|Venue||American Airlines Center|
|Tour||The Police Reunion Tour 2007/08|
2007-06-26 DALLAS, TX: American Airlines Center / Police are workable, not great...Setlist
Police are workable, not great...
|01||Message In A Bottle |
|01||Walking On The Moon |
|02||Demolition Man |
|03||Voices Inside My Head |
|04||When The World Is Running Down |
|05||Don't Stand So Close To Me |
|06||Driven To Tears |
|07||Hole In My Life |
|08||Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic |
|09||Wrapped Around Your Finger |
|10||De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da |
|11||Invisible Sun |
|12||Can't Stand Losing You |
|14||King Of Pain |
|15||So Lonely |
|16||Every Breath You Take |
|17||Next To You |
Just before the house lights dimmed Tuesday night at American Airlines Center, Bob Marley's 'Get Up, Stand Up' wafted over the speakers.
As if the damp, sold-out crowd needed to be told, the moment Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland, collectively known as the Police, materialized from the darkness, the throng stood up and stayed there.
The influential band, performing its first Dallas gig in 23 years and the first half of a two-night stand, launched into 'Message in a Bottle', drawing enthusiastic cheers and the assistance of 20,000 backup singers. Sting, whose lithe frame belies his 55 years, sounded as youthful as he did in 1979, when 'Message' first appeared.
The Police sounded loose, even if their on-stage demeanor didn't exactly scream, "It's good to be back!" as Sting said before the opening riff of 'Walking on the Moon'.
Indeed, much of the evening's set displayed a peculiar tension: The classics were often reworked in ways imaginative (the exotic, liquid version of 'Wrapped Around Your Finger') and curiously inert (a slow-burn recast of 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' drained much of its urgency), yet the lesser-known cuts - the searing and still relevant 'Truth Hits Everybody' and the pensive 'Invisible Sun' - didn't elicit much response, with most concertgoers using unfamiliar songs for beer runs.
It's an inescapable dilemma for bands making the reunion rounds: How do you placate the fans who shelled out several hundred dollars to hear their favorites while keeping the performances artistically satisfying? The Police seemed to solve that as best they could by painting the classics with subtle new colors and wedging a few of the favorites into the mix.
Workable, perhaps, but not necessarily invigorating. The crowd was ecstatic throughout, but the same couldn't be said for the men of the hour.
© Star-Telegram by Preston Jones
2007-06-26 DALLAS, TX: American Airlines Center / Police return with a whole new synchronicity...Police return with a whole new synchronicity...
On paper, the Police's reunion tour looks dubious: three aging rockers taking a well-paid stroll down memory lane even though, frankly, they don't really like each other.
Police lead singer Sting wasn't in top form Tuesday night, but adventurous arrangements and stellar musicianship carried the show. 'Don't Stand So Close to Me', indeed. But onstage Tuesday night, it somehow worked. The friction between Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers made for a bold and sometimes spectacular show at a sold-out American Airlines Center.
Despite the parade of hits, this wasn't a slam-dunk crowd pleaser. The Police aren't content to crank out their classics note for note. They want to reinvent them.
That's a tricky task - even for players as accomplished as these three - and the new arrangements dragged at times: 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' sounded downright chilly; 'Invisible Sun' was even more dour than usual.
But for every failed curveball, another song took flight. 'Walking in Your Footsteps' sped into a brilliant ska-tempo rocker while 'The Bed's Too Big Without You' slowed to a stunning psychedelic dub. 'Roxanne' (still the best song ever written about a prostitute) slowly twisted and turned into an act of high drama.
One month into the yearlong tour, the Police are still finding their groove. Ten days ago at the Bonnaroo music festival, the band was blazing and full of improvisational chutzpah. Tuesday night, it settled into a slow burn. What it'll sound like Wednesday night at AAC is anyone's guess.
Perhaps Sting will find the high notes that eluded him Tuesday. Maybe his voice was too rough to reach them, or maybe he just liked the songs better that way. Either way, 'Every Breath You Take' and 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da' suffered without the trademark high parts.
But if the vocals weren't always up to snuff, the guitars and drums were seldom short of dazzling. Mr. Copeland remains one of rock's most inventive timekeepers, swirling jazz with punk and reggae and adding an Afro-Latin vibe to 'Wrapped Around Your Finger'. Mr. Summers, a master of the whammy bar, packed tons of emotion into short, improvised guitar solos.
