Flashback: San Francisco

A stage shot from San Francisco, showing Marc Brickman's spectacular use of lights and lasersSan Francisco’s shows were both at Oakland’s Paramount Theatre: on the 16th and 17th, two years ago.

Were you there?

You can read about these concerts here.

Clicking Polly’s photo will take you to the Galleries, where you can see this stunning shot in all its glory. (It’s one of my favourites, but is it one of yours?)

The chatroom is now open. Closing time is at 13:00 (UK).

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

36 thoughts on “Flashback: San Francisco”

  1. Top of the day…I guess you closed the doors right on time FEd…missed the chat by minutes…

    Well, have a great rest of the week everyone!

    [Sorry, Rob. I wasn’t so generous with my time today, so doors closed with a slam. – FEd]

  2. I was at the Paramount on the 16th and before entering, I delivered a special birthday gift to David Gilmour. Fresh roasted Ethiopian and Kenya coffee and a great idea inspired by Pink Floyd and the 1960s UFO Club, and endorsed by Steve O’Rourke and Storm Thorgerson. I know DG gave my coffee away to the Anthill girls but, I really hope that he held on to the idea.

    Anyway, the night was truly amazing. I loved hearing Dominoes live and would have bought tickets for the 17th but, unfortunately it was sold out completely. My brother returned on the 17th to try to score tickets with no such luck. He did manage to meet and have a brief encounter with Guy Pratt. Guy signed my program I bought the night before. Thanks Guy!

    My bro also phoned to inform me David Gilmour and the band were playing Arnold Layne. Now Fed, did they pre plan to do Arnold Layne, or did DG decide to do it last minute and why, if that’s the case? If you please?

    [I’m quite sure that it was planned. – FEd]

  3. Like it was yesterday! Both shows! What I remember most fondly about those nights, is thinking to myself as the first few ‘ba-bump, ba-bump’ of Speak to Me/Breathe arose from the dark, how absolutely excited and in awe all those people who are seeing David for the first time must be at this moment. It made me smile because I still remember that feeling well. You never forget it.

    The shows were unforgettable. I am privileged to have seen this marvelous band perform at such a such a high level in such a beautiful place. I still think about those nights often.

  4. oh beeping nora, i forgot there was a chat on today . i am going to set my mobile phone alarm to let me know when the next one is *Linda heads to the calendar to find out *

    what did you think of chelsea against wigan fet ed ? i thought chelsea would wipe the floor with them and they only drew . gives me great hope for united to win the league . i still think it will be a united – liverpool european cup final though. god knows who would win that .

    cheers
    Linda

    [I was surprised by Chelsea. I hope they play like that in the semi-finals. – FEd]

  5. Finally – my flashback moment has arrived!

    I was at the Paramount on the 17th, and what an amazing performance it was! The “On an Island” set was superb, worth the admission by itself. But then, set two!

    There’s something about that opening “ping!” of Echoes that thirty-plus years later still puts me in a special space.

    Of course, the real treat (and surprise) of that evening was “Arnold Layne”. Incredible band, incredible music! So few musicians of any timeframe can perform at that level.

    Remember That Night? Yes, I do, and quite fondly! If only we could see a show like this again… Mr. Wright? Solo album? Tour? (Not holding my breath, just hoping.)

    Cheers!
    Bill C.

  6. I was at the April 16th show and what can I say but WOW. The show was spectacular.

    This was my third time that I had seen David play in Oakland. The first being the Momentary Lapse Tour followed by the Division Bell tour and finally the OAI tour. All in Oakland and all in April. The first two shows happened to fall on April 22nd too.

    I have to admit that I truly loved the smaller more intimate venue. Being a short lass I was actually able to see everything thanks to David asking every one to sit down.

    After the show I made it out to the back to see the band come out. I just stood there awestruck as they made their get-away. What a nite, and what a show indeed.

    Unfortunately I was alone and forgot where I parked the car and wondered the dark quiet streets of Oakland in search of. Who could think after a show like that? 😉

  7. Very nice photo. Lights are focused on David’s backround, creating an enchanting silhouette effect of an artist performing.

    Very nice timing Polly!

