By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
When Roger Waters left Pink Floyd in 1985, he insisted that the band had dissolved due to irreconcilable differences. As with any divorce, that sort of language meant getting back together wasn't an option.
And yet, in 2005, 20 years after saying it would never happen, Waters was once again singing trademark Floyd numbers such as "Money" and "Comfortably Numb" with arch-nemesis David Gilmour by his side. But any thoughts of a Pink Floyd reunion tour were quickly squashed.
"I didn't mind rolling over for a day, but I couldn't roll over for a whole fucking tour," Waters was quoted as saying at the time.
After solo releases such as The Pros and Cons of Hitchhiking and Radio KAOS—baffling concept records made palatable by quality sidemen (including rented guitar god Eric Clapton), but irredeemably weighted down by beguiling middle school narratives—who could blame Waters for going back to the Pink Floyd trough for some quick cash?
A few years later, though, Waters is again mining those golden years to pad his wallet, touring under the banner of "Dark Side of the Moon Live," a solo re-examination of one of the greatest-selling records of all time.
"Most guys who made their way in a band can go out by themselves, hire great players and recapture or duplicate what they did in the band," says Mike Rhyner, a current sports talk guru at KTCK-1310 AM The Ticket and former rock radio personality from back in the '70s, when rock radio still mattered in Dallas. "These guys, in effect, put together a cover band of themselves."
And this cover band comes complete with a laser light show—you know, just in case the music (and whatever hallucinogens concert-goers might bring along) doesn't provide the necessary oomph. Here's how it works: After boring the audience with an hour or so of solo material, Waters performs Dark Side of the Moon in its entirety as the second act of the show. Fans can become transfixed by the deep, metaphorical urgency of "Us and Them" as an overly bloated stage design and projections make certain to envelop listeners in a wash of significance.
"Pink Floyd always seemed like music for teenage mental patients," says Rhyner, who probably spun too many Pink Floyd LPs back in the day.
And, surely, the idea is to present a product fit for those grown-up souls. To present something for them to reminisce upon. To present something almost as good as Pink Floyd.
Sadly, though, this production won't approach that final idea. This isn't a Pink Floyd show; instead, it's just a 65-year-old Waters coming to grips with his legacy, finding paydirt in music from his halcyon days while not having to capitulate to a full-fledged Pink Floyd reunion.