Concert Review: Roger Waters: This is Not a Drill



Roger Waters: This is Not a Drill

T-mobile Center/Kansas City, MO

September 3, 2022




Near the ceiling of the T-Mobile Center, the electronic signs warned patrons not to use offensive language and advised reporting people who engaged in that sort of discourse to management.


Thankfully, Roger Waters missed that note before hitting the stage last Saturday night. There were enough F-bombs to flatten Moscow.


Throughout his 2½ hour set, the former Pink Floyd bassist, lyricist, singer and driving force made his views on politics explicit. When some Pink Floyd fans lament the activist bent in his more recent music, it’s tempting to wonder if they had simply been using the Floyd for chemical recreation and missed Waters’ agitation in the words for “Us and Them” and the entire George Orwell-inspired album Animals.


At 78, Waters may be campaigning for the release of Wikileaks founder Julian Assange during his performances, and his set seemed like a refutation of some of the themes he and his former bandmates explored in The Wall.


This was for the best.


Waters conceived The Wall because he was disturbed by how fame and massive area shows (like the one he was giving when I saw him) had separated Pink Floyd from their audience.


Nearly 4½ decades later, Waters seemed sociable. The slender Englishman bounced around the stage. He quoted Wilbert Harrison’s “Kansas City” and made a point of thanking fans who had held onto their tickets for two years. Covid ruined a lot of plans. He even left the T-Mobile Center marching through the crowd with the band. He repeatedly acknowledged that his shows were for the fans, and they clearly returned the love.


For a guy who has written tunes about grief, alienation and even the price of nuclear war, Water came off as contagiously giddy. Even when he briefly tripped over the words to one of his newer songs, Waters’ enthusiasm buoyed the entire night.


Opening with “Comfortably Numb,” the performance of the offering from The Wall missed David Gilmour’s soaring and then ominous guitars solos. Nonetheless, it still sounded captivatingly eerie.


That song came with unsettling images of bombed out rooftops and people mindlessly waking through lines as the walked through lines mindlessly. The screens would be raised and lowered at strategic moments and supplemented the newer songs to illustrate why Waters had written pointed tunes line “The Powers That Be” and “The Bravery of Being Out of Range.” He ran a slide show of unarmed people across the world who had died in police shootings. The list seemed even more urgent that night because it included Donnie Sanders, who had died here in Kansas City.


The screens also enabled Waters to add backstory to songs he was performing from Wish You Were Here. Waters still mourns original Pink Floyd leader Syd Barrett and slides of the band’s early lineup made the tunes even more poignant. Seamus Blake’s passionate sax solos on those tunes and on “Money” and “Us and Them” certainly helped. The rest of the band delivered a solid, tightly rehearsed set. Apart from “Comfortably Numb,” they followed Gilmour, Nick Mason and Richard Wright’s original playing on the Floyd songs.


The dancing animated pigs on “Money” made of up for any lack of spontaneity.


In addition, longtime fans were rewarded with the expected lasers, giant inflatable pigs and sheep and theatrics that recalled Alan Parker’s movie of The Wall.


When Waters broke into songs from Amused to Death or Is This the Life We Really Want, the crowd lost none of its enthusiasm. It probably helped that the enormous screens displayed a disclaimer letting anyone who objected to his takes on indigenous rights or police shootings to “f**k off to the bar.”


It’s a nod to his newer song “The Bar,” which deals with being able to freely discuss difficult topics. Waters clearly knows how to entertain (who doesn’t love giant, floating pigs?), and much of his outrage is sadly warranted. His songs may have launched a thousand bong hits, but if Bob Dylan, whom he cited in his show, can write “Blowin’ in the Wind,” Waters can warn us about the urgency of addressing nuclear war.


I attended the show as a guest of Kansas City Veterans for Peace, Chapter 97. I’m merely a former military contractor (a cubicle jockey) who doesn’t want troops being put into peril for a fool’s errand, and nuclear conflict certainly qualifies. Waters correctly cited Kansas’ Dwight D. Eisenhower, who repeatedly expressed many of the same concerns.


That said, I’d like to have a beer with him at a bar sometime. I’m not sure how we’d get along, or if alcohol would be conducive to the topics at hand. I have quibbles about Mr. Assange, but challenging subjects don’t get the attention they need when people simply shut up and sing.

