Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|David Gilmour in Concert - Live at Robert Wayatt's Meltdown|
Actors: Michael Kamen, Chucho Merchan, Dick Parry, Robert Wyatt, Caroline Dale
Director: David Mallet
Genres: Music Video & Concerts
Tracklisting — 1. Shine on You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5 — 2. Terrapin — 3. Fat Old Sun — 4. Coming Back To Life — 5. High Hopes — 6. Je Crois Entendre Encore — 7. Smile — 8. Wish You Were Here — 9. Comfortably Numb — 10. Dimming of t... more »
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Gilmour makes Good
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Freed from the shackles of what Pink Floyd has become, David Gilmour sounds positively liberated on his new live DVD, David Gilmour in Concert. The years have snuck up on him, as it inevitably does to all of our heroes, but his voice is even more expressive now than it has ever been. He's actually becoming more like his long-estranged counterpart Roger Waters, and that's a good thing, a great thing in fact.
They are both world-weary veterans having finally arrived at similar crossroads in their lives after drifting apart in their not-so-distant youth. Both men's voices are thinning, sometimes straining to reach notes. While Waters is still the bleeding-heart poet, and Gilmour still the guitar virtuoso, both seem tired of the bloated excesses of the rock n' roll machine that had welcomed them with open arms all those years ago, instead opting to embrace a more deconstructed approach to performing.
Even moreso than Waters' latest hits tour, Gilmour has unearthed rarely performed gems and obscure covers, and has re-invented overplayed classics. The result is breathtaking. His take on Syd Barrett's seminal Terrapin is pure magic, and Dick Parry's sax solo on Shine On is a freeform revelation. It's this sense of experimentation that has been missing from Gilmour's repetoire since he and the Floyd recorded Dark Side. He's even managed to take his latter-day Floyd tunes into exciting new directions. Take High Hopes for example, what once sounded somewhat inflated and bombastic confined to its awkward Floyd-by-numbers construct, has now taken on a more stripped and organic flavor. Even his lyrics play better without the baggage of the brand name. It's also wonderful to see Richard Wright, playing Breakthrough from his own Broken China album, sounding relaxed and beautiful.
Much of the beauty of the performances is in the rawness of the sound; often times you can hear each finger slide down the fret, each bend of the string. It's a clear and pristine recording to be sure, but it's not sterile and perfect, it's live, alive. Listening to the 5.1 surround, you could swear Gilmour is just feet away, acoustic guitar slung over his shoulder, entertaining guests at an intimate gathering.
The bonus features are equally rewarding. Gilmour's cover of "Don't", the Leiber and Stoller song made classic by Elvis Presley, is heart-wrenchingly beautiful, and his rendering of Shakespeare's Sonnet 18, with Michael Kamen, is sublime.
I was quite frankly shocked at how much I enjoyed this DVD. I've already played it more times than I've played Waters' excellent In The Flesh Live. I'd nearly forgotten how definitive Gilmour's guitar sound is, and how much I missed his voice. It's truly the sound of a wisened man with nothing to prove, a man no longer haunted by the ghost of Roger Waters. If this release is any indication of things to come, I will be waiting with just as much anticipation for Gilmour's next solo album as I am for Roger's, and praying for old friends to make amends."
