On May 3, 1994, a few buddies and I took MARTA to the North Avenue station, walked west to Georgia Tech’s Bobby Dodd Stadium and prepared for the concert of our lives.
At the time, I don’t think I really appreciated what I was about to witness. I had been a Pink Floyd fan since, probably, seventh grade, and two years later, the final incarnation of the band released what would be its final studio album and gave its final world tour. At the time, I had seen one real rock concert – Aerosmith, with special guest Jackyl! – and I was pumped to see Dave Gilmour, Richard Wright, and Nick Mason (sadly, Roger Waters had been out of the Pink Floyd picture for about a decade).
And it was incredible. Though I really only knew the Pink Floyd material that EVERYBODY knows (Dark Side, Wish You Were Here) and the last couple of new albums, it was incredible. I didn’t recognize “One of These Days” or “Astronomy Domine,” because I wasn’t familiar with those portions of Floyd’s catalog (really, you have to be a pretty intense fan to own “Piper at the Gates of Dawn.” I do, now.)
Sixteen years later, I remember the fog rolling into the stadium after a rainy day, making the night all the more surreal. I remember the older folks behind us asking us to sit down for the first act. I remember the Bill Clinton look-alike blowing the sax on “Us and Them” (Clinton was, in fact, in town that day). I remember “Time” and “Money” and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond.” I remember the unbelievable light show.
A small taste here.
Tonight, I’ll complete the Floydian circle – or the crazy diamond, if you prefer.
The wife and I are going to see Roger Waters, the only original Pink Floyd member I didn’t see in 1994 (except, of course, for Syd Barrett). He’s celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Wall by playing it in its entirety. All the reviews I’ve read have been stunningly positive. The sound apparently is great, and the entire show (like the original Wall tour, building a Wall brick by brick before tearing it down at the end) is an amazing piece of work.
See part of the spectacle here (when the wall comes down).
I haven’t been this excited for a show in quite some time. Sixteen years later, I’m ready for something just as special as the night I walked into a stadium with a couple buddies and walked out having seen the best show of my life.