18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars
Not the real event by any means..., 18 May 2003
It is worrying, yet justified that everybody I have shared feelings with (concerning the official release of this concert) have all commented to the effect of this leaving a sour taste in the mouth, or like being subtley fisted.
The official version (DVD/Video/CD) lacks the atmosphere, energy, spontaneity and even the MAJOR technical faults which made the actual performance 'special' in it's own way.
Roger Waters, co-writer of The Wall and ex-Floydian, couldn't have been too happy with the artist's performances as can only be witnessed on the original televised version (many of which were appallingly bad & off key - apart from those by The Scorpions, Ute Lemper, Bryan Adams, Sinead O'Connor & Paul Carrack), but gone is what MADE the spectacle; even the crowd noise has been extensively re-sampled & deeply layered to DEATH to re-create the magnitude of the occasion, although it ends up sounding like a constant wave of computer fuzz.
Retained in the DVD edition are the show's size and epic visual production, and being honest these are the only positives which I personally could identify.
Almost all of the music and vocals on this DVD are actually from the rehearsal show (the evening before the concert) whilst other songs were re-recorded & re-engineered the day after, and the resulting overly rich & polished soundtrack doesn't necessarily score any points or substitute the lost atmosphere, let alone account for the awfully robotic & tedious sounding audience.
Roger may very well be a perfectionist, but it could've been to his merit (to longtime Waters/Floyd followers & devotees) to have included a "Special Edition Warts and All" section for the DVD showing the footage of the technical failure at the intro to "The Thin Ice" (when equipment overheated and the click-track which provided the large band with timing cohesion failed to trigger). Also as a result of this ommission, you don't then see Roger himself walk onto stage, have a quick word with Ute Lemper (who doesn't end up singing Thin Ice since it wasn't even performed on the night; as wasn't Another Brick In The Wall - Pt 1 and half of Mother! Surprise!!), walk out in front of the 'Wall', give a big wave to the 200,000 persons in attendance and dance a little irish jig! Neither do we get to see Roger stop playing guitar during the first verse of Mother, take of his guitar, kneel down on stage and pray over his instrument. Both truly amazing and unique moments for being completely live and in front of 200,000 people but also totally endearing and in-keeping with Roger's previously publicised onstage antics and general Floyd-live mishaps (throughout their career). In truth I imagine that if Dave Gilmour, Nick Mason or Rick Wright had've been watching it on television that they might have felt rather upset for Roger, and God only knows what Roger himself must've been feeling when these major errors occurred!?
I only own a copy of this DVD for it's visuals, as they are truly on a larger than normal scale and awesome for that, but the actual music performances are for the most part bland and, overall, lack the impact that this piece needs to be given a soul. Impressive, powerful and faithful would be ANY Floyd fan's response to the official 1980 Wall performance on DVD by the complete Floyd; Dull and limp would be an extreme review of the official DVD version here.
Amazingly though, I would suggest a few highlight tracks that (easily & without much needed effort) stand out above the rest of the show sound-wise:
Goodbye Blue Sky
One Of My Turns
Don't Leave Me Now
Is There Anybody Out There?
Bring The Boys Back Home
Waiting For The Worms
For a Roger Waters concert WITH soul, seek out his "In The Flesh" DVD, which is sure to satisfy with one viewing and will leave no sour after-taste.