10.06.2007 - 2007-10-06 DUBLIN: Croke Park / Sting in the tail Because every set you play doesn't need to be this way...
Sting in the tail Because every set you play doesn't need to be this way...
The Police keep us waiting a bit, and you can sense that some of the more senior members of the 82,000 crowd are wondering what they're doing in a concrete bowl on the Northside on a dark Saturday night when they could be home watching Ryan Tubridy.
Patience wins out, though, because as this tour rolled across the globe, the word has steadily improved. There's an air of expectancy. But it just doesn't happen on the night.
After as set of stodge and self-indulgence from Fiction Plane (fronted by Joe Sumner, son of Sting), The Police open with 'Message in a Bottle'. The place erupts and the band seems tight and up for it. But the warning signs are already flashing.
This might essentially be a greatest hits tour, but that hasn't stopped Sting, Summers and Copeland from attempting to reinvent some perfectly formed rock songs.
And this gives Summers, in particular, the chance to indulge in the sort of virtuosity that is best played on air guitars in front of bedroom mirrors.
Some tracks suffer more that others. 'Walking on The Moon' certainly doesn't need improving, but they try anyway; nor does 'Don't Stand So Close To Me'. 'There's A Hole In My Life', in contrast, shows how they can still do it when they're bothered.
It reminds us too of how good a singer Sting still is and what a special drummer Copeland can be.
An hour and 25 minutes in, they leave us with 'Can't Stand Losing You', a minor Police classic and an unworthy climax.
They kick-start their encore with 'Roxanne', the quintessential Sting song. But again, they feel obliged to turn it on its head. 'So Lonely' gets the bodies bopping and while 'Every Breath You Take' is probably everybody's favourite Police hit, it doesn't benefit from being so late in, when the front-of-house mob just wants beautiful noise.
The lights go up after 'Next To You' and 82,000 souls drift patiently to the exits. By the time they wake they'll have forgotten they've even been there.
© The Irish Independent