Roger Waters In The Flesh DVD Review By Andrew Beale
|Roger Waters: In The Flesh DVD Front Cover|
“Returning from a 12-year long hiatus from the road, Roger Waters’ In The Flesh concert tours were a showcase of his best known work from his days with Pink Floyd to his recently released solo album Amused to Death. The In the Flesh tour was a massive, worldwide undertaking by Waters that spanned three individual tours over the course of three years (1999, 2000, and 2002). The title is an allusion to the 1977 Pink Floyd tour for the Animals album, as well as the two songs so titled on the album The Wall.” – Wikipedia
Roger is sounding great. His voice sounds a lot better in my opinion than it did during the Wall shows. The tones are always perfect, and sound effects are cued in at exactly the right time (unlike during his current tour when the sound manager tends to fall asleep). Roger uses a surround sound system at his concert so sound comes at you in every direction, and he brings this into your living room or mantown with Dolby 5.1. His crew includes the usual talented musicians who usually play with Roger and Pink Floyd, Andy Fairweather-Low, Snowy White, Jon Carin, and Graham Broad. He is also working with Doyle Bramhall II on guitars, Andy Wallace on Hammond, and PP Arnold and Katie Kissoon and Susannah Melvoin doing backup singing. Doyle Bramhall II is a great guitarist through all of his criticism by many Pink Floyd fans, mainly because they compare him to David Gilmour. Sound is perfect, ten out of ten.
01. In The Flesh – The DVD Starts out with a little behind the scenes look at the performers chilling before the show starts. After this little segment is over there is a fade out and you start to hear the crowd going wild. A cool graphic comes up and reads “Roger Waters In The Flesh”. The song is performed particularly well, and at once you can tell that Roger is relying heavily on female vocalists. The crowd is either full of fans or somebody started doing it and everyone followed along, but everyone formed an X with their hands (If only they did that at the 2006 concerts). Graphics of the marching hammers are shown in the background. At this point the show is off to a very good start.
02. The Happiest Days Of Our Lives – After In The Flesh ends, You hear a crying baby like at the end of In the Flesh?, then the helicopter. Roger uses his delay pedal during this one, while on most occasions he doesn’t. There isn’t much to rave about this song, its definitely one of the most overplayed of the Pink Floyd songs so its very familiar to anyone when they listen to it. Images of the teacher and his psychopathic wife are shown.
03. Another Brick In The Wall (Part 2) – As most people already know, Another Brick comes in. The performance of this is very good. Roger sings the first verse, the ladies and the crowd take care of the second. Doyle plays a solo, followed by Snowy. Then they sing the verses another time which surprised me. I never heard a concert before this when they repeated the verses a total of three times. That surprise got me hooked in to hear any other surprises the concert may bring.
04. Mother – Roger thanks everyone for coming and comes out with his acoustic guitar. He starts playing Mother. This performance is ace! Roger plays the acoustic beautifully, and Katie Kissoon sang the chorus amazingly. When Roger sings “Mother should I trust the government?” the makes a little face, either meaning he didn’t like the government or that the fans applauding of the line made him angry because they didn’t understand the meaning. Great version that got great applause.
05. Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert – There is a sound of an explosion and many colored lights strobe. There are many fans who don’t like the Final Cut, but I do and was glad that he added some songs from it to the set list.
06. Southampton Dock – Another good performance of a song from The Final Cut.
07. Pigs On The Wing (Part 1) – This is where I got excited. He was going to play a song from Animals, my favorite Pink Floyd album at the time. This acoustic performance played by Roger led to my favorite song off of Animals, Dogs.
08. Dogs – Jon Carin plays the acoustic and sings vocals. Doyle Bramhall plays great solos, very different than Gilmour’s on the album which is a good thing in my opinion. Roger looks like he is having a great time on stage. During the keyboard solo the guys gather around the table and play hearts, while the ladies sit and have a drink. It is just Jon and Graham playing during this. After the solo is over Roger comes and starts singing “Gotta admit…” which is my favorite part of the song. Overall this was a wonderful performance of a very underrated song.
09. Welcome To The Machine – I love this version of Welcome to the Machine. Andy Fairweather-Low plays the bass and it seems like he rewrote the bass line because it is very different to the album version, a lot better that is (I want a tab! Anyone?).
10. Wish You Were Here – I hate to admit it but Wish You Were Here was the biggest disappointment on the whole entire DVD. Doyle plays the intro on his electric, a very bad move, especially with that horrible reverb. Snowy’s intro solo is very good, and the chorus is pretty good. Then it comes to the horrible chorus. He changed it to “Ohhhhh…how I wish you were here” and “And I wish that you were here”. I usually pass this one by while I am watching. If I wanted to listen to a good version of Wish You Were here I would put in PULSE.
11. Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-8) – Great performance. I love the extended version instead of the 1-5 break 6-9 stuff. I love it all together. At the end he dedicates those last two songs played to Syd.
12. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun – I never really paid much attention to this song when I listen to my Pink Floyd stuff but now I have a whole new liking for it. Snowy plays an incredible solo, and the sax player plays beautifully. This song is also a song which that really induces the pot use at the concerts.
13. Breathe In The Air – The heartbeat sounds and in comes Breathe. Jon Carin plays the lap-steel intro. Doyle is singing during the Darks Side songs and his nasally voice will drive some people insane, but it isn’t that bad once you get used to it. The song was performed very well.
14. Time – The chiming sounds start up and Roger starts making his tick-tock noise with his bass. Andy plays the bass during the verses and Roger plays the chorus. This is where we start to see Doyle showing off. He makes many various facial expressions, kinda like he is having a hernia. At least the guitar solo was good. Breathe reprise kicked in and Roger played a cool variation of bass line. It has been a very good performance of the Dark Side masterpieces thus far.
15. Money – Money is great on this DVD. Doyle Bramhall is singing yet again. Andy Fairweather-Low plays an interesting solo, and the camera shows a guy who really digs it and points at Andy constantly. Another good performance.
16. Pros & Cons Of Hitch Hiking Part 11 (a.k.a. 5:06 AM-Every Strangers Eyes) – I have always been a fan of Roger’s solo work. This is one of his best. Andy plays the lead guitar. Very powerful song.
17. Perfect Sense (Parts 1 & 2) – This is my favorite of Roger’s solo material. It starts off with the “Stop Dave”s and Jon Carin’s beautiful piano intro. Roger isn’t playing in instrument during this one, just standing and acting out to the lyrics he sings. PP Arnold yet again blasts out a tremendous vocal solo. Part two starts, and we get the commentary yet again. The crowd goes wild when Roger walks around and sings with the audience. This is one of the greatest moments on the DVD
18. The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range – Another great solo song of Roger’s, and he is playing a red strat. I love the message this song gives. All those high ranking government officials sitting all safe while all the people under them are at war and dying.
19. It’s A Miracle – Jon Carin comes in with another piano intro. The crowd is swaying back and forth to the beautiful sound of the keys. Roger yet again isn’t brandishing an instrument. A great song performed perfectly. I particularly like the little guitar solo at the end.
20. Amused To Death – The song that the album was named after. It begins with Roger shining a flashlight into the audience, adding an interesting effect. Roger picks up his bass again and starts playing the song. It is played perfectly. Roger is very emotional during this song I have noticed. He is especially emotional when the man is talking in the background.
21. Brain Damage – I knew this song was coming. There never can be a concert without it. Andy is playing the lead guitar. Am I the only one to notice this, or does Roger throw his hands in the air and the bass can still be heard. It is probably just one of the keyboards. Besides that it is a very good rendition of the song.
22. Eclipse – The song played just as good as Brain Damage. A perfect song to close an album or even a concert for that matter. However this isn’t the end of the concert, we all know what’s next.
23. Comfortably Numb – Roger is surprisingly not playing bass on this, but a guitar. It got me hoping he might do a solo. This song is performed pretty well. My only beef (and mostly everyone else’s) is the ending guitar solo. They are performed pretty well, but it isn’t fluid. They switch from the strat to the Les Paul and the immense tone difference makes the solo very choppy. They should have at least made the tones similar so it sounded like one guitar.
24. Each Small Candle – Roger introduces us to his new solo song. It is a little boring. It is very quiet, with the instruments turned pretty far down. The lyrics are creative however. Andy has a cool electric-acoustic guitar solo. At the end of the song Roger holds out his cigarette lighter and shows everyone the flickering flame. The concert was then over, they showed the band members in a little picture credits segment. Then they showed the band bowing and leaving the stage, leading into another set of credits.
I love the set list. It includes many songs from underrated Pink Floyd albums such as Animals and The Final Cut. The only cons in my opinion are that there could have been more solo songs and that there should have been way more bonus features then were available (a documentary on the tours preparation, a gallery of images, and band bios). When I buy a DVD I expect enough features to keep me occupied for a while after I watch the concert a few times. Those cons and the Comfortably Numb and Wish You Were Here disappointments are enough to make me push the rating down to eight.
The DVD was recorded perfectly. The camera is on the right person at the right time, and shows everyone numerous times. The sound is perfect, it sounds like you are actually there. The solos, effects, and vocals were on the most part very good. The menus are easy to navigate. Only bad thing here is the unnecessary opening series of images, including a pic of a backstage pass.
The most impressive thing about this DVD is the beautiful sound quality, which makes it sound like you are really there. I love Rogers’ energy on the stage; he always gets into his music and releases that energy into the audience. That’s what makes a Waters concert great and worth seeing! As I mentioned before what I don’t like about the DVD is that there aren’t that many features and I would have liked more Waters solo material in the setlist. Overall this is a great DVD and is definitely worth buying.
Overall Score // 9