Roger Waters | 06.19.07 | Oakland, CA

Words by: Mark Miller

Roger Waters :: 06.19.07 :: Oracle Arena :: Oakland, CA

Roger Waters
Even after a two year dual-hemisphere Dark Side of the Moon Live tour, Roger Waters was more than able to summon the proper passion to satiate the hunger pangs of the Pink Floyd starved crowd at his recent stop in Oakland, CA.

Since Pink Floyd's one-off appearance in July 2005 at the London Live 8 concert, the fervor of Floyd fanatics for a proper reunion with founding member Waters has been stirred up again. But, with creative control issues still lingering between Waters and David Gilmour, and Gilmour's stated intention that he has retired from lengthy touring, hopes of an extended Floyd reunion remain, at best, a pipe dream.

Until then, Waters will more than suffice. While he's committed to not playing stadiums (unlike the Gilmour-led Pink Floyd), his fans have still come to expect the highest standards of audio and visual quality, and this tour was no exception, with elaborate staging designed by Mark Fisher, complete with projections, floats and a 360-degree quadraphonic sound system.

His band featured, amongst others, Waters solo vets Andy Fairweather Low and Snowy White (who played a solo on the Animals ancient 8-track) on guitars as well as Roger's son Harry Waters on Hammond organ.

Roger Waters World Tour
"In the Flesh" was the perfect opener that allowed Waters to interact with the crowd as he sang the accusatory lyrics ("Who let all this riffraff, into the room?") accompanied by a sinister spotlight. "Mother" followed and suffered from poor placement after the high energy "Flesh," too early in the set for such an emotional powerhouse. Still, when Waters sang, "Mother, should I trust the government?" the liberal-as-you-can-get Bay Area throng was sure to remind him that he should not. Perhaps Waters used "Mother" to tone down the tempo for the upcoming psychedelic gem, "Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun," one of the only songs from the pre-Dark Side era Waters played. Waters has explained his emotional connection to "Set the Controls" in relating a story about a terminally ill boy who listened to the song repeatedly as he was dying. The version in Oakland was touching and far more folksy and ambient than the acid-electric version from Waters' 2000 tour.

The beloved paean to Syd Barrett, "Shine on You Crazy Diamond," followed, and while the images of the recently deceased Barrett floated by on the video screens, this performance seemed rather by-the-numbers, although vocalist David Kilminster brought some zeal. "Have A Cigar" was a nice addition to this latest tour, Waters not having played it in years and it segued properly into the emotional sing-along "Wish You Were Here."

Roger Waters
Things quieted down for a couple of slower pieces from The Final Cut, the last Waters-Floyd release from 1983, including "Southampton Dock" > "Fletcher Memorial Home," the latter featuring a faultless replication of Gilmour's emotive solo. Unfortunately, Waters only chose to play "Perfect Sense Parts 1 & 2" from his underrated 1992 album Amused to Death.

The one new song Waters has played on this tour (since 2006) is called "Leaving Beirut." Waters introduced it with a story of how a family in Lebanon took him into their home when he was hitchhiking. "Beirut" is a lyrically complex song that draws parallels between Waters' youth and his present objections to the U.S. involvement in the Middle East. Musically, "Beirut" leaves a little bit to be desired, with its 1950's throwback theme. Perhaps the song grows on one upon repeated listens but it lacked the immediacy demanded in a live setting. However, the visuals for "Beirut" must be acknowledged - a series of graphic novel quality illustrated projections that depicted Waters' adventures in an innovative format.

Roger Waters World Tour
Waters saved the best for last as he closed the first set with "Sheep." The epic high-energy track from Animals was the first song where Waters truly let loose on the bass for the hard charging extended jam at the song's finale. With a bit of a deranged smile, Waters promised to return to do the groundbreaking Dark Side of the Moon album in its entirety. Though everyone knew it was coming, no one in the house was complaining. The revamped Gilmour-led Pink Floyd performed DSOTM in 1994, but this two-year tour marked Waters' first complete performances of the long-charting classic rock album in over three decades.

The old Floyd staple, the floating Pig, has been resurrected for this tour, but with a Waters-inspired twist - the Pig was scrawled with political graffiti including "All Religion Divides" and a strategically placed "Bush is an Asshole" on the float's behind.

