Roger Waters Kicks Off 'This Is Not A Drill' Tour With Exciting New Tricks

By Rebekah Gonzalez

July 7, 2022

Photo: Kate Izor

Roger Waters officially kicked off his "This Is Not A Drill Tour" in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, July 6th and fans were able to catch some of the action during iHeartRadio Opening Night Live with Roger Waters.

In addition to letting fans tune into opening night via iHeartRadio's Classic Rock Channel, the former Pink Floyd bassist also gave an exclusive interview with Jim Kerr that covered everything from what people can expect from the exciting new show, how he and his band spent the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns, to what he hopes to accomplish with the "This Is Not A Drill Tour." Waters has previoulsy described the tour as "a groundbreaking new rock and roll/cinematic extravaganza performed in the round, it is a stunning indictment of the corporate dystopia in which we all struggle to survive, and a call to action to LOVE, PROTECT and SHARE our precious and precarious planet home."

The storied musician gave fans who weren't in attendance on opening night a bit of a visual aid for the stage that will be completely surrounded by the audience. "...the central motif in the middle of the arena is a crucifix-shaped stage except it's symmetrical. On this stage, there is a monolith of LED screens built in the shape of a three-dimensional cross," he explained. "[Our team has] spent the last couple of years working on the content of the images and the words and the message and the love that will appear upon that monolith during the couple of hours or so that we're on stage." 

When asked what songs from which eras will be included in the tour's setlist, Waters explained it would be a mix of solo music and many classic tracks from his time with Pink Floyd. However, Waters revealed having to compromise with people "constantly trying to put my thumb harder and harder on the Pink Floyd button. And I'm constantly trying to move my thumb off of the Pink Floyd button onto the [a message of] this is how I feel about my brothers and sisters all over the world." However, he knows that Pink Floyd's music means a lot to people. "My bosses are those people sitting out there in the seats. They don't always agree with everything I have to say but they're in the arena because they know what my work is and they like it. And to some extent, they're in consort with it and that we agree on a number of things, and in consequence, there is a lot of love in the room," he said. "It's them who I'm working for. I'm under no illusions about that." 

He assured Kerr the setlist will include tracks from Pink Floyd's "Golden era," and specifically mentioned the song "Two Suns In The Sunset" from the group's 1983 album The Final Cut playing "a big role" in the show. Fans tuning in on Wednesday night were treated to a few of the classics including "Wish You Were Here," "Have a Cigar," and the legendary "Shine On You Crazy Diamond."

Fans who make it out to the tour will also get to hear tracks from Waters' solo career as well as never-before-heard music from him and his band. "There's one very long song that I wrote during the Covid lockdown. Some of your listeners may not [know], during the two years of the Covid lockdown we made, my band and I, made new versions of a number of songs. And the beginning of the process was doing songs that we had done during the Us and Them Tour as encores. So we started with "Mother" but we went on and on. And they're beautiful recordings. I really like them." He even revealed that he has, "no doubt that it will be an album at some point." 

After talking about a brand new 14-minute-long song called "The Bar," which will be sprinkled in throughout the show, Kerr mentioned the sense of community that he feels when hanging out at bars. The comment prompted a full-circle moment for the always poetic Waters, reminding him of the 3D cross monolith at the center of his stage. "If my show encourages us all to nurture that feeling, our desire to feel that sense of community, across the borders created by politics then I will have done my job on this tour," he said. "Because that is the most important thing I will ever have done in my life. Is to nail my heart and my colors to that cross."

Rogers Waters: This Is Not A Drill Live: In The Round will travel across North America and conclude in October in Dallas, Texas. For tickets and more information, click here.

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