Classic Rock Review

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David Gilmour Live In Gdansk (2008)

live_in_gdansk_large_packshotFrom amazon.com

Review Pink Floyd fans have been on a roller coaster of emotions in the first part of the 21st Century, and this excellent document takes us back to An Island of Pink Floyd and Gilmour/Wright magic one last time.

It is the final encore for Richard Wright, one of the greatest (and humblest) musical geniuses of all time (despite being a founding member of Pink Floyd and deserving a co-billing with David Gilmour, he chose to let David Gilmour have sole billing)and the last spark of the Pink Floyd magic flame, which has sadly gone out at this time with the passing of Wright.

David Gilmour still has many great albums in him, and Roger Waters is still making new music, but without Wright, there will be no more great Floyd music.

In 2005, Floyd fans got a surprise that brought our moods up and raised our hopes when the classic line up got together one last time at Live 8. Even though it was a farewell performance, there was a chance another world changing event would bring the band back together for another brief performance.

Then the first sucker punch of Syd Barrett’s passing smashed away the mysterious character that we all hoped would at least come out one last time to play something before going into hiding again. That would never happen now. Then, David Gilmour’s On An Island hit the shelves. I bought it just because I am a fan of PF and wanted to see what Gilmour was up to. I expected it to be a decent album. It was not. It was an outstanding album that, despite not being called Pink Floyd, was more like pink Floyd’s classic sound that anything since Wish You Were Here.

It hearkened back to Pre DSOTM Floyd in a big way. It was another great peak on the roller coaster ride. There was still more to go, though, as Remember That Night came out with an excellent show and appearances, for one last time, with all four members of classic Floyd, including a heart-warming meeting of two old friends. (You have to watch the documentaries to find them all.) This was another high point.

Then another low point; At the Syd Barrett Tribute show, Roger Waters did a solo performance and the Waters-Less Floyd did a separate performance, putting doubt into the chance of any future reunion gigs, which has now turned from doubt into an ever-resounding NO with the passing of Wright. Finally, after another rise of the return of Waters to the stage and the possibility of a new Waters album, as well as the announcement of this very product, things were good again.

Then we were given a hard and violent kick in the gut by fate as the ever private Wright, who had kept his illness out of the public eye passed away from cancer, which he kindly kept hidden from the fans. The release of this set is possibly the last trip up on the roller coaster, as we get a chance to see Mr. Gilmour and Mr. Wright perform their magic along with Mr. Manzanera, Mr. DiStanislao, Mr. Carin, Mr. Pratt, Mr. Parry and an orchestra one last time, as well as have a souvenir to take with us and listen to in the car or wherever we enjoy listening to CDs. This set is a bittersweet farewell to a man, a band, and “softly spoken magic spell” that cannot be spoken ever again. Thanks to all of the band, and everyone responsible for this.

The quality of the CDs and the DVDs is excellent, and you can tell a lot of work went into this, as well as a lot of love. Yes, this is a quality product, and it is a way for us to enjoy the legacy of this great act, along with Remember That Night. We’ll remember both nights for a long time to come, and the Echoes will never fade. Now I just hope I can watch and listen to the mournful masterpiece once without breaking into a fit of tears….

Review David Gilmour, well known as the singer and guitarist of Pink Floyd, just released his new live 3-CD/2-DVD collection entitled Live in Gdansk and is a MUST for all DG and PF fans.
There’s 2-CDs which feature 23 songs from his Gdansk, Poland performance recorded at the Gdansk Shipyard on August 26, 2006. 15 of the 23 songs (marked with *) are on the third disc and the first of two DVDs in this set which also has a documentary and webpass to download 13 tracks (including “Wots…Uh the Deal (performed at the Gdansk show but left off the CDs for time constraints) on this set).

Gilmour for this last show on his On an Island tour is backed onstage by PF 1987 alum which were keyboard player Jon Carin and bass player Guy Pratt, Roxy Music guitarist Phil Manzanera, drummer Steve DiStanislao and the recently deceased Pink Floyd keyboard player Rick Wright. Plus, there’s appearances by Zbigniew Preisner (who did the orchestrations and conducts the Baltic Symphony Orchestra) and Leszek Mozdzer on piano.

CD one begins with four from Dark Side of the Moon which are “Speak to Me”, “Breathe”, “Time” and “Breathe (Reprise)” (all are excellent versions). The next ten tracks are the On an Island* portion of the show this time with an orchestra. “Castellorizon” is amazing. “On An Island” is superb (even without Crosby and Nash’s harmonies). “The Blue” trumps the studio version. “Red Sky at Night” is more haunting live with orchestra and Jon Carin’s Lap Steel playing counterpointing Gilmour’s rare sax playing appearance. Next is a jazzy but rocking “This Heaven”.

We follow with “Then I Close My Eyes” (with lap steel replacing Robert Wyatt’s cornet) and an excellent version. “Smile” is superior to studio counterpart. “Take A Breath” is excellent here. “A Pocketful of Stones” is also superb. We end the first set with a great “Where We Start”.

CD 2 starts with a excellent “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” (with wine glass intro). We follow with superb readings of “Astronomy Domine”* and “Fat Old Sun”. The atmospheric “High Hopes”* is next and best solo Gilmour version. Next is a 25-minute spellbinding version of “Echoes”. “Wish You Were Here” follows and is excellent. We then get a surprise out of “A Great Day For Freedom”*. We end with a jawdropping version of “Comfortably Numb”*.

The second DVD (disc four) contains more pieces from the Mermaid Theater concert from March 7, 2006. Also we have more from AOL’s Music Sessions, Live from Abbey Road Studios. Plus we have three Barn Jams included recorded at Gilmour’s home in Sussex, England. We also get On an Island in 5.1 Surround Sound. Lastly, there’s some Easter Eggs that I cannot give away and you will have to see to find out.

The five disc version (which is only available in the US at Best Buy) includes a third live CD including rare performed tracks like “Dominoes”, “Find the Cost of Freedom”, “Coming Back to Life” and “On the Turning Away”.

Sadly, this set features the last work of founding Floyd keyboard player Rick Wright who sadly passed away a week before this set’s release and is a fitting swan song to the musical soul of Pink Floyd and Gilmour’s old friend. This box set is highly recommended.

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May 25, 2013 - Posted by | David Gilmour Live In Gdansk | ,

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