It's hard to overstate how remarkable Pink Floyd's live shows were back when the band still toured, not just for the giant disco ball and laser show (or the pig), but for the lengths the group went to to recreate their wild soundscapes and grooves on stage as precisely as they'd recorded them in the studio. The music was carefully composed, tightly orchestrated and, apart from a free jam during the song "Money" or a few extended guitar solos, the band mostly stuck to the playbook.
So it's a rare thrill to get to see guitarist David Gilmour stretch out (for more than a minute) on the singular opening riff to Pink Floyd's "Run Like Hell," in a new video from his 2016 concert at Pompeii.
The concert video, being released on DVD and Blu-ray Sept. 29, was shot back in July of 2016 and features a mix of Pink Floyd songs and some from Gilmour's solo work.
It's worth noting: The sunglasses you see Gilmour and other band members wear during their performance of "Run Like Hell" aren't a fashion statement. "There are the strobes and lights that [we're] using at that moment and you actually cannot see a thing," says Gilmour in a press release. "With the flashing, it makes your brain do strange things and it's very, very easy to forget where you are and lose all your thought processes. I couldn't see my guitar neck at all during that moment and in 'Run Like Hell' there are quite big jumps and things that you have to do. If you can't see where your hands are going, it's quite tricky. I did c*** up a couple of times. I don't worry about that too much."
According to the press release, Gilmour's performance at the ancient amphitheater was the first with a live audience since Romans gathered there to watch gladiators battle, nearly 2,000 years ago. (Pink Floyd filmed a concert at Pompeii in 1972, but there was no audience.)
"It felt like it was a very special gig to be doing, we were in a run of fairly special gigs, but this one was more nerve-wracking and more exciting. It was small because the seating around the outside, which would have held another 10,000 people or so, is still covered in earth and grass and people can't sit there. So we had a limit on the number of people who could be there in the audience only on the floor itself. I was unusually nervous, but we got to the end of the first night and thought yes, we cracked it. It was really good and the second night was even better."
David Gilmour : Guitar and Vocals
Guy Pratt : Bass, Double Bass and Vocals
Steve DiStanislao : Drums and Vocals
Chester Kamen : Guitar and Vocals
Chuck Leavell : Keyboards and Vocals
Greg Phillinganes : Keyboards and Vocals
João Mello : Saxophone and Guitar
Bryan Chambers : Vocals
Louise Clare Marshall : Vocals
Lucita Jules : Vocals