|Tour||The 'Synchronicity' years 1983/84|
MONTREAL: Le Spectrum / Police in synch with intimate Spectrum crowd...Police in synch with intimate Spectrum crowd...
By show time every one who had passed the draconian security arrangements for last night's Police concert at the Spectrum were safely tucked inside, leaving many, many more standing out in the humid summer air, faced pressed to the huge glass doors.
Five minutes later, just before the band began taping their concert for international pay TV, Police manager Miles Copeland came to the front of the hall, gestured to the guards and a hundred kids who'd figured they'd missed their chance came scrambling through the turnstiles to take their places at history in the making.
The occasion was a rare opportunity to see and hear the Police in a hall that didn't require the use of binoculars and a fertile imagination.
Equally though, it was an opportunity for the Police drummer Stewart Copeland, drummer Andy Summers and bassist, singer and storm centre Sting, mightily augmented by a female vocal trio to rekindle their own imaginations in the face of a career that has lifted them from obscurity to the very pinnacle of contemporary musical success in four reality-bending years.
What transpired in the next couple of hours was a pop event to recapture the essential spirit of rock 'n' roll, a concert to confirm the near forgotten truth that music can change the world, and a great excuse to tie on your dancing shoes.
These three guys are not the Second Coming you understand. It just seems that way after suffering through the corporate greed, corruption and intellectual self-indulgence that was the bottom line for the international rock industry of the 1970s.
The Police have initiated a different order, a brave new world for rock and the business of rock as we stumble forward toward the end of the century, and they've done it by keeping their game small, by listening to their own voices and the voices of the kids on the street before making their own decisions.
They have, in effect, become the new mainstream and they could easily have played the Big O tomorrow night and escaped with the cash. But part of the Police appeal is their refusal to entrench themselves in a parody of their shamelessly appealing and cunningly simple pop reggae selves.
So they played for the fans last night (and smartly tied in an important video gig to boot) and tested the waters at club floor level for a new edition of the Police.
For the band that played last night in a rougher, bloodier and infinitely more exciting band than the glossy, note-perfect trio that has always appealed without ever stirring thoughts of glory.
All the stuff they played from the recent LP 'Synchronicity' sounded like anthems, be it the easy, distant sounds of 'Tea in the Sahara' (Paul Bowles would approve) or the heart-lifting 'Every Breath You Take', while the older material took on much more value than that of sheer nostalgia. It all worked.
¬© Montreal Gazette by John Griffin