And the crowd did its part, too, giving a lusty response to Sting's scat-calls in 'Walking on the Moon' and 'Can't Stand Losing You'.
"The question is, Texas, are you ready to sing tonight?" he said, egging them on. "We haven't been here in 25 years."
Actually, it's only been 24 years, but who's counting? The point is, reunion tours this daring are welcome anytime.
Opening the show was Fiction Plane, a competent but forgettable rock trio whose vocalist, Joe Sumner, just so happens to be Sting's son.
Hmmm. Wonder how they got the gig.
© The Dallas Morning News by Thor Christensen
2007-06-26 DALLAS, TX: American Airlines Center / The Police at American Airlines Center...The Police at American Airlines Center...
Approximately 25 years after their last Dallas appearance, The Police returned for the first of two shows at the American Airlines Center. Reunion shows of this nature always produce cognitive dissonance for me. Never having seen The Police before, I wanted to have the opportunity to see one of their concerts, knowing all the while that it wasn't exactly 1980. Or 1983. And with ticket prices at obscene levels, it was impossible for the show to live up to the ticket price.
After a mediocre opening set by Fiction Plane, featuring Joe Sumner, son of Sting, the Police took the stage as the PA played Bob Marley's 'Get Up, Stand Up'. The stage was roundish and simple, with a raised platform around the back edge for Sting and Andy Summers to prance around for the benefit of the fans seated behind the stage. The band then proceeded to play essentially a greatest hits show, which is exactly what you would expect with a show of this nature.
To their credit, the band didn't just regurgitate their parade of hits like a giant jukebox. Instead, they rearranged most of the songs, giving them a different live feel to the studio album versions ingrained in everyone's brains. The new arrangements weren't drastically different though, as each song bore enough similarity to the original version so as not to be unsettling to the audience. Sometimes the new arrangements worked well, such as on 'Walking On The Moon', which built to a concluding Andy Summers guitar jam. Other times, like with a herky-jerky 'Synchronicity II', the new arrangements weren't as successful.
All three band members played well and Sting's voice sounded like he was 25. Still, the concert, while enjoyable, didn't quite have the energy level of a top-notch live show. It's tempting to blame the not-so-young audience for being too mellow, or to dismiss the missing energy as a by-product of an older band. However, I have seen a number of bands in The Police's age bracket fairly recently that all had that missing energy component. Springsteen, Rush, Elvis Costello, even Echo and the Bunnymen - all these bands put on a superlative live show despite their relative dinosaur status. Or, in the Police's own world, it's like the difference between the first disc and the second disc of The Police Live! Still, there were some nice moments, like the 'Regatta de Blanc' interlude in the middle of 'Can't Stand Losing You', and the show closing 'Next To You'.
Some other observations:
- All three band members have preserved well and look good, although my wife did comment that Sting looks a lot sexier if you ignore his lower half.
- The words "Oh my God, I killed Kenny" were written along Summers' guitar strap.
- The fact that Stewart Copeland played a cool collection of odd percussion instruments set up behind his drum kit during 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' didn't make this song suck any less than it usually does.
- Message to the guy in front of me dressed in a Blues Brothers-esque outfit, complete with sunglasses, who played air guitar throughout the show: You are a toolbag.
- If you want to go to the Wednesday night show, I bet you can get good tickets for cheap. Scalpers appear to be taking a bath with the addition of a second show, the stormy weather, and the release by Ticketmaster of tons of good seats over the last few days.
- The tour setlist has remained pretty much constant, with the exception of 'Spirits In The Material World' and 'Murder By Numbers' dropping off at some point. Here is the setlist for the first Dallas show:
Message In A Bottle
Walking On The Moon
Voices Inside My Head
When The World Is Running Down
Don't Stand So Close To Me
Driven To Tears
The Bed's Too Big Without You
Truth Hits Everybody
Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic
Wrapped Around Your Finger
De Do Do Do De Da Da Da
Walking In Your Footsteps
Can't Stand Losing You
King of Pain
Every Breath You Take
Next To You
© Pegasus News by Gary Cohen