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David Gilmour - Live in Gdańsk CD (album) cover

LIVE IN GDAńSK

David Gilmour

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Einsetumadur
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars 14/15P.: an emotional journey through time. I might be biassed since Pink Floyd is my favorite band, but this concert is absolutely gorgeous - from the first to the last minute.

In Germany, Gilmours latest and first live album was released one week ago - a complete recording of Gilmour's last concert of his 2006 tour in Gdansk (Poland).

In this recording, Gilmour plays his complete On An Island album, plus several Pink Floyd tracks which represent most of the Pink Floyd albums, dating from 1967 to 1994. Although Live in Gdansk isn't that much different from the audio of "Remember that Night", Gilmours first DVD of the On An Island tour, I can highly recommend the album to all those who love Pink Floyd. Because of the orchestra that takes part here a lot of the songs get a very nice symphonic feeling, and the really great versions of classics like Echoes or High Hopes with two of the Pink Floyd members (David Gilmour and Rick Wright, who died last week) is highly enjoyable.

A thing that a lot of people critizised about Gilmour's 2006 album On An Island is that the sound is somehow overly lush. The live versions are much better and include great improvisations which have a lot more edges than the original recordings - but with the orchestra creating the somewhat nostalgic 'journey-through-time'-atmosphere which the listener already knows from the studio versions. Because of that - and the change of the places of 2 songs ("Take A Breath" appears at a different place) - I would say that this recording is the definite rendition of the On An Island album - a really great bunch of compositions and a good follow-up to The Division Bell. Nonetheless the "Remember That Night" DVD version is actually the definitive one because it features the gorgeous vocal harmonies by Crosby & Nash as well as Robert Wyatt on cornet, and the album works surprisingly well without the orchestra.

Regarding the Pink Floyd pieces I have to admit that the 2006 versions are equivalent to the original recordings. Without Waters and Mason it's a pretty different affair, but I listen to both versions regularly and enjoy them all the same. This modern and fresh, but absolutely tasteful sound is quite useful for the songs, especially Echoes which - on par with High Hopes might be the artistic peak of this concert. I also love the addition of Wots Uh The Deal to the setlist, a beautiful Roger Waters song from the underrated Obscured By Clouds album. The song isn't featured on CD, but can be downloaded from the internet if you own the 2CD+DVD version. Needless to say, the musical quality is excellent; the musicians have their fun - and so do I. High quality performance, and without this slightly sterile atmosphere of the PULSE tour.

In my opinion, 5 stars are just right for that fantastic and really essential album which is as emotionally intense as the Pink Floyd discography; the Pink Floyd feeling is apparent. And because of this I bet that every listener of Pink Floyd or David Gilmour will enjoy this recording, especially if you have not been to the 2006 (which might be the biggest mistake I have ever made); the DVD is also very good, but unfortunately doesn't contain the complete concert. As a bonus it is quite ok, but Remember That Night, the double DVD from the Royal Albert Hall concert, pretty much fulfils the needs.

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Send comments to Einsetumadur (BETA) | Report this review (#183471)
Posted Wednesday, September 24, 2008 | Review Permalink
5 stars Pink floyd songs have never sounded more powerful than in this album. Just listen to Astronomy Domine, Echoes and Comfortably Numb, you will faint just to listen to the first ping of Richard Wright in Echoes. Talking strictly about the CDs, the sound mix is amazing. They did an amazing work polishing Rick Wright's mistake in Time, you don't even notice there was a mistake in that gig. Overall, the song selection is great, the sound mix is mind blowing, and David Gilmour's guitar playing is at his best in a long, long time. Seriously, no one can let this album pass, you MUST listen to it.

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Send comments to mor7mx (BETA) | Report this review (#184216)
Posted Tuesday, September 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
friso
PROG REVIEWER
4 stars Well... this is as professional as it gets! A perfect live performance with main man David Gilmour and special guest Richard Wright. This review is based on the two cd's and the two hour dvd with most of the songs of the show. David Gilmour has gathered some great talented musiscians and even an orchestra for the perfect live show. The production has a perfect score, everyting is so professional!

