• David Gilmour Amsterdam Heinecken Hall review

    Home again… My trip to Amsterdam has been beyond anything I ever expected! Two fantastic concerts and on both nights, we stood just a few feet away during the encores! I can’t describe the feeling and the experience is only enhanced when 100 fellow maniacs stands around you crying and cheering! I managed to take some really good pictures too…

    Here’s a looooong review of both nights…

    We got to the Heineken Music Hall one hour before the show, – just enough time to buy some t-shirts, a tour book and get a close look at David’s power station. Sadly it was impossible to get decent shots since the stage was dark and too high above the ground floor. I got to see Phil Taylor in action though, as he cleaned the guitars and prepared for the show. He is unbelievably thorough and seems to enjoy every minute of his job. I must admit that I got a little shaky seeing him. A hero in his own right!

    In general, I was a bit disappointed after the first set. At times the sound was really bad and the band seemed very off. David used the red Strat throughout the album but it didn’t sound right. I couldn’t see the black one on stage either… Maybe it was sick??? Anyway, he used it on a couple of songs on the second half, so I guess he just tried a different set-up.
    The second night was much better. The band seemed very relaxed and clearly enjoyed them selves on stage. The songs worked better and the sound was really good. They also did a couple of changes in the set-list…

    It warms my heart seeing Wright back in action. I have always had a lot of respect for him and feel that he doesn’t get the credit he deserves. The chemistry between Gilmour and him is priceless and such a vital part of these concerts.

    David seems to enjoy every minute of playing live and it affects the rest of the band too (especially Pratt). He plays and sings very well and he’s not afraid of going out on a limb trying out different stuff. His guitars are mixed very loud and the sound is very crisp and smooth. I also sense a change in his playing when he’s using the black Strat, compared to the red. He seems more relaxed and it’s almost as if he is one with the guitar and they just play off each other. Very fascinating… It’s also very cool seeing David doing constant changes in his sound, – stomping on and off compressors, adding boost and adjusting delay volumes/repeats. It’s just minor details, and only guitar freaks like me notice the change, but I guess he likes to try different stuff and is always listening for the perfect sound.

    First half/ On an Island (complete album)

    Castellorizon
    The song opens with a playback of the album. Carin takes over the keyboards as David enters the stage and plays the guitar solo, – more or less as on the album.
    – first night; red Strat/ it sounded very boomy and he clearly had problems controlling the tones.
    – second night; black Strat/ much better and dead on the album version. You could hear the fat sound of the bridge/neck switch.

    On an Island
    They had serious problems with this one on the first night. Manzanera (who is changing to electric for the solos) didn’t have any sound and Gilmour’s voice was raspy. However, the band played fantastic on the second night and David did some outstanding solos. (Jon Carin is playing electric slide)
    – first night; red Strat
    – second night; black Strat

    The Blue
    This song worked really well both nights, and was definitely one of the high points of the concert.
    – first night; red Strat
    – second night; black Strat

    Red Sky at Night
    As the earlier shows, they placed Take a Breath later in the set. Red Sky was very close to the album version. Very cool seeing David playing saxophone and the atmosphere in the hall was pure magic. You could hear a pin drop.

    This Heaven
    I never really liked the album version of this song, but they played it really well live and David showed off his enormous blues talent.
    – both nights; Gibson Les Paul Gold Top

    Then I Close My Eyes
    One of my favorites and definitely the highpoint of the first set. A beautiful version both nights and the stage lights was perfectly designed. David changed between playing slides on the Weissenborn guitar and very sweet solos on the Gretsch. Dick Parry entered the stage halfway into the song and played saxophone to the applauding crowd. (Guy Pratt plays the “loop” guitar on a white Fender Strat)
    – both nights; Gretsch Duo Jet and Weissenborn acoustic slide

    Smile
    Very close to the album and David changed between playing acoustic guitar and slide solos on the Weissenborn. (Jon Carin plays slide on the verse)
    – both nights; Gibson acoustic and Weissenborn acoustic slide

    Take a Breath
    Really powerful version with dramatic lights. David played really well and I couldn’t help but think about Astronomy Domine and Interstellar Overdrive! (Jon Carin plays the slide solo)
    On the second night they placed this song before Smile and as David puts on his acoustic he says “Well, enough of this noisy stuff… This is Smile”.
    – first night; red Strat
    – second night; black Strat

    Pocket Full of Stones
    I was really afraid that they had to ditch this song on the first night. David’s voice was very raspy and he had difficulties here too, but he managed gracefully. The other night however was magic and he sang as clear as a teenager!
    – first night; red Strat
    – second night; black Strat/ again, this is a song that requires much tone control and bright overtones. The red Strat didn’t sound any good and David had problems with feedback.

    Where We Start
    My favorite on the album and the band did very good versions both nights. David almost lost the Gretsch to the floor when the strap lock fell off. He and Taylor searched with a flashlight and David repeated many times “sorry about this”. They finally found it and he said “Hmmm… I seem to lost a bit of the guitar…”
    – both nights; Gretsch Duo Jet

    Second half/ Floyd classics


    Shine On You Crazy Diamond

    As the on Meltdown, David opens with the Sound on Sound effect, only this time with electric guitar. It was almost like hearing an old bootleg from Animals! I was really thrilled when the band joined in after Syd’s Theme and played the second guitar solo part. Although I wish they had continued with the moog solo and ultimately the third guitar solo, it was really beautiful when they stopped and David sang the song alone. Outstanding version and very cool that the band joined in again during the sax solo. Dick Parry played well as always!
    – both nights; red Strat/ this is the only time I felt that “red” sounded great.