  8. I know I’ve asked before, Fed, but what’s the chances of some of these snaps being made available as Desk Top photos, screensaver things….you know what I mean????

    Cheers
    Paul

    [Beats me. I’ve asked, too. – FEd]

  9. I hope everyone is ready for another road trip.

    My story starts April 17, 2006. I woke up full of energy and anticipation. I had seen Pink Floyd, for my first and only time, 12 years earlier (almost to the day, in fact); but I knew this concert would be different. I was very excited about meeting bloggers and I had 2nd row seats.

    So, I wake up and check the blog, (of course) and I about fall out of my chair. Guy showed up at Luka’s and couldn’t find anyone! What!? The bloggers had agreed to meet on the second night, but Guy showed up the first night. Ah man, there goes that chance.

    This turns out to be a night of many firsts for me. My friend, Boomer and I showed up at Luka’s and the first people we see are Dave Warner and his girlfriend. They had made a sign so all the bloggers would know where to meet. I made a black tanktop with blue writing “David Gilmour Bloggers.” Soon EchoesBob and others start to arrive. We all talk about how bummed we were that we missed Guy the night before. We all figured that was a once in a lifetime opportunity and we missed it, oh well.

    Then who should stroll into Luka’s? Mr. Guy Pratt with a cameraman in tow…

  10. …I was so excited, I went up to greet him, and he just seemed so happy and approachable. For those of you who don’t know me well, I’m not shy, so I asked Guy for a hug. With no hesitation he hugged me. We offered to buy him a beer, he accepted, saying something to the effect of ‘but just one, I do have a show tonight, you know.’ We talked about life, the tour, he signed some autographs.

    The sign that Dave Warner brought, we (bloggers) signed it and gave it to Guy. I wonder where that thing ever went.

    We thanked Guy for coming out, especially since he came out the day before and couldn’t find anyone. He told us that Polly had talked him into coming out again. Thank you, Polly!

    It all seemed so comfortable; it was truly a special moment that I’ll always treasure.

    Guy mentioned that they had a surprise for us that night. What could it be? A guest, a new song, a Pink Floyd reunion! (It could happen).

    After that we had the opportunity to give David a video message. All I have to say is how wise I think you are for NOT putting that on the DVD, David. I can’t remember exactly what I said, but I have the feeling I was a blubbering idiot.

    After that other people started coming up and talking to Guy, who weren’t with our group, and it seemed to get feverish rather quickly. Guy must have felt so too because he quickly said his goodbyes and left…

  11. …The Paramount Theatre in Oakland is quite a beautiful place. I went down to my seats, which were just fantastic! They were right between Guy and Phil. I knew I would cry during this concert, but I didn’t think it would happen so quickly. When David started playing the slide guitar for Breathe, the flood gates opened. I was so overwhelmed with happiness and awe.

    Time was also incredible. On An Island, as a whole, connected with me in a much deeper way. The 2nd set just built on itself, it got better and better. I was blown away by Fat Old Sun, and then they start playing Arnold Layne. I was just shocked and it was an amazing performance. Then David said something like “We haven’t played that live since hmmmmm, ever.” At that point, I knew that this earthly heaven is enough for me. 😉

    I sobbed then too, as well as during Echoes.

    It was just a wonderful, magical night. This was just the start of the trip. Next I would be driving down to Los Angeles, about a 7 hour drive, for the Jay Leno show.

    FEd, thanks for the writing space. You did want us to write what we remembered. I remember it like it was yesterday. What David does is much more then make music, to me, this has and continues to be an experience and he has impacted my daily life in many ways.

    See you in Los Angeles . . .

    ~Erin

  12. Fantastic story Erin, nice to read these memory lanes.

    Bit of news for you all: I, somehow, managed to pass my driving test yesterday, so Happy Days!

    All the best,
    Simon J

  13. Hi FEd and friends~

    The memories of April 17, 19 and 20, 2006, have been swirling around my brain and through my being for two years now — how time flies!

    I wish I was flying down to Oakland today like I was on this date in 2006 but, alas, I’ve got to leave right now to drive 200-miles (round-trip) for freakin’ appointments. I can’t think of anything better to do during that drive than to gather my memories of that fantastic experience in preparation for sharing later today when I get home!

