On Wednesday the 18th September I went to see Roger Waters perform his show ‘The Wall’ in Dublin. It was an open air show. I have been a fan of Pink Floyd since the mid 1970’s and I never had the opportunity to see them live. While Roger and his band weren’t going to be Pink Floyd, I figured it was as close as i could get so I was delighted to be able to get to see the show. I have seen performances from the show on DVD and on you tube and read reviews online and in magazines and the cliche is so true here, there is nothing like seeing the show, live, for yourself. The spectacle was impressive and the sound was unbelievable. If you have ever been a sound buff, big into the surround sound etc, then this was a wet dream for audiophiles. Right from the band’s entrance in a blaze of explosions and fireworks the sound filled the arena like the world’s best headphones. There was aircraft flying, helicopters, whispered conversations, screams and machine gun fire all mixed with a superbly crafted musical opus that never let up. Add to this the intense visuals, the Gerald Scarfe animations, the photos of the lost, the wall being slowly completed and all this before the intermission. Crowd favourite ‘Brick in the Wall (Part two)” was incredible live and the huge teacher inflatable looked suitably menacing. After the intermission, the blank wall should have detracted from the spectacle but the sound, combined with the visuals on the wall kept things moving along nicely. “Comfortably Numb” was one tune I’d been waiting for, wondering if it could sound as good without David Gilmour’s incredible guitar driving it (and I nursed a secret desire that Gilmour might make a guest appearance as he has done elsewhere). I think the main guitarist for this piece was another Dave, Dave Kilminster and he did a superb job from a vantage point high on top of the wall. Roger did his piece in the small room that opens on one side of the wall, the inflatable pig made it’s appearance, flying above our heads, the band exploded through ‘Run Like Hell’ (another personal favourite). ”The Trail’ brought down the wall, literally and there some excellent visuals to accompany the song. The final piece was ‘Outside the wall’ and I have always felt this to be the weakest part of the whole album. Granted I can’t imagine how else you could end such a fantastic show and I suppose it’s a good way to bring you back to earth after a pretty intense couple of hours. A friend of mine saw Pink Floyd live in the 1970’s and he said it was an incredible experience – I don’t know if he saw this show but I am glad I did.
We are into the third day of our Gathering event today and so far it has been fantastic. Every event has been well attended and generated a great buzz. Things began on Thursday with a dedication service for a headstone erected in memory of Isola Wilde, Oscar’s sister who was buried in Edgeworthstown. She died aged 9. After that was there was a gallery launch of painting by Bernard Canavan, formerly from Edgeworthstown now resident in London. His work focuses on irish emigration in the 1950’s. Finally on Thursday there was a culture night featuring music, dancing, storytelling and recitation. On Friday there wa sa heritage walk around the town , highlighting local history, followed by a talk on the Edgeworths, then the launch of an interactive CD of Edgeworthstown history. The highlight of the day, and indeed the weekend so far, was the ‘American Wake’ a combination of music, song, dancing, drama and recitation all telling the stories of what it was like to be evicted, to emigrate, to travel to the US, – all from the Famine times. It was incredibly well put together and performed..