Tag Archives: Pink Floyd

My Dream Set List: Pink Floyd

It’s hard to talk about great music and not include Pink Floyd. The British super-group still outsells most of today’s artists since they dropped their first album, Piper at the Gates of Dawn, back in 1967. Their music, in all it’s crazy and glorious forms, still represents a major segment of progressive rock that can never be duplicated, and a musical sound still unmatched, though many have tried.

The albums of Pink Floyd, from 1967 to present
The albums of Pink Floyd, from 1967 to present

I got to see them live in 1994 at the old Tampa Stadium (The Big Sombrero to the locals!) in Florida during the Division Bell tour. I had a nosebleed view of my second favorite band of all time and it was glorious. Not being a smoker, my seats were great, because floor seats were covered by an odd fog over the crowd that would have made it difficult to see! Even from my seat in the clouds, it was an awesome show I will never forget. Little did I realize, that tour would end in October and be their last full-length concert ever (minus the 18-minute reunion show Live 8 show in 2005). That means I got to see one of their final set lists live. It was excellent, but I have some changes for it.

Pink Floyd: Loaded with Drama

Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii in 1972
Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii in 1972

If you keep up with the band today, you know there are some rifts that may never heal between Roger Waters and David Gilmour. When Waters broke away in the early 80’s to launch a solo career, he declared Pink Floyd to be over with. The other members disagreed and went on without him, opening a chasm that to this day remains deep and wide.

Going back further to the Sid Barrett/Bob Klose days, there was more of a divide when Barrett left and David Gilmour was permanently added to the roster. All five were together for a few months, but times were tense. Let’s be honest here. While Sid launched the band and made some great—albeit weird—music, Pink Floyd would have been a footnote in musical history without David Gilmour. Waters alone could have pulled them a little higher, but it was Gilmour’s musical vision that sent the band into the stratosphere after Barrett’s departure. Hardcore fans may disagree, but search your feelings. You know it to be true.

Rare photo of all five members of Pink Floyd, including Syd Barrett, in 1968
Rare photo of all five members of Pink Floyd, including Syd Barrett, in 1968

I talk about their drama because I think that final set list they chose is due to much of the music that featured Waters’ parts being omitted. Whether or not that was intentional, we’ll never know. With that in mind, my dream set list would be if all five members (Barrett, Waters, Mason, Wright, and Gilmour) were still happily singing as one. First, let’s see what the actual set list was.

Their Final Tour and the Tale of Two Set Lists

Some songs rotated throughout the tour, but a major change in songs happened around July prior to the European shows. The first set list is as follows:

If you ever got to see Pink Floyd live, the laser show was always as good as the music
If you ever got to see Pink Floyd live, the laser show was always as good as the music

Opening Set:

Astronomy Domine, Learning to Fly, What Do You Want From Me, On The Turning Away, Take It Back, A Great Day For Freedom, Sorrow, Keep Talking, One of These Days,

Second Set:

Shine On You Crazy Diamond parts I thru V, Breathe, Time, Breathe (reprise), High Hopes, Great Gig in the Sky, Wish You Were Here, Us and Them, Money, Another Brick in the Wall, Comfortably Numb

…and the encore:

Hey You and Run Like Hell.

That was the set list I saw, and even though I was likely the only one in the stadium who wasn’t high, the crowd was berserk during the encore. Swaying and singing along to Hey You, and then almost moshing with pumping fists during Run Like Hell. And for the record, the greatest guitar solo ever in rock and roll is Gilmour’s outro of Comfortably Numb and I’ll fight those who disagree!

The second set list was similar for the most part, but set two saw Dark Side of the Moon played in its entirety and shifted the encore to Wish You Were Here, Comfortably Numb, and Run Like Hell. Surprisingly, the second list cut back the songs from the Division Bell album they were promoting. Even so, those are all great songs. But now, here’s what I would have chose for them.

My Pink Floyd Dream Set List

David Gilmour live at Pompeii
David Gilmour live at Pompeii

Everyone loves an opinion, so here’s mine. My additions to the existing list are in bold, and you can listen to them all at the YouTube Link below.

Opening Set:

  1. Welcome to the Machine
  2. Cirrus Minor blended intro to Wish You Were Here
  3. Astronomy Domine
  4. Arnold Layne
  5. See Emily Play
  6. The Nile Song
  7. Money
  8. Pigs on the Wing, Parts 1 & 2
  9. Learning to Fly
  10. The Great Gig in the Sky
  11. Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2
  12. A Great Day for Freedom

Second Set:

  1. Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun blended intro to One of These Days
  2. On the Turning Away
  3. Poles Apart
  4. When the Tigers Broke Free
  5. The Dogs of War
  6. Hey You
  7. Is There Anybody Out There?
  8. Us and Them
  9. Brain Damage/Eclipse
  10. The Show Must Go On blended intro to Comfortably Numb
  11. Run Like Hell


  1. Mother
  2. Shine On You Crazy Diamond, Parts I to V
My Dream Set List: Pink Floyd

Pink Floyd Dream Set List: Final Thoughts

The unlikely reunion for Live 8 was a huge deal for Pink Floyd fans. The rift between Waters and Gilmour divided fans as well as the band. Both of them went on to successful solo careers, and rumor has it they’ve finally buried their personal hatchets, though they do not perform together any longer.

