Another Movie In Long Island (The Godfatherecords G.R. 879/880)
Nassau Coliseum, Uniondale, NY, USA – August 20, 1988
Disc 1 (76:44) Shine On You Crazy Diamond (PTS 1-5), Signs Of Life, Learning To Fly, Yet Another Movie, Round And Round, A New Machine PT. 1, A Terminal Frost, A New Machine PT. 2, Sorrow, The Dogs Of War, On The Turning Away, One Of These Days
Disc 2 (78:34) Time, On The Run, The Great Gig In The Sky, Wish You Were Here, Welcome To The Machine, Us And Them, Money, Another Brick In The Wall (PT 2), Comfortably Numb, One Slip, Run Like Hell
I bought tickets to see Pink Floyd in mid 1987 for a show that was in Cleveland, Ohio at the Municipal Stadium, a place commonly referred to as the mistake by the lake. Luckily it was early in the tour and on the evening of September 17, I was lucky enough to have my mind expanded by the Floyd and thankfully “Echoes” was still played as an opener. It was a fantastic evening thanks to the spectacle that was Pink Floyd as well as being “augmented” by some high quality psychedelics thanks to some high school friends who were followers of the Grateful Dead. While we listened to the Momentary Lapse Of Reason cassette a lot back then it did not make the long haul, and while I have a small but respectable Floyd collection save for one Division Bell boot there is nothing from the first comeback era. I have always considered myself a purist and since I first saw Roger Waters in 1999 I believe I know who is Pink, this opinion has not changed.
Then I saw this show start to creep around, first on CD-R as The Sound Of New Machine (Highland Project. HLP-094A/B/C) on a Pro CD-R and then Delicate Sound In New York (Sigma 95). Both releases were 3 discs each, the first disc was the first set, the second disc the second set and the third disc was the encore. Still I hesitated until I saw this new release by The Don and took the plunge. After repeated listenings all I can say is wow, perfect stereo soundboard recording, well balanced crisp and clear. The audience is mixed in making for nice ambiance sometimes lacking in soundboards. This is the second of five nights the band played at the Nassau Coliseum and all were recorded for what was to become The Delicate Sound Of Thunder. I was reading some discussions online where some feel the band sounds tired as these dates were the last shows the band would perform in 1988 (they would continue the following year with dates as well as Knebworth in 1990, the official last date). Every one has an opinion, mine is simple, the band plays a tight and wonderfully laid back evening of music.
The recording picks up with the cheers of the audience as the lights go down and the concert begins with the melancholy keyboard introduction to “Shine On You Crazy Diamond”, the crowd roars their approval as Dave plucks the first notes on his Stratocaster. When the full band breaks in about the 4:40 mark you get the feel of the wondrous sound on this recording. If my ears are not deceiving me I here an audience patch at 11:28 to 11:35, the obviously audience source is extremely clear and well balanced and is blended wonderfully. The band chose to play the entire Momentary Lapse record, the majority during the first part of the show, leading it off is “Learning To Fly”. Interesting is about 4:40 in the song as Dave finishes his solo it seems like they throw a little “Young Lust” tease in there.
Dave greets the audience and gives them a rundown of the play list for the evening prior to introducing “Yet Another Movie”. The intro is interesting and the drum beats harken back to the days of old, Guy Pratt plays some nice bass during the song, he was in his mid twenties but was a Floyd fanatic who fit in very well (and would go on to marry Rick Wrights daughter Gala). Dave’s years early in the decade producing and playing on side projects gave him a unique scope in which to craft the music, full and lush but still having what I would call the Gilmour sound. If one wanted to pick fly crap from pepper it would be the saxophone, way too high in the mix. I do really like the piano during “A Terminal Frost”, very simple yet so beautiful and the sax mixed nicely with Dave’s guitar and for a split second you swear your listening to Bruce and Clarence.
The first of the real meaty songs is “Sorrow”, nice fat Dave riff and harkens back to the something found in an “Echoes” jam before heading into a straight forward rocker that would not be out of place on either of his solo records, the 11 person backing band adds a lot to the mix, the percussion is particularly good. The last and arguably best song on the new record is the last song of the first set, “On The Turning Away” is much better live than the studio version, Dave’s leads are soaring and the whole band lock in and really deliver. The last song on the first disc is actually the first song of the second set, “One Of These Days” had not been played for what, 15 years? The version from this era is interesting, much fuller with rhythm guitar added gives it a more upbeat feel, again not a favorite era for this song but one I remember as being blown away when they played it live, we knew instantly what is was and what we were in for. The song fades with the sound of clocks….
…and the audience as they clap in along, this is what we were are waiting for, the classics and what better way to start the greatest hits portion than with “Time”. The sound is full and lush, honed to perfection during the 180 plus concerts the line up has performed, Gilmour’s guitar solo evokes nostalgic feeling. The sounds of heavy breathing and footsteps add to the “On The Run” instrumental and the insane laughing adds the maniacal feeling. The large accompaniment really makes the Dark Side material come alive, Dave’s Lap steel playing on “Great Gig” simply soars. The female vocals are lost in the mix, you can barely hear them in the distant background, thankfully two and half minutes in the issue is rectified and we get a full vocal performance for the remainder of the song. The two songs from Wish You Where Here, the first being the title track are much well received, I must admit “Welcome To The Machine” is a feast for the ears, you can hear the crowd reacting to the Floyd “droids” and light show at the beginning, from the flashbacks I sometimes get it certainly was spectacular. There is so much to hear, from guitars to keyboards and assorted effects and the slightly up tempo ending is fantastic, a small bit of improvisation.
After “Us And Them” the tempo really picks up, beginning with “Money” and Pratt’s take on the famous Waters’ bass line, while not perfect it does add a bit of flair to the song. The song has the usual jam section, like a twist on the blues. The song is linked non stop with “Another Brick In The Wall Part 2”, the backing vocals are a little low in the mix, I am guessing it is for maximum crowd interaction. Great to hear Dave break into the familiar solo as it is certainly one of his most identifiable ones. The weight of the set falls upon “Comfortably Numb”, now at epic length. The Waters’ sung lines now sung by Rick Wright and Jon Carin, the dual vocals perfectly accent Gilmour’s dreamlike vocal approach. It all leads to the solo, like all drains leads to the Ocean, Dave’s leads are striking, he builds and builds as the band continue to push and the lights swirl in and amazing synchronicity, bring the whole thing to an incredible conclusion. The encores are simple; the first is “One Slip”, by far the most commercial sounding song on the Momentary record, and one of the most satisfying and sounds as if it was plucked from About Face. The final song is “Run Like Hell”, from what I remember was the climax to the evening, the music and lights moving in a vast circular motion while my hands where white knuckled on the arm rests and a Cheshire cat grin on my face, a really enjoyable concert in superb quality.
The packaging is the typical tri gatefold, beautifully adorned with mostly live shots culled from the tour as well as accurate liner notes from Alex The Gnome. When looking over the Povey and Russel In The Flesh book it states the band played four nights in Nassau, the liner notes said five so I went to Povey’s updates Echoes book and there is where we get the listing of all five dates played (you cannot go wrong with either book). Another incredible package by Godfathers, I like that you can save a little coin without sacrificing any music. This release is highly recommended, it gave me the chance to revisit this tour and gain new respect for this era of the band as one of triumph for the three members of the group who desperately needed to not only be relevant to modern music but to feel relevant to the music they created throughout the 60s and 70s.