Roger Waters Performs With My Morning Jacket At Newport

Tonight Pink Floyd bassist Roger Waters returned to the stage for the first time since 2013 to make his Newport Folk Festival debut at Fort Adams State Park in Newport, Rhode Island. Waters was backed by My Morning Jacket who also filled the “unannounced” slot on Friday’s Newport Folk schedule.

My Morning Jacket came on the main Fort Stage just after 5:30 p.m. and opened with “Believe (Nobody Knows),” the first track off their recently released The Waterfall album and slyly worked into the LP’s second track, “Compound Fracture.” Jim James & Co. kept the new material coming with “In Its Infancy (The Waterfall)” before “Golden” gave the crowd its first “oldie.” The ladies of Lucius then emerged to add backing vocals to “Wonderful (The Way I Feel).” Next up were “Tropics (Erase Traces)” “Spring (Among The Living)” and “Circuital.”

Roger Waters came out after “Circuital” along with his longtime guitar player G.E. Smith and Lucius’s Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig and opened with a new song, “Crystal Clear Brooks.” Waters played piano on the debut, but strapped on an acoustic guitar for the rest of the set. While on his last two major tours Waters has led full performances of classic Pink Floyd albums Dark Side Of The Moon and The Wall, Newport gave Roger a chance to dip into his solo catalog. Amused To Death, Roger’s third solo album, was reissued earlier today. Waters led the ensemble on the LP’s “The Bravery Of Being Out Of Range.” He also fronted the group he assembled on a cover of John Prine’s “Hello In There.” Thankfully, Roger Waters didn’t ignore his Pink Floyd output completely as “Mother” and “Wish You Were Here” were both performed. Sara Watkins added fiddle to “Wish You Were Here.”

Towards the end of the set, Waters brought out Amy Helm to join in on Buddy Miller’s “Wide River To Cross.” Amy sang “Wide River To Cross,” which her father Levon Helm recorded for his 2007 Dirt Farmer LP, with Roger back at the Love For Levon concert in 2012. It was then back to Amused To Death for its title track. Roger Waters & Co. had one more Pink Floyd treat in store as they played the Dark Side Of The Moon ending sequence of “Brain Damage” > “Eclipse.” Waters brought Amy Helm and Sara Watkins back out for the set-closing tribute to Bob Dylan -“Forever Young.”

The Newport Folk Festival continues tomorrow with performances from The Decemberists, Sufjan Stevens, Jason Isbell and many others. There is another “unannounced” slot on the lineup for a half-hour set on the main stage before Stevens performs. How do you top My Morning Jacket? We should find out at 3:50 p.m. on Saturday.

Setlists (via @BizArchive)

My Morning Jacket: Believe (Nobody Knows) > Compound Fracture, In Its Infancy (The Waterfall), Golden, Wonderful (The Way I Feel)*, Tropics (Erase Traces), Spring (Among The Living) > Circuital

* -w/ Jess Wolfe and Holly Laessig on vocals

Roger Waters with G.E. Smith, Jess Wolfe, Holly Laessig and My Morning Jacket: Crystal Clear Brooks, Mother, Bravery Of Being Out Of Range, Hello In There, Wish You Were Here (w/ Sara Watkins), Wide River To Cross (w/ Amy Helm), Amused To Death, Brain Damage > Eclipse, Forever Young (w/ Amy Helm and Sara Watkins)