The socio-political events behind Roger Waters’ This is Not a Drill Tour

“If you’re one of those ‘I love Pink Floyd, but I can’t stand Roger’s politics’ people, you might do well to fuck off to the bar right now.” This pre-recorded warning may sound familiar to those who have attended Roger Waters’ shows from his This is Not a Drill Tour. Altogether, it clearly conveys the message that this tour is not just another nostalgia-evoking musical event but has been organized with the motive of sending a political message.

Roger and His Use of Music as a Platform

Roger Waters, one of the founding members of the progressive rock band Pink Floyd, is celebrated for sending serious socio-political messages through his songs. Although he explored the philosophy of human existence during his early tenure as the main lyricist of Pink Floyd, he made a switch to politics after attaining significant commercial success. For example, the album Animals is a critique of capitalism while The Final Cut was released following the Falklands War, and has been dedicated to his father Eric Fletcher Waters, another casualty of World War II. He left Pink Floyd later on to pursue his solo career, but he did not leave his habit of incorporating politics into his music.

The Background of the Tour

The rock legend, who turns 79 this month, is showing no signs of stopping altogether. This Is Not a Drill was initially announced in 2020 before the US Presidential Election for a reason. However, the dates were shifted to 2022 due to the pandemic. The tour kicked off in July and plays 43 shows in three months. As of now, two more shows are remaining in Canada – in Edmonton and Vancouver and our own Matt Bailey attended the Washington DC show. You can find tickets to the show as well as other entertainment opportunities like the best casino sites in Canada online.

The Political Message

Waters is long known for his biases toward left-wing politics. The rise of neoliberal capitalist economies around the world has been staunchly opposed by him. The song “Pigs” from “Animals” particularly addresses the cut-throat businessmen or the corporate giants, and criticizes their way of exploiting the common man or the “Sheep.” And just like in the Pink Floyd concerts organized before, the famous inflatable pig balloons appear in these tours as well.

However, the tour is far from being just a critique of an economic system. The mammoth LED screens feature the dystopian realities of the world under the veil of peace and democracy. From the US to Palestine, Roger takes a dig at the violation of human rights happening rampantly, and the fact that our ordinary eyes are unbothered by these atrocities.

And obviously, he speaks about the present events he finds distressing. His take on the Russia-Ukraine conflict is quite an unpopular one, contrary to his long-term musical companion David Gilmour. Pink Floyd collaborated with Ukrainian Artist Andriy Khlyvnyuk to release the single “Hey, Hey, Rise Up!” as an act of solidarity towards Ukraine early this year. However, Waters directly accuses the US of fueling the war and defends Russia’s invasion as an act of retaliation against NATO’s military crusades in Ukraine. He is critical of the Israeli invasion of Palestine, and blames the US for backing Israel in this conflict.

He also criticizes the arrest of Australian editor Julian Assange in this elaborate tour. Assange, who was involved in a series of leaks that contains sensitive information against the US government via his website WikiLeaks, lies at the risk of extradition to the US from London.

A Controversial yet Powerful Event So Far

From being called a “Jew Hater” to an “Anti-US communist,” controversies seem to mar his concerts as always. This tour is no exception. However, the fans are quite in awe of the politically-charged live concerts of the musician, one of the few artists who does not fear raising a voice against injustice. Overall, the tour features powerful sonic and visual experimentation as always, besides the strong political message. And you can experience Waters’ doomy vocals amidst anesthetizing lights and smoke as well, in the upcoming shows dated till mid-October.

Buddy Iahn
Buddy Iahn

Buddy Iahn founded The Music Universe when he decided to juxtapose his love of web design and music. As a lifelong drummer, he decided to take a hiatus from playing music to report it. The website began as a fun project in 2013 to one of the top independent news sites. Email: info@themusicuniverse.com

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