11.11.2007 - 2007-11-11 BOSTON: TD BankNorth Garden / The Police don't miss a beat...
The Police don't miss a beat...
The last time the Police played Boston Garden, on April 12, 1982, Larry Bird was in his third season with the Celtics. Michael Dukakis was about to win re-election as governor, and Ronald Reagan was in the White House.
The vision of the Police - three bleached-blonde virtuosos darting though their polyglot mix of New Wave pop hooks and skittering, reggae-accented grooves - was something even their most hopeful fans were convinced they might never again witness after the band broke up in 1984. (The trio did play a June 10, 1983, show at Sullivan Stadium in Foxborough). But the Police have reunited - for now - and they're in the midst of a world tour.
For those who swore they'd never see it, last night's trenchant, sold-out performance at TD Banknorth Garden marked the group's third Boston concert in four months, following a pair of robust summer shows at Fenway Park, where improbable, and once-impossible, dreams apparently do come true.
One hundred minutes, nearly two dozen tunes, and two encores began with a kinetic 'Message in a Bottle' that was a transportive reminder of the days when the Police were a brash young band with as much promise as peroxide. They're older now (singer-bassist Sting is 56, guitarist Andy Summers is 64, and drummer Stewart Copeland is 55) but the music remained fresh - as lean and sinewy as Sting's T-shirted torso.
The frantic 'Can't Stand Losing You' and 'So Lonely' rode Summers' spiky guitar hooks with racing, libidinous urgency. (Summers, playing with workmanlike understatement, nevertheless turned in a blustery, blistering solo on 'Driven to Tears', his best of the night). Copeland was a picture of fierce focus throughout, a syncopated shopkeeper of all manner of percussion; surrounded by cymbals, deftly tapping out the "thousand rainy days" of 'Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic' in double-time with marvelous efficacy.
Sting, a supremely confident, relaxed presence onstage, was in fine, flexible voice - his preening, choked sob and killer reggae record collection intact. The only concession he made to not hitting his once-preternaturally high registers - jarringly lowering the key of the chorus of the oddly muddled, tepid 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' - cost the song. But coming back to the Garden after 25 years, anyone's bound to be a bit rusty. Even Larry Bird might miss an occasional three-pointer after all this time.
© The Boston Globe by Jonathan Perry