Pink Floyd at Live 8 in 2005 - David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright
Pink Floyd at Live 8 in 2005 – David Gilmour, Roger Waters, Nick Mason, and Richard Wright

In 2006, Syd Barret passed away. Even though he wasn’t involved with the band officially, many fans felt he was still a part of this odyssey through psychedelic rock. Shortly after in 2008, keyboardist Richard Wright passed away as well. Rogers went back to his solo career, and Mason and Gilmour went on to record Pink Floyd’s final and largely instrumental release Endless River in 2014. The cool part of the album is they have parts recorded by Wright prior to his death, so the three do appear once again. However, it didn’t receive high critical acclaim. That’s one reason none of it made it into my dream set list, but it’s still a good cut.

One of my prize musical collectibles: A vinyl Wish You Were Here album signed by Nick Mason, Richard Wright, Roger Waters and David Gilmour.
One of my prize musical collectibles: A vinyl Wish You Were Here album signed by Nick Mason, Richard Wright, Roger Waters and David Gilmour.

The music of Pink Floyd will live on long after the band members are gone. They are regarded as one of the most influential rock bands of all time and have sold a whopping 250 million albums the world over. I consider myself among the luckiest to have seen them live, even if it wasn’t the full band. It was an awesome show I will never forget.

Thanks for reading!

Listen To Music While You Write? I Say Yes, You Can!

Writing is a complicated profession, wouldn’t you agree? Anyone who has ever tried to write anything, from blog posts like this, to articles, to novels will tell you how easy it is to start and how hard it is to finish. Inspiration can run dry at the drop of a hat, and all writers suffer from it.

I’m all too familiar with the scent of regurgitated ideas…

A set of song lyrics I became acquainted with recently is the best summation of writer’s block I’ve seen yet. The song Losing It off of 1982’s Signals album by Rush says this:

The writer stares with glassy eyes — defies the empty page /
his beard is white, his face is lined and streaked with tears of rage / Thirty years ago, how the words would flow with passion and precision / But now his mind is dark and dulled by sickness and indecision / and he stares out the kitchen door / where the sun will rise no more…

Losing It, written by Neil Peart

While I don’t think I’m to the point of sickness and indecision yet (the jury is still out), hitting blocks in your work is a terrible affliction I would not wish on anyone. Something I have found to assuage the faltering imagination is music. Many writers will tell you there is no way they can concentrate with all that racket going on; that music is distracting. They just can’t do it. However, I say, yes you can.

Use Music to Spark Imagination

I’ll caveat this bold statement with a disclaimer: Every writer has their own method, and not everyone’s brain works the same. What works for me may not work for others.

I am fortunate to be an imagination-driven, visual thinker. I adore a vivid mental picture, and see things more clearly in my head sometimes than I do with my own eyes. Music speaks to me in that way. The song tells a story, and not just with the words but in the notes and melodies. Here’s an example:

The power of imagination

While working on an outline for a fantasy story I’d like to write, my brain fell flat on a tense moment. I knew how I wanted the scene to begin and end, but the tension in the middle read like an instructional textbook rather than anything remotely exciting. I can’t begin to describe the aggravation I felt, and lost count of how many times I hit the delete button in one simple paragraph. I laid the project aside for a couple days and simmered below a boil on how to progress the scene. Then, in the car, it hit me. My iPod rolled over to this song, Dragons at the Gate by Epic Score. Take a listen below:

If the idea was a piano, then it fell on my head from a 20-story building. I was so excited I had to pull over and start jotting notes before I forgot any of it. The tenseness in the music played out the whole scene right before my eyes. I could see it like I was watching a movie. The block was moved like Sampson knocking over his pillars. It was a glorious moment I’ll never forget.

What else is on my iPod?

Epic Score is one of several artists I go to for inspiration. They are all instrumental, so no worries about their words getting in the way. However, sometimes lyrics paint pictures you least expect. Classic rock from the 60s and 70s is a gold mine of story ideas and scene manifestations. Led Zeppelin, King Crimson, Pink Floyd, The Who, Rush, The Moody Blues, YES, and multiple others leave nuggets all over the place if you know how to mine them up.

I wrote an entire outline off of a King Crimson song for a medieval fantasy that currently is awaiting my attention. The Seeker by The Who conjures all sorts of ideas for me to put on paper. Red Rain by Peter Gabriel was probably my first outline based on my brain’s interpretation of a song. Neil Peart’s lyrics on any Rush album is a mother lode of ideas. Here’s some I’m currently listening to:

The beautiful and talented Lindsey Sterling’s music is always inspirational. Roundtable Rival got me through an entire written scene!
Break of Reality – awesome group to listen for textural ideas and gritty action
Love, love, love The Piano Guys. Always great, inspirational stuff
No one, and I mean NO ONE tells a story through song better than Loreena McKinnett!
The Hu. Listen to these guys for a few minutes and you’ll be ready to invade China with them. Somebody bring me my horse and my eagle!
Enya’s haunting vocals pry out some great ideas from my brain
Evanescence has deep lyrics with a chugging beat that conjures vivid scenes for me

So what’s the take-away from this?

What you’re writing will likely determine what you listen to. A romance author is probably not going to heavy metal for inspiration, and a horror novelist may not find inspirational solace in show tunes, but you never know. Don’t look at music being distracting, or background noise. Embrace it for the wonder it can spark in your mind.

The next time you’re struggling, slip on an obscure record. Sit back, close your eyes, and let the music take you for a little bit. When it’s over, and you are safely deposited back on the shores of your reality, you might be surprised at the adventures you had in the melodies. Give it a try. You never know… you might have the idea for the next best-seller. Happy writing!

To check out these amazingly inspirational artists, try their official links below:

Loreena McKinnett – Home Page

Lindsey Sterling – Home Page

Official Rush Page

Home of Evanescence

The Piano Guys

Epic Score Home Page

Break of Reality Official Page