In the growing tradition of Downtown Long Beach Associates (DLBA) monthly free live music series, Live After 5, uniqueness has been key—and the upcoming July 14th event is no exception as Long Beach’s RIOTstage re-creates Pink Floyd’s The Wall album in its entirety outside the iconic Acres of Books building at 3rd & Long Beach Blvd.
Directed and overseen by Joshua Fischel, the night’s performance was inspired by Fischel’s youthful, nostalgic experience with the album, the first he purchased his own money. Bored of a long list of classics ranging from Fleetwood Mac’s Tusk to The Police’s Ghost in the Machine, The Wall proved to be to be a game changer for Fischel, his friends, and the history of music—and not just in a generic musical sense, but a memory-based sense. It was, after all, the album that helped him move past his little brother’s nearly deadly drowning.
“After my brother’s near death, my Mom drove me to Licorice Pizza on Ventura Blvd. in Tarzana to buy it,” Fischel said. “Yup, I was a Valley kid. We went straight home and I listened to it, three times in a row, with my head buried in the lyrics. I still listen to it with 12-year-old ears. The theatricality, the multi-dimensional feelings about family, wasted love, terrible loss and a chance to find your way out. All these things helped shape me as an artist and a man.”
Fischel is hoping that his RIOTstage crew and his own experiences can be transferred to a Long Beach audience through a live performance of the iconic album. Upon its release, the rock opera—a piece which Pink Floyd uses to tell the story of a fictional character named Pink and explores abandonment and isolation, symbolized by a metaphorical wall—was met with mixed reactions. However, bassist and lyricist Roger Water’s signature, grand themes brought them not only commercial success with their sole No. 1 song on multiple charts (“Another Brick in the Wall, Part 2”) but created a space in the annals of rock history forever.
“Here I sit and I can’t stop thinking about how I’m lucky enough to be doing the whole album for Live After 5,” Fischel said. “I will be joined with some of Long Beach’s greatest indie musicians and actors, members of RIOTstage, the jazz orchestra from Poly High School and two choirs, one with all children, one with adults.”
And as always, it’s free.
Joining RIOTstage beforehand for a live acoustic set is Live After 5 veterans The Black Noise as well as a DJ to help the crowd get into the mood.
Live After 5: The Wall is open and free to the public and will take place at from 5PM to 10PM on Thursday, July 14th, at the north side of Acres of Book located at 3rd Street and Long Beach Blvd. Two hour free parking is available in the structures and more information is available at: www.liveafterfive.org