The first half of this release is from the later soloalbums of Gilmour and the second halve are songs from the Pink Floyd eara. I find this radical cut very pleasent for listening. The only-Pink Floyd interested folks can listen to the second cd. I have never listened to the later soloalbums of Gilmour so I did not recognice songs from the first half of the concert. Not very open minded for the new songs I came out suprised in a nice way. Some very good material is played here! The almost legendary guitar solo's of Gilmour have always been a bit overrated in my opinion. Well... that was my opinion. After this release I must conclude that his live performed solo's are indeed unique. Not as fast as Joe Satriani, but ten times as accurate. He just hits the right string (as the Dutch say). A lot of emotion in his solo's make even the very slow themes feel like an extravangza! Some themes played on cd 1 sound a bit like music for old man, but overall is succesfull. A very special moment for me is the saxaphone solo by Gilmour for it is very good. Ofcourse the perfect arangements helps the music to sound at its best.

The main reason I got into this album was the tracklisting of disc two. Astronomy Domine, recorded recorded 47 years ago, is still a masterpiece. It's a challenge to play a song so old (and important!) with totally other equipment and with other possibilities. Gilmour and Wright succeed with an 100% score playing this old gem! The sound is warm and full, the meaning of the song as clear as recorded in 1967. One word: Brilliant! The same can be said for Echoes, wich is extented to a 25 minute version with longer solo's. Totally modern warm sound and still it can actually be a real opponent in the race with the Live at Pompeii version for best live version ever recorded. The music on this cd's is very good and about 1/3 part is plain brilliant.

The DVD. The only thing I want to say the video is perfect. Beatifully filmed and put on a disc. The light effects are in use of the music and give it an extra magic vibe. Every member of the band is filmed in proportion and the most important instruments are filmed when needed, like during solo's. Nothing to complain here! A bit of a dissapointment is that a lot of songs are missing. But OK.. a two hour show is long enough.

So in summary. A magical live performance, with great camara work and a great production. Four stars well deserved here. A lot of the quality is here because of the financial possibilties other bands don't have, nontheless this is a great liveshow.

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Send comments to friso (BETA) | Report this review (#187354)
Posted Wednesday, October 29, 2008 | Review Permalink
Tom Ozric
PROG REVIEWER
5 stars David Gilmour - Live in the Gdansk shipyard. There are many versions of this recording available, of which I speak of the 5 LP set. This performance, featuring the late, great Richard Wright (Keyboards - R.I.P.), Guy Pratt (Bass) Steve DiStanislao (Drums), Phil Manzanera (Guitars), Jon Carin (Keyboards, Guitar) and Dick Parry (Sax/Keyboards) with backing from the Baltic Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, highlights Gilmour's recent solo album, the beautiful 'On An Island', performed in its entirety, along with a surprising selection of PINK FLOYD songs, including a stellar version of 'Echoes', which breaks the 25 minute mark, and all-too-seldomly heard songs 'Fat Old Sun' and 'Wot's...Uh, the Deal?' Some of the bonus material includes odd live tracks from Venice (On The Turning Away, where the band sounds drunk, and David forgets his lyics - hmmm?), and Abbey Road (The Blue, and an 'acoustic' snippet of Echoes, which again sounds somewhat under-rehearsed, but interesting and rather intimate). Also we get 2 'Barn Jams', which are serene instrumental pieces of which I feel capture an air of early Pink Floyd spontaneity. Priceless. Richard Wright really shines with his Keyboard work. The songs from On An Island ooze along in a slick, liquid ecstacy kind of way - they are mostly slow, touching pieces which reflect an inner peace and profoundness, the perfect way to unwind and tune out from the hustle and bustle of hectic everyday life, the ultimate escape. Gilmour solo's with passion, confidence and joy, and it comes across. He is definately a soulful Guitarist, and he always hits the right notes. Another interesting aspect of this recording is that Richard Wright has dusted off his old Farfisa Organ, which not only adds a dash of nostalgia to tracks like Echoes, and, perhaps takes some of us back to Piper At The Gates Of Dawn with a storming version of Astronomy Domine, but such a unique sound requires the real thing (IMO), and is so refreshing to hear in the here and now. For me, I find this release to be a totally essential extravaganza, and recommend it to all. Another 5 star.

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Send comments to Tom Ozric (BETA) | Report this review (#194999)
Posted Thursday, December 25, 2008 | Review Permalink
octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
5 stars First of all, the lineup: Nick Mason is the only absent from the post-final cut Pink Floyd. An impressive Rick Wright and the old friends Dick Parry, Guy Pratt and Phil Manzanera are supported by a symphonic orchestra that allows Sir David to perform more acoustic as is becoming usual in his last gigs. The first CD is just the whole on an island. I don't want to add much about it. It's very well played and from the visual side, I think the 5 screens above the stage are a good enhancement to the usual circular screen.

I leave the review about the songs to the studio album.

