On Thursday, May 24, the Key Arena in Seattle played host to one of rock and roll’s greatest achievements: Roger Waters’ The Wall Live. Waters, former bassist, co-lead singer and main visionary behind the legendary Pink Floyd, has been touring for about a year and a half behind a revived version of the band’s 1979 double-disc masterpiece of the same name to packed stadiums of wowed witnesses across the world. And now I can finally say that I am one of those witnesses, on it’s among one of my life’s greatest privileges to be one of those witnesses.
My preparation for The Wall began well before the actual concert — about 12 years before, to be exact. I was still in adolescence stage of liking nu-rock bands with Eddie-Vedder sound-a-like frontmen and/or bassists who tuned their instruments well below the musical notation spectrum when I saw the cover to Is There Anybody Out There? The Wall Live 1980-81. All it consisted of were four emptied-eyed masks (one for each member of the band) set against a black background, but it intrigued me all the same. At that point in my life, I had only heard “Another Brick in the Wall, Part II” a couple of times, the first of which while waiting for my mom outside of Barnes and Noble sometime in October 1998 (I pictured the band as a single, presumably scrawny, pink-haired man). Regardless of my ignorance, the mystique of the group inspired me in my early attempts at making music, even to the point I referred to myself as Redd Waters at 13 years old. And that was before listening to a single song beyond “Brick, Part II.” It seemed I was destined to be an ardent fan. The seeds had just been planted.
Over the next year or so, my fascination with Pink Floyd grew each time I saw the TV ad for Echoes: The Very Best of Pink Floyd, which seemed to play three or four times during the course of any given Simpsons episode. But I didn’t care: I had to hear whatever was on that album, so I requested it for Christmas 2001. When I received as a stocking stuffer (thank you so very, very, very much, Mom and Dad), I almost immediately went downstairs and put it on the family computer. My life would never be the same after that.