Thursday, July 05, 2007

Concert Review: The Police

Here’s my brief review of The Police concert at the X this week.

Overall, I was very happy that I went and thought it was a good show. The reviews from the Pioneer Press and the Strib seemed a bit harsh and I will not link to them…not out of spite, but out of laziness.

The Pros:
- Stuart Copeland is still a great drummer. After the show, I tried to decide who’s a better drummer live – Stuart or Bun E. Carlos. My vote goes to Bun.
- They all sounded great, even though they looked uncomfortable (fighting bunions, gout or gas). Sting’s vocals were strong. Andy’s guitar work was solid, especially for a 64-year-old.
- Rearranging and improvising on the hits was refreshing. If I wanted to hear them note for note, I’d listen to my iPod (and saved some dough).
- The sweaty fan in front of us. This dude was so fired up every time a new song started. It was like “holy shit, I can’t believe they’re playing this hit – I better pump my fists, scream and jump up and down until it ends, or I won’t believe that they played it...or worse they'll stop playing all together.” Jump my sweaty concert goer, JUMP!!! In my younger days that would annoy me. Now, I’m happy for those that can find peace and joy in their life.
- People watching and snarky commentary with Pam and Elise.

The Cons:
- Blinkies, Rock Rags & Other Arena Show Trappings. It was an arena show, and I have a lot of concert nerd/elitist baggage when it comes to large shows, but some of the concert SWAG was ridiculous. Topping the list were blinkies (small buttons with multi-colored lights) and rock rags (“tea towels” with printed album logos).
- The Set List. The song selection was fine, but don’t let me know about it in advance.
- Sting forgetting his lyrics. Sting mussed up a few times. It’s less forgivable if you haven’t been playing the same songs for the past few months (let along writing them 20 – 30 years ago).
- The video media. Most of the time the three video screens were used to show live shots of each member of the band. However there were a few times when some half-baked video would creep in (the skeleton of dinosaur, a Ridiculousaurus, would stroll across the screen during “Walking in Your Footsteps” and briefly during “Can’t Stand Losing You.” Another was a series of black and white photos of kids from various third world nations. Um, OK…I’d give them some money, but I just spent $90 on a ticket and $20 on parking...)
- Fiction Plane. The opening act might be a good bar band, but not appropriate for this type of gig. For those wondering, Joe Sumner plays bass and sings for Fiction Plane. His dad Gordon may have pulled a few strings.

All in all, I’m glad that I went. I got to see one of my favorite bands from my youth and was reminded of how much entertainment I get from music. I was also reminded of my age, while clearly on the younger side of the crowd at the show, I’m now the old fart I used to curse at shows in my youth (even if I can still scope out great vantage points at GA shows).