05.27.2007 - 2007-05-27 VANCOUVER: GM Place / The Police Tour Kickoff...
The Police Tour Kickoff...
"Seeing The Police on stage just feels right, period." After three weeks of rehearsals in and around Vancouver, The Police finally took to the stage on Monday night for the first time in 25 years. Actually, I lied. The first Police concert in 25 years was on Sunday night to an intimate crowd of only four thousand die hard fans for a dry run dress rehearsal. Thankfully, I was on hand for both shows as Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland worked out the kinks to deliver exactly what fans wanted from The Police after so many years apart.
The Police: Dress Rehearsal vs. The Real Thing
Although the previous night's dress rehearsal was a laid back an intimate affair, the opening show of the reunion tour was a high octane trip down memory lane. Within an amphitheater stage set up, which consisted of a few simple set pieces, a wide horizontal video screen, a huge Asian gong, three more monitors high above the stage, and a dazzling light show, the concert featured all three members of The Police as the evening's entertainment. Forget all about the back-up singers in Sting's solo band; with this tour you get exactly what you pay for and expect...The Police. As the lights dimmed and The Police took to the stage, the band quickly worked the crowd into a frenzy with the classic 'Message in a Bottle' before launching into 'Synchronicity II' and then taking a break to address the 17,000 screaming fans. "Hello, Vancouver," Sting shouted, "Welcome to our first show in 25 years. Do you know why we picked Vancouver to start the tour? Because it's Vancouver," Sting exclaimed as the crowd shouted back in appreciation. If you've been to Vancouver, you know exactly what Sting means. It's a beautiful city and the best place to remain anonymous as you prep for a world tour.
If you're one of the select few that already has tickets for The Police reunion tour nearest you, you won't be disappointed in the least. While the dress rehearsal left me scratching my head on a few numbers the previous night - namely 'King of Pain', which didn't fair too much better as the first encore of the opening show - The Police kicked off their tour in fine fashion. Although hardcore fans may be wondering why The Police didn't choose to incorporate such songs as 'Miss Gradenko', 'Regatta de Blanc', and 'Shadows in the Rain' into their set, any fan of The Police will walk away happy after hearing the likes of 'Driven to Tears', 'Walking on the Moon', 'Walking in Your Footsteps', 'So Lonely', and of course the classic 'Roxanne', plus the more mainstream hits like 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' and 'Every Breath You Take'.
Second Night Highlights
The most striking aspect between both shows was the difference in energy between rehearsal and opening show. It was obvious the boys were saving their best for a capacity crowd. Unlike the previous night, when Sting let the crowd know there would be mistakes throughout the evening (and there were a few as they settled into their rehearsal set), the tour opener came off almost without a hitch, except for "King of Pain," which sounded strange with Sting singing both lead and chorus, as Summers? guitar seemed to drown out the vocals. While the dress rehearsal was fairly low key and intimate, the opening show was anything but subdued. At 55, Sting appeared to be in peak physical condition while Stewart Copeland looked equally fit behind the drum kit in a red and black cyclist jersey, black headband, and white batting gloves. Despite not being as great a physical specimen as Sting and Stewart, Andy Summers hasn't lost a step as arguably one of the best guitarists of the past three decades. With each song, I kept asking myself, "Man, where have these guys been for the past 25 years?" Seeing The Police on stage just feels right, period. Sure, Sting and the boys have gone on to do other things since breaking up in the '80s, but The Police are pure magic together as one cohesive unit. It's a shame we've had to wait this long to see them back together.
If you're looking forward to the tour, expect to see all three band members in fine form. One of the highlights of the show was seeing Stewart Copeland jostle back and forth between his regular drum kit and a more elaborate chime/gong based setup on such songs as 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' and 'King of Pain'. It really is amazing how three guys and three instruments can sound so good after so many years. It's hard to put into words what the best song of the evening was, especially since I saw a scaled back version the previous night. If you're a fan of The Police and have tickets to an upcoming show, just be happy knowing you'll be able to walk away from the concert with more than a few cool memories. The Police haven't lost their magic touch whatsoever. Sting sounds amazing, Stewart Copeland has a ton of energy, and Andy Summers lets it all hang out on stage in what may be the best concert tour of 2007.
© UnderGroundOnline by Reg Seeton
Ticket from Dave & Wendy