My Dream Set List: Pink Floyd

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It’s hard to talk about great rock and roll 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

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. Shirts were optional.

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 added permanently to the roster. 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

Encore

  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

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

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.

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 the have parts recorded by Wright prior to his death. 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.

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.

Sound off, Hashtaggers!

Any Floyd fans among you Hashtaggers out there? Let us know what would have made your list in the comments! We’ve done Rush, Iron Maiden, and Judas Priest. Who else deserves to get the “dream set list” treatment? To find out more, visit the official Pink Floyd website, and stick with That Hashtag Show for more reviews, music and more. We cover everything trending in geek pop-culture!

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