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Roger Waters - Us + Them



Roger Waters cover art

In 2017 and 2018 former Pink Floyd main man Roger Waters toured the planet, performing his Us + Them show 156 times before a total of 2.3 million fans. And no doubt every single one of them was tickled, well, pink if the iteration of the show presented here, filmed in Amsterdam, is any indication. For the most part the set list consists of Pink Floyd material drawn from Wish You Were Here, The Wall, The Dark Side of the Moon and Animals and every shot of the crowd, and there are many of them, finds the majority of fans singing along to every word. There also are a few songs from Roger's current at the time solo album Is This the Life We Really Want, including "Deja Vu" and "The Last Refugee." After opening with "Speak to Me," "Breathe," "One of These Days" and "Time" Waters and his nine-piece band perform one of the concert's first highlights, a take on the stunning Dark Side cut "The Great Gig in the Sky," here with the soaring non-lexical, female vocals being sung by Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig of the indie pop duo Lucius. Waters plays bass for most of the show but there is a second bass player in Gus Seyffert; this allows for Seyffert to play the rhythm while Waters is using his bass to create the effects that some of the songs call for. There are small deviations in the arrangements here and there but nothing serious; as stated before the fans know these songs by heart and they want to hear them the way they know them. Another show highlight comes with "Another Brick in the Wall" when Waters is joined by a dozen hooded figures lined up across the stage; fitting for the song being performed, they look like they're about to be put against the Wall and shot. Eventually the figures remove their hoods and peel out of their jumpsuits, revealing that they are school-aged kids wearing t-shirts emblazoned with the word "resist." They then join in on singing the song's famous line "Hey teachers, leave us kids alone," fists defiantly raised the whole time. Waters makes his social and political commentary throughout, not just with his lyrics, but with film footage and words projected all around the stage. There's plenty of vitriol in "Pigs (Three Different Ones)," but updated; now the visuals that accompany the piece focus primarily on former U.S. President Donald Trump. The show finishes strong with "Money," "Us and Them," "Brain Damage" and "Eclipse," wrapping up an incredible performance by the entire band. Deserving of a special shout-out are Dave Kilminster and Jonathan Wilson on guitars; the pair handle the parts (with Wilson also on vocals) that David Gilmour played on the original versions of these Pink Floyd songs. This film will make a fine addition to the collection of any Roger Waters or Pink Floyd fan.

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