Blu-ray Review: Dark Waters

Directed by: Todd Haynes
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway and Tim Robbins
Distributed by: Universal Home Video
Running time: 126

Film: 4 out of 5 stars
A/V: 3 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1 out of 5 stars

1975. A group of youngsters out on a Saturday night. They take their trucks and their beer to the local swimming hole and jump in. A pretty standard night for the teenagers in West Virginia (or anywhere else for that matter). They are surprised when they are rousted out of the water by strange men with hoses in boats.

1998. After being informed he is moving up in the law firm he works for, Attorney Rob Billot (Ruffalo) is informed that he has a visitor. The man, a farmer named Wilbur Tennant (Bill Camp) has come to ask for help regarding the horrific deaths of cows on his farm. At first Rob hesitates to speak with Wilbur but, when he learns that the man is friends with his grandmother in West Virginia, he agrees to listen. What he hears -and later witnesses – will change his life forever.

At first I thought this film would play out as a male-led version of “Erin Brockovich.” I was wrong. While I enjoyed that Julia Roberts flick, it didn’t pack the heart that “Dark Waters” does. I think a lot of this comes from the fact that Mark Ruffalo is not only a talented actor but he has been, and is, very vocal about the world’s environment. I imagine him hearing the pitch for this film and just saying “yes.” Intentional or not, Ruffalo’s personal passions inhabit his character, and you feel that passion.

Ruffalo is joined by a strong cast of supporting actors, including Hathaway, Robbins (in only his third film in five years), Victor Garber, Mare Winningham and a grizzly Bill Pullman. The script, based on a New York Times magazine article, is strong but not preachy. The direction is strong and Mr. Haynes keeps the film flowing smoothly over it’s two-plus hour length.

Oddly, this is the 2nd time Mark Ruffalo has taken on DuPont. He ended up on the wrong end of a gun in “Foxcatcher” so maybe this film was his way of getting even!

Trafalgar Releasing Debuts Trailer for ‘Roger Waters Us + Them’ Film – in theaters worldwide Oct. 2 & 6



London, July 17: Trafalgar Releasing are excited to unveil the official film trailer for Roger Waters Us + Them, filmed in Amsterdam on the European leg of his highly successful and critically acclaimed 2017/2018 world tour, US + THEM. The film will be screened in 2500+ cinemas across 60+ countries around the world on October 2 and 6 only. Tickets to see the film are on sale now from

Roger Waters, co-founder and creative force behind Pink Floyd, with visionary director, Sean Evans, brings to the screen the live story of Us + Them to inspire you with its powerful music and message of human rights, liberty and love.

The film features songs from Waters legendary Pink Floyd albums, The Dark Side of the Moon, The Wall, Animals, Wish You Were Here, as well as his last album, Is This The Life We Really Want?

The tour saw Waters perform a total of 156 shows to 2.3M people throughout North America, Australia & New Zealand, Europe, Russia, Latin America and Mexico.

“I’m so looking forward to the launch of the movie in October. US + THEM is not standard rock and roll fare, some in the audience may ‘yee haaaa!!!’ Which is ok, but many will weep. That is what I hope for. US + THEM is a call to action. Homo Sapiens stand at a crossroads, we can either pool our love, develop our capacity to empathise with others and act collectively for the good of our planet, or we can remain Comfortably Numb, and continue, like blind lemmings, on our current omnicidal death march towards extinction. US + THEM is a vote for love and life.”
Roger Waters, 11th July 2019

Director, Sean Evans added: “This is a great film – an amazing performance delivered with care, emotion and meaning. Didn’t think it was possible, but I believe we’ve outdone The Wall…”

The event will be screened in cinemas around the world on Wednesday, October 2 and Sunday, October 6 (in Dolby Atmos where available). More information can be found at, where fans


Related Content

Blu-ray Review “The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond”

Actors: Robert Patrick, Danielle Harris, Electra Avellan
Directors: Gabriel Bologna
Rated: R (Restricted)
Release Date: September 10, 2013
Run Time: 93 minutes

Film: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Extras: 1.5 out of 5 stars

Finally!! If you are a horror fan than you will know what I am talking about here. I saw “The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond” during its all too brief run in theaters back in early 2010. So for the last nearly four years, all us horror fans have been anxiously waiting for a DVD…Blu-ray…any type of home media release for this film. Luckily Anchor Bay finally stood up and hooked us up. The film is jam-packed with a great genre cast including Danielle Harris (“Halloween”), James Duval (“Donnie Darko”), Nick Menell (“Friday the 13th”), Electra & Elise Avellan from (“Machete) and Robert Patrick “Terminator 2: Judgement Day”). Flawed but still a ton of fun and worth checking out for all those horror fans who missed it in theaters. Worth the wait!

