Signs Of Lives (Sigma 54)
Yoyogi Olympic Pool, Tokyo, Japan – March 4, 1988
Disc 1: (65:24) Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Signs Of Life, Learning To Fly, Yet Another Movie, A New Machine Part 1, Terminal Frost, A New Machine Part 2, Sorrow, The Dogs Of War, On The Turning Away
Disc 2: (67:50) One Of These Days, Time, The Great Gig In The Sky, Wish You Were Here, Welcome To The Machine, Us And Them, Money, Another Brick In The Wall Part 2, Comfortably Numb
Disc 3: (18:21) Audience, One Slip, Run Like Hell
Yoyogi Olympic Pool, Tokyo, Japan – March 5, 1988
Disc 4: (64:30) Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Signs Of Life, Learning To Fly, Yet Another Movie, A New Machine Part 1, Terminal Frost, A New Machine Part 2, Sorrow, The Dogs Of War, On The Turning Away
Disc 5: (67:48) One Of These Days, Time, The Great Gig In The Sky, Wish You Were Here, Welcome To The Machine, Us And Them, Money, Another Brick In The Wall Part 2, Comfortably Numb
Disc 6: (17:37) Audience, One Slip, Run Like Hell
The Momentary Lapse Of Reason tour started in North America in September 1987 and after visits to Australia, Japan, and Europe, wrapped up back in the US about a year later. In 1989 the Another Lapse tour took them through Europe for two months of shows together totaling almost 200 performances in two years time.
Signs Of Lives on Sigma 54 documents two shows at the Yoyogi Olympic Pool in Tokyo 1988. The sound is excellent in both shows with almost identical sound quality, being very clear and well balanced with the size of the venue adding some atmosphere to the recordings. I assume these tapes come from the same taper and both are very complete documents of the events with no musical cuts. Audience noise is minimal with the exception of the occasional shouting next to the taper on the first night. Nothing drastic, luckily, and the second night has even less interference.
“Echoes” was employed as the opener at the start of the tour but after about a month and a half it was dropped and replaced with “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”. With Dave on vocals it’s a little less cynical than Roger but still very effective. Along with Gilmour, Mason, and Wright, the Japanese shows had Jon Carin on keys, Guy Pratt on bass, Tim Renwick on guitar, Scott Page on sax and guitars, Gary Wallis on percussion, with Rachel Fury, Durga McBroom, and Margaret Taylor on backing vocals.
The remainder of the first set was made up of the entire new LP with the exception of “One Slip” which was used as an encore. The new material got mixed reviews from critics but the massive tour and record sales would prove otherwise. There are some great songs from the LP with “Terminal Frost” and “One The Turning Away” being some of the highlights here but by the middle of the show it can get a little dull with so many new tracks played in a row. With that said, I do feel the new songs were underappreciated and maybe would have benefited from being spread out through the set a little better.
After a fifteen minute break the band comes back for the classics. The second half of the evening is a trip through Floyd’s career starting with Meddle, played almost in chronological order. “Time” is played without “Breathe(Reprise)” with a slight pause before “The Great Gig In The Sky”.
For some reason “On The Run” was not played in the Japanese concerts. “Welcome To The Machine” is probably the best it has ever sounded live with a truly awesome vocal performance from Gilmour and an extended jam at the end. Scott Page puts his own spin on the sax parts in “Money” and Gut Pratt and Tim Renwick each take solos in the break before Page and Gilmour return to trade licks.
Eleven minutes of “Money” is unexpectedly but tastefully segued into “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2”. Tim Renwick gets to solo after Dave’s signature licks similar to the arrangement used during The Wall tours. “Comfortably Numb” closes the show and reaches ten minutes in these shows with Dave playing his heart out at the end. The taper captures most of the audience cheer before the encores “One Slip” and “Run Like Hell”. Guy Pratt shares lead vocal duties with Gilmour on the latter and does an outstanding job capturing Water’s approach.
While I am not usually a collector of post-Waters Floyd, I figured if Sigma was putting these shows out on silver they must be good. I can honestly say I was not disappointed with Signs Of Lives as both shows sound great with consistent performances. This is a nice change of pace for Sigma but there are still many more classic shows I hope they eventually get too. Sigma 54 comes packaged in a 6-way fatboy jewel case.