    Many thanks to David and Polly for preserving the Blog and hanging on to FEd, too! Wouldn’t be the same without him/her and his/her sharp wit and pointy stick;^)

    Peace ‘n’ love!
    Gabrielle

  14. [Bit of news for you all: I, somehow, managed to pass my driving test yesterday, so Happy Days! – Simon]

    Wow! Congratulations, Simon! But if you celebrate this happy day in the pub, don’t drive to come back home! 😉

    Cheers.

    Michèle

  15. FeD! Long time no speak. Been busy as hell at a new job (which gives me the chance to watch David’s DVD in a THX mixing film theater in my off hours, pretty nice!).

    Just thought I’d drop you a note to say the Live at Abbey Road series is due to premiere this month in Mexico and probably the rest of Latin America on Sony Entertainment Television, so David’s show should be on there soon. I’ll let you know.

    And hopefully we’ll have some updates on the Gilmour Strat!

    All the best!

    [Many thanks for that, Paul. – FEd]

  16. I wanted to know if you will be present in Brazil someday? It would be the realization of the dreams of many people here.

    I wish you good vibrations.

  17. Hi Fed,

    I don’t get around the Blog as much as I used to, but it is nice to read the memories people have. I liked reading Erin’s recount of meeting Guy, and it still has that sense of energy as the stories that were told 2 years ago.

    Seeing so many familiar names is great, too. I recognize almost every name who posted today, and it feels good.

    I didn’t make it to any shows, but seeing these pics and stories of those who did has still been a great pleasure. Thanks to all for sharing.

    And, yes, this is one of my favorite pics.

    Have a great day, all

    Mike

  18. Hello to all –

    I’ve been busy at work, so Erin beat me to posting the story of meeting Guy at Luka’s. Her recollections are spot on. The only amendment I would make is that I’m sure I was a blubbering idiot on the video.

    It was brilliant for Guy to come back the second night. Many thanks to Polly for her encouragement.

    Oddly enough, I can recall clearly the evening at Luka’s, but the show itself is one huge blur. It seemed to be over as soon as it started. I really regret not making it to more shows so I could remember more nuance.

    Arnold Layne and Echoes were the highlights for me. I happened to see two “reintroductions” of Syd classics. Arnold Layne in Oakland and Astronomy Domine in Miami at the opening show of the ’94 tour.

  19. There had been many times I burst into tears reading all these flashbacks, tears of happiness and excitement, I believe. Tonight is no exception – Erin, your flashback brought tears to my eyes. I enjoyed your write up very much. Thanks for sharing.

    Gabrielle, I’ll be waiting for yours.

    I know I’ve said that before, but I truly enjoy reading about all these flashbacks, reviews and comments.

    Thanks to those who contributed.

  20. Off topic I know, but I would just like to inform my Canadian friends and whomever else abroad that might be able to receive it, that the “Live From Abbey Road” episode featuring David’s performance is being aired on cable channel ‘Much More Music’ on Wednesday April 23, 3:00 P.M. EST (Cogeco Cable in my area).

    [Thanks for that, John. – FEd]

  21. I didn’t know about this website or any setlist prior to my attendance the first night at the Paramount. It was perfect that every song was a surprise.

    22 years prior I was lucky enough to get the last two seats in the bowl at David’s Berkeley-Greek Theatre show. David is the first member of PF I’ve seen live. The following April, Roger came around with his Pros and Cons tour. At the time, I felt Roger’s show put David’s to shame.

    Then in ’87, both Roger and PF came around; PF again in ’88; PF again in ’94. Then, nothing for 12 years. When I heard David was coming I was sort of like . . . well he IS David . . . and he IS my favorite guitarist . . . I really should go.

    I purchased tickets for both nights thinking I’ll go to one or the other, but not both, I just wasn’t sure which night. I decided to go the first night and if the show sucked, I would sell my next night’s tix. Remember, I’m basing this on an ’84 show as a 15 year old.

    I went to the first show with my friend Ted. The anticipation energy was palpable. Overhearing people naming songs and the idle chatter (before the show) caused me to almost burst with glee. . .the lights went down with the sounds of “On The Run” starting the show. . .

