07.02.2007 - 2007-07-02 ST. LOUIS, MS: Scottrade Center / The Police in St. Louis...
The Police in St. Louis...
|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 |
Like most of the 20,000 fans who poured into the Scottrade Center on Monday night, July 2, I'd been daydreaming of seeing the Police live since the band's performance on the Grammys earlier this year, even if it meant shelling out beaucoup bucks for a decent ticket and a road trip to St. Louis. After all, this is the hottest concert ticket of the summer. And then, after shelling out said bucks, I found myself with passes to the pre-show VIP tent thanks to a Best Buy contest I'd entered on a lark.
Once we got inside the arena, we were ushered into a back room done up with Moroccan rugs, tapestries and a nice spread of free appetizers. The 30 or so contest winners in the room were buzzing about in hopes of meeting Sting, Stewart Copeland and Andy Summers in person. The Best Buy winning statement was kind of vague about this point. But hey, they're serving mint tea and Moroccan food, Sting should just magically appear, right? Sadly, no. Instead, our consolation prize was an autograph opportunity with the openers, Fiction Plane.
Suddenly, I felt like we'd been sucked into a time-share presentation. The frontman for Fiction Plane is, of course, Sting's kid, Joe Sumner. That's one hell of a contract stipulation. Before the band entered the room, the Best Buy rep running the VIP area came around to each of our tables to get us pumped up about Fiction Plane. Only one person in the room seemed to be slightly familiar with the younger Sumner, a crusty gal in her late 30s who had been following the Police from city to city for the past six or seven shows. But after she asked Sumner if he was influenced by Stuart Copeland (to which he politely replied, "Not really. I'm not a drummer") it became pretty obvious to me that it wouldn't be worth leaving our little Moroccan paradise early to go see Fiction Plane actually play.
Halfway into Fiction Plane's set, the Best Buy rep (who got slightly offended when I turned down a free Geek Squad shirt) took us to our seats. Sumner sounds quite a bit like his father, but when it comes to songwriting and stage presence, the apple has fallen far from the tree.
During the intermission, a group of sorority girls, who were quite possibly the youngest attendees at the show, took their seats next to us. I'd find out later that these girls came equipped with only one dance move, which would be repeated throughout the concert's entirely, or at least until one lost her balance, dumping her $8 beer and falling on top of the couple in their 50s in the row in front of us.
Once Bob Marley's 'Get Up, Stand Up' came over the loud speakers, the lights went out and the place went apeshit. Stewart Copeland banged a huge gong and the band kicked into 'Message in a Bottle'. For over two hours, the crowd stayed on its feet while Police played every hit out of its catalogue and then some, each with its own small deviation from the original.
Sting looked and sounded great, although it was obvious on songs like 'Roxanne', 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic' that his voice can't handle the higher notes like it once did. No matter, though, my eyes were fixed on Copeland for the majority of the show. He's an incredible drummer, enthusiastically hopping from a drum kit to a xylophone to wind chimes while haphazardly tossing drumsticks to the poor souls behind him who were forced to watch the band's backs the entire evening. Guitarist Andy Summers, on the other hand, seemed completely disinterested.
With almost zero banter between Sting and the crowd (and three short encores), the evening chugged along at a pretty fast pace. For a few songs mid-set, such as 'Don't Stand So Close To Me' and 'Invisible Sun', it seemed like the band was merely going through the motions, but they made up for it on lesser known selections like 'The Bed's Too Big Without You' and 'Murder By Numbers'. They ended the show on a high note, starting the last encore with 'Every Breath You Take' followed by 'Next To You', quite possibly the most energetic part of the evening. All in all, the Police did not disappoint, but I doubt I'd shell out $225 to see them again, at least, not until they find a better opening act.
© The Pitch (Kansas City) by Andy Vihstadt