Police take masses' breath away at Shea...
Going to see the Police at Shea Stadium last night was an act of musical faith. the rock event of the New York summer was greeted by a downpour right before opening act REM was due to take the stage.
However, 70,000 faithful braved the weather to hear a band that has slowly established its pre-eminance in the rock and roll world. Last night's show was part of the group's world-wide swing to promote their new LP 'Synchronicity'. It has been this exhaustive touring that has caused a stage lightness that not even the Who, which bade farewell to the Big Apple at the same venue , could muster.
Their attention to roadwork has paid off in their songs as well, featuring a unique international melodic approach that fits between reggae and rock. Songs last night ranged lyrically from the spiritual (King Of Pain) to the downright toe-tapping (De Do Do Do). However, after an hour-long fast start, the group seemed ready to break early, though it only turned out to be a brief intermission with the video camera following the band leader Sting backstage for a spot of tea. They came out again minutes later, rejuvenated, and played their current hit 'Every Breath You Take' - and it was then apparent that the band could probably play all night and possibly at a venue twice the size.
Though certainly it's Sting's vocals that most identify with the group, kudos should go to guitarist Andy Summers for maintaining the rhythmic flow and drummer Stewart Copeland whose thunderous drumming mixed with Sting's basslines to ensure that every chest in the audience throbbed to their beat (including a version of the hits blues traditional 'Hit The Road Jack'.
This band has played every New York spot from CBGB's to the Garden, and now Shea stadium. Next move, Central Park?
One short note about opener Joan Jett, the local girl turned guitar sweetheart. She wasn't a bit intimidated by the Shea environment and showed the kind of guts it takes - as her tune goes - to really love rock'n'roll music.
© The New York Post by Martin Porter
Ticket image courtesy of Dietmar & Raphael