As the lights went out Saturday night during the Roger Waters concert at Target Center, a voice came over the speakers asking the crowd to turn off their cell phones, then adding, “If you’re the one of those “I like Pink Floyd but I can” I can’t stand Roger’s political people, you better fuck off at the bar right now.
Think of it as his way of saying, “Minneapolis, are you ready to rock?”
It seems unbelievable that in 2022 anyone who goes to see Roger Waters needs to be warned about his politics. And yet, the Pink Floyd co-founder still manages to upset people with his famous – some would say belligerent – opinions, which on his previous tour included strong criticism of then-President Donald Trump and the Israel’s Palestinian policy.
That said, the crowd at the downtown Minneapolis basketball arena roared the line and showered the 78-year-old waters with adoration all night. They also burst out laughing at the end of the show when Waters said, “I’m not going to preach, it’s not in my nature.”
Whatever your political views, it was hard not to be impressed with a stunning performance in every way, from the commanding sound (the best I’ve heard at Target Center) to the stunning visuals projected onto a shaped video wall. of crosses. suspended above the round stage in the center of the arena.
Waters split the night into two sets with a 20-minute intermission. The first included four songs from ‘The Wall’, the second side of ‘Wish You Were Here’, the ‘Animals’ cut ‘Sheep’ and three tracks from Waters’ solo career, which has traditionally struggled to find an audience. wider.
As such, it added stark visual content to the single-player stuff. During “The Powers That Be,” bloody animation depicted police officers murdering black men as their names — including Philando Castile and George Floyd — flashed across the screens. “It was pretty brutal, I know,” Waters said. “But we live in a brutal world.”
He followed with “The Bravery of Being Out of Range” accompanied by Ronald Reagan-branded graphics and the four presidents who followed war criminals. It ended with a photo of President Joe Biden with the caption “I’m just getting started” about his own war crimes.
Waters explained that he wrote the song “The Bar” during the pandemic, imagining the title pub as an imaginary place where all opinions can be expressed and heard.
During the “Wish You Were Here” segment, screens showed vintage Syd Barrett-era Pink Floyd as a story unfolded about how Waters met Barrett and the friendship that followed. He wrapped up the first set with the dark and ominous “Sheep,” complete with fluttering sheep and tweets about Roe v. Wade.
Four more songs from “The Wall” opened the second set, with Waters dressed as a dictator and shooting into the crowd with a (fake) semi-automatic rifle at the end of “In the Flesh.” After another pair of solo tracks, Waters and the band embarked on the second side of Pink Floyd’s greatest album, “The Dark Side of the Moon.”
As the closing notes of “Eclipse” seemed to offer hope for the future, Waters performed Pink Floyd’s “Two Suns in the Sunset.” The second sun in the title refers to a nuclear explosion. He thanked the crowd and performed “The Bar” one more time. And somehow it all made sense in the end.