Roger Waters needs no introduction. As one of the more vocal members of Pink Floyd, as well as its chief songwriter after Syd Barrett left, Waters has spent half a century in the celebrity spotlight. Pink Floyd have sold, to date, over 200 million albums worldwide; and they are inducted into both the UK and US Rock'n'Roll Halls of Fame. Waters, personally, has received the 'Media Event of the Year' and the 'Cinema of Peace' award. They were both for performances of the Pink Floyd album, 'The Wall' - live in Berlin and as a film, respectively.
The announcement that Roger Waters will be touring, with a full concert rendition of 'The Wall' was met with international excitement. It will begin in September 2010, in Canada, before progressing through the Americas and Europe. After a grueling 80 performances, Waters will finish in Germany, in June 2011. The last date of the North American leg of this tour is at Palacio de los Deportes, in México City, on December 18th, 2010.
Then came the added information, given in an interview with the BBC, that this is the last ever Roger Waters tour. The frenzy of ticket-buying can be heard across the globe, as those waivering over going suddenly realised that this might be their last chance to see him. A rock'n'roll legend, performing an iconic album, After all, 'The Wall' is the third best selling album of all time in America; it is the top selling double album globally. Moreover, 'The Wall' was mostly written by Roger Waters, as a biographical, cathartic exercise.
Even the younger generation, born long after Pink Floyd split up, can sing along to songs penned by Waters. This is often because they have been remixed and become instant cover hits for later artists. Two of classic tunes, 'Comfortably Numb' (recorded by the Scissor Sisters in 2004) and 'Another Brick in the Wall' (recorded by everyone, or so it seems, but notably by Korn in 2004), are from 'The Wall' album.
So what is the 'The Wall'? It is a concept album, released on 30 November 1979, charting the mental detoriation of a rock star named Pink. Themes of personal isolation, private abuse, war and alienation are explored in a musical journey from childhood to stardom.
Pink's father is killed during the Second World War (just as Roger Waters's own father was); his mother is over-protective of her son, stifling his play and directing his every move (as Roger believed that his own mother was with him and his brother). The story moves onto adulthood and Pink's band ascending into rock stardom (as was the case with Pink Floyd); but the pressure is too much for Pink, who finds refuge in drugs before crashing into mental health issues (much resonance here for Pink Floyd's founder, songwriter, singer and guitarist, Syd Barrett - in fact, the lyrics to 'Comfortably Numb' are practically verbatim from a conversation that Syd had with the group, before he was ignobly kicked out of Pink Floyd). Pink's marriage, to an over-bearing wife reminiscent of his mother, ends in infidelity and violence. Meanwhile, his drug use and fragile sanity result in hallucinations on stage, where he believes that he is a Neo-Nazi dictator at the helm of a rally. Pink sets bouncers on the fans. Eventually, his mind throws up a mock trial, wherein Pink starts to see himself, his past and the people around him with a little more clarity. He is able to grasp his life back.
Throughout the show, the wall is growing on-stage. Each block represents another obstacle or knock in his life, until the climax sees Pink with a massive wall separating him from society and, indeed, reality. After 'The Trial', Pink smashes down this wall, in order to remove the alienation and reach out again to the rest of the world.
Palacio de los Deportes, in México City, was built for the 1968 Olympic Games, which were hosted in the city. It will seat 26,000 people for the performance of 'The Wall'. If you wish to be one of them, please visit Pink Floyd Online for ticket information.
Edit: Roger Waters is now doing three dates at the same venue. Please visit Ticketmaster Mexico to secure your ticket.