Controversial Pink Floyd frontman's Prague show to be streamed around the world

The entire world will see one of the two Prague shows, and you can be in the live audience.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston Published on 19.05.2023 17:00:00 (updated on 13.07.2023) Reading time: 3 minutes

This may be your last chance to see Roger Waters in Prague, as he is on his “first farewell tour.” The former Pink Floyd frontman will be at Prague’s O2 Arena on May 24 and May 25 with a large-scale audiovisual show accompanying hits from The Wall and The Dark Side of the Moon, among other career highlights. Tickets for the first night are almost sold out, and the second night is not far behind.

The official name of the tour is This Is Not a Drill, and as with his previous Us+Them tour, it has political overtones. The images that accompany the songs, for example, are critical of U.S. and other governments' foreign policy and actions.

The tour was originally planned to take place in 2020 before the U.S. elections and had to be postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The staging for this tour is completely new. For the first time, Waters will perform “in the round” on a 360-degree stage, rather than a traditional theatrical-style stage set viewed just from the front.

The Prague show will be seen around the world

Another thing makes one of the Prague dates special. The May 25 concert will be live-streamed to cinemas around the world. Some Czech cinemas will carry it, but not in Prague as people here who want to see the show can actually go to it.

The live-streamed event is described as a “cinematic extravaganza “and “a stunning indictment of the corporate dystopia in which we all struggle to survive.”

Hits from classic-era Pink Floyd

The website promises 20 Pink Floyd and solo career songs, including Us & Them, Comfortably Numb, Wish You Were Here, and Is This The Life We Really Want? He also has a new song called The Bar. The promised list matches what Waters has played on other shows in the tour. The two main sets have about 10 songs each, and an encore typically has three more songs.

Waters has reworked the sound and mood of Comfortably Numb, which opens the show by changing the key and stripping back the instrumentation to make a more haunting version. “It’s intended as a wakeup call, and a bridge towards a kinder future with more talking to strangers,” Waters said online when the new version was introduced.

Pink Floyd fans will be pleased the bulk of the show comes from the band’s classic era in the 1970s. Only five songs from Waters’ post-Pink Floyd solo albums appear in the set lists.

Controversial views on current topics

The tour is not without controversy, as Waters made comments that, while condemning Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, also implied that Ukraine held some blame for provoking the attack. The planned concert dates in Poland were canceled for that reason. Waters also spoke via video at the UN Security Council in February, at the request of Russia. He repeated his stance and called for a ceasefire.

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He has also been accused of antisemitism, a charge he strongly denies. An attempt to stop an upcoming concert in Frankfurt based on those accusations was overturned by a German court. Waters maintains that, while he is critical of Israel’s actions against Palestinians, he is not opposed to Judaism and the accusations against him are part of an effort to silence him.

At the start of the concerts, a recording of an announcer asks people to turn off their cell phones and also crudely tells people to go to a bar instead if they can’t stand Waters' politics, also a reference to Waters’ new song The Bar.  

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