Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there, myself included. Have a great day!!
“Hey you, don’t help them to bury the light, don’t give in without a fight!”
The second act opened as the first act had ended, with the assembled audience staring up at a blank brick wall. The acoustic guitar work from Hey You playing over the P.A. system. This song echoes the depths of Pink’s despair. He feels utterly alone and isolated behind his wall. He calls out in a vain attempt for someone to hear his cries for help.
The full-scale of Roger’s vision becomes clear during this act, also the completed wall acting as a monumental video screen to project the full-sized decent into madness that Pink endures.
“Got a little black book with my poems in it.”
Nobody Home provided a great surprise that I for one was not expecting. This iconic piece finds Pink in his hotel room alone watching television. The live version features Roger alone on a set built into the side of the wall cantilevered out like a drawbridge forming his hotel room. This song has always spoken to me, as someone who has always felt the outcast in social situations. Pink bottoms out in depression pining for his wife and lamenting his rock and roll lifestyle.
“Bring the boys back home!”
It’s at this point in the show that the sadness and lament that Pink feels begins to twist inside of him and turn into powerful anger. His alter ego a Hitleresque military strongman begins to take shape. The death of his father in Anzio during the Second World War, the infidelity of his wife, his overbearing mother and the weight of his wild lifestyle become too much for his fragile psyche to bear.
The projections on the wall during this song are particularly powerful, a quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower shows the schizoid duality in Pink at this moment.
“I can ease your pain, get you on your feet again”
Both musically and metaphorically the show hits a peak with the Waters/Gilmore classic Comfortably Numb. Pink’s tour handlers break into his hotel room and find him passed out under the influence of any number of substances. Through windows of his drug addled mind we once again see the childhood of pink and the depths of his childhood trauma.
It is here where he abandons any semblance of his rational self and fully becomes the cold and calculating despot that we have caught glimpses of in the earlier parts of the show.
“We’re going to send you back to mother in a cardboard box, You Better Run!”
Pink the despot arrives on stage, his henchmen in tow. Dressed head to toe in black leather coat, hammer arm band in full display.
Pink’s madness and aggression are unleashed upon the audience. With a not so tongue in cheek attack on consumerism Roger goes full-bore against the IPod generation.
“All you have to do is follow the worms.”
Pink’s mental state is starting to unravel, the human side beginning to reemerge as the worms begin to crawl in his mind.
“Good Morning the Worm, Your Honor”
The madness in Pink’s brain comes crashing down upon him. The feelings are overwhelming him as the drama plays out in his mind he puts himself on trial for building his wall.
This portion of the show was a real throwback to the original stage production some 30 odd years ago. The animation of Gerald Scarfe takes over the wall, in stark contrast to the digital animations shown thus far we are transported back to Earls Court and the original show.
“All alone or in twos, the ones who really love you.”
Having been found guilty of his crimes, Pink is forced to tear down his wall. In the aftermath he finds that he is not alone. He does have friends, the people who really love him, were there all the time beating on his wall.
With his wall in shambles Pink accepts the love that he has always been given. This tale really does serve as an allegory for our everyday lives. Who among us hasn’t wanted to build up a wall to protect our hearts? At the end of the day though it’s not our stubbornness or drive that keeps us going it’s the love of our friends and family. Without them we would all be driven to that dark place shown in the concert.
What more can I really say, I thought the show was a masterpiece of staging and rock opera. I have seen many many concerts over the years but this one will always stand out as one of the most unique experiences that I have ever had the pleasure to share with Darlene. I am so glad that she agreed to come with me, I know it’s not her normal cup of tea, but I think she enjoyed herself as well.
Please enjoy a few select YouTube selections from the second act of the performance.
- Roger Waters, tear down that wall!! A concert preview. (bahbs.wordpress.com)
- Roger Waters “The Wall” Live at Wrigley Field (snspost.com)
- Roger Waters rebuilds Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” (cbsnews.com)
- Roger Waters Plans The Wall DVD And New Album (noise11.com)
- Roger Waters – The Wall: Concert Review. (bahbs.wordpress.com)