The Police end 1983 in style...
My dream had come true at last! After being a devoted Police fan I was actually going to see my heroes. It was New Year's Eve and I knew it just had to be special. I was in the 16th row and had a terrific view of the stage and video screen above it. We were not prepared however for the support: The Animals who were quite superb. Eric Burdon was in top form and it was good to see the irrepressible Zoot Money on stage too.
American's music channel MTV was filming the concert live from 9pm and at that precise moment the Arena was plunged into darkness, beautiful lights flickered around us and The Police leapt on stage.
They started with the rousing 'Synchronicity I' and I couldn't believe how much better they looked in reality. Sting wore a coat of many colours, Andy was attired in a bright jacket and Stewart wore his usual shorts and tee-shirt.
The song list was endless but suffice to say that almost all of the 'Synchronicity' LP was played. During 'Walking In Your Footsteps' Sting produced a pan pipe and played it excellently, his image clearly displayed on the huge screen.
His voice was pure and sweet. I'd imagined months of touring would have taken their toll but it sounded wonderful.
Later there was a pause as Sting asked our help: "It's not only New Year's Eve but Andy's birthday and I think we should sing to him ..." With the whole Arena crooning "Happy Birthday", Andy beamed with pleasure. It was a delightful moment.
The music just kept on rolling: 'Message In A Bottle', 'Walking On The Moon', 'Spirits In The Material World', a splendid version of 'Hole In My Life', even a laid back 'Murder By Numbers'. As 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' echoed between us I could see every person up dancing and singing - it was a tremendous night!
Good humour prevailed throughout and the band was obviously having a time and a half with Sting and Andy dancing 'Tiller girl' style at the very front. Stew hit drums, bongos and a xylophone and his energy was just amazing. The trio of girl backing singers were also very good. 'Invisible Sun' and 'Roxanne' were the highlights with the audience swaying along.
The band raced off stage only to be followed to their dressing room by the camera, which transmitted to the audience the boys dancing away still, on the video. They stormed on once more with 'Can't Stand Losing You' and 'Reggatta d'Blanc' really shaking the roof. Another encore followed and as 'So Lonely' burst forth so did hundreds of balloons from the ceiling.
During the final number, a rock adaptation of 'Auld Lang Syne', the balloons were batted to and fro among the audience, confetti blew around the stage, then with more cheers, cries and several unidentifiable items of underwear fluttering onto the stage, the band was gone!
The Police had given us two hours of the most mind-blowing proportions. Sting had never sung better, Stewart showed he is the drum master and my darling Andy's guitar playing had left me in ecstacy. It was the best night in my entire 19 years and I can only pray that the band decides to tour again very, very soon.
We need them!
© Beverley Young for Outlandos/Sting.com
Ticket Image from Paul Carter