The Legends of Laurel Canyon
1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die
It’s So Hard To Tell Who’s Going To Love You The Best
Transfiguration of Vincent
Christmas in the Heart
Glitter and Doom Live
Let It Roll: The Best of George Harrison
Secret, Profane & Sugarcane
Playing for Change
If you are an immensely huge rock and roll band (or the member of one), history has a way of catching up with you…or, if you’re really lucky, coming to you. Pink Floyd is certainly one of the biggest stadium acts that popular music has ever known, and they have played more than their share of historic performances, but it seems that the truly historic moments have occurred after the band splintered. First, and most momentous of all, Roger Waters played in Berlin as the wall came down. Now it is David Gilmour’s turn, who arrived in Gdansk, Poland on the anniversary date that Poland’s Lech Walesa founded his country’s Solidarity Movement. As a moment in history, it should well be remembered for generations to come. As a concert, it is hardly political at all, but it is still quite entertaining.
David Gilmour may be performing without Pink Floyd, but the flourishes, spectacle and attention to detail are equally fastidious. Playing before what looks like ten kabillion people, and performing with a huge band and the Baltic Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, this performance offers just about everything that the average Pink Floyd fan might wish for…except perhaps the tunes. Although Gilmour’s keyboard player happens to be Richard Wright (R.I.P.), thus constituting 50% of the band’s classic line-up, they touch lightly on Pink Floyd’s classic material, focusing instead on material pulled from his latest studio disk, “On an Island.” The version of “Live in Gdansk” that I have contains four disks; two are CD’s that contain the entire performance, another is a DVD that edits out some of the audio recordings. Strangely, most of the songs that are edited from the DVD are the very songs that Pink Floyd obsessives would crave, including “Breathe,” “Time,” “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and “Wish You Were Here.” The fourth disk is another DVD containing a rather interesting documentary about the significance of playing in Gdansk, along with some performance footage.
Quite clearly, this collection is aimed at fans who have followed Gilmour through his version of the post-Roger Waters Pink Floyd, and especially through his career as a solo artist. Nevertheless, the concert consists almost exclusively of exceptionally nuanced, mid-tempo, and distinctly spacey music, heavily reliant on sound and stage effects, with loads of bombast and visual appeal. Sound like any band you know? The orchestra does not do anything that is extraordinary, but the wall of strings does add plenty of atmospherics to a performance that is already top-heavy from its implied relevance. This collection comes in numerous formats, from an elaborate 5-disk set, to a simple 2-CD collection. The best version to own depends entirely on your budget, and your own degree of interest.
Buy it now! -