Roger Waters captivates with The Wall at Fenway
A review of Roger Waters at Fenway Park on July 1, 2012
After bringing The Wall back to the live stage for the first time in 20 years when he began touring American arenas in the Fall of 2010, Roger Waters has returned with an even grander display as he recreates Pink Floyd’s legendary 1979 double album in US ballparks this summer. On Sunday night, the show was staged at Boston’s Fenway Park with tremendous success.
Fenway Park is best known for “The Green Monster”, the 37 foot wall in left field, but “The Wall” was so massive that “The Monster” wasn’t even in sight. Waters’ show truly was a grand display as the stage/wall stretched all the way from left field into the bleacher seats.
In a time when artists are charging hundreds of dollars for their shows it was satisfying to see a show that was actually worth the hefty ticket prices. Not only was the stage massive, but the theatrics as well. The show began with fireworks, flag bearers, and a fake plane crash and only got more interesting from there. The show also stayed true to the original production with giant marionettes of “The Schoolteacher” and Pink’s mother, as well as the iconic Pink Floyd pig, updated with anti-government messages.
The Wall is an album largely dedicated to themes of isolation and abandonment but Waters’ latest production of the show has an increased focus on anti-government and anti-war messages. Both are certainly featured in the original production, but it’s easy to see that the message of the show has shifted with Waters’ sentiments. The military-themed imagery is most touching, with fallen veterans featured within the bricks of the wall at times throughout the show, and clips of soldiers returning home during “Bring the Boys Back Home”. The greatest anti-government declaration came during “Mother””as Waters sang “Mother should I trust the government?”with the words “No fucking way” projected on the Wall to the delight of fans. Later the image of a security camera appeared on the stage screen as the Wall displayed “Big Brother is watching you”.
Although The Wall may be dark, and at times even a bit disturbing, to see it performed in such a remarkable staging is truly mesmerizing. Waters has dedicated the past few years of his life to this and it shows. His enthusiasm is clearly visible when he’s in front of The Wall, whether he’s bouncing about the stage with local school children as they fight off the evil teacher in “Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)” or barking into a megaphone like a neo-Nazi dictator for “Waiting for the Worms”.
After the Wall came tumbling down and the band returned once more for “Outside the Wall”, Waters confessed that 30 years ago he was “bad at being in big spaces” like Fenway Park, but now he “couldn’t be happier”. Despite the deep, dark material of The Wall, there’s little chance anyone in attendance felt any different.