07.05.2007 - 2007-07-05 CHICAGO, IL: Wrigley Field / The Police Prove Themselves...
The Police Prove Themselves...
Turn your radio down, step away from the vehicle, place your hands in the air and well, you get the idea. This past weekend Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland arrived to take over two night's at Chicago's Wrigley Field and they had a lot to prove.
There have been many questions circling this tour from the first announcement of the reunion and those same questions still lingered in the Wrigleyville air on Thursday night. The main one was arguably who were we going to see on the stage this evening? Was it Sting, a drummer and a guitarist or was it really going to be the band that we dished out all this money for and have been waiting and hoping to see again? This was the main question that I was afraid was going to end badly.
There's no arguing the talent of Sting and the longevity of his career has proven just that. Through the last few decades I've seen Sting perform live probably a dozen times and he's always delivered a great show with a nice collection of his hit songs both solo and otherwise. However, the solo career version of Sting was not the Sting that first grabbed my attention and that's not to say it was bad it was just different. Even his last tour, where he stripped down his band and promised a more rocking version of his hits, still sounded like the VH-1 Sting that I had seen live through the years.
So with that in mind, I understandably had my doubts arriving at Cub's stadium that evening. Were my fears realized? Actually no, I can honestly say on Thursday night I didn't see Sting and his backing band, I saw The Police. I've heard mix-reviews about the tour so far including one from Stewart Copeland himself but tonight they were back. Perhaps they needed the 21 shows before Wrigley's to get to know each other again but whatever it was it showed.
It's amazing how great a 3-piece can sound and everyone tonight shined. Sting's bass never sounded so loose and raw and that chip on his shoulder edginess was back in his eyes. Summers moved around the stage way beyond his years showing us just why he is one of the more unique guitarists of any era. Copeland hiding in the back was the MVP of the evening and proved he can still keep the band tight with still room to play and has finally found that happy place.
From the beginning The Police had one thing going for them this evening, their songs. There's a reason why they were one of the most successful bands of the 80's and they performed 20 of them tonight. From the opening chords of 'Message in a Bottle' to the rocking closure of 'Next to You', the trio reminded us how great of a band they were and perhaps still are. I would even argue they were better than they were on their 'Synchronicity' tour, do you disagree? Then just pop in the live show from their double disc "Live" cd or the recently released DVD version. Plus, you have to give them credit for deciding to not bring in more members to fill out the sound or any backing vocalists and instead proved they could still do it just the three of them.
Tonight they looked like they were having as great of a time as we were in the crowd playing almost every hit you could think of and a few extra deep cuts as well. Some of the hits were the inevitable, 'Roxanne', 'Every Breath You Take', 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic' and 'Invisible Sun'. Yet some of the surprises were songs Sting hadn't played since his days with The Police like 'Truth Hits Everybody' and one of my favorites, 'Bed's Too Big Without You'. This set sadly is the exact same one they have been performing on the entire tour and lets hope if they do another leg they will consider mixing it up a bit. I would love to hear 'Bring on the Night', 'Hungry For You (j'aurais toujours faim de toi)', 'Hole In My Life', or how about their first single, 'Fallout', that they use to always perform back in the old days.
I have to say Sting looked pretty comfortably being part of The Police again and this whole reunion tour is something I never thought would happen. This may be the only chance I'll ever see of them but it was worth it. I'm not holding my breath that they will continue beyond this tour and I suspect there are better odds of Sting recording another album of 16th century music on the lute then another Police album.
Regardless, for one night I was given a second chance to see Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland together on one stage and I have to say it was a gift.
© Lumino Magazine by Barry Brecheisen