Few words can truly encapsulate the spectacle that Roger Waters brought to the Canadian Tire Centre on Tuesday night, but I shall attempt to put my best foot forward just the same.
The Us + Them Tour was less a concert and more a live theatre motion picture with a live action soundtrack. Trips down memory lane were interrupted by overtly political visual footprints that were controversial, visceral, truly hypnotic and beautiful.
With a heavy-handed soap-box themed call to action, words and phrases like “Trump is a pig,” and “greed” were plastered from screen to screen to screen to screen, as they drifted across the fabrics of makeshift locomotives and flying pigs.
As Roger and his incredibly talented band plowed through legendary songs of years past like “Wish You Were Here,” “Money,” and “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2,” to a crowd of adoring audience members at the beautiful Kanata area arena, the anti-utilitarian vibes that we have all come to know and expect were in full orchestration, with odes to George Orwell’s Animal Farm, nods to the industrial revolution, and even imagery celebrating the Black Lives Matter movement.
When a seemingly grateful and boisterous Roger Waters finally got around to asking mum does she” think they’re gonna drop the bomb,” the audience was silly putty for him. We were at points catatonic and moved by the words and visuals that drained our souls, while at other points the explosive imagery and timeless power were overwhelming and exhilarating.
The laser show that accompanied Roger and band warmly serenading that they will see us “on the dark side of the moon,” was a moment I will remember for the rest of my life.
This is an artist who is legendary in his own time, who is energetic, grateful, and just as passionate, political and sharply talented as he has always been, which only makes sense when the songs he is singing are littered with images that are as real today as they were before Margaret Thatcher rose to power.
As we fight similar political empires and protest similar political demons, it is easy to become “comfortably numb.” That said, there has never been a better time to tear down the walls and challenge the status quo.