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Roger Waters’ “US+Them” tour underway (pics ++ setlists from Kansas City & Louisville)

Roger Waters kicked-off his highly anticipated “Us+Them” tour in Kansas City, MO on Friday, May 26. At this Memorial Day Weekend show, Roger and co. delivered the audience a 24-song setlist, 19 of which were tried and true Pink Floyd classics, with the remaining five from his new, Nigel Godrich-produced album Is This The Life We Really Want. You can see set lists from the Kansas City show, and Sunday night’s Louisville, KY show, along with the list of full North American tour dates, below.

I had the opportunity to witness the pre-tour, full-set, full-tech dress rehearsal of this “Us+Them” tour at NJ’s Meadowlands on May 21, and am fully equipped to tell you that for fans of Roger Waters and Pink Floyd, this tour is 100% unmissable. [Editor’s note: please keep in mind Klaus is a mega Pink Floyd superfan.] The new material is brilliantly, almost inconspicuously, inserted into the overall repertoire so that the aural and narrative themes jibe absolutely perfectly.

On the new album and on this current tour Roger has surrounded himself with a roster of musicians who might be completely new faces to his legions of die-hard fans, myself included. Gone are veteran musicians like drummer Graham Broad and guitarists Snowy White and GE Smith. This time around he has enlisted a younger, much subtler crew. Among the newer faces are drummer Joey Waronker (Beck, Walt Mink, R.E.M., Elliott Smith), whose style is way more Nick Mason-esque; Jessica Wolfe and Holly Laessig from Lucius on vocalsJonathan Wilson (who released the acclaimed Fanfare in 2013) on lead guitar, and Drew Erickson (The Colors) on keys. Two veterans on the roster include guitarist Dave Kilminster, who absolutely owned the guitar duties on Roger Waters The Wall, and longtime touring member Jon Carin.

Together, this assemblage of musicians might be my favorite Roger Waters live band iteration I’ve seen. Of particular note was their deft and expert handling of the nearly 30-minute one-two punch of “Dogs” and “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” from the 1977 album Animals. It was effortless. Also of note is how incredible the new songs are and how well they co-exist with the classics many in attendance were there to see. The band was completely in the pocket as they transitioned from Wish You Were Here’s “Welcome to the Machine” into a four-song exploration of the new album Is This The Life We Really Want? Roger Waters himself is in absolute top form, capable of still belting out the anguished screams and seething hisses into the mic. A true showman.

As usual, Waters’ immersive visual component to the Us + Them tour is an integral part of the show. The backdrop is a massive, stage wide, floor to ceiling high-resolution LED screen that enveloped the space with jaw-dropping visuals. At one point the arena was bisected lengthwise by a ceiling-suspended wall of projection screens that were illuminated by what appeared to be about 16 high-res video projectors, eight on each side. These screens raised and lowered at various intervals and were just an unbelievable (and unexpected) addition to the visual overload that was already blowing my mind. And it wouldn’t have been a Roger Waters / Pink Floyd show without a graffitied floating pig hovering over the audience.

Needless to say this show is highly political; very anti-Trump and anti-fascist, and very pro-refugee and pro “other.” Roger has spent the better part of 40 years working political inclinations into his music and Pink Floyd’s music, and for the past quarter century he’s just been more direct about it than ever.

Is This the Life We Really Want? will be out June 2. Roger’s tour hits the East Coast this fall, including two shows at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center.

 

SETLIST: Roger Waters @ Sprint Center, Kansas City, MO. 5/26/17 : Setlist

“Breathe”
“One of These Days”
“Time”
“Breathe (Reprise)”
“The Great Gig in the Sky”
“Welcome to the Machine”
“When We Were Young” +
“Déjà Vu” +
“The Last Refugee” +
“Picture That” +
“Wish You Were Here”
“The Happiest Days of Our Lives”
“Another Brick in the Wall Part 2″
“Another Brick in the Wall Part 3″
“Dogs”
“Pigs (Three Different Ones)”
“Money”
“Us and Them”
“Smell the Roses” +
“Brain Damage”
“Eclipse”
“Vera”
“Bring the Boys Back Home”
“Comfortably Numb”

SETLIST: Roger Waters @ KFC Yum Center, Louisville, KY 5/28/2017
Breathe
One of These Days
Time
Breathe (Reprise)
The Great Gig in the Sky
Welcome to the Machine
When We Were Young +
Déjà Vu +
The Last Refugee +
Wish You Were Here
Another Brick in the Wall Part 2
Another Brick in the Wall Part 3

Set 2:
Dogs
Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Money
Us and Them
Smell the Roses
Brain Damage
Eclipse
Vera
Bring the Boys Back Home
Comfortably Numb

+ = from his forthcoming album Is This the Life We Really Want?, available June 2

Roger Waters : Us+Them Tour Dates 2017
May 30 St. Louis, MO Scottrade Center
Jun 1 Tulsa, OK BOK Center
Jun 3 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
Jun 4 Denver, CO Pepsi Center
Jun 7 San Jose, CA SAP Center at San Jose
Jun 10 Oakland, CA Oracle Arena
Jun 12 Sacramento, CA Golden 1 Center
Jun 14 Phoenix, AZ Gila River Arena
Jun 16 Las Vegas, NV T-Mobile Arena
Jun 20 Los Angeles, CA STAPLES Center
Jun 21 Los Angeles, CA STAPLES Center
Jun 24 Seattle, WA Tacoma Dome
Jun 25 Portland, OR Moda Center
Jun 27 Los Angeles, CA STAPLES Center
Jul 1 San Antonio, TX AT&T Center
Jul 3 Dallas, TX American Airlines Center
Jul 6 Houston, TX Toyota Center
Jul 8 Smoothie King Center New Orleans, LA
Jul 11 Tampa, FL Amalie Arena
Jul 13 Miami, FL AmericanAirlines Arena
Jul 16 Atlanta, GA Infinite Energy Arena
Jul 18 Greensboro, NC Greensboro Coliseum
Jul 20 Columbus, OH Nationwide Arena
Jul 22 Chicago, IL United Center
Jul 23 Chicago, IL United Center
Jul 26 St. Paul, MN Xcel Energy Center
Jul 29 Milwaukee, WI BMO Harris Bradley Center
Aug 2 Detroit, MI The Palace of Auburn Hills
Aug 4 Washington, DC Verizon Center
Aug 8 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
Aug 9 Philadelphia, PA Wells Fargo Center
Aug 13 Nashville, TN Bridgestone Arena
Sep 7 Newark, NJ Prudential Center 
Sep 11 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center 
Sep 12 Brooklyn, NY Barclays Center 
Sep 15 Uniondale, NY The New Coliseum
Sep 16 Uniondale, NY The New Coliseum
Sep 19 Pittsburgh, PA PPG Paints Arena
Sep 21 Cleveland, OH Quicken Loans Arena
Sep 23 Albany, NY Times Union Center
Sep 24 Hartford, CT XL Center
Sep 27 Boston, MA TD Garden
Sep 28 Boston, MA TD Garden
Oct 2 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Oct 3 Toronto, ON Air Canada Centre
Oct 6 Quebec City, QC Videotron Centre
Oct 7 Quebec City, QC Videotron Centre
Oct 10 Ottawa, ON Canadian Tire Centre
Oct 16 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
Oct 17 Montreal, QC Bell Centre
Oct 22 Winnipeg, MB MTS Centre
Oct 24 Edmonton, AB Rogers Place
Oct 28 Vancouver, BC Rogers Arena

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