Roger Waters shines at Chase Center concert in San Francisco

Roger Waters was upfront about what fans could expect from his show on Friday night at Chase Center.

“If you’re one of those ‘I love Pink Floyd, but I can’t stand Roger’s politics’ people, you might do well to (expletive) off to the bar right now,” the vocalist-bassist said in a recorded message played to the crowd just before taking the stage in San Francisco.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Famer, who was enshrined as a founding member of Pink Floyd in 1996, then spent the next 2 1/2 hours making good on that warning, hitting the packed house early and often with politically charged rhetoric and messages in fashions that were impossible to ignore.

But that’s the point, right? Waters isn’t willing to let you ignore the message in favor of just enjoying a drink while pumping your fist to “We don’t need no education” in “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2,” during his aptly and urgently named This Is Not a Drill tour.

SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA – SEPTEMBER 23: Roger Waters performs the music of Pink Floyd during the “This is Not a Drill” tour at the Chase Center in San Francisco, Calif., on Friday, Sept. 23, 2022. (Jane Tyska/Bay Area News Group)

That unyielding commitment to the message – whether you agree with the message or not – is what truly has made Waters one of the most important and successful artists of the last 50-plus years. A person doesn’t spearhead the creation of something like “The Wall,” for example, by being only partially committed to what he wants to say.

And, ultimately, that fierce commitment to marrying the music with the message is what made Friday’s show – part of a two-night stand at Chase Center – so wonderfully impactful and memorable.

Working “in the round” for the first time in his career, with the large stage placed at the center of the arena floor and surrounded by fans on all sides, Waters opened the show with an even-drearier-than-usual take on “Comfortably Numb.”

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