    I could scarcely believe the sound quality. While it was a little loud for my tastes, every note was so damn clear and the lasers and lights were nothing short of astounding! I was constantly wiping away tears of happiness and joy! I just couldn’t believe what I was witnessing…

  22. …I was very surprised to hear Wot’s . . . uh the Deal, but when the pings of Echoes started, I thought, nahh, this is going to be some medley or something. 22 minutes later, I actually knew I could die right then-and-there, and everything really would be OK. Then the thoughts washed over me. . .Oh my God, I have tickets for tomorrow’s show. . .I have tickets for tomorrow’s show. . .

    After the first night I knew, without question, I had just seen one of THE most reference versions of Echoes ever performed. The sound quality was completely unsurpassed. The lighting was state of the art. The acoustics of the Paramount are very high quality. Nothing from the early seventies could have matched it.

    The quality of PAs in those days completely sucked. What is available today for sound amplification and reproduction bears nary a resemblance to the PAs of old.

    I was so blown away by this performance, I had to find someone to tell, someone who would understand, someone who would ‘get it’. After typing a few search words, I found davidgilmour.com and I found YOU! I thought, FINALLY! MY PEEPS!!

    My first post ended up on the 3/31/06 Paramount Theater entry. I didn’t yet realize the flow. My second post made it on the 4/16, 4/17/06 entry. My life hasn’t been the same since. I am overjoyed we share All Things David (ATD) here together.

    The second night (4/17) I went solo. On my way to the venue, the red cloud tinged sunset was an indicator of something . . . My seat was on the floor, row AA, seat 127, the only row with an extra foot or so of legroom! (approx. 26 rows from the stage)…

  23. …I was on the aisle with the seat beside me empty. Pure Luxury! I only wanted one thing though. David’s version of Echoes is crack (with reference to FEd’s previous usage); If you hear it once, you never go back . . . It was the only thing I needed.

    During the second set though, a strange thing happened; David and the band pulled out Arnold Layne. Funnily enough, I actually knew the significance of this occurrence. I think I sort of jumped up from my seat, jammed my fists towards the ceiling, and started dancing like a loon on acid, all while screaming, YEAH!! YEEEEEEAAA!!!!!! YEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!

    I noticed people looking at me with reserve.

    When the pings of Echoes hit, we were closer to the truth. Everything was right with the world, and the universe was indeed, sane . . . The emptiness with perseverance, a time and story told, the climate claiming fortitude, a significant retreat to an awesome furrow . . . nothing short of perfect magnitude.

    There are no words. Everything describable falls short.

    It was as if perfection solidified in the form of sound, for a bit. Everyone comforted the felt tidings; sliding their imagination across boundaries that only identified smiling.

    The one thing I held in my heart, is how my respect for David rose incalculably over these performances. Not to mention my admiration for Rick, Jon, Phil, Guy, Stevie, Dick, and Polly, as well as Mark Brickman, Colin Norfield, and the entire production crew.

    I only found out about Luka’s after the posts on the 17th. All good things in all good time.

  24. Hey Marcus,

    Hot damn, are you a professional concert critic? That was a mind blowing recreation of your Gilmour experiences.

    I have to admit, though, that having known Dave and company were to play 2 nights at Massey Hall, and for as good as the 1 show was to me, I simply couldn’t do 2 shows back to back. I only feel that I would have been comparing the two concert experiences and not really enjoying each individual event for what it was to be. I’d done multiple shows in the past for other favorite bands (ie, for the Who’s 2000 tour I witnessed at least 8 shows) and found my enjoyment wane with each successive concert experience.

    I also have to remark on a point you mentioned at the outset of your review: not knowing what songs are to be played IS very important to me. With the high amount of information exchanged on the net, that shock factor of “whats to come” at a concert has certainly been lost.

    Great, GREAT review Marcus. Bravo.

    Darren

  25. Reading these reviews I cannot help think (again) that we have been witness to performances that quite simply may never be surpassed.

    I wonder what David thinks …

  26. First, let me start off by saying just how lucky I was to get tickets to the Paramount Theatre.

    It was December 2005 and my internet connection had been down for the better part of a week due to bad weather. My friend and I were going to drive to the nearest city (a 200-mile round-trip) to do a little holiday shopping that particular day, but changed our minds due to blizzard conditions.

