I saw Roger Waters and The Wall Tour in Phoenix last week and it was spectacular; the most astounding concert production and I have ever seen, and it couldn’t have come at a better time.
On the morning of the performance the front page of the morning paper featured stories about the cozy (albeit illegal) relationships presidential campaigns have with the Super Pacs who raise cash for them. The other was about the CEO of J.P. Morgan, Jamie Dimon who apologized for a $2 billion trading loss, which happened because Wall Street is still fighting regulatory changes, in spite of its responsibility for most serious recession in 75 years. Reading this infuriated me! We do not live in a democracy; we live in an oligarchy, a form of government in which power is invested in a few, the moneyed class. That was my general mood when I went to the concert that night.
Roger Waters and Pink Floyd first performed it 30 years ago, about Roger’s personal journey of pain and outrage at his own losses. This “Wall” was a story about the seduction of power, and a lament about the loss of our humanity. This was a wake-up call about watching carefully those to whom we relinquish our control. This “Wall” was about how power and greed are destructive forces in the world, and it moved me deeply.
The production was a technical extravaganza; the Wall appeared brick by brick, it could be taken apart, written upon, and was a giant video screen featuring powerful warscapes; rockets bursting, helicopters roaring, searchlights exploring, and giant puppets dancing on stage. Gliding overhead was a remote-controlled blimp in the shape of pig, covered with $$$ signs. The scene was intense… and magnified by the music
Roger Waters is an aging wizard who has mastered the message and the medium to tell a story I believe in. I was carried away in the end, standing with 15,000 others, my fist raised, and chanting Rise Up. In that moment I felt it was still possible to believe, that you can’t fool all of the people all of the time…our time has come.
So that’s what I’m thinking.
We’ll talk about what’s bringing us hope and what threatens to steal it.