Roger Waters rocks Quito – and thousands of Cuencanos — on last stop of his Latin American tour

Dec 11, 2023 | 0 comments

Pink Floyd founder and political activist Roger Waters played to a full house, including thousands from Cuenca, at Quito’s Atahualpa Olympic stadium Saturday night. The concert was the final stop of the “This is not a drill” tour, and Waters said it would be his last performance in Latin America.

Roger Waters

Featuring the customary visual effects of a Pink Floyd / Roger Waters performance, with massive video screens displaying images and text messages, the show also showcased Water’s political views such as his support for the Palestinians in Gaza, his opposition to corporate capitalism and to international arms dealers.

At the start of the concert Rogers made his feelings clear: “If you’re one of those who say, ‘I love Pink Floyd, but I can’t stand Roger’s politics,’ you might as well fuck off and go to a bar.”

During the concert, Rogers called on Chevron Oil to “pay up” for the damages it inflected on the indigenous population in Ecuador’s Amazonia. Before the concert, he was presented a poncho and headdress by the leaders of Ecuador’s indigenous movement who thanked him for his two past visits to the Amazon in support of those affected by oil pollution.

In messages displayed on video screens behind the stage, Rogers presented text messages demanding an end to racism, the mistreatment of migrants and other themes. He took special aim at U.S presidents Ronald Reagan, George Bush and Barack Obama for engaging in foreign wars, calling them “merchants of death.”

Waters, who turned 80 in September, admitted he struggled at times to catch his breath at Quito’s high altitude. “I’ve always enjoyed being high but, at my age, there’s a limit,” he told a reporter after the concert.

The concert included many Pink Floyd classics, such as “Run Like Hell,” “Money” and “Two Suns in the Sunset.” He concluded the performance with the classic, “The Bar.”

Tour operator Jorge Castro estimated that at least 3,000 Cuencanos traveled to Quito for the concert. “The airlines added extra flights to handle the demand and hundreds of buses of fans made the trip,” he said. “I don’t remember another concert in Quito or Guayaquil where this many people from Cuenca bought tickets and made the trip.”

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