Concert Review: Roger Waters BST Hyde Park

PUBLISHED: 11:09 12 July 2018 | UPDATED: 11:09 12 July 2018

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06:  Roger Waters performs as Barclaycard present British Summer Time Hyde Park at Hyde Park on July 6, 2018 in London, England.  (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Roger Waters

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 06: Roger Waters performs as Barclaycard present British Summer Time Hyde Park at Hyde Park on July 6, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Dave J Hogan/Dave J Hogan/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Roger Waters

2018 Dave J Hogan

Greg Wetherall gives a five star review

Roger Waters – BST Hyde Park

Five Stars

Erstwhile Pink Floyd writer, bassist and co-vocalist Roger Waters kicked off this year’s British Summer Time series of gigs with a dialectic that very much focused on the notion of ‘us and them’. Not just the song from his former band’s seminal The Dark Side of the Moon album – which incidentally stood as a highlight of the whole show - but also of the economic and social chasms within society. Whether or not one could swallow such sermonising from a millionaire rock star of a certain vintage would be a point for the observer.

For those who could cast aside such objections, however, there were an abundance of joys to imbibe, in what proved to be a performance par excellence. Seemingly vigorously opposed to the concept of being wheeled out as a heritage act, the Surrey-born prog rocker took the opportunity to air tracks from his fine 2017 LP Is This the Life We Really Want?, and presented evidence of an artist firing on all cylinders.

Flanked by an 8-piece band bedecked in all black, his group mellifluously and ably replicated, note-for-note, the imperious compositions of Pink Floyd in all of their conceptual and stylistic guises. Splitting the evening into two sets, and opening with ‘Breathe’, the languid bass line and guitar licks washed over the sprawling Hyde Park crowd and eased them gently into Waters’ orbit.

From there, a momentary delve into 1971’s Meddle in the form of the propulsive ‘One of These Days’ preceded a further first-half flurry from the towering triumvirate The Wall, DSOTM and Wish You Were Here. With children recruited from the Grenfell community for the mega-hit ‘Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)’, there was not only a political stance evidenced in the form of their presentation (boiler suits and balaclavas giving way to t-shirts emblazoned with ‘Resist’ across their front), but a sensitivity to domestic affairs too.

He remains an outspoken polemicist and certainly would not allow himself to forego the opportunity to extol his views on such a large platform. During a take on Animal’s ‘Pigs (Three Different Ones)’, a backdrop of Pop art-style mock-ups of Trump in all manner of degrading positions and a roll call of his ignominious quotes filled the screens. No one could be left in any doubt as to where he stands on the leader of the free world.

It was also clear that Waters’ voice remains in startlingly fine fettle and whilst his svelte posturing may not be cut from the same age-defying Duracell-esque cloth as Mick Jagger, , there is yet to be any sign of laurel resting for this 74-year old. This was an electric headline show that reminded those present of the elegant and, lyrically, at least, often melancholic nature of his output over the years.

As a sublime ‘Comfortably Numb’ brought a thoroughly rousing show to a halt, a few scattered souls in the crowd were visibly in tears. What was striking was that he still does all of this revered material exceptional justice. Stunning.

Greg Wetherall

Latest Hampstead & Highgate Stories

16:00

Teenager in squad alongside some of country’s brightest talents

Next up for the Tottenham Hotspur Ladies is a home clash with Millwall Lionesses this weekend

17:49

A rainy Sunday failed to put any snouts out of joint as a band of determined Schnauzer-owners and their four-legged friends took to the Heath last weekend.

16:56

Mitzvah Day, the UK’s biggest faith-based day of social action, was launched in Parliament last week to a audience of MPs and peers.

12:00

Round four to take place in London in December

A look at how some of Tottenham Hotspur’s players fared while on international duty

15:19

Three years after a controversial merger saw Torriano Primary School formed, teachers and governors are celebrating a top-of-the-class Ofsted rating that Camden Council’s education chief said “vindicated” the decision to amalgamate the schools.

10:30

Saracens centre Alex Lozowski has been banned for two weeks for entering a ruck dangerously — but will be free to feature in England’s autumn Test campaign.

Most read Hampstead & Highgate etcetera

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now