Second set kicked off with glorious harmonies befitting "Speak to Me" > "Breathe," but it was "On the Run" that was the early standout, with its still innovative mélange of synthesizers, guitars and newly added effects such as construction and traffic noises that were jarringly effective. Visually, "On the Run" was spectacular, as well, featuring a blurring array of cosmic and psychedelic visuals that proved the perfect enhancement to the hyped tempos of the music.

Roger Waters World Tour
The intro to "Time" proved as interesting as it was intense. Drummer Graham Broad was all over his toms with intense pounding fury as the camera keenly focused on Waters playing the low end of his bass strings to create the song's temporal tones. As expected, "Money" got the crowd moving, and "Us and Them" made them reflect. Experiencing the instrumental "Any Colour You Like" - not played by Waters since the 70's - was a treat that added some musical muscle to the set.

The closing suite of "Brain Damage" > "Eclipse" ended the sincere recreation of DOSTM by Waters and his band. And what would Dark Side be without incredible female backing vocals? Katie Kissoon, P.P. Arnold and Carol Kenyon were more than up to the task.

Roger Waters
Waters returned to The Wall for the extended encore. "The Happiest Days of Our Lives" > "Brick in the Wall Pt 2" are almost obligatory for a Waters show at this point, but "Vera Lynn" > "Bring the Boys Back Home" was perhaps the biggest surprise of the evening, with "Boys" being especially poignant in light of the ongoing war in Iraq. There was a moment of irony in the use of pyrotechnic explosives, almost as if Waters is recreating the conditions of a war, or perhaps, offering a more peaceful substitute for the shock and awe of modern warfare.

A jammed out but characteristic "Comfortably Numb" closed the show, and while it's an undeniable classic, perhaps next tour Waters could mix things up a bit and close the show with an equally potent rocker such as "Not Now John" from The Final Cut.

Should Waters tour again? Indubitably. Even approaching his mid-sixties, Waters appears as vital as ever and there is no reason he shouldn't continue performing live indefinitely, even if Pink Floyd's future is still obscured by clouds.

JamBase | Oakland
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[Published on: 7/10/07]

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doobliebop starstarstarstarstar Tue 7/10/2007 03:54PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Saw this show in vegas. Possibly the most amazing / tightest show I've ever seen... can't wait for the next round with Rog.

mhc10 Tue 7/10/2007 04:31PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I saw Roger in 2000 on "In the Flesh" tour. Hard to believe it's been that long ago. Great show none the less. He didn't do the whole DSOTM, but who cares?? It's Roger Waters!!!!!

21mmer Tue 7/10/2007 04:57PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


i saw this tour last year, shortly after gilmour did his (which i also saw).waters took the cake for the stage show and audio/visual assault. however, there were a few moments during the show that i said to myself during some of the guitar parts "man, i would really like to hear gilmour playing that." i never thought that about the bass lines or singing at the gilmour show.

there's no substitute for a david gilmour guitar solo. that being said, i would go back a see either show in a heartbeat.

durazno starstarstar Tue 7/10/2007 05:19PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


i saw this show in ATLANTA, and it's still the best show of the year thus far....

I AGREE WITH 21mmer , THERES NO SUBSITUTUE FOR GILMOURS' SOLOS, he's so majestic and smooth at it!

phreak89 starstarstarstarstar Tue 7/10/2007 06:09PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


i caught the first show on the U.S. leg of the tour down here in West Palm. amazing, simply amazing. i'm also with 21mmer, it's impossable to replace Gilmore but just as a 17 year kid that has no chance in hell of getting any closer to sing Pink Floyd live, this show definatly filled the Floyd fix.

thewelder starstarstarstarstar Tue 7/10/2007 07:30PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I saw the St. Paul, MN show. Amazing! Top five concerts of all time for me. Roger's band was fantastic and Roger played and sang every song with passion. Please tour again Roger!!

beatstock starstarstarstarstar Tue 7/10/2007 08:15PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


saw the camden nj show last year and oh my god it was one of the best musical highlights of my life, the audio/visual assult was a perfect blend of psychedelia/reminiscint values and the music was 100% on point, female vocalists took the house down and the only thing that made it not the best show i've ever seen was that there was no mason/gilmore. but you can't complain about seeing a giant pig floating through the air listening to one of the best albums of all time, and reading bush is an asshole on the pigs keister!

cowridinhippie starstarstarstarstar Wed 7/11/2007 09:18AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

