It was in this year’s April that I managed to purchase tickets for this concert. The plan actually was to combine the concert in Verona, scheduled for 14.09. with my holiday in Italy. Due to immense demand, these tickets were sold out completely in less than a minute, while I was hopelessly trying my luck online. Not accepting this defeat, plans were re-scheduled, and tickets for the gig a few days earlier in Pula, Croatia, were bought.
Needless to say that David Gilmour naturally only picked out the very finest locations and venues (if one may still call it that). The European tour included six stops, starting in Pula, continuing in Verona, Florence, Orange and Oberhausen and finishing with several gigs in London’s Royal Albert Hall, where countless legendary musicians have had (or given) the honour to play. The North American Tour is supposed to follow in 2016.
The concert took place in the historical Arena of Pula, a well preserved Roman amphitheatre and a stunning monument of times long gone by. Adding to this outer ambience, the light technicians of the show, as well as the huge round screen with countless animations and videos – a part of every Pink Floyd (or in this case David Gilmour) concert – completed the atmosphere of the gig, making the evening a real spectacle. The only problem was a quite serious lack of organisation concerning the Croatian hosts. Not being able to find our seats (nobody from the staff could tell us where they were) we had to sit on the Arena’s floor for the first half of the concert. In the announced twenty-minute-break, we finally managed to get our seats. Sitting on the floor, however, did have one huge advantage: we were extremely close to Gilmour. As a ’normal’ part of the audience, you really could not get to him any closer than that, and the sound in the Arena was great.
Before reviewing the protagonist’s performance, however, a word or two should be said about the other musicians involved. There were a drummer, an acoustic guitarist, a bassist, a keyboard player, a man who played – as it seemed – almost every brass instrument there is, as well as one female and one male background singer. Without a doubt all of them were professionals, delivering high musical quality all the way through. I was especially thrilled with the male backing voice (the female rather went down in comparison) and the brass instrument player, who once had to switch a huge saxophone with one of less size within only a few seconds during a song. He managed, being really only a few hundredths of a second late, which, I am sure, not many people noticed at all. Mr. Gilmour did, though.
It is thus merely from the outside that the maestro has aged. His musical abilities are astonishing, just like in Pink Floyd’s best days. Presenting his one-and-only David Gilmour guitar sound with ease and having a very unique voice, which already had quite a mature timbre to it in his earlier days, he yet again manages to keep his standards and fulfill his fans’ expectations. Gilmour pleased a lot of people with his choice of songs for the setlist, including all-time-hits such as Time, Money, Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond, High Hopes, and many others. From the new album Rattle That Lock (Gilmour’s fourth solo album, which the tour is named after) he played the 5am and the title track as the opener to the evening, as well as The Girl in the Yellow Dress, which was a personal highlight for me, and four other new songs. Toward the end of the evening Gilmour mentioned the album and its publishing delay. He did not, however, explain what caused the delay, but instead announced it would be out soon…and so it was published on 18.09.
Even though I dislike saying it – these might be Gilmour’s last album and tour(s). The music is definitely worth listening to and I even more recommend to go ahead and be part of one of the tours’ stops – I am damn glad I have been!
© David Gilmour
© RIFF SHIFT