Gilmour thrills as always
Jeffrey Leach | Omaha, NE USA | 12/28/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"There was a time when I went nowhere without a Pink Floyd album close at hand. "The Wall" and "The Final Cut" formed the crux of my listening habits for nearly two years back in the days when such things mattered more than they do now. Eventually, I picked up every Pink Floyd album I could lay my hands on, along with solo albums from Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Richard Wright, and Syd Barrett. Probably the capper of my Pink Floyd listening days was finally getting to see them live in 1994. I don't listen to this stuff as much as I once did, but anytime I get a chance to check out something new I usually do it. That is why I decided to watch "David Gilmour in Concert," a collection of concert footage shot between 2001 and 2002 in London's Royal Festival Hall. There are no fireworks, no huge video screens, and no massive sound system belting out the hits to tens of thousands of people here. Instead, you just get Dave along with a small group of musicians and a few backup singers. Those used to seeing Gilmour blasting out Pink Floyd hits with the rest of the band--sans Roger Waters, of course--will still enjoy how effortlessly he cranks out the music in a much smaller venue than he is probably used to playing.Arguably the most notable songs on this DVD are the Syd Barrett tunes Gilmour adds to his play list. Hearing "Terrapin" and "Dominoes" performed live really thrills, even if it isn't Syd Barrett doing them. Gilmour has a perfect right to play these songs, in my opinion, because he helped produce Barrett's solo albums back in the early 1970s. Heck, he even provided back up on more than a few of them as well as performing live with Barrett during a few abortive live shows. History has it that Gilmour and Barrett were very close friends, and the two even spent a summer slumming through France playing tunes for pocket change years before Pink Floyd morphed into the stadium powerhouse we are familiar with today. Fans know that several Floyd albums pay tribute to their crazy founder in one way or another, so finally seeing someone from the band play some of Syd's solo songs provides more than an additional reason to pick up this DVD.Gilmour certainly doesn't stop there. Several Pink Floyd tunes find there way onto the play list. There are two separate versions of the guitar anthem "Comfortably Numb," both of which are excellent renditions. On one of them, none other than Bob Geldof--looking very old and sporting a huge comb over--walks out on stage to recite a few of the lyrics, on the other version Soft Machine member Robert Wyatt (I think) does the honors. The guitarist performs a stellar interpretation of parts of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond" from the Wish You Were Here album along with several lively cuts from the Division Bell album. The real treat, for me at least, was finally hearing a live rendition of "Fat Old Sun" from the Atom Heart Mother recordings. I have always considered this one of Gilmour's finest contributions to Pink Floyd's body of work, and he doesn't disappoint with the treatment given to it here. Well, he disappoints slightly because the version is acoustic. The vocals sound perfect, but hearing that soaring, groovy electric guitar would have been nice. Gilmour proves that he still has what it takes to make it all look effortless. Pink Floyd fans should not express much disappointment with these performances.A few odds and ends make their way on the disc. "Smile" is a nice little tune that Gilmour says is new. Before playing the song, he goes so far to advise bootleggers to "start recording now." "Hushabye Mountain," "Je Crois Entendre," and a Richard Wright tune, which the Floyd keyboardist turns up to play, "Breakthrough," rounds out the DVD. Also included is a nifty little tune, "Sonnet 18," on the disc that shows us the inside of Gilmour's floating recording studio while letting us know that his voice is as strong as ever. It is always nice to hear Gilmour play some non-Pink Floyd material. My only problem is he didn't do enough of his solo songs, songs that are often excellent in their own right. You have completely lost it if you cannot find something to like on this disc. Pink Floyd fans often see Gilmour as a lesser force, usually submerging his talents and importance under the contributions of master lyricist Roger Waters. That's true to some extent, but Pink Floyd would never have made it this far without Gilmour's stellar guitar work. This disc underscores what an excellent musician this man is even without any Pink Floyd influences to fall back upon. He makes it all look so effortless, as though he is merely crossing the street or doing his laundry. Actually, Gilmour could probably set his laundry list to music and people would turn out to hear it because it would sound so good! Pink Floyd fans will want to add this DVD to their collection, but even those interested in good music should give this one a go. Attention: Gilmour goes acoustic for most of the songs on the disc, so stadium fans should take note of this and act accordingly."
Coming back to life
