Friday, July 14, 2006

DVD Review: Pink Floyd - "Pulse" (2006)

I had fully intended to head down to Bluesfest last night to see the Road Hammers, the new Canadian band from whom I shamelessly stole the name for this weblog, but the sun, crowds, junk food, beer, loud music and late nights were kinda burning me out, so I decided to stay home, kick back and watch some Floyd instead.

I'd been waiting for this DVD for years. I saw this tour live in July 1994 at Toronto's CNE Stadium and it's always been a toss-up for me between that and the August 1996 KISS reunion show at the Skydome for the most memorable show I've ever seen (and I've seen well over a hundred). The VHS release of "Pulse" from the mid-90s was excellent but technology has evolved. On DVD, despite some visual limitations which are to be expected when the master was filmed on video (by today's standards it would have been captured with more sharpness), this is a worthy addition to any music fan's collection.

The first disc focuses heavily on tracks from "The Division Bell" and "A Momentary Lapse of Reason", with the highlights being "Sorrow" and "High Hopes". Check out the big-time laser show that accompanies David Gilmour's shredding on "Sorrow". (Unfortunately, another stellar track from the "new" Floyd which showcases Gilmour's incredible mastery of his instrument, "What Do You Want From Me?", is not included here.) The set ends with a very intense version of "One Of These Days" complete with inflatable pigs with spotlights for eyes on either side of the stage. Live, I recall this being pretty heavy, no doubt partially because of the chemicals I was under the influence at the time. You have to see it to fully appreciate it as it defies description.

The second disc contains a complete version of "Dark Side of the Moon" as well as other classics like "Comfortably Numb", with keyboardist Richard Wright sharing vocals with Gilmour (Roger who?) and capturing the experience of an overdosing, bloated, egomaniacal rock star through song better than any other version I've heard, "Wish You Were Here" (a song I've always personally hated because of the wuss factor), and a massive "Run Like Hell" to end things off.

One thing that even non-Floyd fans have to respect is that they give their fans value for their money. This show is the hugest I'd ever seen and it still would be today. Lasers, smoke bombs, visuals, it's all here. I remember paying $42 for my ticket, which is more than I can say for the bands of today that charge well over double that just for the privilege of basking in their glow. The other thing is that Floyd never does anything unless there's a creative reason to do so. No cash-grabbing greatest hits tour here or big-money reunion tour, despite numerous offers over the years. On "Pulse", you can see that Floyd still enjoyed making music together well over 25 years after it all began.

This DVD is sheer excellence and was totally worth the wait. If you ever get the chance to see it, do so, if only for the spectacle of it all.

Overall rating: 9.5/10


At 11:29 PM, Blogger Saj said...

H, I still remember the show like it was yesterday. Can't believe it's been 12 years. Definitely one of the highlights of the Summer of '94. The DVD must be a real trip down nostalgia road...

At 7:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greets to the webmaster of this wonderful site. Keep working. Thank you.


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