Us & Them: Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters rocks the BOK

Us & Them:  Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters rocks the BOK

As I have said many times before, music forms the tapestry that serves as our backdrop of life.  Mine contains a fair amount of the body of work of the group Pink Floyd.  Tulsa’s BOK Center served as the classic rock music center of the universe this past Thursday evening when Roger Waters graced this town with the music of his old group, a progressive rock classic whose latest incarnation ended in 2014.   Mr. Waters also brought with him a political message which contained every bit as much of a signature as did the music he played.

Yours Truly was in attendance seated with a special lady friend and many other friends and associates sitting other places including an old Navy Veteran friend from my enlisted days who drove all the way from Houston with his wife.  My lady and I were seated in the front row of the upper level and had probably the best view in the house.

The show was scheduled to start at 8 PM and the lead in was much like a Pink Floyd album in that it took awhile to get to the actual music.  The first of two sets finally began around 8:20 PM and delivered a genuine Pink Floyd experience.

Having been a fan of Pink Floyd since the days of the enlightenment of my youth, I found myself singing along with the band.  The second number in the set was the song One of These Days from the album Meddle I hope my date wasn’t too freaked out when I spoke in sync the only words of the song, “One of these days I’m going to cut you into little pieces!”

The next number was one of my all time favorites of the group, Time.  The linked YouTube video is from the Mexico City show.  I used almost all my phone’s video memory recording this song which made for a media file too large to download.  For the record, the lead-in to this song has been a long time favorite for my early AM alarm clock sound clip.   As on the album, it segued nicely into the reprise for the song Breathe and on into the most excellent Great Gig in the Sky featuring two female vocalists performing the legendary Clare Torry solo.  My apologies but I missed the names of those two golden-throated ladies.

The next number in the set was one very pertinent to anyone aspiring to involve themselves in the political process.  I vividly remember two years ago telling a newly declared state senate candidate “Welcome my son, welcome to the machine.” 

There were a few cuts from Waters’ forthcoming album Is This the Life We Really Want?  After the new stuff, Waters launched into wonderful acoustic guitar classic from the album of the same name, Wish You Were HereThe first set ended with three numbers from the album The Wall.

Although the second set contained some true classics from the albums Dark Side of the Moon, Animals and The Wall, there was a distinct political message weaving its way through the entire set.  This was made plain with the second song of the set, Pigs (Three Different Ones) from the album Animals.  They even had a floating pig balloon very like the one on the album cover only this one was sporting an overtly anti-Trump message.

Waters even used some local youth talent for extras on stage in the second set and dropped confetti with another definite anti-Trump/anti-establishment message:

Two songs later, Waters et al launched into the number the name of which provides the theme for the entire tour, Us and Them.   I always viewed the visual drawn by this song as two armies clashing in the old Continental style of waging armed conflict (“Forward he cried from the rear and the front rank died.  The General sat and the lines on the map moved from side to side”) The visuals provided for this song by this show dealt more with confrontation in the streets with the distinct Us vs Them context.  It was duly noted that a few apparent supporters of the 45th President obviously did not care for Waters’ core message and removed themselves from the audience.  Admittedly, there were a lot of “in your face” messages flashed on the screen behind the band which were mostly, with one exception, quotes from the President himself in plain English:

   

And one in Spanish:

 Waters ended the night’s performance with that great cut from The Wall, Comfortably Numb.  Using laser lights to form pyramids was a superb addition to the sound experience.

Sharp edged political overtones notwithstanding, it was an excellent concert featuring a lot of the music from my youth and young adult years.  When the soundtrack of my life is pressed, I am sure it will have an ample number of the songs of Pink Floyd interspersed throughout.  I would like extend my thanks to Mr. Waters, the BOK Center and all the others who helped make Thursday evening a pleasant experience.

2 Comments

  1. Cliff jenke
    Jun 4, 2017

    Thank you Stan. I voted for Trump but I didn’t let the political
    overtones bother me at all because for the most part they were all true. Very good concert. The musicianship was second to none. By
    far this was the best concert out the 5 that I’ve seen of Roger Waters.

  2. Raynelle
    Jun 3, 2017

    Sounds like a wonderful experience.
    On a side note, I still feel stoned just listening to Pink Floyd.

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