09.04.2007 - 2007-09-04 BIRMINGHAM: National Indoor Arena / Comeback boys still cut it...
Comeback boys still cut it...
Oh dear. There's nothing worse than seeing middle-aged men dress like they did in their teens.
But enough about the blokes in the front row of the 13,000 crowd - the band still looked the part and sounded even better in their first UK concert since 1983.
Click here to see the picture gallery.
Close-cropped Sting, immaculate in vest-top, combat boots and skinny black trousers, was at his lock, stock, menacing best, prowling the bare stage with the air of a man gleefully casting off his peacenik persona and saying: "Stuff the rainforest - let's rock."
OK, he didn't actually say that, but you get the picture.
Andy Summers obviously wanted a bigger role in the comeback band than he ever got first time round, and new arrangements bring his under-rated guitar playing to the fore.
Stewart Copeland meanwhile resembles a loveable mad uncle, jubilantly smashing his way through the set, hurling sticks skywards and giving the whole thing its frantic, driving drum backbone.
All through the two-hour show, the three combined for a far heavier sound than they ever managed to put down on record. And the set-list revealed that, while there were plenty of greatest hits, the trio wanted weightier numbers to get their teeth into.
Hence classic opener 'Message in a Bottle' gave way to the lesser-known 'Synchronicity II'.
Not that a show including 'Roxanne', 'Every Little Thing She Does is Magic' and 'Don't Stand So Close to Me' could ever really sound unfamiliar to anyone over 30.
Highlights were a powerful version of 'Invisible Su', an extended 'Can't Stand Losing You' and initial set-closer 'Every Breath You Take'.
But that was before Summers called his bandmates back out for the three-minute new wave blitz of 'Next To You'.
Well, we wouldn't want to end on a soppy note would we?
© The Express & Star