thought the crowd were a little quiet due to there not been many people, but there was certainly enough people to make more noise than they were, and all through the first half, they seemed to be very subdued by the whole experience.
After In The Flesh, I was buzzing. It was back!! The Wall live was on again, and all the memories from the last 3 years came flooding back—all the memories of things to come in the show, the nuances, the solos, the smiles, the smirks—damn I’d missed them and didn't really realise how much until it was bang in front of my face again! It was a great feeling knowing this was the first show of many—all the shows I had yet to see!—but most of all, it was good knowing the people I’d be meeting up with again and the memories we’d be creating. I missed having Kami by my side a lot. As good as the experience was last night, it still felt as though a certain someone was missing.
After In The Flesh, when they start projecting the fallen loved ones on the bricks, it was immediately noticeable how much better the projections were. They were almost 3D! The images were so much brighter, and there was so much more detail. I’d heard from my friend Shane (who’s in charge of the Pyros) before the gig that I would be blown away by the new projectors. He wasn't wrong at all, as they were now mounted at the rear of the venue, they had to be a lot more powerful to throw the images onto the bricks and still be seen at the outdoor shows when it was still daylight at the start. (Although tomorrow night’s outdoor show in Werchter doesn't start until 10:00 pm!) Philippe just reminded me that it was so cool to be able to actually read all the text on the fallen loved one images that were projected onto the wall at the Intermission, something that's always looked a little out of focus to me. Well, not anymore!
My camera was still a touch out of focus, but you can see the clarity of the images compared to years past.
There was a slightly different start to Another Brick with Graham doing a lot more drum rolls at the beginning. The “new” Jean Charles De Menezes track is still present and nothing’s really changed on that. Again, I have to say, I was just continuously looking for changes in the projected images, but they just weren't there!
One thing I did notice is that the bricks look to be a lot more refined and fit together better than they were. There were very few gaps that let any light through whatsoever. Maybe it was because they were all new, and it was the early stages of the tour. We’ll see how they hold together as the tour goes on, I guess.
Dave K. mentioned a couple of days ago that Roger had said to the guys that he thought they sounded the best they had ever done, and I have to agree with that. The sound in the venue was incredible, and the band were ever so tight playing together.
Hey You again showed just how bright the new projectors were. The projected bricks on the fill length wall had much more detail in them and were so much brighter. Robbie's voice sounded as good as ever, and Snowy absolutely nailed his 20 seconds long note. When the track Is There Anybody Out There was half way through, I turned around and walked to the rail right in front of the hotel. It really was that simple to do. There was no pushing, no crowd to fight through, just lots and lots of space, and I had the whole rail to myself until 30 seconds after the room came down out of the wall, and the rest of the people realised why I was there and joined me!
I headed back to the middle as the room went up and again took my place on the rail. One thing they have changed back is the animation for the wall break as Roger hits it during Comfy Numb. I was never a fan of what they did to this late on in 2011 and 2012. They changed the way it broke up and made the rocks a lot bigger, and rather than shatter outwards, it all seems to fall down towards the floor. They’ve changed this back now—the shattered rocks are smaller, and whilst they still fall downwards a little, it is a much better effect now that it was last year. I'm hoping they don't mess with it again!
Dave's solo on Comfy was, again, absolutely flawless. It just never ceases to amaze me how powerful it sounds and how insanely loud it gets. Dave, please mess up just once so it’ll give me something to write about! :)
Run Like Hell—if it isn't broke, then don't fix it! It was never broke, yet Roger continues to fix it, and it just gets better and better. The brighter images make the 3D pop out a lot more, and the silhouette of the pig on the wall looks great. Although the crowd had started to get into the show a little more, even after a couple of mic problems for Roger when shouting the Thank You and trying to get everyone to clap in unison, they just didn't get into it as much as I’d hoped for. Roger has a nice new shiny machine gun! He’s still not back to the adlibbing talk at the beginning, which I miss a lot, but he has certainly been practising his video synching and moving the same as the green screen images (the ones that were shot in New York last year and are projected on the sides of the wall trying to make it look like it’s a live feed!)
Dave’s guitar sound came out great, but he did look to be having a couple of problems, continually turning around and trying to adjust his amp during the firs couple of minutes of the track. I’m guessing it’s just opening night niggles, and I’m pretty sure these will be all ironed out within the first couple of gigs.
Oh how I’ve missed having a little Wall wind!! It wasn't till I had my camera up to my eye ready to snap a picture of the falling wall and I felt the air rush past my face that I remembered just how good it felt! It’s good to be back :) The wall fall still looks as good projected onto the sides of the wall, and the live LIVE feed is still used for the guys as they come out and perform Outside The Wall. Harry, for some reason, looked very Australian wearing his Tilley hat!
All in all it was a fantastic show, very unique, and, as I said earlier, it was more like a select few had been invited to a dress rehearsal—and for the people that realised this, it felt like our own personal show. This show is a MUST see. It’s the last time you’re going to get to see it, so if you haven't bought a ticket yet or are wondering whether to go, then DO IT!!
Again, click on the pictures link below to see the full album of pictures.