Official Premise: During a Turkish archaeological dig early last century, an ancient board game said to have entertained demons was unearthed. Now nearly 90 years later, a group of vacationing friends — including a cynic, a rich jerk, a slutty starlet, a jock and prudish twin sisters — discover the game hidden in an old house on a remote Maine island. And with a roll of the dice, their darkest secrets will unleash all the greed, jealousy and lusts of Hell itself.

Anchor Bay delivered “The Black Waters of Echo’s Pond” with a fine Blu-ray release. The 1080p transfer looks very sharp on the low-budget horror flick. The film is quite dark and yet it still looks great. The Dolby TrueHD 5.1 audio track works great with the film’s suspense, especially with Harry Manfredini’s amazing score! He is a legend in terms of horror scores and he really delivers a great score here! In terms of special features, I have to admit that I am a bit let down. I was hoping for a jam-packed release with special features but instead we only get an Alternate Opening, which is cool but not what I was expecting. A commentary track would have been cool as well, especially with this cast. I guess it all comes down to the fact that at least the film is finally released for fans to see that is more important.


Related Content

Robbie Wyckoff talks about touring with Roger Waters and "The Wall Live"

Robbie Wyckoff is Los Angeles based session vocalist and recording artist whose voice can be heard on numerous films, television shows, hit records and national jingles. Robbie has recorded and performed with artists like Diana Ross, Barbara Streisand, Celine Dion and Clint Black. He has been touring with Pink Floyd’s Roger Waters for the on-going “The Wall Live” tour since 2010 and starts up again this July. Media Mikes had a chance to chat with Robbie about touring with the legendary Roger Waters and what is planned next for the tour.

Mike Gencarelli: I know it is a typical question but I have to ask, what is it like working with a legend like Roger Waters?
Robbie Wyckoff: For me it is like a dream come true. Growing up I always listened to Pink Floyd, especially “Dark Side of the Moon” and “The Wall”. I am thrilled to think that I get to sing with Roger now, since I was and am such a fan. It is pretty amazing.

MG: Can you take us through your first meeting with him?
RW: First of all I have to give a big thank you to Jon Joyce referring me to Roger. But after round 2 of the auditioning process at James Guthrie’s studio, I got a call back from James and he said that “Roger really loves your vocals and wants you to fly to New York to meet him and record “Mother.”He was at one of the studios in NYC where they had been working on the visuals for the Wall projections. I walked into the studio and there he was working away. It was very surreal. I shook his hand and told him that it was an honor and a pleasure to meet him and thanked him for everything. Then he said “Let’s show Robbie what we have been working on.”

MG: After over 200 performances touring with “The Wall Live”, what drives you for each performance?
RW: Well first it is just the music – the songs, they just never get old. I have been in several bands and sometimes you have to sing certain songs and you dread it. With this the music is so timeless and classic and the melodies are so beautiful. For me it never gets old, it is a treat to be able to sing them. Also just being up on top of the wall and getting that wonderful 360 degree view is just spectacular. I would love to get a chance to film a little up there to show what it is like. It is just absolutely amazing.

MG: Having been touring with this show since 2010 pretty consistently, how does that weigh on you?
RW: Roger treats us very well. He makes it very comfortable. I have so many people says to me “You’ve been touring for the last two years, it must be so grueling…” and I just say “No, it is really not”. We stay in the best hotels and fly in private jets, so it is a really comfortable tour.

MG: You are taking over vocals for David Gilmour; do you consider that a daunting task?
RW: No not really, I am a big fan of Gilmour and I have a lot of respect for him and his talent. I feel like this is a custom fit gig for me because my vocal range is very similar to David’s. But when we found out that David was going to show up sometime during the first leg of the tour, it did make me a little nervous. He ended up coming to a couple of our London shows in 2010. The first night he watched the show and the second night he sat in with us and sang the chorus’ of “Comfortably Numb.” He also joined us on the final song “Outside The Wall,” along with Nick Mason who played tambourine. Man, it was such a thrill to be on stage that night standing next to the surviving members of Pink Floyd: Nick Mason, Roger Waters, and David Gilmour. After the show David paid me a nice complement and said “you sound great and I thought that was me up there singing.”

