Rogers Centre, Toronto - June 23, 2012

Jane Stevenson, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:31 AM ET

TORONTO - All in all, it wasn’t just another brick in the wall.

Try several.

Roger Waters’ The Wall - bigger, bolder and even better - returned to Toronto on Saturday night at the Roger Centre in front of 40,000 fans for one of the biggest shows of the summer.

After launching the 30th anniversary of The Wall tour at the Air Canada Centre in 2010 with a trio of shows, the 68-year-old singer-bassist of Pink Floyd fame came back with an impressive-sized wall suitable for a stadium show.

“It’s nice of them to build this for me,” said Waters, dwarfed by the white wall on to which projections, animation, words, graffiti, and images of himself and his 11 piece band were shown all night long.

“I know it’s a silly joke, but what can you do?”

That rare bit of brevity came in what was otherwise a seriously dazzling and theatrical display of music and concert technology - fireworks and firebursts too - that saw Waters perform Pink Floyd’s seminal 1979 double album, The Wall, which the British prog-rock act originally toured in 1980, from start to finish.

The concept album/rock opera was based on Waters’ childhood/early adulthood in England about loss, (his dad died in WWII, and his first wife deserted him), abuse (at the hands of his school teachers), and repression and isolation (his overprotective mother).

There were also inflatables of a British school teacher with a strap, and green woman, possibly representing his ex-wife, given she turned up during the song Don’t Leave Me Now, and a floating black pig that Water fired a machine gun at while dressed up as a fascist-like leader in black leather and sunglasses.

And the wall grew in size as it was gradually built up by workers puzzle-like during the show until the exciting climax at the end.

But, like last time he was in Toronto, it wasn’t always the big, over-the-top moments that had the greatest impact.

Waters was once again joined by kids from the Regent Park School Of Music to sing Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2).

“We don’t see these kids until sound check,” explained Waters afterwards. “It’s not easy coming out in front of all you guys.”

“You were great!” he said to the children directly.

In another touching moment, Waters also sang along to a 1980 filmed recording of himself singing Mother in 1980 at Earl’s Court back when he was “miserable and f---ed up.

“Trust me I know,” said Waters. “I remember him well.”

Waters reprised Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) with The Ballad Of Jean Charles de Menezes, in tribute to a young student engineer from Brazil who was shot in the back of the head after he was misidentified as one of the fugitives in the failed London bombing attempts of 2005.

“I’m dedicating this bit of the show to him and all the other victims of state terror around the world,” said Waters. “Maybe we can all learn if we give our police and government too much power it’s a very steep and slippery slope to tyranny.”

Anthems like Hey You, Is There Anybody Out There?, Comfortably Numb, and Run Like Hell, also went over well with the crowd on their feet the whole time, while Bring The Boys Back Home had as much resonance today, perhaps more so, than when it was first released.

“Thirty years ago when I wrote this I was notoriously grumpy and not very good at performing in big places like these in front of all you people,” said Waters, wrapping up the two hours of spectacle.

“Well, times have changed. I could not be happier.”

SET LIST:

In the Flesh?

The Thin Ice

Another Brick in the Wall (Part 1)

The Happiest Days of Our Lives

Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)

Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2) Reprise The Ballad Of Jean Charles de Menezes.

Mother

Goodbye Blue Sky

Empty Spaces

What Shall We Do Now?

Young Lust

One of My Turns

Don’t Leave Me Now

Another Brick in the Wall (Part 3)

The Last Few Bricks

Goodbye Cruel World

INTERMISSION:

Hey You

Is There Anybody Out There?

Nobody Home

Vera

Bring the Boys Back Home

Comfortably Numb

The Show Must Go On

In the Flesh

Run Like Hell

Waiting for the Worms

Stop

The Trial

Outside the Wall


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