An old man dressed as a hobo in tattered clothes and wheeling his cart on the floor of the Air Canada Centre in Toronto with his worldly belongings and brandishing a sign that reads ‘We Don’t Need’ on one side and on the other, ‘No Thought Control’, greets the public that saunters into the auditorium, all psyched to see the Roger Waters’ concert. Many whip out their cameras and videos and chronicle this man who becomes an instant “celebrity”.
The lights dim and on the enormous circular screen behind the stage, images of fallen soldiers and other people caught up in war are flashed and within minutes the audience is treated to a rotating shower of pyrotechnics and an airplane crash Then Roger Waters strides onto stage with his ‘crack’ team of musicians stupefying the audience with their mind-blowing music. The band soon breaks into ‘The Wall’, a signal for the crowd to go wild and pervade the ACC with the sweet smell of vegetation (you know the kind I am ‘refeering’ to). On stage left, a huge inflatable mean looking teacher complete with a menacing cane looks down reproachfully at the audience, ready, it would seem, to pick on a spectator and give him the hiding of his life. Towards the end of the song a bunch of children locally recruited from a school come up on stage and join in the legendary chorus “Teacher leave those kids alone!”. This is as truly magnificent as it gets!
And the show continues. On stage, workers start putting up a cardboard wall, piece by piece, in front of the musicians, even as the band continues with their mesmerizing music and the song ‘Mother’. A humongous inflatable ‘Big Brother’ with folded arms on stage right looks down warningly at the confluence of people. Then follows ‘Goodbye Blue Sky’ and more songs and all along the wall is being built in front of the band leaving only a few open spots from where the audience can glimpse the band through the wall. The wall is finally complete, it stretches across the stage and the band is visible no more. It is intermission.
During intermission, images of fallen heroes, people of war and people of peace, including Mahatma Gandhi (that’s what the world needs- a whole lotta ‘propagandhi’) are flashed on the massive wall.
Then the second half begins with “Hey you out there in the cold” running into “Is there anybody out there”. The band is behind the wall and not visible to the crowd, but their music and its sensation is enough for the audience to once again pervade the auditorium with vegetation heaven. Tripped out psychedelic visuals flashing on the wall bring to mind the movies ‘Fantasia’ and ‘Yellow Submarine’. Then the band breaks into ‘Comfortably Numb’ and more vegetation pumps into the auditorium. A real ultra super sensory overload! This is pure über rock nirvana!
The concert ensues with more unparalleled music and psychedelic visuals with every passing moment surpassing the last. There is a lot of political commentary and of course there is the signature inflatable pig floating in the sky. Finally the wall comes crashing down and the band takes a bow. A really well deserved bow!
Truly a memorable concert that will be etched forever in the minds of all those who attended!