David Gilmour coming to Prague screens

A concert at the ruins in Pompeii features lots of Pink Floyd hits

Pink Floyd's guitarist David Gilmour played two concerts at the ruins of the amphitheater in Pompeii in 2016 as part of his Rattle that Lock tour.

A video of that concert called David Gilmour - Live at Pompeii will screen at movie theaters worldwide on Sept. 13, and in Prague it will be at kino Světozor, kino Aero and Bio Oko at 8:30 pm. Světozor will screen it in 4K resolution. There will be one additional screening at each theater on a later date, but that is it.

A DVD and Blue-ray disk set will be released Sept. 29, but unless you have a large screen and high-end sound system, it will be better in the cinema.

Pink Floyd fans will be pleased that a good number of the classic songs are in the concert, going back to some of the band's early work.

In the intro to the concert, David Gilmour says his concert was the first performance with an audience since the days of Roman gladiators. Pompeii, of course, is the city that was covered in volcanic ash in 79 AD and later excavated.

Pink Floyd played there, but without an audience. An art film documentary was released in 1972. The only song to appear in both films is “One Of These Days” from the album Meddle.

It is one of the highlights of the new concert, and the band seems to particularly enjoying the psychedelic jam session.

Other classic Pink Floyd tunes include “The Great Gig in the Sky” and “Money” from Dark Side of the Moon, “Wish You Were Here” and “Shine on Your Crazy Diamond” from Wish You Were Here, “Run Like Hell” and “Comfortably Numb” from The Wall, and “What Do You Want from Me” from The Division Bell, plus a few more older songs. The rest of the setlist comes from Gilmour's solo work.

The concert itself is spectacular, with a large round video screen behind the band, surrounded by computer-controlled lights. Later in the show, lasers and other effects come into play.

Cameras capture all of the band in great detail, plus scenes of the audience, who are making their own recordings with their phones.

Considering that Pompeii is rather fragile, it is amazing what they were allowed to do in the space of the overgrown and crumbling amphitheater.

The opening of the video starts with indoor rehearsals and some snippets of interviews, where Gilmour talks about his new band and also says that he doesn't intend to be overly faithful to the original songs. But in practice they don't stray all that much. While there are some minor differences, the classic songs are all recognizable. The intro lasts only a few minutes. Once the concert starts, it is all music.

The songs are made to flow together, with any pauses on stage cleverly cut out. The always-awkward part where the band pretends to leave and then comes back is also snipped out.

For fans of the old music, David Gilmour - Live at Pompeii more than delivers, and shows the same songs a bit differently than fellow ex-Floyd member Roger Waters now plays them.

There are a few more concerts in the cinema planned for this year. Black Sabbath: The End of The End presents the final tour of the heavy metal band. It will play Sept. 28, and Slipknot: Day of the Gusano is on Oct. 5. 

Video on YouTube

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