In this Pink Floyd The Delicate Sound Of Thunder blu ray review, I highlight everything you want to know about this lost but not forgotten legendary concert. The sound and video have been fully restored and remastered by David Gilmour. If you love Pink Floyd, then this Blu Ray is an absolute must-have for your collection!
Check out the concert backstory and musical performance highlights.
Delicate Sound Of Thunder: Blu Ray Snapshot
Release Date: November 2020
Concert Length: 1 hour and 55 minutes
Starring: Pink Floyd – David Gilmour, Richard Wright, Nick Mason
Producer: Curt Marvis
Director: Wayne Isham
Packaging: 1 blu ray digipack with a 24-page booklet. It is also available in a super deluxe edition, which contains the Blu Ray, DVD, 2 CDs, and a 40-page booklet.
Main Blu Ray Disk Menu:
- Play All
- Audio Setup (Stereo PCM and 5.1 DTS Master Audio) – Stereo is auto-enabled
Bonus Features: None
The Concert Backstory
This concert was filmed over a span of 5 nights during the band’s 1988 appearance at Nassau Coliseum in Long Island, New York. The newly reconstituted Pink Floyd was touring in support of their new album released in 1987, “A Momentary Lapse Of Reason.” This tour came after David Gilmour and Nick Mason’s victory in their legal battle to use the name Pink Floyd after Roger Water’s departure.
The concert was originally shot in 35 mm by Wayne Isham. It was released on VHS tape and then again as part of a box set, “The Later Years.” I wore out my copy of the VHS tape and was eventually able to buy a copy that was transferred to DVD from the VHS tape format. It was more convenient to play but didn’t look or sound any better than the VHS version.
Blu Ray Packaging
This blu ray comes in a digipack with a slip-on cover. The front features the “Light Bulb Guy” and its clone sitting on the bed from the song “On The Run” in front of the on-stage projection screen. The back of the blu ray has the song tracklist and various credits.
Removing the slipcover exposes the stage on both the front and back covers. The inside has additional stage scenes.
Songs And Artists
Delicate Sound Of Thunder Track List
Here are the 16 songs from the Nassau Coliseum concert.
1. “Shine on You Crazy Diamond, Parts 1-5”
2. “Signs of Life”
3. “Learning to Fly”
5. “The Dogs of War”
6. “On the Turning Away”
7. “One of These Days”
9. “On the Run”
10. “The Great Gig in the Sky”
11. “Wish You Were Here”
12. “Us and Them”
14. “Comfortably Numb”
15. “One Slip”
16. “Run Like Hell”
The Band Members
- David Gilmour: Guitars and Vocals
- Nick Mason: Drums
- Richard Wright: Keyboards and Vocals
Supporting Musicians And Vocalists
- Tim Renwick: Guitars and Vocals
- Guy Pratt Bass Guitar
- Jon Carin: Keyboards and Vocals
- Scott Page: Saxophones and Guitar
- Gary Wallis: Percussion
- Margaret Taylor, Rachel Fury, and Durga McBroom: Backing Vocals
Musical Performance Highlights
It’s hard to favor one song over another in this concert, but here are some of the musical performance highlights that really stand out.
Shine On You Crazy Diamond
“Shine On You Crazy Diamond” is always a great show-opener, with David’s haunting intro solo. It really showcases his absolute mastery of incorporating just the right melody in his solos.
Shredding guitar is fine, but we can all learn something really essential from David if we listen closely to everything he plays. He takes his time and makes every note count!
Scott page adds an absolutely stellar sax performance, not to mention how good his sax solos are in “Dogs Of War” and “Money.”
“Sorrow” is another one of those songs with a super-memorable opening guitar riff that show’s how David uses distortion the way an artist mixes colors to create a masterpiece of art. You really have to hear it to understand what I am talking about.
By the way, the opening lyrics from this song were taken from John Steinbeck’s “The Grapes Of Wrath.”
The Dogs Of War
“The Dogs Of War” features another great mix of guitar and sax parts, like a musical duel between David Gilmour and Scott Page. I love the energy and rhythmic feel of this tune, which makes it perfect for live performance. It has some interesting rhythmic twists and turns with parts that are written in both 12/8 and 4/4.