The second CD is an emotional storm. After the usual Shine on, it's quite a surprise to hear a song from Obscured by clouds; Wot's oh the deal, then followed by Astronomy domine and Fat old sun. Those three pieces are a summary of the first Floyd era, and also quite unusual on recent track lists. Then the bell starts to ring giving the intro to High hopes. This is absolutely the best version of this song ever performed, and the long coda made of classic guitar and orchestra is astonishing. I felt myself totally transported by this performance, but once it's finished, you can suddenly recognise the familiar ping of Echoes: 25 more minutes of enchanted drama with the middle psychedelic part that doesn't sound too different from the Pompeii version even if the instruments are not the same of 30 years before.

The two songs are so good that you can relax with the following classic Wish you were here. A great day for freedom sounds just like a relaxing pause before Comfortably numb. There are a lot of available versions of this song and they mainly differ one to each other by the second guitar riff, except for some earlier post-Waters versions with an unusual Gilnour-Wright choir. Well, this time Sir David has performed one of his most inspired guitar riffs, so that this is the best possible closure act.

Just one more comment: The view of a quite smiling and concentrated Rick Wright is very touching.

Six stars are not allowed, so I'll rate it only 5.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#196423)
Posted Tuesday, December 30, 2008 | Review Permalink
lazland
PROG REVIEWER
3 stars I have very mixed feelings about this album. I love Gilmour's guitar work and vocal contribution to The Floyd, both of which need no expansion on this site at all.

As previous reviewers have stated, the musicianship and production on this live work are peerless and the late, great, Richard Wright especially is enjoying the whole experience.

The live renderings of Gilmour's enjoyable (but not classic) Island work are fine, and the list of Floyd tracks would melt the hardest heart.

So why only three stars? Simple - I have rarely enjoyed the post Waters Floyd with the passion I did with him, and comparing this to the Waters live set simply does not bear comparison. I always feel that Gilmour simply goes through the motions - the passion and the anger is missing.

Comfortably Numb is not a song by numbers, but the angry and confused conclusion of a series of linked events from childhood to adulthood. You still get that with Waters, but not from this. Somehow, it is all a little too polished for its own good, rather like the tours they did.

There are genuine highlights - A Great Day for Freedom is one, and it is nice to hear Fat Old Sun live again for the first time in donkeys years, but for a genuine example of Floyd's work, the Waters live sets or original Floyd LPs win out every time.

Polished, exceptional playing, classic tracks - but not an essential addition to any collection.

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Send comments to lazland (BETA) | Report this review (#199534)
Posted Saturday, January 17, 2009 | Review Permalink
Marty McFly
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Errors and Omissions Team
5 stars Good things is that this gig persuaded me that Pink Floyd without Waters can be still perfect. 1)there was already Pulse and Sound of Thunder which persuaded me, but 2)there's a lot of old material from Pink Floyd times and, to be honest, Gilmour's vocal was much better, 3)Even how many, so many (60, 62? 1946, depends on how you take this album. Recorded, I think in 2006, but released two years lated) years old, D. G. can sing well (don't take me bad, his best years are just gone, but still does the job on perfect level)) 4)This blend of old songs and Gilmour's new ones is great. But in fact I never heard DG's solo performance before, only these PF tours. Bad thing is that it's last gig of "the quiet" Floyd, Rick Wright. (disputable argument about this quietness)

"First DSotM suite ("Breathe", "Time" and "B reprise") is one of the best performances I've ever heard (of these tracks, I'm also glad that they refused to include "On the Run", my personal non-favourite one). "Castellorizon" serves more like intro to next track, which is nothing less than full grown track "On an Island", which I dare to describe as his best new track. I'm not blindfolded old school PF fan, I know this is something new. But as DG was important part of PF back in past times of creativity, something from it is to be see (hear) here too. But it's different.

I'm aware it's kinda unfair to compare these new ones to old PF songs, so I know I have to try to be honest to them. Of course that first track I heard here was "Time" and then "Echoes", but it's about 50/50. Depending on what version you own. DG's music is suprisingly composed from a lot of longer songs, maybe 5 minutes average length. "Take a Breath's lyrics are not so important, they're here to cover long guitar solo in the end. Some songs given to us are calm ones, presenting David's unique voice, little bit raspy (just little, but it's well known fact, this voice he had even back in 70s, so time did nothing bad to him, just hairs are short and white).

