The Wall Turns 30

As Roger Waters the 30th anniversary of The Wall with a marathon tour, the show itself is getting a big thumb’s up for its production value.

John Carucci, reviewer for the Associated Press, attended the show’s opening in Toronto Sept. 15, and he had a lot to say about it. Rather than this tour being nostalgic, 2010 is the right time for it “probably because of the technology that catapults it into the stratosphere.”

Photo: AP Photo
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

The 2 1/2-hour performance is filled with imagery projected onto the massive wall. There are synchronized pyrotechnics, marching hammers and a plane flying into the wall and bursting into flames on opening number “In The Flesh” alone.

“Thanks to the width of the wall, which spans the Air Canada Centre, and the constant saturated, crisp projection, there doesn’t seem to be a bad vantage point,” Carucci said. “It’s almost like seeing a staged musical in an appropriately sized theatre.”

By the time the wall is complete at “Goodbye Cruel World,” it stretches 240 feet across and is more than 35 feet high. There are 424 bricks, 242 of which are built, assembled and knocked down throughout the course of the show.

“The Thin Ice” begins with an image of Waters’ father, Eric Fletcher Waters, who was killed during World War II. There are also images from Iraq and Iran, and the wall is once filled hundreds of photos uploaded by fans to Waters’ website.

“Throughout the show, there’s a great deal of Orwellian imagery that, at times, feels like Apple Computers’ ‘1984’ commercial,” Carucci said. “Only nobody wanted a sledgehammer to end it.”

Fans internationally will get to enjoy The Wall through next June, with multiple nights in major markets.

Photo: AP Photo / The Canadian Press
Air Canada Centre, Toronto, ON

Click here to read the complete Associated Press review, here for the schedule and here for the Roger Waters website.