Unfortunately, this song wasn’t included in the setlist of Pink Floyd’s DVD “Pulse.” I used to break out the VHS version of this concert just to get my “Dogs Fix.” Check out the german shepherds with the glowing eyes.
One Of These Days
“One Of These Days” is a perpetual Pink Floyd fan favorite at any live event. It features David’s absolutely wicked distortion-laden lap steel. His notes reverberate through the concert hall like the musically excellent version of some wicked screeching sound.
The one-line eerie vocal track in the entire song says: “One of these days, I’m going to cut you into little pieces.” The line refers to a radio DJ that the band disliked because he tended to babble-on incessantly during his show.
Who doesn’t want to see them fly the iconic pig, which has become the unofficial Pink Floyd mascot? The pig is always a little different-looking, but it has bright spotlights for eyes that look right through you on this tour.
On The Run
“On The Run” is a synth-heavy tune from “Dark Side Of The Moon” that features the well-known “guy in the bed” video. During their “Dark Side” and “Division Bell” tours, Floyd flew a large model airplane over their audience’s heads at the end of the song that crashed and burned.
During the “Delicate Sound Of Thunder” tour, they substituted the airplane for the bed that appears in the projected video. So, who’s in the bed? Is it supposed to be Syd Barrett? We may never know.
Great Gig In The Sky
“Great Gig In The Sky” is a song about death and dying, also known as “The Mortality Sequence.” Margaret, Rachel, and Durga’s “wailing” absolutely soar to the highest heights imaginable! This is a vocal benchmark for anyone that appreciates the beauty of the human voice. More legendary musical material from the “Dark Side Of The Moon.”
The song’s spoken words were originally gathered from recording studio personnel that were asked the question, “Are you afraid of dying?”
“One Slip” is a song about falling in love and how one event (slip) can change your entire life. It has a fabulously funky “slap & pop” bass solo by Guy Pratt. He really makes his Fender Jazz Bass do the talking on this tune. It’s an absolute must-see if you like bass solos!
The album title, “A Momentary Lapse Of Reason,” came from a line in this song.
The stage appearance will not disappoint Pink Floyd fans, who have come to expect to be treated to a fantastic display of color and sound. Some of the on-stage lightings are controlled by state-of-the-art robotic heads that swivel and move up and down to cover every aspect of what needs to be highlighted.
The laser light show is tastefully done and always fits nicely with what’s happening in the song. Pink Floyd relies on their tried and true colossal circular screen as a backdrop to project images, short videos, and animations.
There is no shortage of pyrotechnics, with a vast array of flash pods and flame machines.
The stage is typically filled with David Gilmour’s various electronic equipment that he uses to produce his mind-boggling array of guitar effects, which always sound musically tasteful. They never seem to be over the top. You could hire a separate road crew just to set up and breakdown all David’s stuff!
His effect racks are housed in cases that are the size of refrigerators, which are neatly populated with a dazzling array of stompboxes that sit on top. Let’s not forget his custom-made Peter Cornish multi-effects pedalboard. I could definitely have big fun playing through his rig!
David uses his Candy Apple Red V57 Strat for every song in the concert, except for the show-ending “Run Like Hell,” which he plays on his butterscotch blonde black-guard Tele. David’s red Strat is equipped with EMG active pickups, which he uses to power his massive circuit of analog and digital effects.
EMG later marketed a David Gilmour replacement pickguard, complete with his 3 EMG active pickups and all the controls and switches. I purchased one several years ago for a guitar I built, and it sounds absolutely awesome! I routed a space for the 9-volt battery in the tremolo cavity to give it easy-access, the way the Eric Clapton signature Strats are made.
David’s amps, which are miked through the PA system, are stacked in a road case alongside his effects. He used a mix of Fender, Hiwatt, and Mesa Boogie equipment for the Delicate Sound Of Thunder tour. You would think he would be more of a Marshall guy.
The audio is presented in LPCM 2.0 (96kHz, 24-bit) and DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (96kHz, 24-bit). The sound was remixed from the original master tapes and supervised by David Gilmour.
When the blu ray begins, the sound defaults to the stereo channel, which is crisp and detailed with a very well-balanced audio mix. It sounds very good through built-in TV speakers and excellent through a typical soundbar setup with a subwoofer.
