De Did Did Did!
The beauty of a reunion is that it gives both the band and its fans the chance to take a second look.
Was The Police one of the biggest bands of the '80s? Yes, it was.
Did we "De Do Do Do De Da Da Da?" Yes, we did.
Twenty-three years after the breakup, is The Police as good as we remember? Yes, it is.
Did we sell out concert venues in minutes? Yes, we did.
If done right, a reunion is the best chance to go back to when the excitement began.
If done right, a reunion can exceed the fans' expectations. And, for those who missed the band the first time around, it's a chance to experience what the fuss is about.
So there was a lot of pressure on The Police to succeed and exceed in its first show. Ninety journalists from around the world were at GM Place last night to forward the results and, although The Police doesn't play for
the media, it surely was aware of the attention.
It also probably has heard that you can't go home again. So The Police hasn't revisited the past - it has tried to improve on it.
Sometimes this works, as when Andy Summers takes a long solo in "When the World is Running Down," in which you can see the interplay between him and Sting.
Sometimes it doesn't, as when they slow down "Don't Stand So Close to Me." The new arrangement gets them closer to its threatening lyric, but it loses its pop charm.
Starting at 9 p.m., Sting, Summers and Stewart Copeland hit the stage with a vengeance, opening with "Message in a Bottle." The Police made certain it was back. The audience clapped and sang along. Indeed, it
Each song was greeted with anticipation. It's not like the Rolling Stones doing "Satisfaction" every night for 44 years. "Walking on the Moon" and "Synchronicity II" haven't been heard in a long time.
Each song has changed in slight ways. "Wrapped Around Your Finger" and "The Bed's Too Big Without You" are slowed down, but there's more room for solos and dramatic emphasis by vocalist Sting.
n Opening act Fiction Plane, a trio centered by Sting's son, Joe, started off sounding like a nondescript hard-rock band, but showed more variety as it went along.
Its best songs had Police-like arrangements and structures, especially the last song, with its reggae breakdown and dynamics. It can't be easy to be in Fiction Plane's position but, ultimately, the band pulled it off.
© Vancouver Province by Tom Harrison
Photo by Dave & Wendy