    Sometime that afternoon I decided to check on the internet situation, found it back up, headed here straight away and to my surprise found that the pre-sale began THAT morning at 10 a.m. Panic set in as I went to the Tickemaster site, thinking I was surely going to find ‘sold out’. Lo and behold, I was lucky enough to get tickets to the Paramount AND the Kodak, clueless as to which one I could pull off. Details, details;^)

    Fast forward to April 16–my first solo adventure in more than 25 years began with the 200-mile drive to Seattle and, after a few hours sleep, my flight to Oakland departed.

    I arrived in Oakland, took a cab to my hotel and then ventured out to find the Paramount Theatre which was about six blocks away. After getting my bearings I went back to the hotel and promptly fell asleep! I awoke about two hours before the concert was to begin, quickly got myself ready and headed out with a fluttering in my belly that I attributed to excitement, then remembered that I hadn’t eaten all day. I stopped at Rite-Aid, grabbed a bag of cashews for dinner and continued on…

  27. ….This is where I SHOULD have gone in search of Luka’s to connect with Bloggers, but once I arrived at the theatre I got caught up in the excitement and chatter and sights. Someone was saying “They’re going to play Arnold Layne tonight”, apparently hearing this from a ‘connected’ source.

    Anticipation was building and before I knew it the doors were opened! I got to the entrance, had my ticket scanned, was asked to open my bag and promptly had my cashews confiscated:) So much for that post-gig snack …

    I found my seat on the main floor, left-side aisle, near the back, and then met the three young men who had bought my extra tickets (face value, of course).

    After a bit of shared anticipation the house lights dimmed followed by Breathe/Time/Breathe (reprise) … it was like I’d suddenly been transported to another universe! After this surprise beginning we were then welcomed On(to) An Island with all those lovely, enticing sounds followed by Castellorizon … heavenly!

    Sitting near the back of the theatre wasn’t bad at all — I had a great view of the stage and the sound was fantastic. When the band played Take A Breath I felt that drumbeat and bass go straight through me!

    After playing the whole of On An Island and a short intermission came “some of the old favorites” David had promised, starting with SOYCD and including two songs that I’d been hoping for, Fat Old Sun and Coming Back To Life! David repeated the first verse twice which made me smile — this was LIVE, NOW…

  28. …Before I go any further I must tell you that Dick Parry was absolutely fabulous, not that anyone would doubt it for a second.

    And then, of course, Echoes … what can I say that hasn’t been said more eloquently already? It was beyond this world, on another plane. The entire band was totally in the moment, in the groove, and took everyone in the audience along for the ride! The encore of Wish You Were Here brought tears to my eyes and Comfortably Numb left me stunned.

    I can’t tell you how happy I was knowing that I was going to get to do this again on April 19 and share it with my son!

    After the show I caught a ride with two of the young guys who dropped me at my hotel where I fell into a blissful sleep while reliving the evening:)

    Next morning, after posting a quick report to the Blog from the hotel’s computer, I was off to the airport and on to Los Angeles to meet up with my son who was flying down from Seattle.

    To be continued…

  29. Not wanting to join the multitudes of last-minute men wondering aimlessly in the mall on Christmas Eve, my hubby headed to the computer and managed to get me two tix to the 4/17 show at the Paramount. It’s been the best gift, that keeps on givin’, considering All Things David (good term Marcus) surrounding OAI.

    I arrived early and got a great parking spot in front of the theater, right next to my friend Jean-Claude’s PF inspired truck. My friend Laurie arrived from Campbell and we headed for a drink at Luka’s. Guy was there with the bloggers, but much like the blog, I observed from a distance, but was hesitant to jump in.

    I read the blog daily in anticipation of the big event, and posted a few times, but wasn’t really familiar with the blog concept and it wasn’t until later that I really got the community thing (glad I know now what I was too shy to know then).

    The main event was truly unbelievable. We were up in the balcony, but the sound and views were excellent. I’d seen PF at the Oakland Coliseum twice before, but this concert was a religious experience and I was worshipping with the rest!

    I pray for that experience again.

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