But comparing this performance of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond to older ones (live) is not fair fight. 6:22-6:46, the way how he play the guitar (reminds me one of studio interview's in Live at Pompeii, where he does the same thing to "Time" song, not ordinary tabs, he adds something new, some playfulness to it, maybe called by some guitar virtuosity, or improvisation. Whatever the correct name for it is, I admire it.

"Astronomy Domine" is my favourite one from first years of PF. This is decent performance of what I like most on Ummagumma's live version. "Fat Old Sun" is another old track which (to my bad) I didn't know. Mistake fixed, it's really good track, played very well, but it may be by track itself. You can clearly divide old PF tracks from newer ones. This just sounds like relic from the past.

"Echoes" is just wonderful. Even not beating masterpiecy dead gig in Pompeii (by the way, what does?), it's very refined version. I was always quite fond of this song, these lyrics, humming in my amateurish way ""No one flies around the sun"", enjoying this all. One of the best moments in rock history, he did impossible. Improved his guitar style, forgot about his age and did his best. Yes, he improved, even I though it's not possible to do better job than he already done. In fact, this is comparable with Italian trip back in 70s. Atmosphere's maybe not the same (death gig, petrified audience everywhere), but soloing here is better (see how one's opinion can change when song is slowly getting to the end). I must say that middle part, electronic work little bit disappoints me, not so good as on live/studio version. It's just not what I expected. Not bad, it's really good, but not perfect. It doesn't matter much, the rest is perfect. Other Rick Wright's work on this album is better, don't worry. When guitar came again, it takes place. Also the difference here is that guitar sound is one that is most clearly to hear, probably because they know it will catch attention. To say something positive avout keyboards again, last minute's duet of electric g. and k. is so tender, so soft and appealing, that you can easily imagine them almost having their eyes closed and playing by memory.

As conclusion, philosophical depths of "Wish You Were Here" are endless. "Comfortambly Numb"'s ending guitar solo seems like is longer than before. With same quality. It's hard to review live versions (before albums ones), but I want to give my special thoughts about "A Great Day For Freedom", with its free melody, optimistic lyrics and feeling of one period ending, second coming.

Five stars for maybe the best PF concert. Even without most of PF.

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Send comments to Marty McFly (BETA) | Report this review (#235667)
Posted Saturday, August 29, 2009 | Review Permalink
AtomicCrimsonRush
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
4 stars The resurrection of Pink Floyd Shines On

When this concert begins you are immediately transported into the world of David Gilmour who has never forgotten the Pink Floyd behemoth. The monster super group that never seems to die, lives on again in this expanded concert. It begins with the incredible opening suite from 'Dark Side of the Moon', the unheralded soundtrack to 'The Wizard of Oz' and always at the top of greatest albums lists. After satisfying every PF fan in the shipyards at Gdansk, Gilmour takes us on a personal journey through his own solo work and spreads a few Floyd nuggets here and there on CD1 to prepare us for the second part of the concert.

It really takes off on CD 2 with the wondrous 'Shine on You Crazy Diamond' - a mini version but still as powerful as ever.

'Astronomy Dominé' is absolutely brilliant and I love hearing these latest versions, both this and the one on 'Pulse', which capture the spaced out psychedelia of 60s excess when Barrett was the Mad Hatter.

The version of 'High Hopes' is ambient atmospheric par excellence and always a concert favourite. However it all pales to insignificance compared to the next track.

A 25 minute version of 'Echoes'. It is all here - the whale effects, the soaring guitars, the keyboard pads that encapsulate the feeling of isolation and loneliness, the vocals of Gilmour that are mournful and uplifting at the same time, the infinite patience as the track builds to a crescendo - simply mind blowing. The crowd must have given a standing ovation after this epic, which the Floyd have not played for decades. In fact this return to the classic is more than welcome and performed with virtuoso musicianship that will amaze. It is the piece de resistance of the entire concert, maybe even better then the original 'Meddle' version. I was almost in tears when it ended as I could feel the passion in the music and the crowd's reaction.

Following this is the quintessential Floyd ballad, 'Wish You Were Here', which I can never tire of. This version is as beautifully melancholy as ever and definitely a crowd pleaser.

The concert ends with the incredible 'Comfortably Numb' which is brilliant live everytime it is played. Gilmour's guitar screams and wails in the final solo, similar to Pulse, and its a great thing to hear how his band interprets the music with him as the protagonist.

The rest of the tracks are great too, so much talent captured in 2 CDS. I was mesmirised by this stunning performance and will be hunting down the DVD. This is a great CD package and recommended to the Pink Floyd addict. The vultures may be circling but there's life in the old Floyd yet - here is the proof!

