05.03.2008 - 2008-05-03 BUFFALO: HSBC Arena / Further Adventures of a Man in a Suitcase...
|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 |
The Police are a reunion worth waiting for...
[Part 2 - Buffalo]
The next day both Andy and I were up early, I couldn't sleep properly because of all the post concert excitement.
We both thought the same things, and wanted to see something of beautiful downtown Ottawa and not the confines of the Hotel's business centre walls.
Ottawa in the dazzling sun at the beginning of the Tulip festival is a lovely place to walk around on foot. I did a fair amount of walking that day and sadly said goodbye to Andy in the business centre of the most expensive hotel in Ottawa! (Way to go Roger, is what the Toronto fans would say?)
Joking, I asked Andy to write my review for me, otherwise I would be bankrupt at the rate the hotel was charging to use its internet services.
I did make a start, but I was still knackered. I have to apologise for the time it has taken me to commit words to paper, the band had zapped all my energy. I now need a holiday!
The thrill and exhaustion of this trip has taken me longer than normal to get back to a normal sleeping pattern and return to a hectic workplace.
So after waking up at the unearthly hour of 5am, I was now on my way to the Airport to catch a flight to Toronto.
Once checked into the hotel and a few more texts and coffees later, I had met up with Toronto fans Jock, Chris, Christine and Bruce on our road movie trip to Buffalo.
I say road movie because of our little stop-over courtesy of US Immigration at the Buffalo border.
It just felt like it was taken straight out of a post apocalypse style film where certain sections of society are sidelined. The comparison between US and Canadian border control are poles apart. After stumping up the I needed to enter Buffalo, we were on our way.
I can't thank Jock, Chris, Christine and Bruce enough as they had to endure the wait around with me so I could be let into the country.
I did notice Chris looking concerned at one point, as more and more people pilled into the waiting room and seemed to being dealt with before us!
Saturday is always busy at the border, so we had allowed enough time to get through the checks.
When we arrived at the venue, I was struck by how the venue seemed to be the only place of life surrounded by derelict warehouses and old industrial premises, interspersed with concrete highway overpasses. I get to all the romantic locations?
We heard the sound check again, cool.
I was relieved to find we were meeting some other fans in an Irish pub, and that one actually existed here! Luckily, we weren't in a food and drink no go area?
I am sure this whole zone is in the process of massive redevelopment package. The Police playing here in Buffalo no doubt will do wonders for the local economy.
The buzz started early in the pub, although some punters were getting quite excited about the Kentucky Derby on the Television screen whilst we were eating.
I am sorry we didn't see Grace and her friends again before the concert and hope it is not too long until we meet up again.
I think Elvis Costello came on shortly after 7:30pm He played for about an hour, the songs all seemed fairly well-known to me, but I couldn't remember the names until the fan club posted what songs he played!
Unlike the previous night, where Elvis seemed a little perturbed by some of the lack of audience participation towards him, tonight he was on fire.
He was going for it, a good proportion of the floor seats were occupied by people who came to the concert to see Elvis.
He had no problems warming up the crowd, I wasn't particularly dancing (as I was conserving my energy) to his songs but I was hot already! (Temperature wise that is, I couldn't possibly comment on my physical appearance, but like Sting I hadn't shaved.)
Elvis's songs are familiar to me, but I just can't remember the names? 'Every Day I Write the Book' was a song title that had been bugging me since Ottawa.
Then there was the Manchester United football team's favourite phrase "I Don't Want To Go To Chelsea", and the compelling 'Watching the Detectives', but top of my enjoyment list was "Pump it up!" which he duly did.
Although the only thing I would change in his set would be some of the keyboard sounds and stupid effects (which seemed to me to drift into the birdy song territory!), on a few occasions they seemed to overstay their welcome.
From my fifth row position all I could see were people enjoying themselves, people shouting "Elvis is King" and some mad dancing.
One person in particularly had this unique style that was a cross between Jarvis Cocker and a drunk Sue Pollard! (Sorry there isn't an American or Canadian example that comes close to explaining this spectacle.) I just thought if the people are laughing at this chap, just wait until I start!
I'm really surprised Elvis didn't do his most famous song (Well in England) anyway, "Oliver's Army" maybe he is saying it for later on in the tour?
There is now no Bob Marley "Get up Stand up" anymore before the Police come on stage, the Lilly Allen's song is still played through the PA at the end of the evening (when the lights are on.)
Sorry to disappoint you Andy (who was on his way back to England at this point in Time) the Buffalo concert was even better than Ottawa!
Sting's vocal on BOTN had improved and there was more of the song, I just know it will develop even further throughout this tour.
Sting looked like he had been hiking, and like me forgot to pack his razor! His boots were better than the ones that I had on, there was a lovely close-up of them at the start of one of the songs later on (Forget which one) on the video screen.
This far into such a massive tour, Sting I think is conserving his voice a little bit on both "Walking On The Moon" and more importantly on "Synchronicity II" Better to play it safe, he certainly used more potions from his table in Ottawa than in Buffalo, so there is nothing to worry about at this stage.
One of the security staff spent a good part of the gig starring at me intently, (not even saying a word), but thinking is this guy going to cause a crowd surge to the front of the stage?
Or was he thinking my dancing should be given a Parental guidance warning. I wasn't even in my prized aisle seat for my action shots and my timing was a bit out as well.
One of the casualties in the current set-list is "Truth Hits Everybody" which is a song I'm renowned to go into orbit to. My energy levels were flagging fast, no sleep, mad dancing, and jet-lag all taking their toll. I don't know what Jock thought as he could see me in front of him for the entire concert.
The concert had really good pace to it, past "Message in a Bottle" it had a renewed energy and dynamism that was totally infectious.
Andy Summer's guitar playing was on top form, the odd fluff chord right at the beginning of EBYT and "Wrapped around your finger" where Jock could witness my dancing display where I turn around to see the audience behind me during the line "Devil and the deep blue sea behind me"
I've had women scream at me (from the excitement of seeing me?) at this moment of the concert before; others smile and at tonight's show I get a few amusing laughs.
The funniest part of this concert emerged when a fan in the front row threw a baseball cap on the stage for Andy to wear. It was of special significance, because it was exactly the same as one he had worn on a previous tour in America.
Andy looked amazed and I saw him say "Wow", to the fan, it put Andy in playful mood, like a child who has found one of his favourite toys again after a long period of time. (24 years?)
It seemed again that the concert was over way too soon, the guy standing next to me had earlier said he wouldn't be at all surprised if he met "An Englishman in New York" (State) that evening, he was right, it was me and I probably was now in a right emotional state. It is impossible not to be moved and in awe of such a powerful performance.
"Next To You" had a life all of its own, no mistakes tonight, Sting had extra energy and attitude during the last song, which saw him totally knock over his microphone stand in a decisive way.
The most Rock n Roll moment of the tour to date? This topped another stunning display from The Police, who are still on top form.
I don't want this tour to end, but I know it must. Somehow as things stand I need a miracle of science to get to New York in August from a work perspective.
Although the new term in the rhyming dictionary to unofficial Police gigging is now referred to as "doing a Carter!"
A trip via Toronto in August may be on the cards? I know all the fans there will be egging me to come back.
© Roger Puplett
For earlier adventures visit Man in a Suitcase...