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Progressive Rock DVD/Video Reviews

David Gilmour

In Concert DVD

Review by Greg Olma

This is an odd release from David Gilmour as it showcases mainly a show from 2001 and then adds in some additional pieces from a 2002 concert.  Both performances were captured at the Royal Festival Hall in London and focus more on the music than the visuals, which is odd since Pink Floyd was very much about the visual presentation.  Obviously, Gilmour is in fine form throughout, and I liked that he took the songs and made them a bit different instead of just performing them as we have heard them a million times before. 

Songs like “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and “Comfortably Numb” sounded different, yet familiar at the same time.  With the production being a bit more stripped back, the songs took on a new sound that gave them a more intimate feel.  Pink Floyd songs are a given since most of his career was spent in the band, but we also got a smattering of more obscure tunes.  “Terrapin” and “Dominoes” are old Syd Barrett tracks, and, while it was great to see him pay homage to Floyd’s original guitarist, these were strange choices as he could have picked something from The Piper at the Gates of Dawn or A Saucerful of Secrets instead of Barrett’s solo outings. 

A song by Richard Thompson called "Dimming of the Day" caused me to go and do some research as I had never heard this track before.  The biggest surprise for me was the inclusion of “Smile,” which would not see a studio release for five more years on Gilmour’s On An Island album.  Some famous faces make an appearance, as well, with Bob Geldof singing “Comfortably Numb” and bandmate Richard Wright joining for his solo track "Breakthrough."  

The bonus material on this DVD is sparse and not really worth watching more than once.  There is some rehearsal footage and video of Gilmour playing “I Put A Spell On You” with some other artists.  Once viewed, I don’t think most people will go back to the bonus material again. 

The words at the beginning of this review still hold that “this is an odd release." If you are expecting Pink Floyd (or even David Gilmour solo), then this might seem as a disappointment due to the lack of stage lighting and visuals, but if you take it for what it is, then this will be a very enjoyable experience.  The songs take on a life of their own, and these performances create a warmth to pieces that can be a bit cold and sterile when attached to the Pink Floyd concert extravaganza.  


This review is available in book (paperback and hardcover) in Music Street Journal: 2020  Volume 3. More information and purchase links can be found at: garyhillauthor.com/Music-Street-Journal-2020.
 
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