Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Police Tour: Day 4 - The Concert

O.K., I know I haven't posted details of day 3 yet, but I am surprised at how when you get back to the real world there isn't 2hrs a day to come up with the perfect description of your day and crop, size and place to perfection the photos that go along with it. Instead of making everyone (especially me) wait, I am putting up what I consider to be the most important post next -- even though it will destroy the verisimilitude. I will post the details of day 3 if and when I have time (My apologies to Vij's restaurant and the wonderful company we had while there for the delays).

You will notice that there are no pictures. I was not among the many who were gutsy/rude enough to take in their recording devices. I make no apologies for respecting the establishment in this one respect.

Without further adieu...

The concert was fantastic. Sting's son is in the band – Fiction Plane -- which opened for The Police (hmmmm...) Yeah, well, they were actually pretty great as unknown openers go. It was frightfully distracting how much like his father Jr. was, but it only added to the entertainment value. Fiction Plane played for 45min (which Ian predicted to the ½ minute). They played about 8 songs and I quite liked 2 of them, was pleasantly surprised by 4 others and could have passed on the other 2.They left the stage to polite cheers and I think they can pat themselves on the back for a job well done.

The roadies took over and cleared the stage of Fiction Plane's detritus with it's regular size drum-kit and corded guitar and bass. They replaced it with several cordless wonders, an assortment of whistles/pipes for Sting to play and the center-piece, Stuart Copeland's custom kit and a special elevator-wrap-around kit of chimes, spinning cymbals, a dozen other things I can't name and a Mac Powerbook. We're not sure exactly what he did with the Mac, but it made Ian feel like a proud father to see it out on centre stage. This plus the obligatory beer-buzz time (which I'm sure is well documented to increase fan appreciation of the headliners) was 45 minutes more.

Oh, did I forget to mention the man-sized gong? I wasn't convinced that Copeland was going to manage to lift the mallet to strike it, but with only a minor loss of balance, he announced the start of their world tour.

SET LIST

Message in a Bottle -- Punchy and fun, like the original, but with enough difference to keep me on the edge of my seat.

Synchronicity II -- A long time personal favorite. I was pleased to see it so early in the evening (I wasn't sure it would make the cut at all)

Spirits in the Material World

Voices Inside My Head/When the World Is Running Down, You Make the Best of What's Still Around

Don't Stand So Close to Me -- This was a compromise between the original and the '86 remake. I like it both ways, but have come to appreciate more the originals energy. I think they should have taken it back to the old way.

Driven to Tears

Walking on the Moon

Truth Hits Everybody

Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic

Wrapped Around Your Finger – Perhaps my favorite on the night. The electronic pings and swoops were gone and replaced by a more honest, creative and organic sounding selection from Stuart's special kit.

The Bed's Too Big Without You -- I really enjoyed this one. Sting really took his time with the lyrics and I really believed what he was saying. The band made a great connection with this one.

Murder by Numbers -- Sting made some smart-ass comments about Jimmy Swaggart before this piece. I couldn't quite make it out, but it seemed biting towards someone who had just died. Given todays political climate, this song took on an even more ominous tone than the happy-go-lucky original.

De Do Do Do, De Da Da Da -- unless you want to dispute the songs meaning, you really can't go wrong with this one.

Invisible Sun

Walking in Your Footsteps – Nice use of scrim. The second number which made heavy use of the specialize percussion kit.

Can't Stand Losing You

Roxanne -- I've heard Do a version very similar to this before and I think it is also very close to the one they performed at the Grammy's.

ENCORE:

King of Pain

So Lonely

Every Breath You Take – pretty much the expected treatment for what must be their biggest single of all time. No franchise risking move here.

SECOND ENCORE

Next to You

All considered, it was a fantastic event.