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Send comments to AtomicCrimsonRush (BETA) | Report this review (#236182)
Posted Monday, August 31, 2009 | Review Permalink
Bonnek
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Metal Team
4 stars There was a time when Pink Floyd was probably the most exiting live experience on our planet and many galaxies beyond. Umma Gumma, Pompeď and countless live bootlegs from around 1970 are the testimony to that. Then, the live output fell silent till they cashed in with the good but rather overblown live albums Delicate Sound of Thunder and Pulse.

But now, finally, there is a worthy follow up to the Pink Floyd live heritage from the early 70's. David Gilmour got him self surrounded by his buddy Richard Wright and a nice selection of musicians that make the big PF sound come alive again but manage to avoid the high levels of hollow pomposity that DSoT and Pulse suffered from. Also Gilmour's voice sounds more hoarse and passionate then it ever was.

It starts off with a small selection of songs from Dark Side of the Moon. Too bad they didn't do the entire album with this group, as the versions of Breathe and Time here are the best I've ever heard. Alas, that pretty much sums up CD1 for me. I thought Gilmour's last studio album quite the snooze fest and the live renditions of those songs haven't convinced me otherwise yet. It's no problem really, there's another disk crammed with Floyd classics!

So, flash forward 10 songs and we have the first of the 2 surprises that makes this set essential for me. Sure, we all have heard about 15 live versions of Shine On Your Crazy Diamond already but here this song finally works for me. Really, I had always enjoyed the instrumental bits of it but never liked the vocal lines all that much. Here, Gilmour takes an entirely different approach to the verses and chorus and it does magic. This is it, much more intimate and genuine, this is Shine On as it always should have been. Perfect.

The second treat is of course Echoes, not that the remainder of the set isn't excellent but because we can finally enjoy a live rendition of this masterpiece again. Apart from the Pompeď version, which stayed close to the studio version, I have only heard 2 disappointing performances (sound wise) from bootleg recordings. One from 1972 and one from the 1987 tour. But here it is and it is astounding. Not all that different from the original but still a few new touches left and right. Especially the ending section is very nice.

Next to Umma Gumma, this is the second live from the Floyd (yes it says David Gilmour on the cover but do you really miss Nick Mason here?) that is absolutely essential in my opinion. However, until Gilmour's solo tracks have grown on me, this will have to do with 4 stars.

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Send comments to Bonnek (BETA) | Report this review (#249110)
Posted Monday, November 09, 2009 | Review Permalink
Easy Livin
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Honorary Collaborator / Retired Admin
4 stars We want "Poles apart"!

In 2006, David Gilmour embarked on an ambitious tour to promote his new studio album "On an island". I am proud to say I was in the audience for the Glasgow (Scotland) gig on that tour, and it remains one of the best I have attended.

The performance captured on this 2 CD set took place on the final day of the tour, in Gdansk shipyard in Poland. About 50,000 people attended the event, the Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra being brought in for this one gig. During the tour, various guests had appeared on stage, including Dave Crosby, Graham Nash and David Bowie. It was though the presence of Richard Wright throughout which gave it poignancy while linking it firmly back to Gilmour and Wright's past projects.

The first half of the set features a 12 minute extract from the first side of "Dark side of the moon" followed by the "On an island" album in its entirety. The renditions are largely faithful to the studio versions, the album still being new to Gilmour himself. The audience is receptive and polite as they enjoy the unfamiliar songs but totally familiar sounds. They are though, waiting in anticipation for the real meat of the gig.

The second part of the performance is given over to a potted history of Pink Floyd. Most of the band's history is touched on, with songs ranging from "Astronomy Dominé" to the last ever Pink Floyd song "High Hopes" appearing. The highlight has to be the sublime rendition of "Echoes", all 25 minutes of it. Gilmour and Wright never sounded better together as they harmonise perfectly on the verses. The only possible criticism is the fact that the orchestra is very hard to hear. On softer acoustic passages, such as "Wish you were here", the strings become apparent, but in general this could have been recorded at pretty much any gig on the tour.

One track however does distinguish this gig from the rest of the tour, as this was the only date where "A great day for freedom" was performed. Its inclusion here is of course relevant as the song celebrates the demise of the Warsaw Pact. The set closes with a superb version of "Comfortably numb", a song which for many has become Pink Floyd's anthem. Richard sings the verses here, with David taking the choruses, it is all quite emotional in retrospect.

