Roger Waters, Jul 24, 1999 (Chicago, IL)

by Mike Markley

What can I say? What an awesome show. Let me start by telling you
about the set. The stage area was complete with a couch and TV in between
the raised area on the viewer's left for the drums and the raised area
on the right for the keyboards; the TV showed a war movie through part of
the set, and 2001: A Space Odyssey the rest of the show. Behind all this
was a raised platform. Roger came out on the platform for the first song,
In the Flesh, and his first action was to cross his arms at the crowd. It
was a great way to start what would be a great show. Doyle Bramhall II,
the young blues guitarist who's played with Jimmy Vaughn, did a very
respectable job with Gilmour's guitar parts, and Snowy White was great
as always. Andy Fairweather-Lowe stuck mostly to rhythm guitar and bass,
which is the stuff I think he's best at. Jon Carin did his usual good
work on the keys; it probably didn't hurt that he'd played a bunch of
the set with Floyd on the previous two tours. Graham Broad did justice
to all the drum parts.

Now that we've got the technical parts outta the way... let me just say
that Roger's legendary status is well-deserved. His hair is completely
grey now, giving him a very distinguished look, and his voice conveys
even more emotion live than it does on the many Floyd and solo albums
he's sung for. It was great to hear old Floyd works live, including
Shine On You Crazy Diamond, several songs from Dark Side, and one of the
bigger surprises of the night, Dogs. I don't think anyone at the show was
expecting to hear this. Roger sat down with a guitar and played Pigs on
the Wing 1, and when it was over, Jon Carin picked up a guitar and began
the Dogs rhythm guitar, with much encouragement from the audience.

Of course, the setlist wasn't limited to Floyd material - The Powers
That Be, one of my least favorite songs, was redone to sound very nice. I
think one of the best parts of the show had to be Perfect Sense 1 and 2
- the intensity just kept building and building until the crowd was on
its feet. Even my friend Christian, who isn't real familiar with Roger's
solo works, seemed moved by it. It's a Miracle also managed to bring a
tear to my eye - you just cannot beat Roger for emotion.

I really can't say enough good things about this concert - the only
problem I had with it is that Roger didn't have more time to put in
a few more songs. This concert was an experience I'll never forget,
and one I'll be glad to repeat.