David Gilmour released a
feature-length DVD (David Gilmour: In Concert) on Thursday memorializing his solo performance with a semi-acoustic band at the Meltdown Festival show held in June 2001 at the Royal Festival Hall in London. You can watch two full songs and a selection of clips here.
First, this little QuickTime promo is simply beautiful to watch and sonically brilliant. The custom skin complete with controls is just a tease into what we were promised with broadband. This is QuickTime technology at its best. And it will only get better.
As for Gilmour? Not quite at his best (looking), but I’m pleased that he has freed himself from the addiction and greed of touring under the guise of Pink Floyd. The massive Pink Floyd stadium performances in 1987 and 1994 were simply David Gilmour concerts. But masked comfortably through the guise of the name Pink Floyd, which former band-mate and leading songwriter Roger Waters went to court to prevent him from touring and recording under the Floyd name. Sadly, Waters lost. And the fraud began. As such, the thousands of people who saw these concerts didn’t really see Pink Floyd. For without Waters, who wrote the bands most known rock epics The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon, there is no Pink Floyd.
Gilmour is looking much like a Grandpa in his new DVD. Contrast that to Roger Waters who I had the pleasure seeing live in Budapest this past June, and I think the effects of stadium after stadium after stadium gig have taken a toll on Gilmour. You see, Roger Waters refused and continues to refuse to perform in such venues.
So over the years Gilmour was able to bleed Pink Floyd fans of their money by releasing two studio albums and two live albums which. The live albums, for the most part, just captured the same songs from the studio albums in concert. How wonderful. Repurpose content over and over. It’s easier than writing new songs — for Gilmour anyway. Yeah. David Gilmour was addicted to the money and the applause.
But I’m encouraged by this new DVD and talk of an upcoming tour — as David Gilmour. And certainly one that will find him unable to sellout stadiums, but rather performing in more intimate venues where a connection to his audience might be realized. His performance at this concert and on the DVD is really what the fans wanted. After all. I think Gilmour will ultimately find his artistry, integrity and happiness as a solo artist, rather than some cheap imitation of Pink Floyd.
The performances on the DVD are rich. Gilmour’s guitar work is tasteful as you’d expect. Though his voice struggles on a few occassions. Nonetheless, he’s pulled out all the stops. The band is tight. Including a hot female cellist dressed in red velvet, appearances by ex-Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright and choral arrangements of many classic songs. There’s even Bob Geldolf (who starred as Pink in the Alan Parker directed film version of The Wall) trying to sing Water[base ‘]s part from the multi-platinum hit single, Comfortably Numb. It[base ‘]s so uncomfortably uneasy watching him read the lyrics scribbled on a paper he carry[base ‘]s on stage while lazily singing the words without a stitch of passion. Bad move, Dave. Gilmour seems to want to show off his guitar collection in this song by going through at least 4 guitar changes.
The DVD includes bonus tracks and interesting outtakes including rehearsing Shine On You Crazy Diamond with the choir at the Gilmour homestead. For Gilmour wannabe guitarists, the new DVD also includes a complete track of close ups of Gilmour’s hands and the fret board of his numerous guitars. Wow. The Roger Waters DVD also includes a number of bonus tracks and extended features. I understand Roger will release a CD of new material in 2003 followed up by his French Opera “Ca Ira” (pronounced “sa-ira”).