    Wot’s… Uh the Deal
    Very close to the album version. A surprise to say the least and very bold! David played the slide solo on the crème Jedson slide with a really cool sound, – distortion and very deep chorus. Although it was a treat hearing this live, I felt that the audience didn’t respond very well and the band seemed a bit bored…
    Рboth nights; Gibson acoustic and cr̬me Jedson lap steel

    Wearing the Inside Out
    This has always been my favorite Wright song and to finally hear it live was an absolute highpoint of the evening. I have to admit that I felt some tears on my chin… Very slow and very sad. It almost felt like Wright sang about his mental problems over the last decades. Just wonderful… David played beautiful blues fill-ins and a very soulful solo.
    – first night (only); red Strat

    Coming Back to Life
    The second night they did this one instead of Wearing. A shame really, but it was cool hearing it live again! It seemed (and sounded!) like this was decided very quickly and the band sucked big time. David fell out of the solos many times and laughed at his faults. Anyway, this made them play only heavier and the band seemed to enjoy them selves!
    – second night (only); black Strat

    Breathe/Time/Breathe rep
    Breathe sounded exactly like Live 8 and David played the crème slide. Time sounded very 70’s and they had sampled the girl choir during the chorus, – great “trick”. David stuck mostly to the PULSE version of the solo, but did some very nice new stuff too. The lightshow was cool and Steve (drums) really impressed my by “doing” Mason dead on. This was the first time David used the black Strat during the first night… Breathe was dropped the second night.
    – both nights; black Strat

    Dominoes
    The Syd Barrett classic performed a bit more electric than on Meltdown. Manzanera did some wonderful soundscapes in the best Roxy tradition. It seemed like they initially had decided on playing Fat Old Sun, but David signaled a change during Time… probably because some raving maniac kept shouting for Barrett.
    – first night (only); Gibson acoustic

    Fat Old Sun
    Very close to the album and again, Steve (drums), impressed me. I have always loved this song and especially the live versions from 70-71. I jumped in my seat when David changed guitars and played an awesome guitar solo just like in the old days! Just fantastic!! Fat was performed after Wot’s…
    – second night (only); Gibson acoustic and black Strat

    High Hopes
    A beautiful version, sounding like a mix between PULSE and Meltdown. After the slide solo (which was remarkably close to the album version), David sat down with his acoustic and played a Spanish sounding solo over the strings. Another highpoint!
    – both nights; Taylor acoustic and red Jedson lap steel

    Echoes
    Well… no words can describe this! Over 20min and you could feel the smell of old equipment and warm sand from Pompeii. The overall sound was very Meddle, although you could definitely hear many details of the old live versions. It was so good seeing David and Richard singing together again. It’s in their blood… If I were to point out a couple of things, I missed David’s run down on the C#m A part and the solo lacked the “out of control, screaming fuzz” sound. Still, it’s only minor stuff and I was totally freaked out when it was over. I had never expected it to sound as authentic 70’s as it did.
    – both nights; black Strat

    Encores

    Wish You Were Here
    Pretty straightforward PULSE version. I honestly don’t remember much since we managed to run down to the front of the stage. It took some minutes before I could grasp the fact that we were only a few feet from the band and David…
    – both nights; Gibson acoustic

    Comfortably Numb
    Another surprise! Richard as the Doctor! How’s that for irony?? Again I don’t remember much, standing with my eyes pinned to the black Strat I have dreamed to see for so many years (see pictures above)! For the first time I heard the real sound from David’s amps… My god, he is playing loud on that stage! His guitar was so crisp and it felt like he cut me in half with a very sharp knife. I have never felt so shaky and (naturally) high before. Truly amazing!
    – both nights; black Strat

    So… two nights of pure magic, even though the second night stands out as by far the better of the two. I just want to go to sleep for two months and wake up in time for Albert Hall!

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2 Responsesso far.

  1. JohnGolby says:

    Hi – you have a great site with a ton of interesting stuff to get through. I don’t know how much time you spend looking at You Tube but just recently some amazing footage of the band has surfaced of them playing in Japan in 71(I think)-well worth checking out. I would love to know what your opinion is as to why so much footage remains in the vaults such as the Brighton Dome, St Tropez etc and that by the looks of things will stay in the vaults. If it wasn’t for bootlegs & You Tube we wouldn’t get to see any of it…makes you wonder why they filmed these gigs in the first place as I reckon most Floyd fans would rather see film from this period(70-72) than the dvd Pulse.

    [Thanks for your compliments! Yeah, I’ve seen most of the YouTube stuff… You can download a bunch of cool Floyd recordings (both video and audio) at the Yeeshkul hub and it’s mostly in hi-res… great quality. I think the reason why Floyd hasn’t released more, is that they don’t own the rigts to these recordings. It’s either a TV-network, the venue or promotor or even private stuff… They do however own the rights to footage from the Wall tour, where they filmed each show and then there’s the Atlanta ’87 gig, where some is used for promos for On the Turning Away, Dogs of War etc. Other than that, I don’t think Floyd has much piled up in the vaults apart from some odd pieces here and there. The St Tropez footage from 1970 is owned by French TV… awesome clips tho! – Bjorn]

  2. surdin says:

    I saw Dave in NYC second night I forgot what song he used the red strat on, but it sounded better this night than the tone he got on pulse. Very vintage but it was still different because of the emgs. It was cool seeing him play Than i close my eyes. He came on playing this off stage and walked on wile he was playing. it was very cool. Second half was all black strat if i can remeber correctly. The time solo sounded more album version than pulse.