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Roger Waters and the 2017 “Us & Them” Tour

Roger Waters and the 2017 “Us & Them” tour over took the KeyBank Center on Saturday night bringing amazement and controversy.  It was a full house as Waters and his full band filled the stage.  As normal on his tours, the Pink Floyd alumni tipped the scales with an amazing production of light and sound. 

Covering songs from “The Dark Side of the Moon”, “The Wall”, “Wish You Were Here” and more, the band quickly immersed the crowd back to the power house days of Pink Floyd.  Selects from Waters’ latest solo effort, a concept album whose title asks “Is This the Life We Really Want?” also filled in.   

The first set remained mostly without political commentary, I did miss “Picture This” from the latest album while moving up to my seat from the photo pit, which I understand may have included some anti Trump images. Then, as in the past “Wall” tours, they welcomed a group of local school kids out to the stage during “The Happiest Days of Our Lives” and “Another Brick in the Wall Parts 2 & 3”  The word “Resist” appeared large on the rear screen and the kids shirts after they ripped off the orange jump suits they wore onto the stage.

The second set took the production to another level as massive projection screens lowered from the ceiling and the Battersea Power Station pictured on the cover of Pink Floyd’s “Animals” appeared above the crowd, its smokestacks pumping as it stretched the length of the KBC floor. 

During “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” Mr. Waters really let the crowd know of his political feeling about the current President and his administration as very disparaging images of President Trump along with quotes were projected through the venue. 

While I shy away from voicing my political views I could easily see how you could be very upset by this if you supported the Trump administration.  I chose to close my eyes and listen to the music for most of it.  I had friends, huge Pink Floyd fans, who chose not to attend the show based on those images and views.  While Waters never vocalized them himself it was very obvious where he stands.  

During the final 2 songs “Brain Damage / Eclipse” the final piece of production showed itself with a laser generated pyramid over the crowd depicting the cover of their album “The Dark Side of the Moon”  This was truly a concert highlight.  The show ended with confetti being blown out and dropped from the ceiling with the word “Resist!” on it leaving the KBC clean up crew quite a task.

Written by Joe Cascio

Joe Cascio

I’ve spent the last 36 years pushing the button creating identities and memories for my clients. From what might seem like the normal daily grind, to the most extraordinary of opportunities, I’ve been there.

Consider this, in one 48 hour period, I started in the mud pit on a cold, wet construction site and then found myself sitting in the Commander’s seat on the Space Shuttle Atlantis, with the Stanley Cup! I think that covers most of the bases. I know how fortunate I am, I do and I appreciate it more than anyone will ever know.

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  • Louis Tully

    “While Waters never vocalized them himself it was very obvious where he stands.”
    Then it sounds like he showed restraint.
    Musicians have taken on politics in their work since, what, forever? It isn’t new or surprising, or even problematic. My in-laws told my wife the show was good, but too political. I told her she should ask them if they’d say the same thing if it was a positive message for the almighty leader.

    • mightyNiagara

      the show is super awesome.
      Too political? like you said musicians have taken on politics in their work since forever, especially those musicians who see what’s going on in the world.
      Where was music and concerts in during the 60s and 70s, too political?

      • Brian Gregory

        It was one of the most spectacular shows I’ve ever seen (and I’ve seen many variations of Pink Floyd over the years. My opinion is that people need to chill out a bit. Everyone is offended about everything. And then when someone has a differing opinion, the hatred comes out (just read any number of posts about Roger on any number of sites). Just enjoy the music and move on. Geesh.

  • Farras09

    “While I shy away from voicing my political views I could easily see how you could be very upset by this if you supported the Trump administration. I chose to close my eyes and listen to the music for most of it. I had friends, huge Pink Floyd fans, who chose not to attend the show based on those images and views. While Waters never vocalized them himself it was very obvious where he stands.”

    Um…its Roger Waters. If you have followed his career at all you will know he has been a very outspoken critic of Nationalistic politics for decades and has frequently commented on such in his music (see the wall). I’m fairly shocked that anyone is surprised by this.

