But I loved the rest of the Police's catalogue as well...Regatta de Blanc, Zenyatta Mondatta, Ghost in the Machine, Synchronicity. ("Synchronicity II" is especially close to my heart for the lyrics, "Another suburban family morning/grandmother screaming at the wall," as we had my maternal grandmother living with us who was quite apt to scream at the wall, among other eccentricities.) I remember watching the Synchronicity concert film on TV, absolutely rapt, only wishing that I too could have been there.
I had to wait a little over 20 years for my chance. It was a terrifying weight of expectation to place on the shoulders of the aging members of a reunited band on one night. I thought to myself, I'm certain to be disappointed. Also, I had been hearing ominous rumors that the Police had been tooling around with their greatest hits, that they were slower, that, God forbid, Sting had been making them jazzier. So as we approached Wrigley Field in Chicago, IL, I almost felt a sort of dread--dread that my favorite band of all time might let me down.
I am happy to report that I was wrong! Yes, some of the songs were slowed down, some were jammier, but nothing was insufferable. As I said to my companions, "Thank God Sting didn't ruin this Police concert!"
The show was sold out, and the difficulty of purchasing tickets was underscored by the fact that we were in section 524, at the very, very highest level, and only about three rows ahead of the very last row. Check out our AWESOME view here!
Some quick notes on the performance, and I don't have the exact setlist in front of me, so bear with me and my rusty memory:
"Message in a Bottle" and "Synchronicity II" opened the show without a hitch. "Voices Inside My Head" and "When the World is Running Down" both sounded more vibrant and lively than I remember from the albums. "Walking on the Moon" was slow, but that had always been a slower, heavily reggae-influenced song. "ELTSDIM" made me feel all happy and misty, and people were dancing like dorks waaaaay up in the nosebleeds. "Roxanne" also brought the crowd to their feet but sort of lost momentum in the jammy middle. I was thrilled to hear both "The Bed's Too Big Without You" and "Can't Stand Losing You." "Invisible Sun" was moving, as the pictures displayed on the jumbotrons evoked those who are stuck in war-torn regions. "King of Pain" sounded just perfect, and everyone in the ballpark knew the words to "Every Breath You Take," of course. Probably my favorite moment in the concert had to be the final encore, "Next to You," during which Sting and co. were blazing--no middle-aged jazziness, just straight-up (and fast!) rawk.
I would say that the only disappointment of the evening was "Don't Stand So Close To Me," with the chorus slowed down 1986-style. Come on, Sting--put some energy into that one! The best thing about the original version was the almost painful sexual frustration of the narrator. The other major disappointment of the night? That the concert had to ever end.
Sting and Andy Summers may not have been as animated onstage as they were in their 20s, which is to be expected, but Stewart Copeland (Celebrity Crush #76) was unstoppable. The man worked his ass off back there, manning his ginormous drumset, about 7,000 cymbals, and a gong. The crowd definitely appreciated it, and for the most part, we were pretty fired up throughout.
I have long felt that Sting desperately needed Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland to keep him youthful and prevent his self-indulgent tendencies. As much as I'd LOVE for the Police to record at least one other album together, I know that their personal dynamics may make that impossible, and I certainly understand each member's need to be the masters of their own respective universes. On the other hand...
Although from where I was sitting, I couldn't hear a SINGLE WORD Sting said, I could swear at the end of the show he said something like, "Maybe we'll be back soon"? God, I hope so! Give me just *one more* Police show in the next 20 years, and I'd be a happy girl.