Being entirely pragmatic, only about half of this album is actually essential. The full rendition of "On an island" is not particularly relevant, as it simply restates the studio album with little deviation. The wonderful collection of Pink Floyd tracks though transform this into an essential package. Even those who have the "Pulse" release will find plenty here to satisfy them. This is prog as it should be heard.

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Send comments to Easy Livin (BETA) | Report this review (#294040)
Posted Tuesday, August 10, 2010 | Review Permalink
SouthSideoftheSky
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Symphonic Team
3 stars Remember that other night?

Only one year after the release of the Remember That Night DVD, came this double live CD with a show from the same tour (also available with a DVD with parts of the show). The set list has changed only very slightly and most of the song selections are identical to the previously released DVD filmed and recorded in the Royal Albert Hall in London. Like the Royal Albert Hall concert, the present show, recorded in Gdansk, Poland, also starts with the same segment from Dark Side Of The Moon (Speak To Me, Breathe (In The Air), Time and Breathe (In The Air) (reprise)), followed by Gilmour's latest solo album On An Island played in its entirety. This takes up the whole of disc one. On An Island was a fine album, but the second disc of this live album is where the real interest lies as it is filled with Pink Floyd classics including two of my all-time favourites: High Hopes and Echoes, the latter of which makes up 25 minutes! We also get Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Fat Old Son, Wish You Were Here and Comfortably Numb all of which were also featured on the Remember That Night DVD. Astronomy Domine was not part of the DVD's main feature, but it was included as a bonus feature. In fact the only song present here that was not also on the DVD is A Great Day For Freedom, played exclusively in Poland. This is a moving song and one of the highlights here. On the DVD, on the other hand, you get further songs not featured on this CD, such as Coming Back To Life, Arnold Layne (with David Bowie) and a few others, as well as documentaries and other extras.

One relevant difference between the two live releases is that guests David Bowie, Robert Wyatt, David Crosby and Graham Nash have been replaced with the Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra. But otherwise the line-up remains identical with David himself on guitar and vocals, Steve Di Stanislao on drums, Guy Pratt on bass, Jon Carin on keyboards, Phil Manzanera on guitars and David's Pink Floyd-colleague Richard Wright on keyboards. For Pink Floyd fans it is, of course, extra interesting to hear Wright, especially since he passed away shortly after this event. The performance is highly professional and very enjoyable, if a little predictable. The orchestra does not add much to the proceedings but there are a few passages where they can be heard.

You probably see where this is going; I'm going to claim that Live In Gdansk is a very good, but ultimately unnecessary release. However, if you prefer CD's over DVD's or have a special interest in Rock-band-meets-symphony-orchestra- releases, then Live In Gdansk might be preferable over the DVD. There is indeed very little to distinguish the two and having one of these live recordings in your collection is indeed highly recommended, but having both of them is strictly for fanatics only!

Live In Gdansk is a fine live release in its own right, but given what was already on the market at the time of its release, it is hardly essential.

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Send comments to SouthSideoftheSky (BETA) | Report this review (#294124)
Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2010 | Review Permalink
5 stars Just watch it and listen to it. I am lost for words!

WARNING! As soon as you buy the album, take the discs out of that fancy cardboard package and put them in some regular jewel-cases, because the CDs and DVDs tend to fall out of the package in least expected moments (I nearly lost the concert DVD that way). They also get scratched very easily.

The main reason, why individual Pink Floyd members do not make as good music as the band itself, is that each of the band members had a certain irreplaceable vibe, they put into the overall music. And somehow, here, on tour, Gilmour manages to reproduce the feeling. Not the concert's artistic feeling, because that's what Waters likes to do. I'm thinking of the feelings coming from all the musicians, the sum of which gives an impression of highest unity. Cheesy as it may seem, this interpretation really reflects how Pink Floyd music actually worked. The gig features: Phil Manzanera, Steve DiStanislao, Guy Pratt, John Carin, Dick Parry, Richard Wright (notice how Wright is cheerfully greeted by the audience, and sadly, one of the last times) and David Gilmour . Apart from them, guest starring the talents of Leszek Mozdzer (our jazz pride). The abovementioned musicians create an unforgettable atmosphere and a magnificent harmony. The instruments sound tremendously, hardly anything short of studio quality. In addition, Rick Wright dusts his old Farifsa organ for the occasion.

The gig takes places in the vicinity of Gdańsk shipyard, Poland (a documentary stating a few facts about the city is also featured) and as I have said features our (that is: Polish) great pianist Leszek Możdżer (or Mozdzer, if you don't have Polish fonts), who delivers a jazzy solo on "Then I Close My Eyes" and provides the piano melody during "A Pocketful of Stones". Just don't think I am biased, because the thing happened in my country. It simply is that good. But enough of the appraisal, time for the facts.

