|Tour||The 'Synchronicity' years 1983/84|
TACOMA, WA: Tacoma Dome
Ticket image courtesy of Dietmar & Raphael
In the summer of 1983, I camped out with a friend, so we could be "first" into the Tacoma, Washington, Synchronicity concert. The Police had toured through Seattle twice before, but I was too young to see them. They first played at the Showbox, a small club in Seattle's red light district, and several years later played the Paramount, an old downtown Seattle theater. We intended to be front and center for the Tacoma Dome show, so we "slept" on the pavement in our mountain tent next to loud drunk fans.
After an memorably awful night, a girl for whom we had saved a place in line, was sweet enough to bring morning coffee. To an 18 year old she seemed like an angel (after all, I was only 18!) The passes were handed out by noon, and we cleaned up in her motel room. By dinnertime, the first 100 fans we were let into the show.
The bouncers sat us down on the floor of the Tacoma Dome, but we all made a dash for the wooden barrier in front of the stage long before the show started. We remained, front and center, at the barrier, with 20,000 Police fans trying to get to the spot where we were hanging on for dear life. Exhausted fans were passed up over the crowd to the barrier to the bouncers. Most were dropped directly on our heads. I distictly remember Sting, several feet away shouting at the roadies.
Well, we lasted halfway through the show, before escaping over the barrier and retreating to empty seats in the back of the stadium. Sting eventually brought out his acoustic bass for a song or two. Eventually the band took a tea break. It was projected on the big screen. I suppose this was the beginning of the end for the band, though we had no idea at the time.
TACOMA, WA: Tacoma Dome / 25,000 enthusiastic fans witness The Police in force...25,000 enthusiastic fans witness The Police in force...
More than 25,000 rock fans crowded into the Tacoma Dome for last night's concert by The Police - one of the most popular superstar bands of the '80s.
The crowd endured the usual parking hassles and traffic jams outside the dome, but found conditions inside the auditorium much more pleasant. Acoustics were excellent and performances were first rate.
The Fixx and the Thompson Twins, two British groups whose musical styles complement The Police , opened the concert with short, tight sets.
The Thompson Twins presented their jaunty hits 'Love On Your Side' and 'Lies' with heartfelt conviction and plenty of energy.
The Fixx, which recently appeared with A Flock Of Seagulls at the Paramount Theater, offered letter perfect versions of its greatest hits including 'Saved by Zero', 'One Thing Leads to Another' and 'Stand Or Fall'.
The Police finally took the stage at approximately 10pm and presented a colourful, elegant show.
Throughout the band's set the large overhead video screen displayed the trio's every move. A kaleidoscopic lighting illuminated the movements of lead vocalist Sting, guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland.
The Police effortlessly combine rock, reggae, funk and even some elements of classical music in a smooth sound that is not only easy and enjoyable to listen to but stimulating and intelligent.
Lyrics to the band's newest sounds are even more philosophical than those from previous albums. The words to 'O My God' read "Everyone I know is lonely / and God's so far away / And my heart belongs to no one / So now sometimes I pray..."
The Police were quick to improvise on hit singles such as 'Message in a Bottle' and the latest songs 'Synchronicity' and 'Every Breath You Take' rather than take the familiar approach. There were exciting new arrangements for many of the group's hit songs.
Perhaps as a result of all that concentration on meticulous performance, the trio had little time for the usual rock star theatrics. There were few gimmicky embellishments to distract the crowd from the group's clean uncluttered pop sound.
© Seattle Post-Intelligencer by Gene Stout
TACOMA, WA: Tacoma DomePolice give arresting end to summer vacation...
Beneath the wooden ribs and white sections of the Tacoma Dome, summer came to a sweet end last night as the British trio, the Police, played to a 29,000-strong capacity crowd of mostly teen-aged kids. When school starts next week, The sure test of coolness has to be whether you were there.
The Police's album Synchronicity, with its No.1 single and MTV smash, 'Every Breath You Take', deservedly has held the top slot on the music charts for the past eight weeks. Deliciously intricate music, a courteous crowd, engaging visuals, admirable acoustics - lyrics and instruments, except perhaps for the bass, were distinct - and the personable, folk-singer-like stage presence of lead singer Sting combined to make this an exceptionally satisfying evening.
What a marvellously warm, cunning and musical band this six-year-old trio from England is. Originally part of a British movement that combined the sparse instrumentation and political consciousness of reggae with crisp, New Wave abruptness, the Police has become one of the most versatile bands. The group strikes an appealing balance between pop lightness of heart and brooding study. It's tight, high vocal harmonies, for example, have that bouncy innocence we've been used to hearing ever since the Beatles and the Hollies crossed the Atlantic. Sting's solo vocals on tunes like 'Every Breath You Take' are pure Rod Stewart.
Yet balanced against that sometimes saccharine freshness are dark lyrics, Sting's steamy bass lines and the thoroughly contemporary, nervous ticking of Andy Summers' guitar.
It's amazing how many different sounds and beats these guys got last night from just three instruments. From the mysterious 'Message in a Bottle' through the floating vocal vamp of 'De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da' to the heavy rock of 'There's a Hole in My Life' and the elusive, William Blake-like ballad 'King of Pain', there was continuous musical interest.
After a brief "intermission" (cameras followed the trio into the dressing room, beaming the group's shenanigans onto the dome's large screen), they came back to do captivating versions of last year's 'Don't Stand So Close' this year's 'Every Breath You Take' and their first American single, 'Roxanne'.
The concert was opened by The Thompson Twins and The Fixx.
© The Seattle Times by Paul de Barros
Image courtesy of Dietmar