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Monday, April 11

David Gilmour delivered a Dose of Magic in Chicago.

David Gilmour delivered a Dose of Magic in Chicago. 
     
David Gilmour is one of those once in a lifetime artists whose ability and art not only transcends him as a person but also many of
his contemporaries. Pink Floyd and David’s solo shows are spectacles that flood all your senses with elaborate lights and special effects. Upon viewing the elaborate stage it was evident this evening would follow the same formula. 
     The lights began to dim and you could feel magic in the air and the sold out crowd was electric with pent up exhilaration. The lights then went out to leave the stage a black mass that stood before us. In the darkness I could make out the band slowly making their silent entrance followed by their leader. Synths began to echo and slowly fill the arena and replace the silence with an eerie sound and feel that few artist can create. The synths were broken by the sweet sting of Gilmours mercurial guitar, his emotion like always was shining best. The band using its new track 5 am to set the vibe was a great choice. Like other solo Gilmour compositions like "Castellorization", the piece is a slow and methodical minor jam doused in synths and soaked in blues licks. The final echoes of song were quickly being chased out
by the penetration of a loop, a loop of the chorus to his new single
"Rattle That Lock". His new single is quite a departure from what Gilmour is typically records. It's a rock song with a funk edge and rhythm. As always Gilmour's playing shined as the magic radiating through the arena was contagious.  Tearing through "Rattle That
Lock" with an energy that defies his age, he then brought the mood back down a bit with a new track "Faces of Stone". I didn't really enjoy
the track when I first listened to the record, but like the majority of songs on his latest release they translated better in a live setting. With the mood now set from "Faces", that famous loop began to play. Like clockwork the cheers for "Wish You Were Here" began to reverberate throughout. The band did a perfect job of performing the gem as the masses sang along with the band. The next tune "What Do You Want From Me", was a smoker and a phenomenal choice to pull out of the catalogue.
The band was on fire and was clearly feeling themselves as they tore through the brooding funk rock piece. Like all seasoned vets
the band brought the mood back down before the final sprint of the first set with "A Boat Lies Waiting". A haunting and touching piece
clearly about mortality and his personal ghosts Richard and Syd. The first stanza ended on a high note with the next couple of classics. "Money" roared overhead while that timeless blues riff written so long ago entranced us all as if it was written yesterday. Gilmour absolutely left everyone in the audience enthralled when he tore through the classic solo and just like on Dark Side of the Moon, the track was followed with an epic "Us and Them". The powerful performance was highlighted with a touch of sensitivity to the music that only a artist with his caliber can deliver. The set was rounded out with the new rock ballad "In Any Tongue" and the Floyd classic "High Hopes" ended the first half, leaving everyone with just that for the next set. The lights came on for intermission and the audience was breathless. 
    The band took the stage after a short break  and opened with the Syd written classic "Astronomy Domine", which was a howling
surprise to say the least. Gilmour kept the curve balls coming as he performed "Shine on You Crazy Diamond (Parts I-V)", but not acoustically like he has been performing it. It was full on electric and it was something I'll never forget, those haunting notes hanging over the now hysterical crowd. The mood then changed for the early Floyd single "Fat Old Sun”. An eruption of fuzz of mammoth proportions began to shake everyone in their seats, and with that it was time for "Sorrow". The intro riff never sounded so large or so powerful. I was absolutely floored and overtaken by the sheer power of it. The second set seemingly rained classics."Run Like Hell" sent the arena into overdrive with all the trippy antics and lights combined with the timeless jam was a fitting way to end a perfect night . For the encore Gilmour stuck with the philosophy of save the best for last and that's what we got with "Time" and "Comfortably Numb". The flawless execution of "Time" and the extended
improvisation of "Comfortably Numb" brought many of the people to tears. His emotive and expressive playing brought something out
in everyone and left something with everyone. Even after the last note echoed out, and after the last body left the arena, you could still
feel that magic in the air. You could feel that you saw and were apart of something truly special.
Words: Clark Armstrong