Page 10 - The Michigan Daily - Tuesday, July 31, 1984
Not m uch Floyd left in Waters
By Paul Heigren
Special to the Daily
TORONTO - It wasn't Pink Floyd.
But it was something else.
Never mind that the featured album
of the concert, The Pros and Cons of
Hitch Hiking, is only a spotty success.
Never mind that Roger Waters, the
featured Floydian, egocentrically
utilized Pink Floyd as a medium for his
great nightmarish vision until it
alienated the rest of the band and
precipitated its demise, at least tem-
porarily. Never mind still the lofty price
tag ($22.75, Canadian) to see a band
that has played together for only a few
Forget all those sordid details.
Because last Saturday night at Toron-
to's Maple Leaf Gardens, the enigmatic
architect of one of rock music's most
innovative bands did not let the faithful
down. Though Pink Floyd will always
be greater than the sum of its parts, for
one night, at least, Waters was Pink.
From the triple screen video at the
rear of the stage, to the multidimen-
sional animation, to the elaborate
speaker system, the show was a sen-
sory feast. The music was tight, too,
surprisingly so for a band that has
played so few dates. Toronto's Satur-
day and Sunday night performances
were two of a very limited six-city tour
across North America.
And it's no mystery why the tour is so
exclusive. Though possibly outdone by
the extravagance of past Floyd tours,
no expense was spared. Fourteen
semis alone were needed to carry the
extravaganza to Toronto's most
The three giant screens, totaling
about 100 feet in length, served up
animation from the new album, as well
as odds and ends from seven other Pink
Floyd albums. The multiple screens
allowed images to "jump" from one to
the other, thus creating a 3-D effect.
Speakers flanked the 20,000
or so patrons on all sides, adding to the
The show itself consisted of two hour-
long segments, the first a nostalgic
overview of 15 years of Pink Floyd
masterpieces, the second a mixed-
media production of Waters' The Pros
and Cons of Hitch Hiking. The first set
lacked life and more often than not ser-
ved to remind the audience of how
sorely David Gilmour's guitar or Rick
Wright's keyboard were missed. Songs
like "Welcome to the Machine" and
"Have a Cigar," also needed Gilmour's
soothing vocals. Others, like the hyp-
notic "Set the Controls for the Heart of
the Sun," "Pigs on the Wing," and
material from The Wall, worked better.
Probably the most glaring deficiency
of the first set was the difficulty the
band had in filling the hour.
Saxophonist Mel Collins (of King Crim-
son fame) indulged in six solos in the 11
song set, as guitarist Eric Clapton did
five (Clapton was excellent, by the
way). One half-expected to see a tam-
bourine duet from the Betty and
Veronica team of backup singers Katie
Kisson and Doren Chanter.
The band was obviously more com-
fortable with the new material, which
makes sense - after all, it's their album.
The music blended well with the
narrative video. Briefly, Hitch Hiking
is Water's dream-vision of a tortured
neurotic. Called Man on the album,
Water's settles on Reg, a dog charac-
ter, for the production. Reg's dreams
take him on a sojourn across the
American heartland, but in typical
Waterian fashion, guilt turns this
dream into a nightmare.
This guilt came to life in the video
when slow motion scenes of a blonde
seductress gliding through the woods,
stripping as she goes, are followed by
scenes of terrorists with chain saws
ripping a ritzy penthouse suite to bloody
If the audience was slightly less
receptive to the new material than the
old, it wasn't because of a lack of effort
on Waters' part. Whether as bassist
guitarist, singer, or actor, Waters was
in prime form. Better than that, he ac-
tually seemed to be enjoying himself on
stage. Coming from a man who once
spat on front row hecklers in Montreal,
that's not something to be taken for
Probably the real reason the crowd
was less enthusiastic for the Hitch
Hiking material is, as good as the show
was, the album has just not captured
the divine spark of Water's past suc-
cesses. Half acknowledging this fact,
Waters and company returned to en-
core two songs from Pink Floyd's
greatest acheivement, The Dark Side of
the Moon. The sounds of "Brain
Damage" and "Eclipse" left the crowd
in a sweet mood, grateful for their final
fix of Floyd.
Unfortunately, the ending reminded
the audience of how much greater the
show could have been had it been Pink
Floyd instead of just Pink.
Lou Reed - 'New Sensations'
Flip on MTV. Uh, no thanks, Rod,
"Infatuation" is really lame. No won-
der why Beck walked off the tour.
Yeah, put on Reed's new one, New Sen-
sations. "I Love You, Suzanne" kicks it
off, poppy and enjoyable. Ya gotta like
In fact, you have to like this LP. The
Velvet Underground vet doesn't turn in
a classic like "Sweet Jane," but in
today's cottage cheese world of radio,
Reed deals with more emotions than
Duran Duran could ever dream about.
In "Endlessly Jealous," Reed sings,
I'm sorry I hit you / I'm sorry I'm sorry /
Endlessly jealous ofyou... and me.
These things happen in the world,
man, the tired circle of violence and
confusion. Don't listen, teenyboppers,
you might hear something real.
Reed seems to have mastered the un-
fortunate part as the relatively
5}+ A., oof . y r1-eroo
SENIORS EVERY EVENING $3.00
$1.75 TUESDAY ALL DAY
HURRY! ENDS THURS.!
DAILY 1:00,7 10, 9 20
THE MAN WHO
DAILY 1:00, 7:30, 9:40
unknown rock legend. Hell, if it wasn't
for Lou, you'd still be stuck in '73 with
you Bad Company records (and if you'd
rather be there, stop reading now and
never talk to me again).
A lot of punk and New Wave bands
took their cues from this man, and since
Reed's voice probably prevents him
from having a truly popular hit, all he
can do is keep his wit about him, as he
does in "My Red Joystick" and "Turn to
Me," where a girl's friend dies from
"something you can't pronounce."
Not that Reed hasn't reflected direc-
tly on his position in rock and roll. In
the sardonic "What Becomes a Legend
Most," he finds the most important
thing of all in his lover, crooning
"Baby, it's you" among strings and
sha-la-las, a touch of humor to salve a
"Down in the Arcade" rollicks around,
where eventually the president awards
Reed the Nobel Prize in Rhythm and
Blues. Hey, he deserves it even if he
doesn't know that the prizes take place
in Sweden every year.
A lot of New Sensations is just a good
hook and a sense of humor, as in "Doin'
the Things That We Want To," where
the band breaks in perfectly,and Reed,
band, female backup singers deliver a
Even though "there's not much you
can hear on the radio today," there's
still Lou Reed. And as Night Ranger
plays for the umpteenth time on MTV,
I'm gonna hit my rewind button.
- Steve Kaminski
SHORT OR LONG
Men and Women
Liberty off State . 668-9329
Maple Village . . . 761-2733
Actress Sophia Loren cuddles with her son Edoardo Ponti, 11, on the set of
their new film, 'Qualcosa di Biondo' (Something Blonde). Edoardo is
making his motion picture debut opposite his mother in this Italian film
directed by Maurizio Ponzi. This will be the first time Loren has been on
screen in a while-she served a :30-day jail term three years ago in Italy
because of income tax evasion.