Keith Levenberg | New York, N.Y. USA | 12/20/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If David Gilmour's music had evidenced this kind of vision for the last decade and a half, he might have immunized himself from the scorn of those who thought Pink Floyd suffered a beheading when Roger Waters departed. Gilmour has absolutely reinvigorated many of these songs. Some are performed with substantially new arrangements for the very first time, no longer suffocated by Gilmour's almost military precision during Pink Floyd's last two tours. Gilmour even includes two songs from Syd Barrett's solo repertoire, "Terrapin" and "Dominoes," preserving their surreal playfulness without succumbing to the frustration and anxiety that pervade Barrett's own recordings. Most refreshing of all, Pink Floyd classics such as "Comfortably Numb," which has never sounded quite right without a united Floyd, finally bloom under the stewardship of a band capable of recapturing some elusive but essential qualities of the original recordings. This great song has suffered endless failed makeovers, including execrable vocals by Van Morrison in Berlin and Bruce Hornsby in Seville as well as Gilmour's soulless arrangement from 1984 to 1994 that sounds in retrospect not altogether unlike grunge metal. The versions on this DVD begin at a slow, sedate pace that should transfix listeners of such bands as the Grateful Dead and the Cowboy Junkies. Each features a different vocalist substituting for Roger Waters. I slightly favor Bob Geldof, whose starring role in The Wall film certainly bolsters his credibility here, but both successfully execute the hushed expressiveness that characterizes Waters' vocals. The atmosphere unravels as it was intended, fraught with trepidation in the beginning, anasthetized on a cushion of air when Gilmour's chorus melts the tension, and soaring above everything once Gilmour unleashes the greatest guitar solo ever played, which always sounds as though it wants to continue wailing forever.Other highlights of the performance that merit special comment include "Smile," debuting here, a beautiful new song similar in style to "Green is the Colour"; "Je Crois Entendre Encore," a serene but haunting Bizet aria; "Fat Old Sun," Gilmour's first performance of his 1970 composition since that era; and "Breakthrough," from Floyd keyboardist Rick Wright's underappreciated 1996 solo album, Broken China. Although Sinead O'Connor sang "Breakthrough" on the album, Wright appears here as a guest (to great applause) and performs the vocals with Gilmour's band. Accordingly, this is the only version of one of Wright's best songs that he actually sings himself. One should also take care not to neglect the special features the DVD offers in addition to the main performance. Even presented alone, they would stand among the most interesting artifacts in the Pink Floyd universe, and longtime fans should applaud the powers that be for finally realizing that these experiments and curios merit commercial release. The most interesting is the choral version of "High Hopes," where Gilmour brings his dozen background vocalists to the foreground and treats the audience to a haunting tone poem. Minimalism triumphs as the choral component alone proves more arresting than "High Hopes" itself, as beautifully chilling as the "Celestial Voices" part of Floyd's psychedelic melange, "A Saucerful of Secrets." Also included is William Shakespeare's Sonnet 18 ("Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? . . ."), sung by Gilmour to music by Michael Kamen, Gilmour's current pianist and an alumnus of Roger Waters' band (and also the man who paired Guns n' Roses and Metallica with the Philharmonic). Kamen's "lite FM"-style arrangement is almost muzak, exacerbated by accompanying imagery reminiscent of Japanese karaoke footage, but it's a nice song and an interesting companion to "Golden Hair," Syd Barrett's 1970 adaptation of a James Joyce poem.
Who can ignore the elephant in the living room of any Floyd solo project: What new evidence does this present in the ongoing inquisition into "Which one is Pink?" Gilmour's efforts on this DVD unquestionably make a stronger case for his role in crafting Pink Floyd's sound than does any other project since Waters' departure. The world tours he organized for the fractured Pink Floyd in 1987 and 1994, notwithstanding the awesome spectacle of the stadium shows, would not have sounded substantially different had the band simply left a greatest hits compilation playing on a turntable. Gilmour had seemed to reason that a less guarded performance would have betrayed the band's radical reconstitution and therefore elected to play it safe and assemble a glorified tribute band. Presently Gilmour proves more adventurous, and it pays off, as he demonstrates with "Shine On You Crazy Diamond" that he can interpret the song as authentically when he stands alone with his acoustic guitar (parts I-V) as when he performs it with a well-rehearsed band (parts VI-IX). Gilmour's new material, moreover, is tender and etheral, knit together by lead guitar parts woven with classical meticulousness and perfectly seasoned with background vocal harmonies, plodding percussion, and even Dick Parry's saxophone -- essential properties of Floyd's most characteristic albums. Suddenly it seems that Gilmour's signature on the Pink Floyd sound faded in direct proportion to the increasing responsibility he assumed in the group. When he played sole bandleader, he was barely there, and if that story seems familiar, it proves the timelessness of a certain album and the pertinence of its infinitely recurring question, "Isn't this where we came in?" Finally, in 2002, David Gilmour has come back to life, and with this concert appears to have broken through his own Wall."
A wonderful DVD for any true music fan!!!!
Justin C. Whitener | Dallas, NC United States | 11/19/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"David Gilmour's new DVD is absolutely amazing. The music is performed beautifully. Even though there's not the flash and spectacle of the typical Pink Floyd concert, Dave proves that the music can hold its own. I can't stop watching it. You even get to see Rick Wright join in with the band for a couple of songs, something every Pink Floyd loves to see. I especially enjoy the extras that come on the dvd. They give fans a glimpse into the life of David Gilmour, something that He has usually kept to himself. There are scenes of his house boat Astoria while he sings Shakespeare's Sonnet 18, and I think that is my favorite part of the dvd. It's absolutely breathtaking. The music, Dave's voice, and the scenery create an almost dream like experience. I would urge any true music fan to buy this dvd. It should be an essential item in everyone's dvd collection. A must have."