Review: David Gilmour at The Royal Albert Hall

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Seeing the same concert four times in the span of a year, you’d think it would get slightly exasperating. Not if you’re witnessing a legend like David Gilmour. I’ve been lucky enough to see the beginning of the main tour, seeing Gilmour at a ‘preview’ show in Brighton last September. Since then, I’ve been to three of his shows at The Royal Albert Hall; one last September, another in April for the Teenage Cancer Trust and the immense show on Sunday (25 September).

I’ve never seen the same act more than two times; so being able to see Gilmour four times in such a short timeframe has been an eye-opening (and amazing) experience. From the change of setlists, variations of band line-up, increasingly effective setups – especially in terms of seeing an extremely new tour due to the 2015 release of Gilmour’s fourth studio album, Rattle That Lock.

This time around, Gilmour gifted the fans that have – in some cases – been following him around the world for this tour. The first being new songs; Dark Side of the Moon’s ‘Great Gig in the Sky’, Meddle‘s ‘One of These Days’ (replacing ‘Astronomy Domine’), Dark Side’s ‘Us and Them’ (instead of ‘The Girl in the Yellow Dress’), The Divison Bell’s ‘Coming Back to Life’ (which was played at the Teenage Cancer Trust show) and extended and axe-battling solo’s between Gilmour and Chester Kamen.

Not only did the new tour members – including new keyboardists Chuck Leavell and Greg Phillinganes – add various layers of monumental talent, they also gave their own spin on Pink Floyd’s and Gilmour’s own tracks. especially the backing vocal stylings of Bryan Chambers, Lucita Jules and Lousie Clare Marshall. Especially on ‘The Great Gig in the Sky’, a track usually sung by one singer but in this instance sung in a magnificently mindblowing harmony.

And the laser and light show. A Gilmour (and Floyd) gig is nothing without the lasers and strobes, when you attend one of these gigs you expect to be blinded for hours after. And last night didn’t disappoint; if anything, it’s the best lighting and laser set up from all the shows I’ve seen on this tour. Each show has improved slightly – as it would do – but it was especially predominately improved last night. This was especially prevalent in the staple tune ‘Run Like Hell’, with the band donning their sunglasses to melt the audience’s faces off with both the sheer sound of their instruments and the strobe lighting. And the iconic opening to ‘Sorrow’; not only did Gilmour kill his guitar playing, but the seminal video screen got an update with a psychedelic effect added on top of the close-up of Gilmour’s guitar playing.

It’s been a hell of a ride being able to see Gilmour play through his 2015-16 tour, it is whenever you get to witness one of your heroes; let alone four times. Who knows when Gilmour will play again – but I’ll sure as hell be there again if he does.

And not to brag, but, the Brighton show was amazing since I got to be in the music video for ‘Today’ (at the 03:26-03:28 mark). Life goal achieved.

 

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A film student stuck in a 90s timewarp of FBI agents, UFOs, conspiracy theories, alternative rock and grunge.

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