David Gilmour – tour finale at the Royal Albert Hall

Photo credits: Britannia Row Productions

David Gilmour's Rattle That Lock Tour came to a close on Friday 30th September, the last of 5 sell out performances at the Royal Albert Hall and the final show on Gilmour's 5 leg tour that has taken Gilmour and his band across Europe, North and South America and with UK performances in London. 

The 5 nights at the Royal Albert Hall could only be described as electrifying. A combination of Gilmour's incredible guitar and vocals with the outstanding and sublime support and performances of his extremely talented touring band, all that in conjunction with Colin Norfield's brilliance as the FOH engineer and the fantastic acoustics and ambience of the iconic Royal Albert Hall.

If that were not enough, to completely overload all the senses the impressive vast circular screen surrounded by 50 swivelling lights behind the band displayed a combination of Floyd videos, newer animated videos (The Girl in the Yellow Dress) and close up shots of Gilmour during his many guitar solos, all topped off with phenomenal lighting and lasers behind a smoky layer of dry ice.  

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Night 5's set list consisted of First Set: 5 A.M.; Rattle That Lock; Faces Of Stone; What Do You Want From Me; The Blue; The Great Gig In The Sky; A Boat Lies Waiting; Wish You Were Here; Money; In Any Tongue; High Hopes.

Second Set: One Of These Days; Shine On You Crazy Diamond (Parts 1-5); Fat Old Sun; Coming Back To Life; On An Island; The Girl In The Yellow Dress; Today; Sorrow; Run Like Hell.

Encores: Time/Breathe (reprise); Comfortably Numb.

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Gilmour had performed at the Royal Albert Hall during leg 1 of the Tour in September 2015 and also for the final night of the Teenage Cancer Trust shows in April 2016. During that show the death of Prince had been announced only three days earlier and so in tribute Gilmour blended in a small piece of Prince's "Purple Rain" into "Comfortably Numb",with the stage lights turning purple as his guitar solo came to a close.

On the first European leg of the tour most of the venues Gilmour performed at were Roman amphitheatres.  Gilmour also played the historic Auditorium Theatre in Chicago, having last performed there with Pink Floyd in 1972.

On 25 June 2016 Gilmour performed at Wrocław, Poland in celebration of the city being European Capital of Culture 2016. The show was broadcast live on Polish television. Gilmour and his band were accompanied by the Wrocław Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zbigniew Preisner.

Gilmour also performed two shows at the Pompeii amphitheatre where he performed with Pink Floyd in 1971, and had filmed Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii. The performance on the 7 July was the first performance in the amphitheatre since Pink Floyd played there.

A review of the show in The Times - by James Jackson 

The Pink Floyd legend returned for a victory lap after last year’s run and demonstrated that he is still at the top of his game

★★★★★
David Gilmour once explained his ethos as “seeking bliss in music”. As the Pink Floyd legend returned to the Royal Albert Hall for a victory lap after last year’s five-date run, the effects of his intentions felt palpable. Just the first languid, yearning note from his guitar on the opening 5AM — the man himself bathed in blue light and a haze of dry ice — soared with such clarity and feeling that it earned a spontaneous ovation.

It set the tone for a evening in which Gilmour’s resistance to mere nostalgia once again made for a precarious balance between totemic Floyd oldies and his less pulse-troubling solo material. While the show’s first half found room for Wish You Were HereMoney and The Great Gig in the Sky (wailed in harmony by three backing singers, like some eerie gospel threnody), it still felt dominated by more recent material, all rendered with dense sonic precision by his eight-piece band.

The Blue offered a showcase of Gilmour’s sky-scraping string bends and glissandos, his fret mastery projected in close-up on the 50ft circular screen — what a treat — while the anti-war In Any Tongue and the dolorous High Hopesmoved with the slowness and weight of the Titanic in first gear.

The anticipated sound-and-light sensory assault duly arrived after the interval, as the prog-discotheque drama of One of These Days blew the hall to pieces in a strobing blitzkrieg of swirling green, blue and vermillion; the sense that the controls were now set for the heart of the sun becoming literal in the visuals for a glorious Fat Old Sun.

Yet, even before another retina-frazzling display for Run Like Hell (the band were forced to put on dark glasses), things detoured into the comedown longueurs of On an Island and the supper-club jazz of Girl in the Yellow Dress. It somehow typified the Gilmour live experience of momentum ebbing and flowing — but what stunning peaks. The 70-year-old recently said “God knows when we’ll do this again”; an admission that only deepened the perpetual feeling of being blessed to be watching an all-time guitar great at the top of his game. 

 

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