Tuesday, June 19th, 2012
Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, TN
Life got kind of crazy this summer, and I missed posting the blogs for three different shows. So pardon me, and I'll try to get them online as soon as I can, starting with this one. Better late than never, right? :-)
Thus far, the largest concert I've been to this year (and one of the larger I've been to, period) was the Roger Waters show at the Bridgestone Arena. I hemmed and hawed for a few months over this show, trying to decide if I really wanted to spend the amount of money that was needed for a ticket. I'm definitely a Pink Floyd fan, but am I $74 worth of Pink Floyd fan? Finally, once my tax refund came back, I decided to bite the bullet and buy a ticket. Of course, by that time, the only ticket still available for $74 was the very top row of the nosebleed section, almost directly back from the stage. But I figured...Roger Waters is retirement age, and very possibly might decide to stop touring in the near future. So pretty much, it was now or never, if I ever intended on seeing him live!
When the day arrived, I got to the venue with about half an hour to spare, and since it was really hot out, I ended up forking over $5 for a soda before the show. When I found my seat, it was dizzyingly high off the arena floor. The most disappointing part was just how far away the stage was, and how obscured it was by the speakers and lighting hanging from the ceiling. Realistically, it wasn't worth what I paid for it. Oh well. Once I saw exactly how bad the seat was for the price, it's made me take pause before buying any more cheap seats at this venue. (As an aside, quick math tells me that if every one of the 18,500 seats in the venue cost $74, you'd have close to a million and a half dollars in ticket sales for a show like this...and at LEAST 2/3rds of the tickets cost more than $74. Mind blowing.)
One thing that was refreshing about this show was that there was no opener...no crappy band that you had to sit through before getting to the main act, and no faking like you care when you don't (see my U2 entry to see how I felt about Florence and the Machine). Once we hit show time, the lights slammed off and the show immediately started.
Through the first half of the show, there was a wall made out of large blocks that came out from the sides of the stage, and was slowly built bigger through the course of the show. It started off as just fragments of a wall on either side. But song by song, bricks would slowly be added one by one in an almost unnoticeable way, until suddenly there would be a projection, and you'd see that the wall was bigger. This continued until the last song in the first half, when there was just one brick missing, and Roger Waters was leaning out of it singing.
After intermission, the entire second half of the show was done with elaborate projections on the wall. At one point, a trap door opened, and Roger Waters was inside a little living room area inside the wall. But eventually that closed up at the end of the song, and he proceeded to perform while in front of the wall for the rest of the time.
Near the end of the show, the entire audience began to chant "Tear down the wall! Tear down the wall!" and as a grand finale, the entire wall came crumbling to the ground! It was pretty cool! Pieces of the wall went all over the stage and fell down near the crowd. As the show ended, they got a huge standing ovation, then gave some kind of short inspirational speech.
When the show was over, there was a crush of humanity all heading for the stairs as escalators at once, and a line probably 20 deep at their merch booth. Of course the merch was way too expensive to consider buying anything (like $40 t-shirts and stuff), so I made my way out and back to my car.
Overall, I enjoyed this show quite a bit. It was very, very well done, and told a good story in a very graphic and emotional way. Now, was it worth the $74 I paid? I'm not sure. Bottom line would be that if the same show came through town again, I wouldn't pay that much again to see it. but I'm glad that I had the experience, and am glad that I chose to go.