Turn it up to 11: tech's contributions to rock and roll

Many of rock's greatest moments hinge on shifts in music technology. Here is a chronology of some of the highlights.

Pink Floyd, The Wall (1980)



Eleven years after Woodstock came Pink Floyd's The Wall Tour. By the end of the 1970s, people expected rock concerts to be audiovisual extravaganzas rife with flashing lights, smoke machines, and elaborate props — but The Wall was one of the first touring shows to do it well. So well, in fact, that the March 2, 1980, New York Times commented, "The 'Wall' show remains a milestone in rock history though and there's no point in denying it. Never again will one be able to accept the technical clumsiness, distorted sound and meagre visuals of most arena rock concerts as inevitable."

Of particular note was the giant wall constructed onstage between the band and the audience (and ultimately broken down). Fittingly, Roger Waters of Pink Floyd played "The Wall" in Berlin in 1990, eight months after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Photo: Courtesy of Mark Fisher Studio

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