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Roger Waters tour debut features local keyboard star

Robert Walter backing former Pink Floyd frontman

Roger Waters and his touring band, courtesy Roger Waters YouTube channel
Roger Waters and his touring band, courtesy Roger Waters YouTube channel

Former Pink Floyd frontman Rober Waters opened his oft-delayed This Is Not a Drill tour on Wednesday night, July 6 in Pittsburgh PA, with a backing band that includes San Diego keyboardist Robert Walter.

Opening night footage from Youtube screencap

Following a dress rehearsal at nearby State College, opening night of the elaborate multimedia production (already uploaded to multiple Youtube accounts, in varying degrees of quality) was presented in the round, with monolithic projection screens spanning the arena, suspended overhead.

Video:

Roger Waters "Sheep" 7-6-22

Highlights include some unexpected (and not entirely farcical) onstage gunplay and setlist staples such as "Sheep" from Animals (jazzed up with some new Dancing Trumpswine graphics) and "Have a Cigar" from Wish You Were Here, a tune Waters improves a bit with each tour's revised arrangement. The tomorrow's headline timeliness of decades-old tracks like "The Bravery Of Being Out of Range" is almost pain-inducing in this age of drone combat, glimpses of which explode violently across the projection screens from time to time throughout the show.

Newer songs like "Is This the Life We Really Want" are now fine-tuned into their strongest presentations to date (I watch a LOT of Waters concert uploads, the Youtube versions are usually better than any tickets I could ever afford). A brand new song called "The Bar" gets its live debut, introduced with apologies to Bob Dylan for cribbing so many lyrical references in its cadence and construction.

The setlist includes the usual expected staples from The Wall - Waters has been cruising on the fumes of that one for over forty years. Other than a welcome but far-too-brief nod toward "Echoes" near the end of "Run Like Hell," one can be forgiven for yawning enough to end up with cottonmouth. The new ambient arrangement of "Comfortably Numb" seems almost intended to annoy anyone waiting for that Gilmour-esque solo. Apparently, Gilmour himself complained so much that Waters has cut out the guitar entirely. No guitar, no problem, right?

The other turd of the evening is the Radio KAOS cut "The Powers That Be," which makes its first concert appearance since August 28, 1999. Unfortunately, Waters seems to have recreated the sing-a-long fave as a spoken-word piece. Not sayin' nobody but Paul Carrack should be allowed but, c'mon Rog, it's a song, not a lecture. The reliance of these very old men in very tight pants on state-of-the-art tech to sync up with the players causes a few inevitable glitches, including a guitar miscue between "Us and Them" and "Eclipse" where the screeching guitar riff comes in so many bars early that Waters is forced to back up the vocal intro a bit, resulting in a steely glance in the guitarist's direction captured in enough closeup uploads to inspire its own adversarial Reddit thread.

No steely glances for keyboardist Robert Walter on July 6, 2022 (Youtube screenshot)

Waters' keyboardist for this tour, Robert Walter, is best known from the Greyboy Allstars, Creedle, Daddy Long Leggs, and his own Robert Walter's 20th Congress. “My solo stuff is more acoustic piano, 20th Congress has more effects," Walter once told the Reader. "It’s my rock band.” Walter has also recorded with Stanton Moore, saxophonists Red Holloway and Gary Bartz, and guitarist Phil Upchurch.

In April, the Greyboy Allstars released their sixth studio full-length Get a Job: Music from the Original Broadcast Series Soul Dream, issued via the band's own Knowledge Room Recordings label. The album was tracked live in the studio during their 2021 Soul Dream livestream series on Nugs.net. The group's current incarnation features Karl Denson (saxophone, flute), Elgin Park (guitars), Aaron Redfield (drums), Chris Stillwell (bass), and Walter on keys.

Songs covered include tracks by Walter's famous former neighbor Burt Bacharach, as well as Gil Scott-Heron, Gene Ammons, and others. The first single and video was for their cover of Mary Jane Hooper's "I've Got Reasons." The band supported the record with a 21-date "Get A Job" tour, kicking off March 9 in North Carolina and wrapping April 30 in New Orleans.

The last San Diego concert staged by Roger Waters happened May 13, 2012 at Pechanga Arena. As of the current itinerary, Waters will not be bringing his This Is Not a Drill tour to San Diego. The closest performances take place September 27 and 28 in Los Angeles.

