The Bell Center lights went out around 8:30pm Friday night as a warning to the public was read: “If you’re here because you love Pink Floyd but can’t stand Roger Waters politics, go damn it at the bar”.
An unmistakable message that set the tone for this evening with the former leader of the (legendary) British band that peaked in the 1970s, denouncing injustice and campaigning for the restoration of their rights to those who saw them violated during the music could seem almost irrelevant to the images and messages presented.
Roger Waters, 78, put on a concert full of old hits popularized by his group, particularly from the albums The Dark Side of the Moon (1973) and The Wall (1979), on which he also recorded his tracks played. like “The Bar”, “Déjà vu”, “The Powers That Be” and Is This the Life We Really Want?
From Pink Floyd, the musician performed ‘The Happiest Days of Our Lives’, ‘In the Flesh’, ‘Run Like Hell’ and the well-developed ‘Another Brick in the Wall’, unquestionably among the favorites of audiences who have left their seat to sing it loud and clear.
The This Is Not a Drill show has been postponed for two years due to the pandemic and has repeatedly reiterated some shocking events that have transpired over the past few years. On the huge screens that hovered over the Canadian ice, protest animations – very well illustrated – and politically and socially committed messages, which in particular denounced American politics, inaction against poverty, elitism, abortion, ultranationalism, police brutality, war and the migrant crisis , were broadcast throughout the concert.
An unconventional scene
The show started a little late — as each 10-minute, then five-minute slot was reminded of its impending launch — on “Comfortably Numb.” Clear, dark, slightly somber images slowly swept away buildings, then an army of citizens, eyes on their cellphone screens, while thunder and Gregorian chants rang out. The camera stopped at a flying pig (a nod to Orwell’s work, which will return later in the show) and at the same time the screen rose, revealing the scene.
An unconventionally shaped scene; a kind of square with four ridges on each side. The whole thing was framed by a band of red LED lights that occasionally turned green, turquoise, pink, blue, and white. However, red was predominant. The videos that aired during the songs were almost all tinged with it, except when Waters, who was more talkative during this concert, addressed the crowd or during walks, as on “Wish You Were Here.” A performance that also seemed to enjoy the audience, who sang every word very loudly.
And rather rare for the amphitheater, all of the seats for this show were unobstructed, with none blocking the view of the stage.
As we returned from intermission, a flying pig (sort of dirigible balloon) with the inscription “Steal it from the poor and give it to the rich” flew into the bell center.
Among the other hot topics the singer pointed out before the break: the abolition of abortion rights in the United States, COVID-19 and firearms.
Roger Waters’ ‘This Is Not A Drill’ tour will stop in Quebec this Sunday