Entertainment Music

Tuesday 20 March 2018


eamon sweeney

roger waters

aviva stadium, dublin

A giant black pig is flying over the Aviva. No, Ireland haven't somehow qualified for the World Cup, but former Pink Floyd co-founder and conceptual rock maestro Roger Waters is putting on what must be the biggest production to ever to park itself on Lansdowne Road.

U2's colossal Pop Mart in 1997 was certainly impressive, but The Wall without question dwarves the giant lemon into a much smaller ball park.

The winter coats and woolly hats are out in force and some might grumble that the nights are getting a little too cool to be bothering with this outdoor concert lark in this seemingly endless summer.

However, as soon as this gigantic, bonkers and breathtakingly ambitious production quite literally bursts into life with fireworks and an airplane crashing into the stage, it's immediately apparent that the darkness of mid-September is necessary to fully savour its lavish intensity and scale.

For 'Another Brick in the Wall Pt. 1' a group of local school kids take to the stage to perform the famous backing vocals telling teacher to leave those kids alone. Gerald Scarfe's visuals are as vivid and as brilliant as ever, blown up on a scale that Waters must have never imagined in his wildest dreams.

The political context certainly isn't exactly subtle and there's a virulent anti-war message, which must be partly inspired by the death of Waters' father in World War II when he was only five months old.

Roger Waters dedicates the performance to Jeans Charles de Menezes, the Brazilian man shot dead by the police in Stockwell when misidentified as one of the London tube bombers.

For the second half of the show, Waters fully transforms into a demented dictator bellowing into a megaphone. During the intro to 'Run Like Hell', he asks if there are any paranoids in the stadium as his voice ricochets off the stands through a quadraphonic sound system in a chilling and utterly compelling moment.

When the marching hammers illuminate the wall in striking red and black, it's a spellbinding juncture that captures all the dangerous thrill of a fascist rally. Waters chants "tear down the wall" and the massive structure creating the illusion that the Aviva is an intimate and cosy little space comes falling down.

The inflatable pig hovering around the stadium deflates and everything slowly returns to normal. It's actually a struggle to adjust back to reality, which is a testament to how well Waters presides over one of the most thrilling pageants ever staged on planet rock.

Irish Independent

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