Roger Waters still out to topple walls with political imagery

Updated June 15, 2017 - 1:55 pm

“Could we do a show without the flying pig? Yes. Would we? No.”

The menacing inflatable pig was a signature of Pink Floyd, and now it’s a constant of Roger Waters solo tours.

“It’s great. And it doesn’t feel old. It still feels very relevant and very new,” says Sean Evans, creative director of Waters’ “Us + Them” tour.

But like “The Wall” tour, which Evans also worked on with the 73-year-old British rocker, old symbols take on new meaning. The flying pig now carries a cartoon image of Donald Trump with the word balloon “I won!”

In fact, Trump imagery — and sound bites — are all over the tour docking at T-Mobile Arena on Friday. Trump’s face is plastered with the word “Charade” to match a key lyric in “Pigs (Three Different Ones).” The Floyd classic “Money” features Trump’s Atlantic City casinos.

Word is spreading quickly that the Floyd classics have been refinished to match the dark sarcasm of Waters’ two-week-old solo album, “Is This the Life We Really Want?” Already, Evans says, people are chanting along to a key phrase in the new song “Picture This”: “Picture a leader with no (expletive) brains.”

“It’s gone over pretty well in red cities (such as Tulsa, Oklahoma),” Evans says. “We were expecting much more outrage, but I guess people know what to expect by now.”

And those who do walk out? “I guess people just attribute different things to Pink Floyd. People think it’s just, ‘Put it on and check out’ music. But they’re not really listening to what it was saying. It’s always been pretty serious music, and full of statements.

“This might be a bit more specific,” he adds, “but it’s nothing new. If people are surprised, I just feel like they haven’t been paying attention to the music.”

Some of the Trump imagery was introduced at last year’s Desert Trip festival. “Honestly … we didn’t think he was going to get elected,” Evans says. Did anything change in light of comedian Kathy Griffin discovering that imagery can go too far?

“If you’re pushing it too far, you can alienate,” Evans says. “It’s finding a place where it’s more putting your arms around someone and saying, ‘Have a listen to this. Have a think.’ The ‘Pigs’ thing is probably pushing that a bit. But still it’s done with a smile.”

The new album reflects “fear of the fact that everything is running away from us and nobody is the child who says, ‘But the emperor is not wearing any clothes,’ ” Waters recently told The Associated Press.

The new songs are “essentially about our dilemma as human beings as to whether we can find ways to accommodate each other’s needs, and to discover our potential for empathy for others, including refugees,” Waters added.

No one has ever accused Waters of subtlety, even if the new album’s lyrics are more aggressive and outrageous than the often subdued, orchestral instrumentation.

Evans chuckles when he recounts how the new tour went from not even attempting to match the spectacle of “The Wall,” to coming within one truck of the $60 million rock opera that toured for three years (and is preserved in a concert film co-directed by Waters and Evans).

“The funny thing is that we did (say) there’s no way we’re going to top ‘The Wall,’ ” he says. “But what we did say was we wanted to do something that messes with the space and does something different in that arena space.”

The result includes close to “400 feet of moving image in an arena, which is ridiculous.” And an effect involving the “Dark Side of the Moon” pyramid is best saved as a surprise for those who haven’t peeked on YouTube.

Concert promoters and casino executives have made Waters a standing offer to stage “The Wall” — or anything he wants — in a Las Vegas destination show, akin to country icon George Strait’s periodic dates at T-Mobile Arena.

“I think that anything like that, he would take it as a challenge and do it, whether it’s Vegas or London or New York or whatever,” Evans says.

“But for him, he’s 73 and he still has these huge projects, so it’s (a matter of) putting them in order,” he adds. “He is very prolific and loves to work. So if he tackled something like that, it wouldn’t be a surprise at all.”

Contact Mike Weatherford at mweatherford@reviewjournal. com or 702-383-0288. Follow @Mikeweatherford on Twitter.

