The setlist continues with “Atom Heart Mother,” “Embryo,” “One of these Days,” and “Cymbaline,” complex pieces that range through a variety of expressions and moods. I wonder where this journey will end. I am exhausted and I’ve lost track of time.
Gilmour creates a plaintive melodic tension that trembles in the air. The electric piano generates notes that sound like sonar pings from a submarine deep under the surface of the sea. I feel as if I am standing on the shore of the deep—a pacific and thoughtful space where I am preparing to swim in the sea of my own imagination, illuminated by color and light, guided by the music as a lantern and mentor. A benign place, despite its otherworldly quality. I am a wanderer. The light is within me and outside of me and wants the best for my journey. I hear the lyric— “the echo of a distant tide comes willowing across the sand / and everything is green and submarine.”
At the end of each verse there is a chromatic rise and fall, augmented by the metallic timbre of the Stratocaster until it cuts loose with a keening solo. The band begins rocking once more in a definitive blues. The solo breaks off—replaced by screaming phrases sliding through the backbeat. I look around me—the audience is swaying in time.
The music changes again—we slip deeper into the submarine sea. While the keyboards create a backdrop of soft whispers and moans, the guitar mimics the sound of crying seagulls gliding on a canvas of air. The cries cease, and for a few moments we are suspended, as if we are in a roller coaster that has climbed to the top of a peak, anticipating the proper moment to race down the other side. The music keeps us in suspense at that moment of hesitation as a chromatic chord pattern began in a repetitive loop, not resolving, holding the ride in stasis. Then the guitar rings out like a brass fanfare, and we slid down the steep side of where we had been poised. at the bottom we rest and a solemn guitar solo guides the music to a lingering, slow fade.
The audience is silent. We are unable to immediately break the enchantment that has been cast upon us. Within moments loud cheers and applause break out. “That was ‘Echoes’ which is on our new album, Meddle. Thank you and goodnight.” The house lights come on and I blink in the incandescence of what seems like unexpected daylight. The audience cheers and demands an encore—I amble closer to the center of the stage.