Police give arresting end to summer vacation...
Beneath the wooden ribs and white sections of the Tacoma Dome, summer came to a sweet end last night as the British trio, the Police, played to a 29,000-strong capacity crowd of mostly teen-aged kids. When school starts next week, The sure test of coolness has to be whether you were there.
The Police's album Synchronicity, with its No.1 single and MTV smash, 'Every Breath You Take', deservedly has held the top slot on the music charts for the past eight weeks. Deliciously intricate music, a courteous crowd, engaging visuals, admirable acoustics - lyrics and instruments, except perhaps for the bass, were distinct - and the personable, folk-singer-like stage presence of lead singer Sting combined to make this an exceptionally satisfying evening.
What a marvellously warm, cunning and musical band this six-year-old trio from England is. Originally part of a British movement that combined the sparse instrumentation and political consciousness of reggae with crisp, New Wave abruptness, the Police has become one of the most versatile bands. The group strikes an appealing balance between pop lightness of heart and brooding study. It's tight, high vocal harmonies, for example, have that bouncy innocence we've been used to hearing ever since the Beatles and the Hollies crossed the Atlantic. Sting's solo vocals on tunes like 'Every Breath You Take' are pure Rod Stewart.
Yet balanced against that sometimes saccharine freshness are dark lyrics, Sting's steamy bass lines and the thoroughly contemporary, nervous ticking of Andy Summers' guitar.
It's amazing how many different sounds and beats these guys got last night from just three instruments. From the mysterious 'Message in a Bottle' through the floating vocal vamp of 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da' to the heavy rock of 'There's a Hole in My Life' and the elusive, William Blake-like ballad 'King of Pain', there was continuous musical interest.
After a brief "intermission" (cameras followed the trio into the dressing room, beaming the group's shenanigans onto the dome's large screen), they came back to do captivating versions of last year's 'Don't Stand So Close' this year's 'Every Breath You Take' and their first American single, 'Roxanne'.
The concert was opened by The Thompson Twins and The Fixx.
© The Seattle Times by Paul de Barros
Image courtesy of Dietmar