Pink Floyd -- Oakland, CA -- April 20-22, 1994
TOUR: Pink Floyd / The Division Bell Tour
VENUE: Oakland Coliseum -- Oakland, CA
DATE: April 20-22, 1994
ATTENDED W/: Oldest Brother
GEAR WORN: n/a
MERCH PURCHASED: n/a
MOSHING REPORT: n/a
EDDIES AWARDED (Pink Floyd): n/a
REVIEWED: December 23rd, 2004
Why the hell am I reviewing a concert from ten years ago and one that is not even metal at that? In early 2004 on the Iron Maiden Bulletin Board, I started writing reviews of the metal concerts I attended. A number of people did it and still do it all the time. It’s a great way of sharing concert stories and experiences with your friends across the globe, and if you spend any amount of time on the Internet discussing music, you quickly make acquaintances with people you’d never otherwise meet – some an ocean away and others literally just down the road. A small (and growing) online group of us on the West Coast of the United States now get together as regularly as metal bands come our way. My reviews and subsequent forum discussions are our story. But before there was “our” story, there was my story.
My first concert not involving a symphony orchestra was Pink Floyd almost ten years ago on their Division Bell Tour in 1994. They played the Oakland Coliseum (San Francisco Bay Area) on the nights of April 20-22, 1994; I have no clue which night we hit. I owned Dark Side Of The Moon like everyone in America, but that was the extent of my fandom. Having the more important real concerns of early twenty-something life, I wasn’t even really into music all that much beyond what I played myself on the piano (Chopin), the music of my youth (Weird Al) or the legacy music from my college days (Iron Maiden). I went because my oldest brother asked if I wanted to go and was willing to spring for the ticket.
I would be lying if I said much of my fondness of the night wasn't more than that I went to my first concert with my oldest brother. Most of you have had that feeling at some point in your life. Enough said.
Ten years have passed, and with reflection, let me share some memories from that night:
** The drive off the highway into the Coliseum took over an hour. Despite a massive police presence, people were constantly hopping out of their cars and vans to take a whiz or buy $10 knockoff tour shirts from scruffy urchins ducking in and out of the roadside bushes. Despite a level of partying in college that remains legendary, I was still very sheltered and inclined to simply lock the car door.
** Darkness fell on the Bay as we parked and hiked into the stadium from the backside of Hell. It was actually nice now to see the more massive police presence in the parking lot and walkways. However, once you entered the stadium, the only pork was seemingly in the concessions. Our seats were in the lower rows between home and first with the stage out in center field.
** Anyone watching MTV in the mid 90s remembers the massive stink they made about the Pink Floyd production. I read somewhere that the show cost $700,000 a day to maintain (crew of ~250 plus tons of equipment) with an overall cost of $200M and a concert gross of $300M. The stage had a massive circular video screen ringed with massive lights built into its own amphitheatre. Pink Floyd had lasers, massive smoke, pyro, incredible video backdrops... even two giant inflatable pigs that popped out of massive housings above the stage for the final song of the first set. More so than any one thing, I will never forget those fucking giant dancing pigs.
** I walked into the stadium with a 375ML bottle of rum. Imagine doing that now… Engaging in the local barter economy, the bloke and I next door achieved the level of consciousness that is required for Pink Floyd and proper understanding of the meaning of the giant inflatable dancing pigs.
** I don’t have a set list, although I remember that Pink Floyd played tracks off The Division Bell, Darkside Of The Moon, and The Wall. I know… that’s really helpful and you’re welcome. I vividly remember “What Do You Want From Me” and “Money”, the latter because the opening coin ca-chings rotated eerily around the stadium. Two sets… the first mainly Division Bell, the second older material.
** I have yet to experience post-concert anarchy quite like we did that night. Between the massive – epic really -- drug use and post concert euphoria, the cops didn’t have a chance. I remember watching a cop hassle some dudes while a kid ran up to the cop’s motorcyle and ripped off his helmet.
A couple of years ago, I took my other older brother to the World Series for his very first baseball game ever. He didn't realize what made that game so special and energetic until a regular season game we attended last year. Only now am I beginning to appreciate my first concert: the last tour of Pink Floyd and one of the most massive productions to EVER be in concert history. Not a bad way to start off your concert career....
Jaco died for our sins so that modern bass players could be free to play more and be heard.