My first "pink floyd" Roger Waters show was Summerfest. And holy shit. It was the most incredible thing i have ever expiernced and now I can too tell my children that i saw a giant pig fly away like my mom saw back in the 70's. The 3d pyramid with the rainbow going everywhere was soo magical along with the whole show its self. Thank you for doing what you do best. And thats shining the white light. We're all soldiers of the white light! ~Nealy

zzonephan Wed 7/11/2007 09:46AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


saw this show in chicago, and can not wait to see him again...what an experience

HOPEFULPHAN starstarstarstarstar Wed 7/11/2007 10:28AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

missed this tour in mpls saving for 10klf. will catch it no matter what if it comes around again.

johnnygoff starstarstar Wed 7/11/2007 11:40AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


personally, always a pre-division bell guy myself, so the setlists don't totally thrill me. However, great writeup with good personal interjections (love the first-person opinions in pieces...) and looking forward to catching Roger @ Darien Lake this summer. Cheers.

saba Wed 7/11/2007 11:40AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


great show. even worth the $300 two tickets cost us. his new stuff got a little sappy, but it was still a great show.

TahoeJam starstarstarstarstar Wed 7/11/2007 12:36PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I was so fortunate to have my partner buy tix for me for my b-day, the day before we were flying out to Red Rocks for WSP. What a life experience, Jillian definately has one up on me for this...Sheep to end 1st set almost exploded my dome, Dark Side was Perfect...any colour you like w/the prism and lights...ah man absolutely amazing for those with the Pink Floyd Vibe

TahoeJam starstarstarstarstar Wed 7/11/2007 12:43PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

BTW- I agree w/the comments on Gilmor for sure, but those dudes have some serious BS between them...and i ould've loved a fearless from meddle too:) On a side note I hope that hopefulphan can learn some lessons if he/she is able to see this show at some point, perhaps helping them realize why what they said about KRS-one's sone being shot is a clear example of the institutinalized racism in this country...Roger had some GREAT messages throughout his show showcasing the hegemony and brutalization this country employs through imperial means to control the world for rich white males..

nuke_ticketbastard starstarstarstarstar Wed 7/11/2007 01:45PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

ok firstly i must say that i was about to comment on the krs one thread but it was shut down , and i can appreciate jambase deciciding to put a stop to the comments out of respect.
of course what was said by hopefullphan was a stupid senseless comment but some of the comments made by the people eager to jump down his throat and take the easy obvious stand for what is right were pretty rediculous as well. how can u expect hopeful to learn anything from being beaten down by a mob of lemmings quick to judge but slow to forgive? one of the commenters even used a racial slur against hopefull and defended his use of it as being ok by the urban dictionary ????
i was about to comment as i said and after logging in i noticed hopeful had made yet another brilliant statement ( sarcasm ) and the thread was killed.
anyhow helping people like hopeful to understand why they should reconsider things in a different light is the only way to make progress in this world the attitude here seemed to be " the slower you learn the harder we'll beat ya"
oh yeah and roger waters is the shit!!!!! rather see him over the other guys any day of the year - all his post floyd stuff blows away all floyds post floyd stuff!!!

TahoeJam Thu 7/12/2007 12:12AM
-1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Yo-Kizzy1, Irie love on you words for sure, however "quick to judge but slow to forgive"-hmmm, We all should know "Forgiveness is the key to every door (thanks Phil), yet without Hopeful making a comment to explain what went into such a comment speaks to complacency and privledge. For this world of hate to change forgiveness is a key, but at what point do you not make others feel uncomfortable like other people of color that may have felt from this comment? Would that not be a form to build love towards forgiveness? Obviously this person doesn't have an idea about the root cause of certain social ills and order that have been fostered through US politics, and that's ok, but its not ok to speak in a manner that doesn't acknowledge that, or else claim being a racist. Also-" helping people like hopeful to understand why they should reconsider things in a different light is the only way to make progress in this world the attitude here seemed to be " the slower you learn the harder we'll beat ya"-well posting a blog comment like that doesn't really give much room to build community dialogue if there isn't anyone to reach out to help inform and change a polluted mind, so yes the key to forgiveness is to facilitate a way for others to imagine what it would be like to walk in another shoes (if they have shoes). But without critique complacency rules, and like many who believe racism ended with the Civil rights act, institutionalized oppression as it runs rampant today is legitimized without such critiques. Maybe this experience will stay with Hopeful and this person will try to learn, as slow as she/he wants to, and through that process they’ll see such beliefs are built on socially constructed ideas of race…then they can decide to continued seeing society through the lens of race or to combat that by asking why there are such happening in urbanized environments where demographics are comprised mainly of poor minority folks…its these lessons that shook me to see the privilege in white folks rockin locked hair without recognizing what it means to do so in a society predicated on a racial order….ONE LOVEfor sure, but the reality lived by some is not a choice or a justice driven unity just yet…peace always…

petemora starstarstarstarstar Thu 7/12/2007 07:21AM
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KRS One's son killed himself. What does that have to do with Roger Waters or institutionalized racism?

