07.28.2007 - 2007-07-28 BOSTON, MA: Fenway Park / The Police out in full force...
The Police out in full force...
|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 |
For a band that broke up in 1984, The Police were musically precise and obviously reveling in their work Saturday night as the trio opened a two-night stand at Fenway Park before a near-capacity crowd of about 35,000.
The massive three-story stage was set in center field, with video screens on either side and three slightly smaller ones behind the stage. The screens behind the stage were used to especially good effect, each one showing a different band member in every song.
Some reports have referred to the reunion of the '80's hitmakers as a "fragile truce," as the other members dealt with the notorious perfectionist Sting. But the biggest impression Saturday night was that Sting was having the most fun of all, grinning through nearly every song in their two-hour set, singing and playing better than ever, and even joking about his two cohorts, guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland.
Sting, 55, also looks about 20 years younger than his compatriots. Summers, 64, is rather lumpy and doughy-faced, while Copeland, who's Sting's age, now bears a gray moptop and looked a bit haggard as he pounded out those unmistakable polyrhythms. The band is touring as the original trio, without additional musicians to share the load. This made some songs sound different, as 'Synchronicity', for one, came without keyboards, but the extra focus on the threesome served them well.
The Police covered most of their best hits, but it didn't feel like a golden oldies show. There was a tangible effort to expand and develop the tunes, sometimes reflecting Sting's solo career and its more jazz-pop direction. Fans hoping for note-perfect renditions of the old hits would've been happy, and those expecting new treatments would've also approved. Wholly new material would've been nice, but with so many fine rock songs, perhaps we can wait until the next tour - hopefully not 23 years away.
'Message in a Bottle' opened the show Saturday, and 'Synchronicity' wasn't far behind, and the predominantly 30-plus crowd was in party mode immediately. The light reggae lilt that accompanied so many Police hits colored a haunting version of 'Don't Stand So Close To Me'.
"We have a history in this town," Sting said at one point early on, "from 1878 (sic) when we played the Rathskellar on Kenmore Square, then the Paradise, the Orpheum."
Summers' skittering guitar lines powered a throbbing 'Driven to Tears'. 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic' started quietly before bursting into joyous pop-rock.
The dreamy, otherworldly feel of 'Wrapped Around Your Finger' had Copeland using his huge gong to surreal effect, as pot smoke wafted over the expensive seats. 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da' bubbled along as Sting - in superb vocal form - played with the tempo, singing just behind the beat.
The pensive ballad 'Invisible Sun' was a rare quieter moment. The reggae beat bumping behind 'Can't Stand Losing You' kept accelerating into a big roaring finish bands half their age would envy. The stage lights turned red for 'Roxanne', naturally, and the trio proved its quiet-verses/rockin' choruses structure is timeless, but a mid-song jazzy interlude just sort of took up time. Summers' guitar lines were exquisite on the encore 'King of Pain', and Sting never sounded better. 'So Lonely' was another masterful evocation of the band's classic sound, with Sting inserting his bandmates' names into the lyrics. 'Every Breath You Take' seemed to take on a new world-weary tone. The second encore was such a blazing 'Next to You',' it suggested 1984 wasn't that long ago.
© The Patriot Ledger by Jay N. Miller