Pink Floyd veteran Roger Waters has been in the news lately, in two very different contexts. The first has to of with his undeniably genius musical output: Last week, a reissue of the Floyd’s fantastic ’77 album Animals hit the Billboard Top 10. The album that introduced us to the famous flying pig image (soon to be a ubiquitous dirigible at later concerts) is now being introduced to the TikTok generation.
The second reason Waters has lit up the airwaves and Twitters lately has to do with his always outspoken political views. He wrote a letter to Ukraine’s first lady, Olena Zelenska, saying that “extreme nationalists” in Ukraine had led the country to war and that her husband, President Zelensky, had failed in fulfilling campaign promises to bring peace to the Donbas region. His concerts in Poland were cancelled in the wake of the ensuing uproar. (He also wrote a scathing letter to Putin.)
Regardless of the controversy, Bay Area fans turned out in droves on September 24 to see the man himself, now 79, bring expansive, eternal favorites like “Comfortably Numb,” “Another Brick in the Wall,” “Wish You Were Here,” and “Sheep” to life. The eye-popping show featured huge video screens flashing political messages and, yes, giant inflatables. “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” indeed. —Words: Marke B. All photos: Jon Bauer