sixstringbrad starstarstarstarstar Thu 7/12/2007 10:06AM
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When I saw Roger in Chicago I was blown away!!!!!! It was one of the best shows I've ever experienced. I hope he continues touring for many more years, be it solo or with the rest of the boys.

koss starstarstarstarstar Thu 7/12/2007 02:05PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I saw Roger at the United Center & Summerfest.
I know know which one's Pink.
Greatest Bass Player on the Planet.

koss starstarstarstarstar Thu 7/12/2007 02:06PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


I saw Roger at the United Center & Summerfest.
I now know which one's Pink.
Greatest Bass Player on the Planet.

21mmer Thu 7/12/2007 07:09PM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


"greatest bass player on the planet."
you're putting him ahead of some heavy company.
jack bruce
victor wooten
bill laswell
cliff burton
john entwistle
john paul jones
oteil burbridge
geddy lee
james jamerson
stanley clarke

to name a few off the top of my head

petemora starstarstarstarstar Fri 7/13/2007 06:00AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Roger Waters is far from being the best bass player on the planet. However, he is one of the greatest MUSICIANS to ever play the bass. Les Claypool, Oteil and Victor can slap the living hell out of one; but give me a call when they can write an album like "Animals" "The Wall".
"Dark Side" "Meddle" "Wish You Were Here"...He's given the entire world so much great music, not just wonderfully technically proficient bass lines. There's enough of that in every Guitar Center.

21mmer Fri 7/13/2007 07:30AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!



bigchris starstarstarstarstar Fri 7/13/2007 11:10AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Good review! I was at this show in Oakland, what a great experience. One of the best Arena shows I've ever seen, amazing visuals and sound, that Laser pyramid was during Dark Side was incredible. Just wish it wasn't on a Tuesday night! Rog's solo stuff was a good time to go to the can, as well as his political rants(are you a voting US citzen Rog? I doubt it). Still, his band did a remarkable job of channeling the Floyd, those backup singers were amazing.
As I left the show with a big smile on my face, I was hoping that the original members of PF with put away their big egos for one last tour. That way they wouldn't need 3 Gilmours on guitar, 2 Rick Wrights on keys, etc. I hope this will happen soon, before they are too old to pull it off. Long live Pink Floyd!!!

letshavesomefun Fri 7/13/2007 12:41PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

i must also agree with 21mmer. I thought the waters show in the Mil was great but their was something about those gilmour shows that made me enjoy them a little more than this waters show. I saw a friend after the show who went to one of the gilmour shows in chi and he totally thought waters show was better. He also didn't go the first night of gilmour which was by far the best night. He played extended music of P.F. also Mason played with Gilmour and not Waters. But overall great times at both.

letshavesomefun Fri 7/13/2007 12:48PM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

"Roger Waters is far from being the best bass player on the planet. However, he is one of the greatest MUSICIANS to ever play the bass. Les Claypool, Oteil and Victor can slap the living hell out of one; but give me a call when they can write an album like "Animals" "The Wall".
"Dark Side" "Meddle" "Wish You Were Here"...He's given the entire world so much great music, not just wonderfully technically proficient bass lines. There's enough of that in every Guitar Center."


DBang Sat 7/14/2007 09:46AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I also agree with petemora...waters is a visionary...that's what makes him a great musician. he's not a virtuoso on bass, but he knows enough to illustrate his amazing songwriting ideas. i'd put him in the same category as bob dylan, in that regard...neither will blow you away with technical skill, but it's their vision you pay to see.

ActualFactual Mon 7/16/2007 06:42AM
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Did anyone catch Waters' tour circa 2002, when he played 2000-3000 seat arenas and tickets were around $40? Now those were the days. The Star Pavillion in Hershey PA wasn't even sold out, since the resurgence of Floyd-mania hadn't hit yet.

Zap Thunda' starstarstarstar Tue 7/24/2007 10:35AM
0 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Zap Thunda'

Saw him ar Deer Creek last year. It was an amazing show. WHERE do those pigs end up!? What goes up must come down...right?