ad-high_impact_4
Entertainment
Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend Car Show celebrates 21st year
The Stray Cats, Jerry Lee Lewis, Duane Eddy, Elvira and Mitch Polzak make appearances the 21st Annual Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend car show at the Orleans hotel and casino on Saturday, April 21, 2018.
This "Alice in Wonderland" cocktail changes colors and flavors while you sip
Take a tour of The Underground at The Mob Museum
Prince death investigation coming to an end
Prosecutors in Minnesota plan an announcement Thursday on the two-year investigation into Prince's death from a drug overdose Prince was 57 when he was found alone and unresponsive in an elevator at his Paisley Park estate on April 21, 2016. An autopsy found he died of an accidental overdose of fentanyl. Search warrants unsealed about a year after Prince died showed that authorities searched his home, cellphone records of associates and his email accounts to try to determine how he got the drug. The county attorney has scheduled a morning announcement at which time charges could be filed.
Art Bell’s Top 10 Shows
A selection of radio host Art Bell’s most popular shows.
Big Bounce America visits North Las Vegas
Billing itself as "the biggest bounce house in the world," Big Bounce America visits Craig Ranch Regional Park in Las Vegas.
David Copperfield in court after man injured during magic trick
The attorney for a British man who is suing illusionist David Copperfield said his client suffered serious injuries after being called on stage during Copperfield's show at MGM Grand.
Disneyland debuts new foods for Pixar Fest on Friday
Pixar Fest takes place ahead of California Adventure’s Pixar Pier expansion. (Janna Karel/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sneak Peek at New Decorations, Merch and Parade for Disneyland's Pixar Fest
Las Vegas Philharmonic celebrates 20th anniversary season
Orchestra’s 2018-19 season features premiere, more (Carol Cling/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Downtown Las Vegas' newest bar is a reggae lounge
Jammyland serves island-inspired cocktails. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
5 things connecting Las Vegas and Marilyn Monroe
1. Marilyn Monroe, known then as Norma Jeane, obtained her first divorce in Las Vegas at the age of 20 on September 13, 1946. 2. According to some biographers, Monroe lived at 604 S. 3rd Street for four months during the summer of 1946. The house has since been torn down and is now the site of a parking lot. 3. In 1954, Monroe almost married Joe DiMaggio in Las Vegas but the wedding was called off last minute. The wedding was to be held at the Hotel El Rancho Vegas which was located on the southwest corner of Sahara Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. 4. Las Vegas has at least one road dedicated to the star. Marilyn Monroe Avenue is located in east Las Vegas and intersects with Betty Davis Street and Cary Grant Court. 5. There are currently more than 20 Marilyn Monroe impersonators for hire in the Las Vegas Valley.
This boozy milkshake is big enough to share with seven of your best friends
Fiddlestix makes an "8 Man Milkshake" that's packed with alcohol. (Janna Karel Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Five Chris Stapleton songs you need to hear
D. Michael Evola opened E-String to make New York style pizza
Shamrock Macarons at Morels at Palazzo
Zuma serves a sushi roll topped with 24-karat gold
La Cirque covers their quail and foie gras in real gold
Jean-Georges Steakhouse seves chocolate gold bars
3 ways you can eat gold in Las Vegas
Artist Kathleen Nathan On The Virtues Of Library Galleries
The Las Vegas-Clark County Library District’s art galleries offers artists a more relaxed vibe for showing their work. (John Przybys/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada SPCA Competes In Tournament Of Tails
The NSPCA and its mascot cat, Prince, are competing in an online voting challenge for a $5,000 grand prize.
Red carpet at MGM for Dan Reynolds Believer screening
Kats on the red carpet for the VIP screening of "Believer," the documentary by Imagine Dragons frontman Dan Reynolds about how the Mormon Church treats its LGBTQ members.
Eureka's cocktail comes with a "buzz button" that will shock your taste buds
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed
‘The Sopranos’ Prequel Film Confirmed Deadline reports that New Line has purchased Chase and Lawrence Konner’s screenplay for their “Sopranos” prequel film. The working title for the prequel is “The Many Saints of Newark.” Chase created the HBO series, which ran for six seasons, and Konner served as a writer. “The Many Saints of Newark” is set during the 1960s riots in the New Jersey city between the African-American and Italian communities. Multiple characters from the series, albeit younger versions, are expected to star in the film. The Sopranos won 21 Primetime Emmy Awards and five Golden Globe Awards during its run.
The Big Bounce America is coming to the Las Vegas Valley
The Big Bounce America. (Courtesy Big Bounce America)
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History
The 90th Oscars Were the Least Watched in History According to The Hollywood Reporter, 26.5 million watched the Oscars, a 20 percent drop from last year. The 26.5 million viewers would be an all-time low for the Oscars. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC telecast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Last year, 32.9 million viewers tuned in to watch the ceremony. The previous low for viewership was 32 million viewers in 2008 when Jon Stewart was host. The Shape of Water picked up an award for Best Picture, while Gary Oldman and Frances McDormand won Best Actor and Actress, respectively.
March First Friday theme is “Think”
First Friday art, culture, music and food event takes place on the first Friday of every month in and around the studios and galleries of the Arts District in downtown Las Vegas. (K.M. Cannon)
Cirque’s One Night for One Drop gets ready for the big night
Cirque du Soleil’s “One Night for One Drop” performed a dress rehearsal for the annual benefit show. This year’s show at Mandalay Bay is based on the life of singer-songwriter Jewel. K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal
The Kosher Experience provides kosher foods to Las Vegas families
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
ad-infeed_1
ads_infeed_2
Local Spotlight
Events
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like