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Roger Waters and his touring band, courtesy Roger Waters YouTube channel
Roger Waters and his touring band, courtesy Roger Waters YouTube channel

Former Pink Floyd frontman Rober Waters opened his oft-delayed This Is Not a Drill tour on Wednesday night, July 6 in Pittsburgh PA, with a backing band that includes San Diego keyboardist Robert Walter.

Opening night footage from Youtube screencap

Following a dress rehearsal at nearby State College, opening night of the elaborate multimedia production (already uploaded to multiple Youtube accounts, in varying degrees of quality) was presented in the round, with monolithic projection screens spanning the arena, suspended overhead.

Video:

Roger Waters "Sheep" 7-6-22

Highlights include some unexpected (and not entirely farcical) onstage gunplay and setlist staples such as "Sheep" from Animals (jazzed up with some new Dancing Trumpswine graphics) and "Have a Cigar" from Wish You Were Here, a tune Waters improves a bit with each tour's revised arrangement. The tomorrow's headline timeliness of decades-old tracks like "The Bravery Of Being Out of Range" is almost pain-inducing in this age of drone combat, glimpses of which explode violently across the projection screens from time to time throughout the show.

Newer songs like "Is This the Life We Really Want" are now fine-tuned into their strongest presentations to date (I watch a LOT of Waters concert uploads, the Youtube versions are usually better than any tickets I could ever afford). A brand new song called "The Bar" gets its live debut, introduced with apologies to Bob Dylan for cribbing so many lyrical references in its cadence and construction.

The setlist includes the usual expected staples from The Wall - Waters has been cruising on the fumes of that one for over forty years. Other than a welcome but far-too-brief nod toward "Echoes" near the end of "Run Like Hell," one can be forgiven for yawning enough to end up with cottonmouth. The new ambient arrangement of "Comfortably Numb" seems almost intended to annoy anyone waiting for that Gilmour-esque solo. Apparently, Gilmour himself complained so much that Waters has cut out the guitar entirely. No guitar, no problem, right?

The other turd of the evening is the Radio KAOS cut "The Powers That Be," which makes its first concert appearance since August 28, 1999. Unfortunately, Waters seems to have recreated the sing-a-long fave as a spoken-word piece. Not sayin' nobody but Paul Carrack should be allowed but, c'mon Rog, it's a song, not a lecture. The reliance of these very old men in very tight pants on state-of-the-art tech to sync up with the players causes a few inevitable glitches, including a guitar miscue between "Us and Them" and "Eclipse" where the screeching guitar riff comes in so many bars early that Waters is forced to back up the vocal intro a bit, resulting in a steely glance in the guitarist's direction captured in enough closeup uploads to inspire its own adversarial Reddit thread.

No steely glances for keyboardist Robert Walter on July 6, 2022 (Youtube screenshot)

Waters' keyboardist for this tour, Robert Walter, is best known from the Greyboy Allstars, Creedle, Daddy Long Leggs, and his own Robert Walter's 20th Congress. “My solo stuff is more acoustic piano, 20th Congress has more effects," Walter once told the Reader. "It’s my rock band.” Walter has also recorded with Stanton Moore, saxophonists Red Holloway and Gary Bartz, and guitarist Phil Upchurch.

In April, the Greyboy Allstars released their sixth studio full-length Get a Job: Music from the Original Broadcast Series Soul Dream, issued via the band's own Knowledge Room Recordings label. The album was tracked live in the studio during their 2021 Soul Dream livestream series on Nugs.net. The group's current incarnation features Karl Denson (saxophone, flute), Elgin Park (guitars), Aaron Redfield (drums), Chris Stillwell (bass), and Walter on keys.

Songs covered include tracks by Walter's famous former neighbor Burt Bacharach, as well as Gil Scott-Heron, Gene Ammons, and others. The first single and video was for their cover of Mary Jane Hooper's "I've Got Reasons." The band supported the record with a 21-date "Get A Job" tour, kicking off March 9 in North Carolina and wrapping April 30 in New Orleans.

The last San Diego concert staged by Roger Waters happened May 13, 2012 at Pechanga Arena. As of the current itinerary, Waters will not be bringing his This Is Not a Drill tour to San Diego. The closest performances take place September 27 and 28 in Los Angeles.

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