Pink Floyd in Venice, “Comfortably numb”

Pending some time to blog, here is a music video from a huge open-air concert Pink Floyd played in Venice in 1989. The video was captured from a TV broadcast (which I saw at the time)

One of the songs played was the classic “Comfortably numb” (from The Wall). The sound quality of the video doesn’t do it justice, but David Gilmour’s heart-rending guitar solo starting at 4:53 literally had me in tears the first time I heard it. The song is, in a way, about being trapped in a prison of one’s own making, and Gilmour chillingly evokes precisely that. There are players with much stronger or versatile technique, but at his own game, Gilmour is in a class of his own. (Here is the solo by itself, although it really needs the song to set the mood. And here is a rare version featuring David Bowie as the guest singer.)

Friday Night Beauty: Porcupine Tree, “Waiting, Phase 1″

Porcupine Tree — the main musical outlet of singer, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Steven Wilson — is pretty much the Pink Floyd of the 21st century as far as I am concerned.

While PT frontman Steven Wilson is not Jewish and has no need for in organized religion, he divides his time between Golders Green (the Jewish area of London par excellence) and Tel Aviv, Israel, where (as one of many musical side projects) he recorded two albums with Israeli songwriter (and enfant terrible) Aviv Geffen under the moniker Blackfield. Here is a 2006 interview with Wilson in the English edition of the Yediot Achronot daily.

Here is the studio version of one of Wilson’s most atmospheric songs, and one of my personal favorites: “Waiting, phase one” from the album “Signify”. No video, but the audio more than makes up for that. (All guitar parts, including the heart-rending guitar solo in the middle, are by Wilson himself.)

Below is a 1999 live version, with some allowances for the missing guitar overdubs.

Finally,, as something of a curiosum, here is PT frontman Steve Wilson in a solo acoustic  performance at a 2003 performance in Israel.

Continue reading

Apropos video: Pink Floyd, “Sorrow”

This mournful Pink Floyd tune is very much apropos current events. I’ve always had a soft spot for David Gilmour’s lead guitar playing — while he would never win a shredding contest with the likes of Malmsteen or Steve Vai, his silvery sound simply oozes emotion without ever becoming sentimental. 9Now of you want both the shredding and the feeling, Dream Theater’s John Petrucci is your man.)

Studio version with some psychedelic  imagery:

Live version from “Pulse”: David’s vocals sound tired, but his lead playing on the outro has some neat twists

… awakes to a morning, with no reason for waking…

… and silence that speaks so much louder than words, of promises broken…