MG: I have always wanted to know when the wall goes up; what is like performing behind it?
RW: If people could only see what we are doing behind the wall, there is some pretty funny stuff going on. We have to put this safety net over the band, to protect the us from falling bricks at the end of the show when the wall comes down. The net is probably about 12 inches over my head. On this particular night there was some static electricity going on and little did I know that my hair was sticking straight up like a unicorn. So there I am totally focused on singing “Hey You” and the whole band is laughing around me and Roger is pointing at me laughing. [laughs] I thought I was doing something wrong. Finally someone took a photo and showed me what they were laughing at. Too funny! It’s stuff like that and maybe a few other practical jokes that the background singers are famous for. We have a blast at every concert.

MG: In July 2013, you start the wave of the tour in Europe. Where are you looking forward to going most?
RW: Just being back in Europe firstly and getting to hit some of the markets that we didn’t before. We’ll be going to Turkey, Rome, Vienna and several other European cities. You can check the tour schedule at I’m really looking forward to playing Wembley Stadium. That is going to be amazing! I have family in London so it will be good to see them.

MG: Can we expect a Blu-ray release of the concert in the near future?
RW: There have been talks of Roger doing a DVD release of “The Wall Live”. But I’m not sure when it will be released. When we were in Athens, Greece, we did three days of filming of the live shows and then three more days of close-ups. They hired a large movie crew and there were about 20 plus cameras. Not to mention that when we were in Buenos Aries, we sold out nine shows over there and they documented and filmed every aspect of those nine shows as well. From backstage to the show days and everything in between.

MG: Can you give a plug for your upcoming album, “Steppin Out”?
RW: My new album “Steppin’ Out” is a Big Band/Jazz Standards album and I’m very happy with it. I’ve always loved to sing that style of music and was just finishing it up before I got the tour with Roger Waters. I had all of the vocals recorded and all the tracks recorded but had to put it on hold until we finished our first U.S. tour. I just recently signed a co-publishing agreement for that album which I’m very excited about. It was produced by Willie Murillo and he also did several of the arrangements. I’m very privileged to have some of the world’s finest musicians playing on it and I’m very thankful to each and everyone of them. I have five original songs on the album. Three written by Tony Hayes and another one written by Jennifer Paige and one I wrote with Willie Murillo called “Kiss Me Again.” There are also some other great classic cover tunes by Frank Sinatra, Harry Connick Jr., Nat King Cole, Fred Astaire and others. Now that the deal is in place, we are working on a marketing plan and should have a release scheduled later this year.

All photos courtesy of Michael Becker, Todd Tyler, Robbie Wyckoff

SiriusXM’s Town Hall with Roger Waters to launch new Pink Floyd Channel

Tune in to SiriusXM’s Town Hall with Roger Waters LIVE on June 27 at 12pm ET for the launch of SiriusXM’s new Pink Floyd Channel (Sirius channel 142 and XM channel 43). The special will also air on Deep Tracks (channel 27). You’ll hear the founding member and principal songwriter of Pink Floyd sit down for a rare Q&A session with a select group of SiriusXM listeners at the SiriusXM studios in New York City. This exclusive Town Hall event coincides with Waters’ current tour, The Wall, which will visit Yankee Stadium on July 6 and 7.

The special will be moderated by SiriusXM host Jim Ladd and will feature the rock icon answering a variety of questions from the studio audience.

This event is part of SiriusXM’s “Town Hall” series, an intimate gathering with an iconic figure and an audience of SiriusXM listeners. Previous SiriusXM Town Hall specials have featured Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Gregg Allman, Coldplay, Ringo Starr and the surviving members of Nirvana.

“The Pink Floyd Channel” will be available Wednesday, June 27 through Saturday, July 7 on Sirius channel 142 and XM channel 43. Additionally, “The Pink Floyd Channel” will also be available as a 24/7 channel online on channel 802 and through the SiriusXM Internet Radio App for smartphones and mobile devices beginning Thursday, June 28 for an extended period.

For more information on Roger Waters and The Wall tour, visit


Related Content