As the guitarist to Pink Floyd David Gilmour doesn’t really need an introduction. His songwriting skills and guitar work have always been stellar either with Pink Floyd or solo. The live DVD of his, David Gilmour in Concert, recorded at the Royal Festival Hall in London in 2001 is one of my favorite solo works of his. The songs at this show are mostly his own songs, Pink Floyd songs, and a few Syd Barrett songs. This is a live acoustic show where he is joined by some great musicians such as Michael Kamen on piano, Caroline Dell on cello, Neill Macoll on guitar. Michael Kamen is known mostly for his film scores and works with rock legends such as Roger Waters, Queen, Eric Clapton, and many others. He is also the conductor that worked with Metallica to do their live symphonic album S&M.
The versions of Pink Floyd classics such as “Wish You Were Here”, “Comfortably Numb”, and “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” demonstrate that David Gilmour hasn’t lost his touch at all. The concert opens with David Gilmour playing “Shine on You Crazy Diamond” by himself with just an acoustic guitar before being joined by the sax player. One of the cool things about the version of “Comfortably Numb” on here is that they have Robert Wyatt from the band Soft Machine do the vocals. There is also another version of “Comfortably Numb” on the DVD from a 2002 concert where Bob Geldof, who played Pink in the movie The Wall, does the vocals. Richard Wright also joins him on the stage for a cover of Wright’s song “Breakthrough” from his album Broken China. While I have not really checked out Rick Wright’s solo work the version of “Breakthrough” on here makes me want to.
The song that really stood out to me on this concert was the version of “High Hopes”. I think it is far superior to the Pink Floyd version on The Division Bell.
I love the cello work on this version and Gilmour’s slide solo is just amazing. In addition to “High Hopes” I also love the simple yet beautiful version of “Smile” on here. This was the first performance of this song and was later released on Gilmour’s album, On an Island.
I have only ever seen this concert released as a DVD and don’t know if it is out there as just the audio tracks. I recommend either the DVD or, if it exists, the audio CD for any Pink Floyd fans. The Pink Floyd songs are close enough to the originals that die-hard fans won’t be disappointed, yet they have enough variation from the originals that they are worth listening to.