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Live Review and Gallery: David Gilmour @ United Center

| April 10, 2016

David Gilmour (Photo: Curt Baran)

David Gilmour
United Center
Monday, April 4, 2016

Pink Floyd alumnus David Gilmour returned to Chicago for his first shows here in ten years, but it was clear that he has kept his skills sharp during his time away. The set list featured most of last year’s Rattle That Lock solo album, opening with the elegant touch and divine tone of Gilmour’s familiar, black Fender Telecaster on “5 A.M.” The show continued with a pair of new songs. The minor-chord funk strumming of title cut “Rattle That Lock” made a distant echo of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall (Part II),” combined with the sleek pop of bandmate Phil Manzanera’s old band Roxy Music. After the mournful “Faces of Stone,” Gilmour brought the crowd to its feet with the rootsy acoustic guitar duet heralding “Wish You Were Here.”

Some fans were fooled by the introduction of “What Do You Want From Me” from Pink Floyd’s 1994 album The Division Bell, earning the song a somewhat subdued initial reaction when the crowd figured out that it wasn’t “Have a Cigar” from 1975’s Wish You Were Here. However, Gilmour and the band hunkered down for a fierce, low funk workout that resulted in the first highlight of the post-Roger-Waters Pink Floyd material that Gilmour featured.

New song “A Boat Lies Waiting” unfolded with an undulating piano reminiscent of late Pink Floyd keyboardist Richard Wright, for whom the song served as a touching tribute. This song downplayed Gilmour’s guitar prowess and emphasized his acumen for vocal arrangements, featuring eight of his nine-piece band in rich, close harmony.

Bassist Guy Pratt stood at Gilmour’s side as he has since the tour for The Division Bell. Pratt dug into the growling, odd-time pattern of “Money,” anchoring the song as Gilmour erupted with a terrific burst of minor-key blues soloing at the song’s coda.

Brazilian saxophonist João Mello was featured on Dark Side of the Moon’s hymnal war protest “Us and Them.” The song was paired with Rattle That Lock’s anti-war anthem “In Any Tongue.” Gilmour paired other songs by theme as well, including a segment in tribute to late friend and Pink Floyd founder Syd Barrett. The band performed psychedelic, early Pink Floyd single “Astronomy Domine” while lava lamp imagery burbled on the stage’s large round projection screen, before moving into a gripping version of “Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V).” Gilmour and Mello again traded powerful solo segments during “Shine On,” offering current fans a glimpse of the original Pink Floyd collaborations with saxophonist Dick Parry.

“Now, here’s something that may be a little unusual for me,” said Gilmour, introducing the cocktail jazz single “The Girl in the Yellow Dress.” Mello took the spotlight on saxophone again, as Gilmour deftly played jazz chords and Pratt played an upright acoustic bass.

Gilmour reached back to 1970’s Atom Heart Mother for an expansive version of his song “Fat Old Sun,” and followed it with The Division Bell’s optimistic and redemptive “Coming Back to Life.”

The grim and guttural guitar of “Sorrow” from 1987’s A Momentary Lapse of Reason created a mood of danger and menace, followed by the outright paranoia of The Wall’s “Run Like Hell.” The song featured Gilmour’s signature delayed and echoed guitar, which gave U2’s The Edge his career. For the track, the entire band donned matching sunglasses for protection against a dazzling-white light show.

The encore featured a medley of “Time” and “Breathe” from Dark Side of the Moon. In addition to displaying Gilmour’s mastery of tasteful soloing, they also provided another reminder of his gifts as one of rock’s finest singers. The show concluded with euphoric versions of Gilmour’s legendary solos on “Comfortably Numb.”

– Reviewed by Jeff Elbel; Photos by Curt Baran.



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  1. Bill Marcus says:

    Truly an amazing performer, for all that were lucky enough to be there a sublime example of an artist at the height of his career