    • jeff from toronto

      He is openly anti-trump, anti-west, anti semitic etc… and he absolutely allowed to voice his opinions , the problem I have with this fool and have tried to understand and fathom what he espouses by watching his you- tube arguments, This was enough to convince me , he is completely and utterly ignorant of reality and purposely feeds young and old time followers incoherent meritless dribble about this apparently altruistic positions on world affairs. Celebrities as such should stick to singing only, otherwise, educate themselves if they wish to pulpit themselves to the recklessly.

      • Farras09

        It’s part of his act and persona. He, as you say, is well within his rights to espouse whatever philosophy, however flawed, he sees fit whether that is onstage or otherwise.

        • jeff from toronto

          correct…unless he is spreading hate through slanted inaccurate personal vitriol to young impressionable and rock star obsessed youth… who cling to his every word…it was part of Hitler’s ” act and persona” as well. His you tube videos best exemplify his absolute incoherent stupidity . he is one aged singer who should stick to singing,,,anything else exceeds his marginal ability

          • Farras09

            1. his audience is hardly “young and impressionable” at this point. Most of his fan base is middle aged. I don’t think Roger Waters has the Cult of Personality you are asserting he has. Maybe he did 30 years ago but that time has passed. He didn’t even come close to selling out Key Bank Center. At least not from what I saw. There were plenty of empty seats.
            2. Comparing Roger Waters to Hitler is ridiculous. There are just as many irresponsible media pundits and social media political commentators, who are similarly uninformed and just as biased one way or the other. No one seems to care that they comment on the issues. If your standard here is that individuals need Masters degrees in political science and that they need to discuss the topics in an academic sense completely than basically no one would be allowed to comment on politics. That might actually be an improvement to the current situation but it certainly isn’t holding to the freedom of speech granted to us in the constitution.
            3. I would hardly qualify him putting Trump’s head on a floating pig as “spreading hate”. Spreading hate is rallying people to commit crime and hate speech is very narrowly defined from a legal perspective. Nothing he has done even remotely qualifies.
            4. This type of political commentary has been part of his act since at least the wall and probably earlier. It’s part of his stage persona and part of his shows. Putting on arena shows is about more than just standing up there and singing and this is the way he has decided to go. Could he completely remake that stage persona at this point? Probably. But why would he do that when this one has been highly successful for him up to this point? These tours are cash grabs for aging rock stars. They succeed because they bring a sense of nostalgia to people.

          • admin_istrator

            Just FYI, KBC was totally packed. Only empty seats I saw were in section 123 at the end of the arena.

          • Farras09

            hmm. Maybe people came late? I distinctly remember thinking right before the show started that there were a lot of empty seats.

          • admin_istrator

            Probably because people are used to showing up late to concerts since the headliner usually doesn’t play until hours after the openers.

          • Matt Marcinkiewicz

            Looked plenty crowded to me…except in the last row of 322, where my parents and I had the entire row to ourselves

  • Healthnut

    No Israeli flag attached to the pig this time? What happened? Scumbag Roger actually thinks that Israel is the #1 evil country on the planet (worse than N. Korea). Scumbag.

  • GatesResident

    Sorry you were triggered by Roger Waters, snowflake.

  • Mark Cromwell

    Roger Waters is frequently accused of being anti-Semitic. Last time he was in Buffalo he ended the concert with confetti that had dollar signs and Jewish stars.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/local/wp/2017/08/04/pink-floyds-roger-waters-called-anti-semitic-ahead-of-d-c-concerts/?utm_term=.dd7ac6b38b4f

    Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council, noted that the musician’s concerts sometimes featured an inflatable pig emblazoned with a Jewish star — a nod to the cover art of Pink Floyd’s 1977 record “Animals” — and said Waters had “crossed the line into anti-Semitism.”

    • Matt Marcinkiewicz

      Being anti-Israel isn’t the same thing as being anti-Semitic.

  • Sabres00

    I see the WBEN crowd is commenting here.

  • Matt Marcinkiewicz

    If you were caught off guard by the political slant of this show, then you probably spent the past 40 years thinking that the songs ‘Dogs’ and ‘Pigs’ were literally about dogs and pigs.