Sunday, May 15, 2011

Pink Floyd, reunited: David Gilmour joins Roger Waters for "Comfortably Numb"

Music on Sunday @ The Reaction

This hardly needs an introduction. Pink Floyd fans everywhere know just how significant this was. I am still in awe.

Last year, David Gilmour told Roger Waters that he would join him to perform "Comfortably Numb" on Waters's tour of The Wall. It was a return favour for Waters performing with Gilmour at a Hoping Foundation charity event. It was just a matter of when and where, but London seemed to make sense, and last Thursday, at London's O2 Arena, there was Gilmour atop the wall, and for a brief time, I'm sure, the world seemed perfect.

I heard about it on Twitter and quickly went to YouTube. A clip was up, but it wasn't the whole song. The next day, I went to Brain Damage, my favourite Floyd site, and found what I was looking for, a clip of the whole song along with a second of "Outside the Wall," the show's final song, performed after the wall comes crashing down, the most intimate part of the show. Gilmour was there again, and so was Nick Mason, Floyd's drummer.

These are the three remaining members of Pink Floyd. (Rick Wright, the keyboardist, died in 2008 -- see here and here. Syd Barrett, one of the band's founding members, died in 2006 -- see here.) I cannot really explain what it means to me, and of course to so many others, to see the three of them together again, if only for a short time, if only for a couple of songs. Live8 was incredible, and this... this was what so many of us had dreamed about for so long. Yes, of course, I'd love it if they would reunite for a tour, but that might be hoping for too much. These one-offs seem more likely, and they are amazing.

Pink Floyd has been my music since I was a teenager. I have fairly eclectic tastes and I like a lot of music, a lot of different singers and musicians. I have thousands and thousands and thousands of songs on my iPod. But Floyd has always been much different for me. I love them and their music in a way that goes well beyond anything else. It is deeply personal for me, an indescribable connection that seems to go to my very core.

I saw Gilmour, Wright, and Mason as Pink Floyd at Foxboro Stadium in Massachusetts in 1994. I saw Gilmour here in Toronto several years ago. I saw two of Waters's Dark Side shows, and, last year, two Wall shows, in Toronto and also in Buffalo. There were times at both Wall shows when I felt like I would just break into tears, so intense were my feelings. I could hardly believe it was real, that I was really there, and the sheer enormity of it all really got to me. This music, my music, the music that had been with me for so long, for so much of my life, the soundtrack of my life, that was what was being performed, and it overwhelmed me.

And that was without Gilmour. I can hardly imagine how I would have felt had I been there on Thursday in London. All I can say is that for all that Pink Floyd has meant to me, and for all that Pink Floyd has gone through over the years, it is so wonderful that at long last there is peace, that Gilmour and Waters can perform together, and with Mason as well, briefly reunited, reconciled, making us all so extremely happy.

Here, via Brain Damage, are the clips. Enjoy. 

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  • How awesome. I went to the concert in Mexico... and waited for this moment forever.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:28 PM  

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