The DTS 5.1 high def mix sounds incredible through both my home theater systems, one of which is a 5.1 system, and the other has a complete Dolby Atmos/DTS-X audio configuration.
You can immediately tell that David Gilmour supervised the audio remastering. The sound is everywhere it is supposed to be, with fantastic imaging that makes you feel like you’re part of the audience.
The Video Codec is MPEG-4 AVC, maintained in the original aspect ratio of 1.78:1 widescreen format that fills the screen in 1080p resolution. The blu ray video footage has been restored and re-edited in 4K from the original 35 mm footage and then mastered in 2K.
Although some filmed parts can be a little gritty-appearing, the overall clarity is exceptional. This video restoration truly captures the mood of a concert, which is oftentimes on the darker side because of the ongoing special effects and projected images.
Many stage sequences have a blue appearance that calls to mind the wonderful imagery that one might see in a Tim Burton film. If you grew up with the noisy and low-resolution VHS version of this concert, then get ready for a real treat!
My Favorite Moments
If I had to pick my two most memorable moments in this concert, then they would be during the songs “Comfortably Numb” and “Run Like Hell.”
This song lyrics for “Comfortably Numb” were written by Roger Waters for the album “The Wall,” after a bad experience with being treated with tranquilizers for stomach cramp symptoms just before he was scheduled to go on stage.
“Comfortably Numb” arguably has two of the best guitar solos that David ever did, even though there are so many to chose from. It sounds as if he is using an Electro Harmonix Big Muff to generate the “singing” distortion that seems to sustain forever, and this stompbox is clearly visible as part of his rig setup.
The light show really works well with what Gilmour is playing. If you like guitar solos, then be sure to check out “Comfortably Numb” on this Blu Ray and on the DVD “Pulse.”
Run Like Hell
Roger Water wrote the lyrics for this song for the album “The Wall,” from the point of view of the antihero “Pink.”
“Run Like Hell” is frequently used by Pink Floyd to close their shows, and for a good reason. The audience is treated to a full-on assault of lights, lasers, and pyrotechnics during this song. David always breaks out a Tele tuned to Dropped-D to get the tune’s trademark sound.
It is a very catchy tune with the unmistakable Pink Floyd feel and a little addicting. You may find yourself chanting, “run, run, run.”
Here is the “Run Like Hell” video from the Delicate Sound Of Thunder concert at the Nassau Coliseum.
What I didn’t Like About The Delicate Sound Of Thunder
It’s difficult to fault anything about this blu ray. In the interest of trying to represent both pros and cons in this review, one of the things I would have liked to have is some bonus features. What can I say? When it comes to music and guitars, the more we get, the more we want.
No interviews or backstage footage made it onto this blu ray. Some talk about added-extras during the pre-production and production phases of the project happened, but nothing was included.
If there was nothing filmed during the Nassau Coliseum shows, then perhaps they could have dug up some video from one of the other concerts.
Other than that, everything is as good as it gets when you’re talking about restoring a film that was shot in a low-light environment. If I can think of any more downsides to this blu ray, I’ll come back and edit this post.
The “Delicate Sound Of Thunder” blu ray was restored as a labor of love by David Gilmour in an attempt to resurrect one of the best Pink Floyd concerts ever professionally filmed! The soundtrack and video have both been totally remastered to provide you with an incredibly immersive experience.
This concert showcases the visual phenomenon that only Pink Floyd has been to achieve. If you have never had the opportunity to attend a Pink Floyd concert, then get yourself a big screen TV and a surround sound system to have yourself an eye and ear-opening musical experience!
I always find it very hard not to pick up a guitar during or after the show. If you are a Pink Floyd fan, then you will watch this concert again and again. It’s easy to see why Pink Floyd was inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame in 1996. See Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame – The Killer Guitar Players!
Tell Us What You Think
Please let us know what’s on your mind in the comment section or if there is anything I can help you with.
- Have you seen the “Delicate Sound Of Thunder” blu ray?
- Did you attend one of the concerts during this PinkFloyd tour?
- What did you think of the concert?
- Would you buy this blu ray after reading this article?
For more info about David, see Best Telecaster Players – These Tele Masters Will Shock You!