By Benjy Eisen
Rolling Stone Magazine
Roger Waters is set to bring his historic, modern-day production of The Wall back to North America in 2012, this time landing the massive spectacle in several suitably large stadiums. With a new, 36-show North American tour scheduled to kick off on May 1st, The Wall will come to: AT&T Park in San Francisco (May 11th), BC Place in Vancouver (May 26th), Wrigley Field in Chicago (June 8th), Rogers Center in Toronto (June 23rd) and Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia (July 14th). Between those weekend stadium dates, Waters will play arenas across the U.S. and Canada, including many markets that were skipped the last time around.
Waters, a founding member of Pink Floyd, composed the vast majority of The Wall and recorded it with the band in 1979. It remains one of the most successful and highly regarded double-albums in history. Pink Floyd performed the rock opera 29 times in its entirety in 1980. Waters performed a special one-off version in Berlin in 1990, to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall.
In 2010 and 2011, Waters performed The Wall more than 120 times around the world, in a solo theatrical production that featured state-of-the-art wizardry and the upcoming stadium shows look to be even more ambitious.
"We're going to be projecting over 140 yards," Waters told Rolling Stone in September. "So now it's going to be 1,500 pixels wide. We've done light tests at Fenway Park and Wrigley Field and Yankee Stadium just to see what the ambient light is like. And it's fine. It works."
Waters has hinted that this may be the last time he undertakes a production of this magnitude, possibly downsizing to theaters and preferring to forego any greatest hit-style revues – if he even tours again – in the future. The current North American itinerary kicks off in Houston on May 1st and wraps in Philadelphia on July 14th. The vast majority of the dates go on sale November 14th, but check local listings for specifics.
Waters' touring band for this outing will include notables GE Smith (guitar and bass), Snowy White (guitar), Dave Kilminster (guitar), Joe Carin (keyboards), Harry Waters (organ), Graham Broad (drums), Robbie Wyckoff (vocals), and Jon Joyce, Pat Lennon, Mark Lennon and Kipp Lennon on backing vocals.
In a press video for the tour, Waters states that when he wrote the Wall in 1979, the plot was "deeply rooted in this specific story of me and the loss of my father and how that affected my life and how I grew up and how I went through certain changes and things." But with this new resurrection of the production, he says, "I wanted to broaden it to the point that anyone who shares that sense of loss, or that sense of outrage at the losses that occur, can identify with my personal story – but also understand that it was my loss that enabled me to empathize with others."