Columbia recording artist and Pink Floyd founder Roger Waters toured the United States for the first time in 12 years in 1999-2000 with his highly acclaimed "In The Flesh" show that presented, for the first time, a comprehensive overview of Waters's music including: early Pink Floyd material; classic compositions from his masterpieces "The Wall" and "Dark Side of the Moon;" less well-known pieces from "Animals," "Wish You Were Here," and "The Final Cut;" songs from the solo tour de force "Amused To Death" and "The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking;" and the debut of a new song, "Each Small Candle." Songs: In the Flesh, The Happiest Days of Our Lives, Another Brick in the Wall Part 2, Mother, Get Your Filthy Hands Off My Desert, Southampton Dock, Pigs on the Wing Part 1, Dogs, Welcome to the Machine, Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-8), Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, Breathe (In The Air), Time, Money, The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking Part 11 (5:06 am? Every Stranger's Eyes), Perfect Sense (Parts I and II), The Bravery of Being Out of Range, It's a Miracle, Amused to Death, Brain Damage, Eclipse, Comfortably Numb, Each Small Candle.
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Recorded on a single night in June 2000, In the Flesh: Live is a thrilling live testament to the strength of Roger Waters's peculiar artistic vision. Backed by a crack ensemble of both fresh and seasoned players, the former Pink Floyd songsmith powers through Floyd classics, underserved relics, and highlights from his spotty solo career. The man is in great shape, physically and musically, and he obviously has a blast playing live.
What of the axe work? Accept the fact that Waters and Floyd guitarist David Gilmour no longer play together, and you'll appreciate stand-ins Snowy White and Doyle Bramhall II--and the degree to which they honor the parts and solos immortalized by Gilmour. (See the lavish but impersonal Pulse for a healthy dose of Gilmour's Floyd.) The Dolby Digital 5.1 surround mix is massive, presenting both the music's inherent spaciousness and the favorable acoustics in Portland, Oregon's Rose Garden Arena. The DVD's 18-minute documentary is long on downtime and short on musical interplay. Any way you cut it, though, this is a must for Floyd fans and a real treat for lovers of arty, intelligent rock. --Michael Mikesell
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