In A House Full Of Pain (Sigma 48)
Tarrant County Convention Center, Fort Worth, Texas – May 1, 1977
Disc 1: (53:25) Sheep, Pigs On The Wing 1, Dogs, Pigs On The Wing 2, Pigs
Disc 2: (79:57) Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5, Welcome To The Machine, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9, Money, Us And Them
Disc 3: (73:16) Pigs, Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5, Welcome To The Machine, Have A Cigar, Wish You Were Here, Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9
Disc 4: (19:16) Money, Us And Them
After two months worth of dates in Europe, Pink Floyd began the first half of their In The Flesh North American tour in support of Animals in Miami on April 22nd. Fort Worth comes about halfway through the first part of the tour and the band is in top form at this point. The performance is very tight and the vocals are very in tune. Even Waters, who has certainly had some shaky vocal performances, seems right on tonight. Musically, the band sound very inspired and this show comes between the European tour where they were working out some of the bugs and the second half of the North American leg where Roger’s burn out became very apparent.
Pink Floyd’s shows for this tour consisted of the entire Animals LP in the first set and after a 20 minute break the Wish You Were Here LP is played from start to finish. The complete Dark Side Of The Moon performance from previous tours is dropped but “Money” and “Us And Them” are retained as the encores. Also on the tour are Snowy White on additional guitar and bass and Dick Parry on saxophone with no backing vocalists.
Source one on the first two discs comes from the common, excellent sounding, very detailed recording that has been previously released a few times on silver. Highland issued Pigs Fly Over America in 2004 and was followed shortly by Live At Fort Worth 1977 on the Screamer label. There are no musical cuts and the taper captures a great atmosphere. The recording emphasizes the high frequencies and at times can get a little bit brittle sounding, especially Dave’s guitar. The bass is a little weak but the mix is very good for the most part. The mix does suffer in spots due to the proximity of the taper to the quad sound system.
The Animals material is played almost flawless. Gilmour’s vocal is very strong in “Dogs”. He has some trouble with his guitar and starts his solo late but comes in fierce. “Pigs (Three Different Ones)” has Roger screeching the number 34 and the crowds reaction to the inflatable pig is obvious. For some odd reason Dick Parry seems to be absent from “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 1-5”. Snowy White is also having an exceptional night and really excels in the solos on “Have A Cigar” and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts 6-9”. The radio scanning before “Wish You Were Here” settles on a musak version of “Killing Me Softly” before the familiar taped intro. Richard Wright plays some nice piano to end the piece. Unfortunately the beginning of Gilmour’s solo in “Shine On Parts 6-9” is buried in the mix.
Discs three and four contain the second incomplete source which runs from “Dogs” through the encores and has been in collectors circles since at least 2007. There are a few insignificant cuts between “Have A Cigar” and “Wish You Were Here” but is otherwise intact. The recording may be a tad closer to the stage but picks up more of the surrounding audience reactions to the props and some faint conversation. That being said, it is very listenable and offers a different take on the show but in the end doesn’t quite compare to source one. Sigma chose to place only the encores on a very short disc four to avoid breaking up the Wish You Were Here tracks and a wise choice I might add.
In comparison, Highland’s title is louder with a touch more low end. Sigma really can’t be considered an upgrade but still sounds clear and enjoyable. Whether or not In A House Full Of Pain is definitive or not comes down to personal preference but nevertheless, Sigma still put out a nice release and for me fills a void in my collection.
I held off on upgrading to the Highland or Screamer from the old Pigs On The Wing title and am glad I did as I do appreciate getting the extra source. (A pro-cdr entitled Fort Worth Texas 5/1/77 was released in 1999 on the Pigs On The Wing label but came from a higher generation tape that runs about 5% fast) I can also add that it was nice to get the second source on silvers instead of bonus CDRs like they have done in the past with Sirene titles. Sigma 48 is packaged in a fatboy jewel case with photos from the appropriate tour and while not really an upgrade in sound quality is still a nice release.