The concert opens with "Speak to Me / Breathe / Time / Breathe (Reprise)", that is: the opening tracks from "The Dark Side of the Moon" sans "On the Run", which is a rather thoughtful omission, considering the bluesy atmosphere of the show. Each song is performed with paramount commitment, especially from Gilmour's voice. I wholeheartedly consider it better even than the P.U.L.S.E. rendition.

Next, Gilmour and his bandmates take on the PF guitarist's newest solo album in its whole. It really doesn't differ that much from the studio version, it only lacks the vocal harmonies by the Byrds' members, but even the orchestra is featured (The Baltic Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Zbigniew Preisner, yet another Polish touch in the performance). Some of the songs are really nice to listen to live. Note the extended psychedelic bridge in "Take a Breath", soloing throughout "Then I Close My Eyes" and the wonderful "Pocketful of Stones", the highlights of the first part of the concert. Of course the title track is good by default, so I don't even bother mentioning it.

The second part of the concert commences with the obligatory first half of "Shine on You Crazy Diamond", re-arranged in a way, though. The sung part is almost entirely stripped down to Gilmour's guitar and voice, giving it a feeling of intimacy. And, yet again, Gilmour performs a vocal masterwork, screaming his lungs out.

The insane "Astronomy Domine" seems unfitting the concert's atmosphere a bit, but how could have the band possibly omit the fan-favourite, space rocker, especially that DiStanislao's drumming reaches astral levels of "amazing" on this one.

Then there's a rather surprising choice from a time long forgotten - "Fat Old Sun", an insignificant ballad from "Atom Heart Mother", turns into gold in the hands of such a proficient team of musicians.

"A Great day for Freedom" (exclusively played during the Gdansk gig) is a nod towards the Polish history. In fact, the shipyard itself was the witness of the workers' struggle for freedom and the fall of communism.

And now, for the peak of the concert: "Echoes". Gilmour had been dead set against performing the twenty-something minute epic during his PF-era concerts, because of his concern, that the touring musicians might not fully grasp the masterpiece's essence. But with the bandmates in Gdańsk it was really just a matter of "how can we improve Echoes". And? I need to state my attitude it in a separate paragraph.

It is astonishing. The Gdańsk gig "Echoes" is simply magnificent.

Never before, I believe, had a song been so greatly improved in comparison with its studio counterpart. Both, the studio and the Pompeii versions lacked in depth and quality. The thirty-five years, separating the performances, can really be heard in each and every sound. Oh, and the ovation triggered by the first "ping", that's a real go-ahead given by the audience.

The twenty-five minutes of the song made me lost for words and gave me shivers up the spine every few minutes: Beginning with the notes played on the Leslie-treated piano, through the accord of Gilmour's and Wright's vocals (this time performing in unison), the guitar & organ jam, the nerve-jangling mid-part, the guitar outburst and, finally, the reprise of the vocal section along with the blue, closing guitar and piano melodies.

Sincere kudos to Wright, for his performing of the song. He looked as if he had sold his soul to the devil in return for the rage needed to play the organ, the way he does. He is nearly as diabolical as Keith Emerson (who treats his Hammond with knives).

The gig ends inevitably with the beautiful "High Hopes" (an immensely extended acoustic guitar outro included), "Wish You Were Here" (good as always) and "Comfortably Numb" with Wright performing Waters' vocal part (he does it fairly better than Bowie on "Remember that Night").

The only downer of the album is, that the concert is not featured entirely on video. You can only listen to the whole thing, whereas the video version of the gig has suffered from several cuts. The missing parts can be found on Gilmour's website though. The quality is a letdown however.

Best song: "Echoes" (Omigod! You can buy the album solely for this one song)

Worst song: ummm? (something from the "On an Island" repertoire perhaps, but I am not willing to be the one throwing the first stone)

Post Scriptum: The pricier versions of the album feature some bonus material, which is cool, but the few things really worth mentioning are: the high quality studio version of "On an Island" album (so you can kill two tasty birds with one stone) and a few studio jams - fun, but not quite as bad-ass as VdGG jams.

