"So you thought you might like to go to the show..."
And if you didn't, it may just have been one of the biggest mistakes you make this concert season. For newbies and lifelong Pink Floyd fans alike, Roger Waters and crew proved Friday night at HSBC Arena that the show must go on.
The show took off with a bang -- or maybe crash-landed is the right way to put it -- as a large model airplane soared over the roaring audience and blasted its way through a portion of the white-bricked wall, sending a spectacular explosion resounding through the arena. But that was only the beginning.
It was immediately clear that anyone with a "support our troops" mentality was in the wrong place. As the potently poetic lyrics rang thunderously from all sides, sung back toward the stage by the thousands of enthralled onlookers, the Wall acted as a giant projector screen, hurling a barrage of significant, aggressive, and what some might label as offensive anti-war images into the crowd. Children screamed from war-torn villages, as security cameras tracked the audience's every move. Bombs shaped like religious symbols, renowned company logos and dollar signs rained onto the cities below.
And through it all, the Wall continued to grow. As you were distracted by everything else happening onstage, row by row, brick by brick, the Wall expanded, until finally, only one small rectangle of space remained. It was through this space that Waters emotionally crooned "Goodbye Cruel World" before the lights came on, allowing a 15-minute intermission for us guests to catch our breath -- and even then, only partially. Pictures of thousands of people, soldiers and civilians alike, melted across the Wall throughout intermission: Waters' personal effort to show the millions of unnecessary casualties of war.
The second half was no less disappointing and just as jam-packed with meaningful imagery meant to showcase just how destructive war can be to both a country and its collective psyche. Through it all, the raucous crowd screamed along, full of fist-pumping, anarchic energy. We were caught in the moment, caught in the melody and loving it straight to the end, when the boiling point was finally reached, when all had been said, and when the palpable pressure in the air became simply too much. The Wall blew out across the stage with incredible force, shattering the images as brick upon brick tumbled to the floor.
As Waters' lyrics so eloquently and truthfully state, "the bleeding hearts and artists make their stand." No one present will ever forget the pain, the emotion, or the message thrust forth into the heart of every audience member. Whether you're a seasoned Pink Floyd fan, have just discovered its music, or are just along for the ride, this was a mind-blowing must-see performance.
Rachel Dahl is a senior at Mount St. Mary Academy.