Over the last 16 months or so, BC Place Stadium has undergone a facelift. It went from being an inflated dome to being a proper stadium with a retractable roof. During it’s renovations people started to wonder what the first concert would be once they reopened it. In Late 2011 we were treated to the news that Roger Waters would be bringing The Wall back to Vancouver, and that its one night home would be, the newly completed, BC Place.
The months leading up to the show, were filled with anticipation. Most of the people I talked to had bought tickets, and were counting down the days until May 26th 2012. To see ‘The Wall’ live was something many had dreamed of and it would soon come to fruition.
On Saturday night, the doors to the stadium were opened, and the crowds eagerly rushed in. It had been so long since I had seen any concerts at this venue. The last one would have been U2 back in 2009. As I walked into the floor area, I looked around and was blown away by the sheer size of the establishment. Apparently that 3 year gap in visits, allowed me to gain back my stadium virginity. All I could think, as I peeked around, was – “I cannot believe just a single person is selling out this entire venue”, I was in awe.
The one noticeable stage component was the lengthy wall that spanned from one side of the bowl to the other, with a healthy gap in the middle to allow for the upcoming stage show to take place. It didn’t take long for the performance to start. The lights dimmed and the crowd roared with excitement, it was time to be mesmerized.
At first a group of futuristic policemen walked onto the stage; sporting all black outfits and red bands around their left arms. It was an immediate jump into the anti-establishment mentality of the performance. With the recent events of the 99%, that way of thinking is presently in all our minds. This quickly led me to believe that the re-birth of ‘The Wall’ could not have come at a better time. We all could quickly jump back on the band wagon and commit to loving it on a truly personal level.
The first song to permeate the air was ‘Outside the Wall’, the intro to both the evening and the album. Those in attendance rose to their feet. They would not sit back down until the half way point of the show.
Roger Waters took the stage, and a new level of scream emitted from the audience. As I looked out over the venue, I saw grown men and women, losing their minds. It was an intensity rarely seen these days, as the remaining rock giants of the past are starting to fade away. Waters stood at centre stage as a bevy of fireworks exploded around him. A series of flashes went off above him, and then below him, over and over. The show was off to an over-the-top start. I could feel the heat from the explosions, as a grin begin to form on my face.
As they rolled into ‘Another Brick in the Wall Part 1’ the huge inflatable teacher figure appeared. He was operated by a massive cable rig system, and danced in place during the performance. The wall across the arena was used as a screen throughout the night. At some points each individual brick would display the image of a single person. At one point they had real photos from fallen soldiers in various wars, which made for a touching addition. The evening was lined with a series of over the top inflatable puppets, from the ‘mother’ figure during the song by the same name, to the flying pig, all the staples were present.
I was blown away by the energy of the night. Roger Waters was deeply emotional through out the performance. I watched his face as his sang. Each note, each lyric was wrenched from his heart and poured into the crowd. This could have been a show at a club gig. The size of the venue was lost on him, he gave everything he had.
By the end of the night, I sat back in amazement. The level of planning it must have taken to pull this thing together is mind-boggling. Roger Waters and crew pulled together an astounding performance, and proved that there is still fuel in the tank. Even though they were here just 18 months ago playing Rogers Arena, I could see them returning in a year or so and coming close to selling out BC Place. I want to say thank you to the band, to the children’s choir, to the riggers, to the soundboard guys, to the explosives experts, and especially to Roger Waters. You shared a stellar night with us.
For those of you who don’t know this is the set list (track list) of The Wall.
Outside the Wall
In the Flesh?
The Thin Ice
Another Brick in the Wall Part 1
The Happiest Days of Our Lives
Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
Goodbye Blue Sky
What Shall We Do Now?
One of My Turns
Don’t Leave Me Now
Another Brick in the Wall Part 3
The Last Few Bricks
Goodbye Cruel World
Is There Anybody Out There?
Bring the Boys Back Home
The Show Must Go On
In the Flesh
Run Like Hell
Waiting for the Worms
Outside the Wall
Photos © Jamie Taylor