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Send comments to Mike_Zed (BETA) | Report this review (#295671)
Posted Saturday, August 21, 2010 | Review Permalink
Sean Trane
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR
Prog Folk
2 stars This is a rather useless DVD if you already own the RAH show DVD. It might render a normal standard Gilmour concert, as opposed to the star-studded start of the tour, since none of the brilliant gests are there, and only Wright and Manzanera are among the high profiles. So we get a concert in Poland's third city and a normal night's set (no DSOTM debut like RAH), but we do get the while of On An Island album, which is not exactly good news, unless you have insomnia problems.... then this DVD should be the cure to it..... One of the tiny surprises of that night is the presence of Astronomy Domine track (present as a bonus in the RAH DVD) on the set list. Outside of that...... very little interest, especially if you have the RAH concert.

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Send comments to Sean Trane (BETA) | Report this review (#373834)
Posted Thursday, January 06, 2011 | Review Permalink
Matti
COLLABORATOR
Neo-Prog Team
4 stars This might be the best DVD experience from David Gilmour (I'm speaking of this mostly as a DVD; my version contains 2 CD's and 2 DVD's). The concert in the Gdansk shipyard in 2006 is a celebration of both Pink Floyd music and Gilmour's On an Island album, clearly his best solo effort, which is performed completely.

The group, accompanied by a large orchestra led by Zbigniew Preisner (best known for his music for Kieslowski films), features e.g. guitarist Phil Manzanera, Jon Carin, Guy Pratt, saxophonist Dick Parry and Rick Wright who sadly passed away a short while after this set was released. Not very different line-up from the one that went under the name of Pink Floyd. Instead of Nick Mason there's Steve Di Stanislao on drum kit. Compared to the 80's/90's Pink Floyd concerts (or DVD's of them) the approach is different in a healthy way: less visualistics and more emphasis on the music itself, which feels much more alive and relaxed. And if you had to choose between On an Island and Momentary Lapse of Reason... well, I know exactly my choice!

As a side notion: I love Roger Waters' In The Flesh DVD, and its Pink Floyd sections are superior to the latter day Floyd's. Naturally some of the most classic PF music is performed by both camps - or all three of them, counting "David Gilmour" separately, but Gilmour's set has its own things: 'Fat Old Sun' from Atom Heart Mother, and 'Great Day For Freedom' from Division Bells (it wasn't on P-U-L-S-E, was it?) 'Astronomy Domine' wasn't on that DVD, but here it is! But a real treat is 'Echoes' - WOW!

The second DVD is a more varied thing, including e.g. four PF tracks performed in London's Mermaid Theatre, also in 2006 (Wright sings his Division Bells composition 'Wearing The Inside Out', reminding of the aged Leonard Cohen), and live from Abbey Road studios, which has an interesting 6-minute acoustic version of 'Echoes'. The most interesting was the "Barn Jam" (2007): three instrumental jams, mostly improvisations I presume, which sound beautiful! On one of them David plays drums. If you view all the DVD material at one sit, you may get tired. All in all, warmly recommendable set.

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Send comments to Matti (BETA) | Report this review (#588769)
Posted Thursday, December 15, 2011 | Review Permalink
5 stars Now, this is what I call a real masterpiece. Even though the live concerts are not taken much into account because most of the times it is just about the same music played live, a friend and I have always thought that a live concert is the one that shows what a true band is, performing live as accurate and close as they can to the original studio version. David Gilmour gathered an incredible set of musicians: Guy Pratt, Jon Carin, Steve Di Stanislao and masters Dick Parry, Phil Manzanera, and obviously the incredible Richard Wright, along with the Baltic Philarmonic Orchestra, to play some of the greatest songs by Pink Floyd and his entire "On an Island" album. The music chosen is beautiful, precise, and perfectly arranged (just take for instance "A Pocketful of Stones" or "A Great Day for Freedom" which sound amazing with the orchestra), trying, as it is a custom with any Floyd member, to improve what was done in the studio years ago and make it sound much better and fresh. I was left speechless when I saw (in the Remember that Night DVD) and heard the live version of ECHOES, maybe one of the best songs by the Floyd and here it is played ingeniously with all the effects the original song had, I think by far the best song in the concert. The rest are as well incredible. The only things that maybe were missing in this album is the participation of Graham Nash, David Crosby, David Bowie and of course, Robert Wyatt ("Then I Close My Eyes" is not the same without Wyatt's trumpet solo), but the idea is wonderful: Then, buy the Remember that Night DVD and you are complete! (I have both). Master Gilmour, you are great among the greatest!

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Send comments to Memo_anathemo (BETA) | Report this review (#1040500)
Posted Friday, September 20, 2013 | Review Permalink

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