Pink Floyd’s former guitarist David Gilmour has had a busy year, having spent most of it on the road to promote his 2015 solo album Rattle That Lock and performing not just his new material, but also some of the psychedelic rock band’s most popular hits.
This week, Gilmour is in the midst of a five-date tour at London’s Royal Albert Hall, and on Wednesday night, fans witnessed an incredible, historic and surprising collaboration as actor Benedict Cumberbatch joined him on stage to lend his vocals to “Comfortably Numb.”
In the memorable grand finale, Cumberbatch, undoubtedly used to stealing the spotlight (whether purposeful or not, his commanding presence is undeniable), remained careful not to upstage the 70-year-old rock legend, though his delivery involved theatrical facial expressions and at times, a grin revealing that he was thrilled to be up there. He sang the verse sections originally sang by Roger Waters.
Though he’s known for his acting, it should be noted that it’s not his first foray into music: For the film August: Osage County, he recorded a song for the official soundtrack called “Can’t Keep it Inside.”
“Comfortably Numb” was released in 1979 just a few years after Cumberbatch was born, so it must have been a powerful moment for him to perform a song that he likely heard for most of his life — not to mention one of the most iconic songs of all time.