11.11.2007 - 2007-11-11 BOSTON: TD BankNorth Garden / Every little thing's magic for Police in third '07 Hub concert...
Every little thing's magic for Police in third '07 Hub concert...
Yoga hasn't ruined the Police. Tantric sex machine, rain forest savior and occasional Police frontman, Sting is still a rock god. A highfalutin, herbal tea-drinkin' rock god, but a rock god nonetheless.
Last night, Sting, 56, drummer Stewart Copeland, 55, and guitarist Andy Summers, 64, assaulted a near-capacity and overjoyed TD Banknorth Garden with their inscrutable yet always catchy pop.
Early shows on the reunion tour were panned - by critics and Copeland's blog. But by the time they got to Fenway for a pair of summer sellouts, the late '70s power trio was up to speed. At their third 2007 Boston appearance, they were at full speed, burning through hits including 'King of Pain', 'So Lonely' and 'Next to You'.
The band has done an almost identical set all tour, except last night the guys left out 'Roxanne'. But within the unsurprising set list, the three maestros often deconstructed their classics. 'Voices Inside My Head' bled into 'When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around'. Half of 'Reggatta de Blanc' was stuffed between verses of 'Can't Stand Losing You'. And 'Driven to Tears' was turned inside out by a vicious, dissonant Summers' guitar solo that swam upstream against the melody.
Sting's songwriting and vocals are what make the Police popular, but Summers and Copeland make the band exceptional. Summers spent so much time laying back strumming simple, echo-laden chords that when he ripped into a solo, he turned the blithe pop into jazz-punk equations.
Copeland didn't care to bang out standard rock beats, and he refused to keep a straight time or play the same thing twice. But when he climbed off his kit and onto a percussion station full of bells, shakers, timpani and a six-foot gong for 'Walking in Your Footsteps', he added the needed epic stadium rock feel to the show.
Smartly, the Police didn't alter all their songs arrangements. While occasionally boring, it's what much of the crowd wanted: Sting's still-perfect voice married to his still-perfect pop.
If the Police formed this decade, they'd sound exactly like openers Fiction Plane. And not solely because Fiction Plane singer/song-writer/bassist Joe Sumner is a dead ringer for dad, who happens to be Police singer/songwriter/bassist Sting. Their voices are so similar, people in the beer lines were asking passers-by, "Hey, are the Police already on?"
Father and son have the same stage presence, good looks and compositional chops - the ska/reggae redux of 'Two Sisters' could be a 'Synchronicity' outtake. They also share a penchant for finding near-virtuosic backing musicians comfortable in bouncing between punk, pop and pounding power trio workouts. It's a shame Sting's shadow is so massive. With Brit pop hooks and intricate arrangements, Fiction Plane is way better than most rock star kids' bands.
© The Boston Herald by Jed Gottlieb