Patrick Lucey tells Wanted in Rome of his concert experience at the “The Wall” by Roger Waters in Rome on 28 July.
On arriving to pick up my tickets there was a giddiness in the air all along the banks of the Tiber. From late afternoon thousands of people began to gather around the Stadio Olimpico to have a beer and talk about the sometimes misunderstood rock artist Roger Waters. From his days with Pink Floyd and the much-publicised split, Waters seems to have recovered 100 per cent and come full circle from one of the worst rock n’ roll divorces since the invention of the genre in the 1950s.
Although the concept of The Wall encapsulates essentially the feelings of alienation and loss, which were very much palpable in the stadium, there was a camaraderie between the band and its leader that was touching at times. As the generation that grew up in post-war Europe matures this piece really deals with the suffering, hardship and lean years that followed.
Waters brings the serious theme of The Wall down to earth and in his maturity has a softer more accepting feel to his performance. In essence the feeling of “peace and love” are at the heart of his message, for instance during the interval hundreds of faces of those lost in wars and conflicts were impressed on the stage wall that stretched from one side of the stadium to the other – which in itself was something to see. Although the technical revolution has been good to the overall look of the show, it still kept its original feel.
The spectacle from start to finish was almost incomprehensible, commencing with a world war two Stuka aircraft flying across the stadium into The Wall, followed by a giant inflatable pig that floated over the arena and slowly descended to be ripped apart and destroyed by the waiting audience. There are many levels to the spectacle.
From the opening In the Flesh through to Comfortably Numb and Mother the audience was very much with Waters who had some seasoned performers such as Snowy White and others join him onstage for a final bow. Although the theme of The Wall may not be what one would consider “upbeat”, Waters gave a warm delivery of some of the greatest tunes of the 21st century.
Photos © Cleona Wallace