Arena Rock usually means bombast, rhythms that lumber and plod but do not dance, an air of heaviness and excess. The Police do not sacrifice force or presence, but they dance, they move lightly and they sparkle with good humour and good will.
They have one special technologicalally. There are three giant video screens, one flanking each side of the stage and one overhead. The projection system feeding those screens, called Diamond Vision, gives a picture so sharp that the slightest shift in Sting's eyes can be seen perfectly from the furthest bleachers.
Sting revels in this new and powerful communication, using it over and over in myriad ways to clue us in, make us his accomplices, to make us feel not just entertained but spoken to, touched.
The Police bring with them a wealth of very good songs and a way of playing that emphasises the motion, not the meaning, and pulls in the whole crowd. They take this mythological perch and treat it honorably.
© New Musical Express by Richard Grabel
Ticket image courtesy of Dietmar