I finally got around to watching The Wall, as in the 2014 version of this ever evolving epic which is combination of the 2010 - 2013 concert tour footage interspersed with segments of film of personal elements of Roger Water’s saga.
I have probably mentioned before that Pink Floyd is likely my favorite band and certainly the most vital and influential band to my psyche. I find The Wall (album), in all it's twisted darkness is an essential part of my life; one that I need to revisit at least annually to fulfill some need/void, balance-out something in my brain. and just to appreciate the work. To me, The Wall is an essential piece of a personal, ever-evolving, greater music-therapy regimen, that I aim to perfect within my lifetime, purely for my own enjoyment and benefit. Which consequently, seems to very closely parallel Roger Water's own journey with the concept of The Wall, for about the last 40 years.
My first thoughts on the project were disappointment when I learned it wasn’t a full concert performance, b/c I desperately want to see/own that, so I can make up for missing this tour, and to use that footage as a surrogate to try to live out the concert experience. [I bought a Blu-ray player at the thrift store just so I could experience it in high definition format, so as to have the best visuals.]
Overall I am very pleased with the film, which is part concert footage, and part artistic concept, but greater than sum of those two parts. It’s the final(?) iteration of Roger’s vision that has evolved for decades, being rehashed several times in various formats: this time morphed into the form of the most epic concert tour in history, spliced into a moving and emotional film, that is simultaneously as relevant to WWII as it is to contemporary ongoing wars. I fully recommend it to all Pink Floyd, Roger Waters, and The Wall fans. It is epic! (there are only a few awkward non-concert segments, in my opinion, that don't truly mesh well with the overall vibe, that could have been left out of the film).
It is very interesting to consider a young Waters even trying to conceive of the insane potential of modern day special-effects that have become feasible within his lifetime, which have brought this epic concept album to a whole new level, culminating in such an incredibly epic concert tour. The special effects of the tour are dazzling and absolutely stunning: a mind-blowing showcase of the artistic potential of modern-day multimedia combined with the thoroughly planned choreography of the dynamic stage construction.
This iteration of The Wall is quite possibly the most over-the-top production ever to go on tour (?). Hard to say, but very likely. Depending on the scale of the venue, the wall itself was composed of up to 400 5' x 2.5' cardboard bricks, which are assembled into the physical wall as the show progresses, and eventually fully obscure the band. It stands 35' high and averages around 240' wide, and provides an 8560 x 1620 pixel canvas for 20 projectors which not only provide stunning visuals but which portray incredibly realistic sequences that defy the laws of physics. An incredible undertaking and truly awe-inspiring piece of art, both in imagination and presentation.
[I will never, ever, (ever) forgive myself for missing this tour.]
The Wall Live was the highest-grossing tour of all time by a solo artist, performing 140 shows to nearly two million people and taken a colossal $200,000,000 in ticket sales.
If you made the same mistake that I did, by not going to see this show live, pick up a HD copy of this film and check it out, b/c unfortunately, this is as close as we can get to the real thing.
Sources and further reading:
Info on the technical specs of the production: