Still A Wailing Wall

It’s been about 40 years since Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” debuted, but Roger Waters shows no signs of slowing down.

If reviews from the starting shows of THE WALL production are any indication, we are truly in for a treat when Roger Waters brings the tour to Philadelphia for three dates in November.

It is a bracing truth that the original staging of THE WALL goes four decades back. This 30th anniversary world tour still has the storyline and characters of the original, but now they are presented in a bigger-faster-brighter way courtesy of the dizzying technological advances that have come between then and now. This could have been a nostalgic trotting-out-of-the-props-closet of inflatable pigs, larger-than-life-sized marionettes and marching hammers. But with digital animation and interjections of current events, the show takes on a contemporary relevance.

Roger, gray but fit, in his black hoodie, sunglasses and white sneaks commands the stage, even while not always visible to the audience (you know, that WALL thing). His 11-piece band, which includes G.E. Smith (SNL) and longtime Floyd acquaintance Snowy White, delivers a solid performance, but it’s the spectacle of it all that you’ll be Tweeting about.

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No sooner will you have secured your seat than you’ll be jumping out of it. The show starts with fireworks (literally) followed by bombs and crashing fighter jets. And with the constant bombardment of visuals, projected images and 360-degree acoustics throughout the house, every seat becomes a good seat.

And then of course, there is THE WALL. Brick by giant cardboard brick, it is built until it stretches 240 feet across and rises more than 35 feet. During the 20-minute intermission, images are projected onto THE WALL. Some are personal, such as pictures of Waters’ father who died in WW2. And then there are the hundreds of photos of American soldiers and Afghani and Iraqi citizens, all victims of terrorism and war. A good number of these were uploaded by fans to Waters’ website. In fact, the only time he goes outside of his “Pink” character is at the end of the show when he thanks the audience for their participation.

Of course, before the almost two-and-a-half-hour show comes to a close, THE WALL comes down and we’re left with the irony of a message that is part anti-arena rock lifestyle, yet here it is being delivered IN a rock arena. Then again, probably no one will be thinking of irony. Everyone will be too busy getting caught up in the Cirque du Floyd experience. No need for mind-altering substances for this one.

Where: The Wells Fargo Center (formerly the Wachovia Center), Philadelphia
When: Nov. 8, 9 and 11, 8 p.m.
Tickets: $78-$253. Call (800) 298-4200, or visit, or the Wells Fargo box office.

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