Roger Waters has always seemed an irascible kind of guy. With his steely scowl and chiseled features, he radiates intimidation. And certainly, his contentious pronouncements about Middle East politics and his relationship with ex-bandmate David Gilmour often reinforce that reputation. More to the point, his classic contribution to the Pink Floyd catalogue, The Wall, underscored his unsettling observations on the human condition — its themes of isolation and disillusionment wrapped in searing, icy melodies and deeply ominous overtones.
Waters's acrimonious break from the band in 1985 and the legal squabbles over Floyd branding helped rank that schism as one of the bitterest feuds in rock history. The band reunited only once, in 2005 for the Live 8 benefit shows. Not that Waters has to linger on the band's legacy — his solo albums The Pros and Cons of Hitch Hiking, Radio K.A.O.S., and Amused to Death have found him capable of conveying heady concepts on his own. Still, listeners longing for the pomp and circumstance of his former outfit can take solace in the fact that Waters's live re-creation of The Wall resurrects the kind of concert spectacle once favored by Floyd. All in all, it's not just another brick in The Wall.