Travels with my Father : Roger Waters rocks all Generations !!


Guest Blog by Tarini Pal

​Last month, I was lucky enough to watch a former frontman of one of the most critically acclaimed and influential groups in the history of rock music perform live in Pasadena: Roger Waters of Pink Floyd.

Being the child of parents who were born in the 50s, I had been introduced to rock at a very young age without even realizing it. I suppose I really began to develop my own interest in the genre about a decade ago though, when I was in college, a time when young minds are particularly susceptible to the way in which it romanticizes rebellion. And Pink Floyd’s psychedelic sound is particularly rebellious in that it isn’t tied to any particular form of music.

Waters was very much an integral part of the band, who served as singer, songwriter, guitarist, and composer all rolled into one. His latest 61-show tour, Us + Them, began this summer, which features songs from Floyd’s greatest albums in addition to some new songs from his album, Is This the Life We Really Want?

My Dad Ranjan and I were planning out a three-week long vacation in the States, and on our itinerary was a two day stop in Los Angeles. My Kaka Indraneel, who lives in LA, found out that Waters’ tour dates in the city just so happened to coincide with ours. When Dad asked me if I’d be interested in attending the concert, my only flabbergasted response to him was, “How is that even a question?!”.

Dad was born in the 50s, IK in the 70s, and I in the 90s. Yet the three of us found ourselves sitting side by side at Staples Centre, which just truly goes to show how timeless great music can be.

IK commented on how pleasantly surprised he was that the crowd was so well behaved. I think he was secretly disappointed, and was hoping that we would be able to vicariously live through some Floydians tripping on acid.

We got a drink each, and took our seats as the arena, which has a capacity of close to twenty thousand, began to fill up rapidly. The lights went down, and everyone waited with bated breath. Excited murmurs spread through the crowd like wildfire as the stadium slowly reverberated with the opening riffs of the overture to The Dark Side of the Moon, Floyd’s most commercially successful album of all time. On came the stage lights, and there he was, the man himself, at the ripe old age of 73, playing his guitar in absolutely top form.

Among classics on the glorious set list were Time, The Great Gig in the Sky, Welcome to the Machine, Wish You Were Here, Dogs, Money, and Brain Damage. All of the songs that were played from the new album blended themselves seamlessly into the list too, a couple of which were Déjà Vu and Smell the Roses.

One of my favourite performances was Another Brick in the Wall II, where a choir of children lined the front of the stage, singing the second verse. They ultimately took their uniforms off to reveal black t-shirts underneath, with ‘#RESIST’ in big white lettering across their chests, the symbolic hash tag used in the on-going campaign to protest President Donald Trump’s administration. Which brings me to my second favourite performance, Pigs. You definitely know that a country allows for freedom of expression when a musician decides to use his set to blatantly criticize the head of state with impunity by displaying Trump’s face superimposed on the body of a pig.

The concert closed with none other than the renowned Comfortably Numb. Everyone was on their feet by now, completely immersed in this sensational experience, aided perhaps by the unmistakable wafts of marijuana drifting through the air.

All in all, I have to say that the entire experience was nothing short of mind-blowing. Even if you’re in the unfortunate category of not being a lifelong Pink Floyd fan you would have to be impressed by the state-of-the-art audio visuals and the way the entire production was put together. The tour continues on until the end of October, and I would strongly recommend any classic rock aficionado to catch a show if they have the opportunity. It’s definitely something they won’t want to miss.

Ranjan Pal

Ranjan Pal is a Gurgaon-based travel writer, photographer, and a world traveler. His travel stories and photographs have appeared in a wide range of publications, including The New York Times, Condé Nast Traveller, National Geographic Traveller, Travel + Leisure and Outlook Traveller.