Floyd tunes, classic and deep, flow from Waters
The album may by dying, but it's going out with a great, nostalgic gasp thanks to Roger Waters , Pink Floyd's bassist and songwriter, who is on the road for the second consecutive summer playing "Dark Side of the Moon." To refresh: the album blends radio-friendly songcraft with trippy atmospherics and unfolds in an exquisitely paced arc of psychedelia, art-rock, jazz-fusion, and blues topped with lyrics that explore the nature of human existence.
They don't make 'em like that anymore.
Which helps explain the air of laid-back euphoria at Waters' s sold-out Boston show. (Whatever that pungent, burning smell was , it probably contributed to the mood as well.) But good vibrations are only half of the equation, and Waters, trim and grinning at 63, delivered his part with tremendous aplomb.
Swarms of the artist's faithful contemporaries and a healthy cross-section of youthful fans were treated to a flawless first set that spanned Floyd cuts both classic ("Wish You Were Here" ) and deep ("The Fletcher Memorial Home" ). A generous encore amounted to a five-song mini-suite from "The Wall" that included the supersize singalongs "Another Brick in the Wall, Pt. 2" and "Comfortably Numb." Waters' s 10-piece band skillfully re-created the music's lush architecture and haunted moods, although it required three players to fill in for David Gilmour. Guitarists Dave Kilminster and Snowy White conjured immaculate facsimiles of Gilmour's searing solos, while Kilminster and keyboardist Jon Carin contributed mellifluous vocals to "Money" and "On the Run," among others.
The visuals were just as seductive as the music. Impressionistic films accompanied many songs -- "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun " featured black-and-white Felliniesque footage of masked men at the seashore, and during "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" bubbles tumbled in slow motion from above the stage and flowed into the twinkling constellations projected on the video screen, which itself approached the size of a small solar system.
The concert was a model of creative arena showmanship, but it was during the midset performance of Pink Floyd's 1973 magnum opus that the show turned from terrific to transcendent. Maybe because pop music has shifted to a single-track economy, hearing an entire album performed live -- especially one of this magnitude -- was a bittersweet reminder of just how potent the near-extinct long form can be. With a lunar landscape on the screen, spheres of light rotating through the arena, and a laser rainbow slicing through a virtual pyramid above our heads, it was like listening in 3-D.