DAVID GILMOUR – Live at Pompeii

DAVID GILMOUR – Live at Pompeii

Living legend David Gilmour (Pink Floyd) performed a number of shows back in 2015 that all took place in historic venues across the world. A year later he staged this spectular concert at the amphitheatre in Pompeii, thereby becoming the first artist to perform in front of a live audience there since the gladiators way back in 790AD. In other words, “Live at Pompeii” is totally different to the majority of other live releases out there; this one is in a league of of its own musically, visually, and historically speaking. The idea of Gilmour and his insanely talented cohorts performing timeless songs from both the Gilmour catalogue and the Pink Floyd canon at such a revered and special place is inspiring and inspired. Now that this majestic performance is out on Blu Ray, DVD, vinyl and CD, those of us who were not present at the actual show or at the screening of the film at cinemas in September can all relax and simply enjoy this nearly three-hour long film in all its glory.

Needless to say, I was well and truly excited about watching this one and, fortunately, I was not let down. While the whole thing is visually impressive beyond words, the level of musical talent that is on display here and the way in which these  virtuous musicians interact and complement each other is stunning to behold. The opening shot sets the mood and establishes an otherworldly atmosphere from the very start. Watching night fall and the darkness enveloping the whole amphitheatre during those first two or three songs is quite something. Sonically, “Live at Pompeii” is superb in every sense of the word. The sound is crisp and every instrument is clearly present in the mix. The camera-work is beautiful and manages to capture the way in which the whole place seems to vibrate and the interaction between the band and fans as well as the amazing effects (of which I shall not discuss or reveal here; you will have to watch the film yourself) that have been employed and go hand in hand with the actual music.

Gilmour’s voice is both booming and soothing, and the way in which it moves from the passionate and intense to the introspective and almost fragile is mindblowing. Watch and listen to the live rendition of “High Hopes” that is on here and you will see what I mean. That one is truly a moving piece. Another composition that stands out is “The Great Gig in the Sky”. There is something about this version of it that is just so hauntingly beautiful and mesmerizing that it defies description, more so than any other version I have come across over the years. The vibrant version of “Money” is utterly convincing as well. Other highlights include “Sorrow”, “In Any Tongue”, and the climactic “Time / Breathe (in the Air) Reprise”. In general though, there is not a single track on this release that is not interesting. “Fat Old Sun” does sound a little lacklustre compared to all the others, but that is my only complaint, really. The songs all encompass so many emotions and range from the epic and cinematic to the intimate and personal. Glorious stuff!

Musically and visually, “Live at Pompeii” is pretty damn close to perfection. It simply has to be seen and experienced in order to grasp and sense its brilliance. The vibe and aura of the whole thing is out of this world and it is somewhat akin to a transcendent musical experience, or a magical journey, if you will. Do not miss out on this one! Like I said, it is available in various different formats: CD, Vinyl, DVD, or Blu-ray. You know what to do!

David Gilmour “Live at Pompeii” Track Listing
5 A.M.
 Rattle That Lock
 Faces of Stone
 What Do You Want From Me
 The Blue
 The Great Gig in the Sky
 A Boat Lies Waiting
 Wish You Were Here
 In Any Tongue
 High Hopes
 One of These Days
 Shine On You Crazy Diamond
 Fat Old Sun
 Coming Back to Life
 On An Island
 Run Like Hell
 Time / Breathe (In The Air) (Reprise)
 Comfortably Numb