Roger Waters gave about a thousand “friends and family” members a preview of his Us + Them Tour on Sunday at Meadowlands Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey. At the invitation-only concert, the ex-Pink Floyd singer/bassist played songs from his old band’s classic 1970s albums, as well as four tunes from his new solo album, Is This the Life We Really Want?
Three of the songs from Waters’ new record, due out June 2, had never been performed in concert — “The Last Refugee,” “Picture That,” and “Smell the Roses.”
Waters and his backing band performed in front of a massive high-def screen that featured jaw-dropping live-action and animated videos created to accompany each song. Many of Waters’ songs rail against war and political corruption, and some of the video presentations reflected those themes, featuring footage displaying the devastation of war and poverty.
Following an intermission, a series of screens were lowered from the venue’s ceiling that stretched across the arena. The screens, along with a pig balloon and smokestack-shaped props, recreated the famous Battersea Power Station in London featured on the Animals album cover.
The concert’s most pointed political statement came during a performance of the epic 1977 song “Pigs (Three Different Ones).” A video mercilessly mocked President Donald Trump by showing his face superimposed on a pig, Adolph Hitler and other unflattering images. At the same time, a drone-controlled pig balloon featuring a depiction of Trump with the caption “I won!” on one side flew around the arena. At the end of the song, the massive screen displayed the phrase “F*** Trump!” in giant letters.
Waters’ Us + Them tour officially gets underway Friday, May 26, in Kansas City, Missouri.
Here’s the set list of Waters’ rehearsal show:
“Speak to Me”
“One of These Days”
“Great Gig in the Sky”
“Welcome to the Machine”
“Déjà Vu” (new song)
“The Last Refugee” (new song)
“Picture That” (new song)
“Wish You Wish Were”
“The Happiest Days of Our Lives”
“Another Brick in the Wall Part 2”
“Another Brick in the Wall Part 3”
“Pigs (Three Different Ones)”
“Us and Them”
“Smell the Roses” (new song)
“Bring the Boys Back Home”
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