07.17.2007 - 2007-07-17 DETROIT, MI: Palace of Auburn Hills / Police back on the beat...
Police back on the beat...
They towered over most of the rock world in their prime, and The Police proved on stage here at the Palace of Auburn Hills on Tuesday that they're more than mere museum pieces today.
The ongoing archaeological dig that is the revival of The Police took the more than 20,000 who attended Tuesday's show back nearly a quarter of a century to the final days of the original band in the early 1980s.
Songs like 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da', 'Roxanne', and 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic' have lost none of their shine and energy. With a catalogue of songs that is the envy of any band, The Police could play for hour after hour without repeats.
As it was, they packed everything into a concise, well-tuned couple of hours, including encores. It began with Message in a Bottle, drummer Stewart Copeland rising to the stage on a hydraulic lift.
When Copeland struck a giant gong like the old movies, the concert was underway.
Sting sang out - in great voice - the opening lines and the entire audience joined in. It wasn't the only time there was a chorus of thousands, each time encouraged by Sting.
Then came the later hit, 'Synchronicity II', which provided Andy Summers with his first solo turn on lead guitar.
Before the next song, 'Walking on the Moon', and its famous ee-oh-oh chorus, Sting reminisced about the first time The Police played Detroit - November of 1978 at the old Bookie's Club on 6 Mile Road. "There were three people there and one of them was the agent," he joked.
Extinction isn't in their vocabulary, as they made clear in the song 'Walking in Your Footsteps', and as they clearly showed in concert.
Not surprisingly, they do look their ages - Sting (Gordon Sumner), 55; Stewart Copeland, 55; and Andy Summers, 64. Copeland actually just turned 55 on Monday and Sting turns 56 in December.
The music is ageless, of course: A still-intriguing blend of punk reggae, rockabilly, R&B, and even hints of disco.
There's not the same spring in Sting's step, but his bass lines throb with the same intensity, and Copeland's drumming is the Hemi-charge of the band's sound.
Summers' contribution, as always, was more subtle. He's the quiet one on mainly rhythm guitar who adds Robert Fripp-like tonal effects to the melody being carried by Sting's voice and bass.
There were several solos for Summers, including When the World is Running Down, which featured an increasingly rapid tempo and some truly inspired drumming from Copeland.
Most of the hits were there, from 'Roxanne' and 'Don't Stand So Close to Me', to 'I Can't Stand Losing You' and 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic'. The two encores featured probably their biggest song, 'Every Breath You Take', along with the audience and concert favourite, 'King of Pain'.
There were some rarities as well, like 'Truth Hits Everybody' from the first album, and 'Invisible Sun'.
The most exciting sequence was during 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' in which Copeland banged an array of percussion instruments, from timpani to gongs.
Fiction Plane opened the show with a Police-like set of reggae-heavy bass, and that's not surprising - Sting's son, Joe Sumner, leads the band on bass and vocals, singing exactly like his dad. The set included the hit, 'Two Sisters', from the debut album, 'Left Side of the Brain'.
© The Windsor Star by Ted Shaw