I had heard of the Pink Floyd Wall Live concert in Berlin for a long time but never got around to watching it. After hearing and reading about it a lot, I decided to watch it. After all it had great names associated with it like Roger Waters, The Scorpions, Bryan Adams and Van Morrison. The Wall Live concert in Berlin is a live rendition of their album “The Wall“. The playlist is almost the same but the similarity ends here. While the album had a very raw, cruel hard rock feeling to it, the concert is more of a Musical Show with the whole orchestra sitting there. It completely lacks the raw hard rock feeling the album had. The album was psychedelic, depressing while in the show, most of the songs have 6-7 singers singing and a 100 piece orchestra playing in the background. It gives the show a soft gentle feel which is completely out of tune with the feeling the album gave. Can you imagine a flute playing anywhere in the Wall movie?
So with great expectations, I start watching the concert. A white limo surrounded by harleys move onto the stage and The Scorpions get off to give a high voltage performance of In the Flesh?. All is going good when the song ends. The next few songs are by different artists and keep getting softer with a Sax Solo in Another Brick in the Wall Part 1. Another Brick in the Wall Part II is by Cyndi Lauper who is in a School Uniform and keeps jumping around as in the Circus and making faces. In the solos, she is behind the guitarists and seems to be trying to smell their asses. I say solos, because there are 3, each almost the same but by 2 guitarist and 1 Synth by Thomas Dolby. The first Solo is something like I would be playing after my first week’s practice of the song on the guitar. At this point, the stage crew start building a huge wall on the stage which gets completed in the songs to come. The song I was looking forward to was Young Lust by Bryan Adams. The song seems really great and Bryan seems to be playing the guitar himself in his trademark kneel back style. Somewhere into the 2nd paragraph of the song, Bryan gets too much into the song and swings his guitar away and lo! The guitar seems to be still playing. After a while we notice the real guitarist standing somewhere behind the edge of the wall in the darkness, with th spotlight on Bryan. I did not understand why Bryan needed to mime the guitaring. He could have just sung the song and be done with it instead of moving his fingers in complicated motions and seeming to concentrate really hard on the guitar. Anyways, I tried forgetting about it and thinking that the song sounded good anyways. Jerry Hall has a brief role as a slut groupie who comes on stage to admire Pink’s imaginary room.Hey You is performed by Paul Carrack and sounds good, though nothing like the original song and no feeling. Comfortably Numb performed by Van Morrison and again, sounds good but nothing like the original. It’s almost kind of soft and it seems you are listening to an opera. The solo is kind of a duet between the two guitarists and in trying to make it different from the original solo, they screw it up completely. The song In the Flesh is again performed by the Scorpions, though this time, it’s very very obvious they’re faking it because the guitars start playing even before they get off their posh limo and throughout most of this song and also Run like hell, they’re just running around and giving each other high 5s while the real guitarists keep on playing in the darkness behind the wall. The Trial is really good performed by mainstream hollywood actors at the end of which, they break down the complete wall ad finish off with The Tide is turning which is not very much unlike We are the world performed by Michael Jackson and various other singers, blind and otherwise.
Overall, the concert is quite entertaining, but fails to capture the original essence of the wall. In fact, it doesn’t even sound anything like Pink Floyd and it would be quite disappointing to the fans of the band and the original album. Roger waters plays nothing in the whole concert and his total singing time is also somewhere around 20 minutes. It would be better if watched from a neutral mindset and no comparisons made to the album. Personally I think that David did a much better job with Pulse tour.