Exactly what was Pink Floyd's The Wall
? Rock opera? Concept album? Performance art? Mere entertainment? While the truth may lie in a combination of all of the above, during the band's tour of 1980-81, The Wall
was a bona fide spectacle
. More than anything, Is There Anybody Out There?
captures the volume, the bombast, and the grandeur of these famed performances with remarkable accuracy. Meticulously recorded, these concerts are astonishingly faithful to the band's studio versions and flow out of the speakers with practiced authority and absolutely fantastic sound. That said, there are few new revelations to be gained from hearing The Wall
live that can't be gleaned from the studio version. Some moments do have an additional spark, however. "Run Like Hell" is launched with blistering intensity, and the first notes of "Another Brick in the Wall, Part 1" will surely raise a shiver. The release also includes two tracks ("What Shall We Do Now," "The Last Few Bricks") left off the original release due to space constraints. Essential for Floyd fanatics as well as those wishing to hear just how terrific a live concert can sound. --S. Duda