On a rainy Saturday in June of 1990, 120,000 rock fans descended onto a field in Knebworth, England, to witness one of the biggest charity shows of all time. It’s not nearly as well-known these days as Live Aid, Live 8, the Concert for New York City or the Concert for Bangladesh, but the lineup — which included Pink Floyd, Paul McCartney, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Genesis, Dire Straits and Robert Plant with surprise guest Jimmy Page — speaks for itself.
Pink Floyd had been off the road for nearly a year when the show came around and they almost never gigged between tours, but the Knebworth organizers called back many of the biggest names to have played the site in the past and they simply couldn’t say no. Roger Waters hadn’t performed with Floyd in nine years at this point, and at this exact moment was prepping for his enormous Wall show in Berlin the following month. Those hoping for a reunion would have to wait another 15 years for Live 8, but Floyd had spent the last few years proving they were a stadium-caliber act even without their former leader.
The rain was off-and-on throughout the day, and by the time Floyd took the stage at the end of the night it was coming down pretty hard. They played a seven-song set centered around their 1970s hits, with “Sorrow” being the sole selection from their newest album A Momentary Lapse of Reason, and wrapped up with “Run Like Hell.” You can see video of that right here. That’s bassist Guy Pratt handling the Waters vocal parts, with Jon Carin on keyboards. Both of them will be playing with Gilmour when his Rattle That Lock tour begins this weekend in England.
The tour won’t hit America until next year, and it’s about as close to the Pink Floyd experience as Gilmour is willing to offer. “I’ve enjoyed that part of my life; that life has given me so much,” he told Rolling Stone in August. “There’s been a lot of joy, a lot of laughter, a lot of creative satisfaction. We’ve had a lot of good companionship for 95 percent of our time together. I wouldn’t want that five percent that was a little more sour to make my view of it less enjoyable. All things must pass. All things must come to an end. I don’t want to go back there. I’ve done it.”