Review: David Gilmour – Live In Gdansk [2008]

When I was in the 5th grade, my uncle dropped eight unopened cassette tapes on my desk. “These tapes are more important than you may ever know,” he said.

“Uh, ok. Can we go get cheeseburgers now?” said a very chubby 5th grade version of myself.

Eventually, all of the cassette tapes made their way through my brand new Panasonic home stereo. Dark Side of the Moon was among the elite eight and probably the fourth one I popped in. Honestly, I didn’t think much of it in the 5th grade; how could this possibly make any sense to a 5th grader? Several years later, my chubby head finally began to understand the genius behind Pink Floyd.

David Gilmour, Pink Floyd guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, performed a historical concert on August 26, 2006 in Poland; a country that in the 1970s would reject the great freedoms expressed in Pink Floyd’s music. On Live In Gdansk, Gilmour is accompanied with his band (including the recently deceased Richard Wright) and the Baltic Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra.

The double-live album begins with four classic tracks from Dark Side including, “Speak To Me,” “Breathe (In The Air),” “Time,” “Breathe (In The Air) Reprise.” Gilmour’s voice still sounds phenomenal and the guitar tone is glorious.

The next ten tracks come from David Gilmour’s solo record, On An Island, released in 2006. However, it is the work of the Polish orchestra that brings these songs to life on this live album.

The second disc is a history 101 of Pink Floyd featuring the classics “Shine On You Crazy Diamond,” “Wish You Were Here” [Wish You Were Here], “Astronomy Domine” [The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn], “Fat Old Sun” [Atom Heart Mother], “Echoes” [Meddle], “High Hopes,” “A Great Day For Freedom” [The Division Bell], and the concert’s closer, “Comfortably Numb” [The Wall]. It is refreshing to have contemporary versions of these songs that still stick to the originals. If you feel compelled to introduce your chubby 5th grade nephew to the power of Pink Floyd, this disc will work just fine. Live In Gdansk will stay in my stereo for quite some time. 8/10

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