Performance of Pink Floyd’s ‘Comfortably Numb’ almost went terribly wrong: ‘I could feel the wall moving’

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For Dave Kilminster, the intrepid guitarist tasked with playing David Gilmour’s parts during Roger Waters’ shows, the biggest issue wasn’t always faithfully recreating the iconic solo on Pink Floyd’s “Comfortably Numb.” It was not falling off the enormous wall constructed for those sold-out shows.

“I try to treat the music with the utmost respect and make the fans happy,” Kilminster tells the Sound Board. “If I were a fan, what would I want to hear? I’d want to hear that solo played as close to the original as possible, with as much energy, passion, soul, and emotion that I can squeeze into it.

Thing is, though, Dave Kilminster was doing all of that perched on a towering scaffold, which lifted him up so that it appeared he was atop an 82-foot structure as part of Waters’ 2010-13 tours of Pink Floyd’s 1979 opus The Wall. And, no, there was no safety harness — which became something of an issue during a blustery show on May 11, 2012.

“I literally just stood on a platform that high in the air, which is kind of scary,” he adds. “It was very, very windy during the outdoor show we did in San Francisco. The wind was whipping up off the Bay, and it was actually moving the wall. I could feel the wall moving and hitting the platform that I was standing on, trying to deal with 50,000 people looking at me while I’m trying to play the solo properly.”

As you can imagine, Pink Floyd fans, there was no small part of Dave Kilminster which was just ready to get back down to solid ground, night after night.

“Obviously, ‘Comfortably Numb’ is a highlight,” he admits, “but there’s so much pressure on it that my very favorite part of the show was always the very last chord of that solo. [Laughs.] The lift would go down and I could go, ‘Ahhhh.’ And then I could enjoy the rest of the show.”

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