The surviving members of Pink Floyd reunited onstage tonight at London’s 02 Arena during a stop on Roger Waters’ Wall tour – marking only the second time that Nick Mason, David Gilmour and Waters had played together in the last 30 years. Waters and Gilmour performed “Comfortably Numb” as the crowd at the arena went absolutely insane, and during the finale of “Outside the Wall,” Gilmour returned to the stage alongside Mason, who played a tambourine.
As he did on the original 1980/81 tour, Gilmour played his epic solo on the top of the Wall. Last July, Waters promised that Gilmour would play the song during one show on the tour, but drummer Nick Mason’s involvement was kept a secret. They last performed together at Live 8 in 2005. Original keyboardist Richard Wright died in 2008.
Confirmation of Gilmour’s appearance hit the web hours before the reunion on Gilmour’s official fan blog. “I should also remind you that tonight is most definitely a one-off,” the blog notes. “David is not repeating his special guest performance at a later occasion, I’m sorry to disappoint those of you with fingers crossed and tickets for later shows.”
Last July – shortly before Waters began his Wall tour – he played a brief set with Gilmour at a benefit for the Hoping Foundation. They closed the set with a cover of Phil Spector’s “To Know Him Is To Love Him.” Waters initially told Gilmour that he wouldn’t sing the song with him because of Gilmour’s “superior vocal skills.” (Watch a fan-shot video of “Comfortably Numb” with Waters and Gilmour below.)
“I clung resolutely to my fear of failure until one day he made one final entreaty,” Waters wrote on Facebook. “I quote ‘If you do ‘To Know Him Is To Love Him’ for the Hoping Foundation Gig, I’ll come and do ‘C. Numb’ on one of your Wall shows”. Well! You could have knocked me down with a feather. How fucking cool! I was blown away. How could I refuse such an offer. I couldn’t, there was no way.”
The news sent Floyd fans into a state of hysteria, especially because they didn’t know what show on the extremely long tour would be the special one – though the six-show run at London’s 02 Arena always seemed like a safe bet because Gilmour lives in close proximity to the venue. Earlier this week Floyd announced a massive reissue campaign (read about it here), which was almost certainly timed to coincide with this event. Press outlets, much like this one, were sure to cover the story – and also mention the details of their reissue campaign.
This will be the third time the former bandmates have reunited since Waters left the band after the original Wall tour in 1981. The first was at Live 8 in 2005, and the second was at the Hoping Foundation benefit last year. Waters says he’s interested in a brief Pink Floyd reunion tour, but Gilmour refuses to even consider it. Just this past week Rolling Stone asked Mason about the possibility of a reunion. “There are absolutely no plans,” he said. “But Live 8 was fantastic. We did something for other people, but we also proved that we could all work together again. I’m really pleased that my children saw that. I would have thought that could be regenerated at some time. So I live in hope – but that’s no reason to put it out on Twitter that ‘Nick Says Band to Re-form!'” (Watch a fan-shot video of “Outside the Wall” performed by Mason, Waters and Gilmour below.)