For the first time in five years, the two driving forces behind Pink Floyd, Roger Waters and David Gilmour, reunited onstage at a benefit in England over the weekend. The unannounced team-up went down before the 200 attendees of the Hoping Foundation benefit in Oxfordshire, which raised money for young Palestinian refugees. The duo’s four-song set included Phil Spector’s “To Know Him Is To Love Him” (a Floyd sound-check staple according to the blog on Gilmour’s website) and the band’s classics “Wish You Were Here,” “Comfortably Numb” and “Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2.”
The Saturday night set marks the first time Waters and Gilmour have shared the stage since Pink Floyd’s reunion performance at 2005’s Live 8 in London. The duo’s Hoping Foundation performance helped raise £350,000. At the benefit, Gilmour and Waters — who swapped his bass for an acoustic guitar — were joined by keyboardists Harry Waters and Jonjo Grisdale, drummer Andy Newmark, guitarist Chester Kamen and bassist Guy Pratt, who ironically replaced Waters in the Gilmour-led, Division Bell-era Pink Floyd.
As Rolling Stone previously reported, Waters asked Gilmour to join his 30th anniversary tour of The Wall this year, but his onetime bandmate declined. “David is completely uninterested,” Waters said in May. “I could have probably gone for doing some more stuff, but he’s not interested.” Hopes for an official Pink Floyd reunion tour were mostly extinguished when keyboardist Richard Wright passed away in 2008 and Gilmour lamented, “No one can replace Richard Wright.”
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Even without Gilmour, Waters’ The Wall tour is one of the few treks that has seemingly staved off the summer’s concert industry struggles: While artists including Rihanna and the Jonas Brothers and tours like Lilith Fair and American Idols Live continue to cancel dates, the demand for The Wall 30th anniversary tour has led Waters to double, triple and, in some cases, quadruple the number of dates he’s performing in certain markets.