A global television broadcast of the event in which former Pink Floyd leader singer and composer Roger Waters led an all-star cast in a mammoth benefit performance of his acclaimed concept album/concert, The Wall, in support of The War Memorial Fund for Disaster Relief. Set in Berlin, Germany less than a year after the destruction of the hated Berlin Wall, Waters was accompanied by disparate talents such as Cyndi Lauper, James Galway, Joni Mitchell and Albert Finney in the classic dark musical tale of a rock star's descent into madness and back. The performance was subsequently released as a top-selling video. Written by
Kenneth Chisholm (firstname.lastname@example.org)
maybe not the greatest spectacle, but it brings on some true star power
The Wall is, indeed, one of the most awe-inspiring feats from the 70's rock scene. It may not be Pink Floyd's best work, but on the form of ambition it could rightly rank with (or some would argue above) Dark Side of the Moon. It's engaging (if a little obvious) with its messages on education, sex, the drainage of rock and roll, psychology, and the breakdown of society through fascism. It's more of a sensory experience than something traditional, like with the Who's rock operas. So here, shortly after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Roger Waters brought forth a worldwide broadcast of the wall, complete with a spectacle for millions to experience, and of course not alone. Here he is joined by such musicians as Bryan Adams, The Band (of Last Waltz 'Band' I mean), Cyndi Lauper, Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, and the Scorpions among others. On top of this is the complete stage-show of the Wall that made waves when first done in 1980.
It's the kind of live concert one wishes was experiences in person as opposed to on the screen; like with the live show in other venues with the complete Pink Floyd, something is lost when experienced at home (the film is another matter, which is for my money one of the top 5 "expensive student films" ever made). On top of this there is also the factor of the special guests, and even the whole spectacle itself, getting in the way of what Waters does best. In fact, while he is usually singing the songs (there's a great bit when he's in part of the Wall right before, or after, the hotel-room smashing), the other acts sometimes steal the show, for better or worse. Mitchell is good, the Band does a terrific job, and the Scorpions are hit or miss depending on how much of a fan you are.
But that this is such an ambitious show, with such a huge, overpowering audience, is enough to suffice. The Gerald Scarfe production design/animations are a wonder to behold for the fans, and there are a few other surprises as well. There is also an interesting, if not perfect, rendition of 'the Trial sequence' featuring a funny, scathing Tim Curry and judge played by Albert Finney. So, like other Pink Floyd or Waters endeavors, it's stretching the boundaries of what can be done, and more often than not it succeeded, in the wake of a triumphant fall of the real wall in Berlin.
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