Earlier this week, the music world tragically lost Pink Floyd keyboardist and founding member Richard Wright to cancer.
Which makes the occasion of this Tuesday’s release of Live In Gdansk, David Gilmour’s first live album as a solo artist all the more sad, as it is likely Wright’s last appearance on record.
That said, there is still reason to be joyful. While it can now safely be said that there will never be a Pink Floyd reunion, Gilmour’s Live In Gdansk, is a very satisfying live document that not only features Wright prominently, but does so with a setlist that dips pretty deeply into Pink Floyd’s long and storied catalog.
Recorded during David Gilmour’s solo tour behind his 2006 solo album On An Island, at a concert before 50,000 people against the historical backdrop of the Gdansk, Poland shipyards, Live In Gdansk features not only songs from that critically acclaimed record, but a number of Floyd classics as well.
As you’d expect, generous portions of Pink Floyd’s most famous albums are represented here. You get “Breathe” and “Time” from Dark Side Of The Moon, and “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” and the title track of Wish You Were Here. So far, so good.
But the true “holy shit” moments come in the form of truly amazing versions of Floyd’s earlier material like “Fat Old Sun,” and especially “Astronomy Domine,” which sounds cleaner than you could ever imagine here, while losing none of its original psychedelicized abandon.
Cap it off with a mend-bending version of the psychedelic epic “Echoes,” and you’ve got yourself something pretty close to a definitive document of these songs performed in a modern-day concert setting.
Long story short, this is some great shit. The band sounds flawless, and it’s a great setlist. Being what is likely Richard Wright’s last recorded performance, it also serves as a moving, if prematurely unintentional tribute.
David Gilmour’s Live In Gdansk is available in both CD and DVD versions, and will be in record stores this Tuesday September 23.