The concerts were initially going to be used as footage for a film, according to animator Gerald Scarfe’s 2010 book The Making of Pink Floyd The Wall, but plans changed. Instead, a movie starring Bob Geldof as the troubled character Pink was released in 1982 without any live footage.
Due to the complexity of staging The Wall concerts, the initial tour only consisted of 31 shows in Los Angeles, New York, London, England and Dortmund, Germany. By comparison, the current tour played 56 shows in North America in 2010 and has been on the road ever since, making its way throughout Europe, Australia, New Zealand and South America.
Waters will bring The Wall to Winnipeg for two nights Thursday and Friday at the MTS Centre. Thursday’s show is sold out, but as of press time, tickets were still available for Friday’s concert.
What can we expect? How about this:
“Virtual bombers dropping payloads of crucifixes, Stars of David, and Mcdonald’s logos on impoverished landscapes; biographies from across the last century of dead soldiers superimposed on the same massive, white brick wall; an enormous, inflatable praying mantis vixen suspended from the rafters, flames for hair and saw blades for arms, both impressive and slightly misogynistic: These are just a handful of the relentless onslaught of words, images, sounds, deco, conflict, resolve, and money Roger Waters’ disciples were assaulted with…” Luke Winkie of the Austin Chronicle wrote about the May 3 show at the Frank Erwin Center in Austin, Texas.
Between the initial concerts and 2010, The Wall was only performed by Waters once in 1990 to com- memorate the falling of the Berlin Wall.
He addressed the return of The Wall concerts in the show’s original 2010 tour program in an introduction titled Why am I Doing The Wall Again Now?
“Thirty years ago when I wrote The Wall, I was a frightened young man. Well, not that young. I was 36 years old.
“It took me a long time to get over my fears. Anyway, in the intervening years it has occurred to me that maybe the story of my fear and loss, with its concomitant inevitable residue of ridicule, shame and punishment, provides an allegory for broader concerns: nationalism, racism, sexism, religion, whatever! All these issues and -isms are driven by the same fears that drove my young life.
“This new production of The Wall is an attempt to draw some comparisons, to illuminate our current predicament and is dedicated to all the innocent lost in the intervening years.”
The current multi-media show uses cutting-edge production techniques and a greater anti-conflict emphasis, but retains the original ideas from the first shows.
Here’s a look at some of the stats for The Wall’s arena production:
Length, w idth of wall: 73 metres wide, 11 metres high, 45 centimetres deep. Number of bricks in wall: 424 Number placed in show: 242 Number used in tour (all bricks are from recycled sources, and will be re-recycled after use): 3,000
Build time (i.e. length of time from placing first brick to placing last brick): 45 minutes
Number of touring wall builders: 12 touring crew, eight local
Number of electric motors in all stage machines: 47
Number of control axes for wall building: 20
Length of all electric cables including lighting and sound and power: Over 30,480 metres (over 30 kilometres)
Number of speakers: 172, including subs, surrounds and monitors. Number of moving lights: 82 Number of projectors: 23 Diameter of circular screen: Nine metres
Length/width of wall projection: 74 metres wide by 7.5 metres high Number of control desks: 12 Length of truss/tracking truss: 463 metres Number of scenery carts: 140 Number/size of inflatables: Teacher, nine metres high; wife, nine metres high; mother, 10 metres high
Weight of all rigged scenery: 55 tonnes total rigging to roof Weight of all floor stuff: 57 tonnes Number of trucks: 21 Amount of power required to run show: 3,000 amps
Total number of touring crew: 66 (excluding 18-member band party) Number of tour buses: Six Number of local crew: 80